Saturday, March 18, 2023

A Few Thoughts From Saguaro Land.




I absolutely love Left Coast Crime and this year, after a three-year Covid-induced absence from the US mystery convention circuit, Barbara and I are in Tucson, spending an absolutely delightful time engaged in face-to-face reunions with long missed book friends and MIE blog mates Annamaria, Kwei, Wendall, and LCC Guest of Honor Sujata.


I thought of posting a host of photos documenting our experiences thus far, but instead promised Sister Annamaria that I’d leave it to her to do the photo honors in her Monday slot. Instead, I decided to launch off on something that stared me in the face when I looked in the hotel mirror this morning.


Here’s what I saw.


Not what you expected?


I’ve spent thousands of overnights in hotel rooms, and never do I recall seeing anything quite like that before. 


Yes, I’ve seen placards appealing for guests to save water by reusing towels or putting off bedding changes, but never one advising guests that making beds, cleaning bathrooms, and emptying trash will not be provided unless requested, albeit “For stays of 4 nights or longer, we will provide a full room cleaning every 5th day using Lysol protection.”


I suspect it’s a Covid-instituted position intended to protect housekeeping staff and guests from infecting one another.  But what’s the justification for keeping that in effect in today’s post-Covid restrictions times?


To me it’s simple.  Reduced housekeeping services means a direct reduction in labor costs and a concomitant increase in profits—unless of course there’s been a reduction in room rates to compensate guests asked to endure unmade, unclean, and trashy rooms?


Is anyone willing to take that bet?


I doubt my experience is isolated or unique, but rather a phenomenon playing out across a hospitality industry that’s come to accept as gospel a simple business principle: if the consumer is willing to endure, why change? 


My being asked to endure for the greater good of many appeals to me. Being asked to endure so that the many in need of work remain unhired in order to better profit the bottom line, does not.   


I think I’ll sic Barbara on them.





  1. Sadly, you've encountered what is becoming the norm in the travel world. Too often these notices of reduced service are being displayed, while resort or hotel fees keep increasing!

  2. Jeff, I agree that this practice of non-cleaning cuts the housekeeper income very low. I left a very large tip upon leaving!

    1. On departing I respectfully gave my take on the situation to the desk clerk who admitted the reason they don't have enough people is that they don't pay enough. Enough already!

  3. I had exactly the same reaction when I saw that sign on the mirror. (Let's charge more and deliver less because we can.)