My general approach to hotel cleanliness is “what we don’t know can’t hurt us.” I’m a quasi-germaphobe, so I do spend a lot of time thinking about cleanliness in hotels, etc. Heck, at one point I even made a point of selecting rooms with two beds to minimize the amount of time I was sleeping in beds that other people had coitus in, but then lovely OMAAT commenters pointed out that they intentionally select rooms with two beds so they can do whatever in one bed, and then have a clean bad… and now I’m back to picking rooms with just one bed.
Every so often there’s an “undercover investigation” showing some of the horrible practices used by hotel housekeeping. Well, there has just been such an investigation in Harbin, China, including at the Kempinski, Shangri-La, and Sheraton, and the results will make you think twice about your hotel room.
Here’s the video showing their investigation (I wish I could understand what they’re saying):
Caixin has all the details of what happened:
At the Kempinski hotel, a cleaner used the same brush to clean both water glasses and the toilet, and wet a bath towel with toilet water to wipe the floor. At the Shangri-La, an employee cleaned the bathtub with a toilet brush and said, “When the customer is in, don’t brush like this.” At the Sheraton, a cleaner folded a quilt on the floor.
The Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts Group told Caixin that it is investigating the issue, and if the video shows what was purported, it is “unacceptable” and the company will immediately strengthen training and supervision and make sure that all employees follow its quality standards.
The Sheraton Harbin Xiangfang Hotel said on Sina Weibo that it was “deeply sorry” that certain employees did not strictly execute sanitation standards and re-trained its entire staff on Wednesday.
This is of course disgusting behavior and not condoned by the hotels, as it’s obviously not part of their training. However, in many ways hotels are turning a blind eye here, because they know very well that they’re giving their housekeepers too much work, and it’s not realistic for them to do a good job cleaning as many rooms as they’re assigned. So it’s no surprise that they’re cutting corners. As a housekeeper is quoted as saying, their schedules are very tight and it’s difficult to properly clean rooms, but they’re not allowed to say that.
The one part of this that I don’t understand is that this isn’t a hidden camera video, but rather someone is standing over the shoulders of the housekeepers recording. Does anyone get that? It seems like they wouldn’t openly clean like this if being recorded, though I must be missing something.
Does knowing how some housekeepers clean rooms change the way in which you use hotel rooms?