Hotels Not Changing Sheets Every Night
Barbara Huberman wants fresh sheets on her hotel bed every night. She’s annoyed that a growing number of lodgings are now changing them less often. “It’s ridiculous,” says the executive for a Washington-based charitable organization who stays up to 100 nights each year in a hotel. “I have always looked forward to that feel of clean pressed sheets every night. At $200-plus a night, I think I deserve this.”
Hotels say that Huberman is in the minority and that most of their customers accept the less frequent sheet changes during their stays. Any guest can simply request a daily change, they add, and it will be done free of charge. But Huberman says it’s not that easy. A business traveler is often busy, she says, and may forget to put a card on a bed requesting a sheet change or to make a call to the hotel staff. She says she sometimes returns to her room late at night – an inconvenient time for a linen change. She recently requested a change at one hotel and the housekeeping staff declined, saying it was against hotel policy, she says.
A USA TODAY survey of the policies of 25 hotel brands reveals that most do not require a daily change of sheets during a guest’s stay. All said they would change them daily for no charge if a customer makes a request. Eleven said they provide a daily change, nine said they change sheets a few times per week or weekly and five said polices vary at their lodgings.
More than one-third of the hotels of Crowne Plaza, InterContinental, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express – four brands with various policies – say they participate in an environmental program called “Conserving for Tomorrow” and change sheets every three days.
Whether business travelers like it or not, the days of fresh sheets automatically being put on a bed may be coming to an end. “It’s clearly been shown that changing sheets on a daily basis is not an important issue to customers,” says Hyatt Vice President Gary Dollens. “It’s a trend that’s here to stay.” Dollens says less than 10% of Hyatt’s guests are requesting a daily linen change. Nearly all Hyatt’s hotels switched to every four days last year – unless a guest requests otherwise. Marriott’s full-service hotels switched to every three days this year, and other company brands – Courtyard, Fairfield Inn, Fairfield Inn & Suites and SpringHill Suites – will begin testing a similar policy in the next two months.
So long as they’re changing sheets in between guests, I can certainly live with them not changing sheets every night during my stay. I don’t change the sheets every night at home, either. Or get a fresh towel every time I shower, for that matter.
What I do object to, though, is the hotels claiming this is being done for “the environment” rather than to shave costs. Is anyone really fooled by this ruse?