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The 1 hotel amenity I miss the most right now during the pandemic

Aug. 18, 2021
4 min read
The 1 hotel amenity I miss the most right now during the pandemic
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The pandemic forced hotels to make some drastic changes to their operations. That said, given the current climate, I've found them to be pretty understandable.

Sure, it can be annoying to have to reserve a time slot to use the gym and it'd be nice to have room service as an option, but I'll survive those things. Do I wish that hotels were a bit more generous with their elite breakfasts? Of course.

But there's one cut in particular that I can't get behind and am afraid could become permanent: free daily housekeeping.

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Why hotels should offer daily housekeeping

At the onset of the pandemic, hotels across the spectrum were quick to stop offering daily housekeeping. While this partially had to do with reducing labor costs, it was mostly to reduce contact between guests and staff, which made complete sense. In fact, guidance from both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) suggested that hotels shouldn't clean rooms on a daily basis that are occupied by the same guest(s) for multiple days.

A lot has changed since then, however. We know a lot more about COVID-19 today and vaccines are now widely available in much of the world. Despite new concerns about the delta variant, many guests feel comfortable having housekeeping enter their rooms again and vice versa.

Related: Why time’s running out on hotel alarm clocks — and other takeaways from my breakfast conversation with Marriott’s leaders

Still, there are many hotels that won't service your room every day — even if you ask them to. Based on my recent experiences at properties ranging from mid-tier to upscale to luxury, a number of hotels will only provide housekeeping every fourth or fifth day. Meanwhile, some will now only offer it if you're willing to pay extra.

The Aloft Miami Brickell isn't offering daily housekeeping. (Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)

One of the things I look forward to most when I stay at hotels is having a perfectly made bed. There's just something so comforting about slipping into a bed with tightly tucked sheets. And let me be clear, this has nothing to do with laziness. I can't stand to look at an unmade bed so I'll still make my bed every day when traveling, the same way I would when at home. However, no matter how hard I try, I simply can't get that same crisp feel.

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But it's not just about the bed. Without daily housekeeping, you're left to call the front desk and request amenities as needed.

I'm all for reducing waste and only providing fresh towels and toiletries upon request. However, it can get annoying having to call to individually request things like the daily bottle of water you might be entitled to as an elite member or fresh coffee and tea supplies. For instance, I recently requested new tea bags but wasn't provided new cups or sugar. It's the little things.

Related: Full service, no service or hybrid housekeeping: Which do TPG readers prefer?

Finally, not having daily housekeeping means not getting the trash emptied every day. Hotel room garbage cans are small and fill up quickly. If you get takeout and have any food leftover, it could start to smell. Or worse, if you're traveling as a family, you could get stuck with a garbage can full of diapers. Some hotels advise guests to leave their trash outside their door, but that litters the hallway and is just gross.

(Photo by nazdravie/Getty Images)

Bottom line

Hotels, for the love of travel, please bring back free daily housekeeping. I think it's totally fine if a guest wants housekeeping to be optional, but that's what the Do Not Disturb sign is for. When a hotel chain (cough cough, Hilton) makes housekeeping by request only, guests may feel discouraged to request it, or worse, not even know it's an option.

Rooms don't need to go through a deep cleaning every day. However, there are legitimate reasons why a light refresh -- at the least -- should be available. If nothing else, when staying at hotels — specifically full-service hotels — you're paying for an experience and daily housekeeping is part of that.

Featured image by (Photo by Nick Ellis/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG featured card

Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 10X points
10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

80,000 bonus points
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

$550

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more