Hotels offer rewards if they forego cleaning altogether
Saving the environment offered as the excuse for savings estimated at US$22 a room
“First, hotels asked guests to opt out of daily towel replacement for environmental reasons. Then it was bed linens. Now it’s the entire room.”
So reports the Wall Street Journal, with same incredulity, especially as 8.5% of guests are electing to do without room service in order to gain up US$20 a night discount, or 500 loyalty points.
Hotels say they are offering room discounts or other rewards to guests who agree to make do with less housekeeping as part of an environmental initiative. It must also be saving them buckets in staff and supply costs.
Under the “Make A Green Choice” programme , Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, is offering the choice at the majority of their Westin and Sheraton brand hotels, guests can earn a $5 credit at any of the hotel’s restaurants, or 500 Starpoints, for every night they opt out of housekeeping—for up to three consecutive nights.
At the Marmara Manhattan, a luxury hotel and residence on New York’s Upper East Side, guests who forgo housekeeping for three days receive a $20 discount for each night they stayed without the service.
About 8.5% of guests who stay at a participating Starwood hotel take advantage of the offer, says Stacy Trevino, a spokeswoman for Starwood.
Beyond the reduction in soap, water, and energy used for washing linens and towels, it’s unclear how much additional environmental benefits there might be in not cleaning a room (i.e., not emptying the wastebasket, making the bed, vacuuming, etc.).
But for hotels, there is a clear financial benefit in cutting back on housekeeping.
At a high-end or luxury hotel, the estimated cost of cleaning a single hotel room is about $22 a day, including labor, laundering and wear and tear on linens, according to Bjorn Hanson, an associate professor at New York University’s Tisch Center for Hospitality.
“If they [don’t clean] it a third of the time, they save that $22 a third of the time,” Prof. Hanson says.
Less points for a free night
Carlson Hotels has announced a series of changes to its goldpoints plus program that mean cardholders will have to save less for a free nght.
– Reduced point levels are now needed to redeem for a free night at hotels in their top three categories.
– Redemption levels for hotels in categories 1, 2 and 3 remain the same (15,000, 25,000 and 30,000, respectively). Levels drop from 45,000 to 40,000 for category 4; 60,000 to 50,000 for category 5; and 90,000 to 60,000 for category 6.
– Carlson have also eliminated the premium-priced award level, FlexNights, “making it easier and less expensive to redeem points for free nights.