Pssst! Don't Change Your Sheets and Earn Some Money

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Pssst! Don't Change Your Sheets, And Earn Some Money

Usually my hotel room doesn't need regular cleaning, and my sheets don't need changing daily. And when I tell the housekeeping staff to skip my room, they reward me with a hand to the small of their backs, and a thanks for making their day a little easier.

Besides, they often come to clean just when I most want them not to!

So I wasn't too surprised to learn that when Best Western conducted a pilot program designed to help train their staff, nearly 40% of guests polled in 125 U.S. properties said they preferred "no or limited room cleaning."
Ron Pohl, VP of brand management and member services for the hotel chain said that many times customers feel housekeeping was a distraction, and a big waste of resources.

We've all seen the little cards telling us that a towel on the rack means it's still clean, and we've seen "green cards" urging us to conserve water by minimizing the hotel's laundry load.

But USA Today reports that the hotels are taking conservation to a new level.

Wyndham-family chains (Super 8, Howard Johnson, Travelodge, Days Inn) will leave linens unchanged whenever possible, and its Days Inn chain will reduce linen and towel changes to every third day, down from the current daily change.

Travel Weekly noted that while most of these programs are based on green environmental policies and are presented to guests as a way to protect the environment, it's also a huge savings for the hotels, which one hopes they'll pass on to their customers.

During an eight month pilot study, Travel Weekly reported that Starwood Hotels and Resorts saved more than 14 million gallons of water, that's 224 million glasses of water, which should result in lower customer hotel bills.

But as Americans, we're an incentive-oriented society.
Hotels can only get so much mileage out of appealing to a customer's ecological sensibility. After all, when you're spending upwards of $150.00 a night, maybe you feel you deserve the luxury of daily linen and towel changes,

So, hotels are offering food and beverage credits and points to guests who go green. Starwood will implement a "Green Choice Program," offering 500 reward points to guests who take a low or no daily housekeeping option, as well as food and beverage credit on premises.

The options vary from don't change lines and towels at all, to all to change every second or third day or only upon request. But Pohl of Best Western said saving money was never his focus. For him it was all about seeing an increase in guest satisfaction and increased ratings of his properties. Which means more money for the chain.

Comments on USA Today tend to support the hotel's programs with more than one reader saying that if he can get a fresh towel simply by asking, and it saves him money while saving the earth, and earns him some points, how much better can it get?

How about you? Need your sheets changed daily?

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Comment by Kaleel Sakakeeny on July 30, 2010 at 3:42pm
Never had that experience...actually posting the "do not change" card and having a hotel ignore it. Interesting point to bring up to their housekeeping head or marketing dept. even. Strange. But thanks for writing in!
Comment by Evelyn Kanter on July 30, 2010 at 1:07pm
Too many hotels to remember offer you the option of not changing sheets or towels -- then completely ignore your green choice when you put the "no change linens " card on the pillow or hang up the towels neatly so you can use them again. No, I don't need my sheets changed daily, and since I'm already clean when I step out of the shower, I don't need a fresh bath towel daily.

My question is -- if a hotel gives us the choice, why do the housekeepers ignore our choice?

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