From now on, daily housekeeping as a matter of course at Hilton hotels is a thing of the past.
In an update to its pandemic-inspired CleanStay program, the company announced that staff members across 18 Hilton brands will be cleaning guest rooms only in between check-ins and on every fifth day of extended stays.
If you want your room cleaned more frequently than that, you'll need to make a request with the front desk. Opting for daily housekeeping will not result in additional charges on your bill—but you do have to opt in. The service will no longer be automatically offered.
Except, that is, at Hilton's luxury brands—Waldorf Astoria, LXR, and Conrad hotels and resorts—where daily housekeeping will continue to be standard. The same goes for Hilton properties in the Asia-Pacific region.
A company statement describes the new policy as an "opportunity [for guests] to tailor their housekeeping experience to their individual comfort level."
So Hilton would rather you didn't call this a reduction in service. It's an opportunity. You're welcome.
Of course, most hotels have made daily housekeeping a by-special-request-only thing during the pandemic, as wary travelers have tried to limit the number of strangers in close proximity, particularly during the pre-vaccine era.
But, as Travel Weekly points out, Hilton is the first major hospitality player to make the housekeeping changes permanent.
It probably won't be the last, either, in part because of lingering concerns over pathogens but also, more significantly, because of an industrywide shortage of hotel workers amid surging demand for leisure travel from Americans who have been stuck at home for more than a year. Cleaning rooms every day requires employees, after all, and those are hard to come by at the moment.
While job openings are plentiful for now, the hotel workforce could shrink in the long term, according to some analysts, as guests learn to accept infrequent room cleanings and other reduced services.
The predicted loss of jobs is one reason why union leaders have opposed the move away from daily housekeeping at hotels.
As for guests, can they expect a reduction in room rates to go along with the slashed services?
Of course not. This is the same industry that charges you a nightly "resort fee" for the stationary bike you could once use for free in the dank and underlit fitness room you never enter. You think they're gonna cut you a break now that they're no longer paying someone to clean up after you every day?
Dream on in your rumpled, unchanged sheets.