Pick a person, any person, who’s stayed in a hotel for a few nights in recent weeks or months across the United States. Ask them if their room was cleaned during their stay — and how deeply — and if it happened on a daily basis.
Chances are, the answers will vary across the board — and across the luxury level of the stay in question.
During the pandemic years, travelers got used to housekeeping taking a pass on daily room cleanings, all the better to keep from introducing bodies and bacteria into a hotel guest’s intimate quarters, so went the thinking.
If it’s been a while since you stayed in a hotel, you might wonder whether things have rebounded to pre-pandemic norms when it comes to hotel room cleaning services.
The answer, it turns out, lies somewhere in the gray.
Daily room cleaning only comes into play when a guest is staying multiple nights, says Curt Cashour, an American Hotel & Lodging Association spokesperson. Nearly two-thirds of hotel stays (64 percent) are for a single night, according to an analysis for AHLA by Kalibri Labs, a data company for the hotel industry.
Hotel type often determines cleaning level
Digging deeper, whether your hotel room will receive a daily cleaning during your stay varies depending on the type of hotel, says Jason Reader, executive vice president of operations for Remington Hospitality, a hotel management company with 26 hotel brands in its portfolio, across 30 states and Washington, D.C.
“If you’re staying at a resort or luxury hotel, really nothing has changed since before the pandemic,” he says. “There’s still daily cleaning service. Everything is the way it was before. You don’t have to ask for your room to be cleaned, it will happen automatically as it did before.”
Expectations get fuzzier at mid-scale and independent hotels, Reader says.
If you’re staying more than one night in a branded hotel (think Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, etc., although not at the luxury level), “there is a cleaning that should take place,” Reader says, “but it’s likely not as intensive as it was before [the pandemic].
“For branded hotels, we tend to follow the policy of the brand,” Reader says about the cleaning protocols.
At those properties for guests staying more than one night, cleaning might look more like a “tidying” on the second or third day of your stay, he says. It includes emptying the trash, vacuuming and making the beds, as opposed to the deeper clean that occurs when you check out of a hotel room.
When you’re staying at independently owned hotels, Reader says, the cleaning policy varies.