$40/day for hotel housekeeping? A reader got socked with that charge — here’s how to avoid it

Aug 12, 2021

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We’ve all been there. You book a hotel stay, show up at the front desk to check-in only to be disappointed. Maybe your room wasn’t ready at check-in time or they don’t have that non-smoking room you booked. This happens quite a bit, especially in Las Vegas, where the massive casinos have a huge hotel room inventory that’s constantly fluctuating. But, what happens when you show up at the front desk and they tell you that you’ll need to pay nearly $40 per night if you want daily housekeeping?

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That’s what happened to TPG reader Mark P. on a recent stay at the Hilton Grand Vacations at the Flamingo in Las Vegas. He booked a one-bedroom suite on the Hilton website just like any normal hotel stay you or I would book at hilton.com. But upon arrival, the front desk told him housekeeping wasn’t included and presented him with a sheet of paper outlining his options.

Hilton Flamingo memo about housekeeping fee
Copy of memo courtesy of Mark P.

The Hilton Grand Vacations is a timeshare property. When Mark first contacted TPG, we assumed that maybe he booked a timeshare and just wasn’t aware that daily housekeeping generally isn’t included. We decided to try to book a room the same way Mark did: through the Hilton website at the Hilton Grand Vacations at the Flamingo. Sure enough, we couldn’t find anything that indicated housekeeping wasn’t included.

The Points Guy reached out to Hilton for comment but had not heard back by press time. We’ll update the post if we do receive clarification from Hilton.

Booking screenshot from Hilton website
Screenshot courtesy of Hilton.com
Booking screenshot from Hilton website
Screenshot courtesy of Hilton
Booking screenshot from Hilton website
Screenshot courtesy of Hilton.com

The property does disclose that it charges a $25 resort fee per night and details of what that covers (internet access, bottled water, free phone calls, etc.). But, there are no disclosures about the extra cost of housekeeping. When you consider that you can still find plenty of nights where the room rate at a Las Vegas Strip property is less than $100 per night, $40 for housekeeping and $25 for a resort fee can easily almost double your nightly expense. It’s also worth noting that booking with Hilton Honors points won’t get you out of housekeeping fees like this.

Booking at a “regular” hotel, such as a Homewood Suites, doesn’t indicate on the Hilton website whether daily housekeeping is included. We all generally assume it is, though nowadays, that’s more “buyer beware” than it ever has been.

Bottom line

The Hilton website does a poor job disclosing that housekeeping isn’t included in the room rate at Hilton Grand Vacations at the Flamingo. With all the changes during the pandemic, it’s reasonable to wonder if you’ll even get daily housekeeping when you do request it. I had a stay in July at a popular Strip casino property and received no daily housekeeping for four straight days.

The best advice to avoid a surprise housekeeping charge is to call Hilton’s reservation line prior to booking and inquire with an agent.  Though not foolproof, that should help you figure out whether there will be a separate charge for housekeeping at timeshare properties, such as the Hilton Grand Vacations collection.

I called the Hilton Diamond line and they weren’t initially sure of the answer on housekeeping. They contacted the property on my behalf and informed me that any stay of five nights or more will get one day of daily housekeeping on the fifth day. A fee is assessed for any additional housekeeping requested. They also confirmed that the fee depends on the room type booked.

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s to make sure you confirm with the front desk that the benefits you value (housekeeping, free elite breakfast) are being offered right now. The best bet for that is to call the specific property ahead of time.

Right now, even the savviest travelers are being surprised by pop-up fees and key benefits temporarily suspended. Spend that extra time before you travel to avoid a disappointing surprise on your next trip.

Featured image by Lucky-photographer/Shutterstock.com

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