Tips from an Executive Housekeeper

You’ve arrived at your hotel, inserted your key and opened your room door. Immediately, you judge the room. Does it smell? Is it clean? Do I have towels? What should I do with my dirty towels; pick them up for the housekeeper or leave them hanging? Later during your stay, you may wonder what an appropriate tip is or if you should tip at all.

To help us answer some of these burning hotel questions, we sat down with Janie Novinger, an industry veteran and our Executive Housekeeper at the M Resort. With more than 20 years of housekeeping experience, Janie has stories to tell (those are for another blog!) and information to share. Her hospitality career has taken her to work at large hotel corporations and small, independent resorts. Today, Janie shares her industry insights with us.

  • It’s important to remember that all hotels have standards regardless of if they are one star or five stars so you should go into any hotel experience expecting your accommodations to be well-kept and clean regardless of if it is a travel lodge or a luxury resort.

  • Likewise, service is universal and you should expect great service. Of course, some hotels will be far better at this than others, but you should feel like the hotel staff exhibits a genuine sense of interest; makes eye contact and use your name are important factors across the board at any hotel.
  • Always check the bed. Wherever I stay, I completely strip the bed; taking it down to the mattress. I check for stains, holes, and overall cleanliness. I encourage you to do the same. This goes hand-in-hand with expecting your room to be well-kept and clean.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for things you need. Oftentimes guests simply just don’t ask for extra towels or additional amenities during their stay but then file a complaint after their visit. Our job is to make your stay enjoyable and if there is something you need, just ask us and we would be more than happy to assist.
  • When it comes to tidying up your room, it doesn’t make much of a difference to your housekeeper if you pile all your towels in the bath tub or leave them hanging on the racks. At the end of the day, respect goes a long way. Our housekeepers don’t mind picking up laundry, trash and the everyday stuff but no one enjoys cleaning up bodily fluid after a hard night of partying.
  • Some guests worry about how much of a tip they should leave, or if they should leave a tip at all. My advice is to leave what you feel is appropriate, but know that oftentimes a simple thank you note, or using your housekeeper’s name in a comment card has far more impact than a tip. What guests don’t know, or don’t often think about, is that there may be a behind the scenes incentive program happening. At the M, if a guest leaves a housekeeper’s name on a comment card (with a positive comment, of course) or on TripAdvisor we reward them. That name recognition makes a huge impact.