9. May 2024

Opt-in housekeeping is an essential hotel service. Here’s why.


Good housekeeping is essential to a good guest experience... 

And as for bad housekeeping? It’s just as likely to play a part in a bad guest experience.

We’ve all felt the deep relaxation that comes with knowing you don’t have to change your bedsheets or return to a room to find your clothes freshly laundered. But the opposite - when your room’s taken over by housekeepers for what feels like hours, for example - can be stressful and detract from a trip.

So, how do we make sure housekeeping’s getting it right for each and every guest? 

Here at Sweeply, we think it’s all about putting guests in the driving seat: giving them control over how and when their room is cleaned. 

In other words: opt-in housekeeping. Let’s take a look at what it means, and how you should implement it 👇

What is opt-in housekeeping? 

Opt-in housekeeping is a service model where hotels ask guests about their housekeeping preferences. As standard, a guest’s room won’t be serviced throughout their stay - unless they ask.

Giving your guests this degree of choice means things happen exactly as they expect it: and we all know that’s the key to a positive experience. 

How is this different to opt-out housekeeping? 

Before the pandemic, hotels tended to use an opt-out housekeeping model. This is exactly the opposite of an opt-in one; if a guest doesn’t want housekeeping, they have to request it.  It’s possible to opt-out of housekeeping completely - or just parts of the service. Think about hotels that ask you to put your dirty towels in the bath, but leave them hanging if they don’t need to be cleaned, for example. 

Now we’ve found out what opt-in housekeeping is, let’s take a look at why it’s essential for the modern hotel. 

Why is opt-in housekeeping essential? 

The benefits of opt-in housekeeping for you 

Sustainability: housekeeping has a big environmental footprint, from the water used for washing linen, to the energy consumed by equipment, to the chemicals used in cleaning products. Reduce the frequency of housekeeping, and you reduce your hotel’s environmental footprint.  

Money and time saved: the less housekeeping there is to do, the more efficiently your hotel can run. You can reinvest this time in making the guest experience even better - putting more staff on your front desk, for example - and reinvest this money in your hotel’s pricing. If people get a good deal, they’re far more likely to return!  

Staff crisis support: the American Hotel & Lodging Association found that 72% of hotels today are still struggling with the staffing crisis. Use opt-in housekeeping, and you’ll need less manpower - and take the pressure off your team.

The benefits of opt-in housekeeping for your guests 

Personalised experience: giving guests a personalised experience gives them a sense of control. And a sense of control is more likely to result in a positive impression of your hotel. 

Flexibility: having total control over when their room may or may not be accessible lets guests keep entirely to their own schedule. No more hanging out in the lobby waiting for their room to be cleaned, or guessing when they can expect laundry back. 

What should I keep in mind when introducing opt-in housekeeping? 

Of course, you can’t introduce opt-in housekeeping without proper planning. We’d recommend expecting a high uptake from the start. Our client Íslandshótel, for example, introduced opt-in housekeeping and had 70% of guests choose to implement it.

Here’s what we’d recommend keeping in mind. 

Uptake: we’d recommend expecting a high uptake from the start: take our client Íslandshótel, who had 70% of guests take advantage of the service. 

The guest experience: when are your guests going to request housekeeping? How can you make it as seamless for them as possible? How can you make sure it’s communicated well enough to avoid any nasty surprises? 

The staff experience: make sure staff are given training so they can adapt to guests’ requests quickly and easily. Need help? Read our blog on change management for tips on introducing a new system to your hotel. 

Safety: make it clear to guests that staff may still access rooms occasionally. It’s important to do this regularly to check for damages - and make sure the room isn’t being dirtied beyond cleaning (we’ve all heard the horror stories, after all!). 

Want to learn more? Head to our page on opt-in housekeeping and sustainability.

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