This has been a hotel pet peeve of mine for quite some time. I tend to work in a hotel room/suite, have late check out and always put the DND (Do Not Disturb) hanging on the outside door knob. And I HATE when the housekeeping disregards the DND and knocks the door and this happens way too often.
Yesterday, I was staying at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Vilnius and, as usually, had the DND hanging on the door. Someone knocks the door at 12:30PM, opens the door and close it after I yell something. I get up, walk to the door, open it and nobody is to be seen in the corridor.
At the time of check out, 30 minutes later, I request to speak with the Manager on Duty that turned out to be a front office manager. She said, as they ALWAYS do, that it was likely the housekeeping and they shouldn’t have done that. Then she continues that there is quite a bit turnover in the housekeeping department, as if that should be my problem. Hotel should train their employees about the proper procedure of checking, whether the guest have left or not.
These are the excuses that I have been given numerous times by hotel managers:
1. Guest leave but don’t remove the DND sign
Maybe some guests do, but I don’t. The correct procedure would be for the maid to place a call to the front desk to find out the check out time of the guest. If it past the check out time, the front desk should call the room.
2. Guest leave the DND but expect the rooms to be cleaned
The guest is certainly wrong, if they leave the DND on the door and expect someone to clean the room. Sometimes, I leave the DND sign on the door even when I am not inside, if I have spread out some papers that I am working on and would prefer the housekeeping not to move them around.
“Phantom” housekeeping phone
This is more refined strategy for the housekeeping to probe, if the guest has left or not, and is in use at many hotels such as Sheraton Gateway LAX and Park Hyatt Dubai.
I have stayed close to 100 times at the Sheraton LAX and often had a 4PM check out as SPG Platinum. These phantom phone calls usually started around 3PM in the afternoon. The phone would ring and, if you pick it up, the other party would hang up immediately.
As these are phone calls from inside the property, there is no way for the management to track them and, quite frankly, I don’t think that they even believed me, when I reported these multiple times.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not blaming the maid for this, but lack of training and likely impossible targets placed for the housekeeping department to turn the rooms after the guests have left. It is annoying nonetheless that these interruptions happen despite the DND hanging on the door.