How Top Housekeepers Create a More Welcoming Hotel Room: 7 Secrets

by Martha Scully

A hotel stay should feel like home…only better. That’s why professional housekeepers and hotel managers use these 7 secrets to delight, indulge, and surprise guests.

Thanks to emerging hotel technology, from hotel tablets to aromatherapy machines, it’s never been easier to create a warmer welcome for guests.

But first, don’t discredit the power of an old-fashioned cookie…


1) Sweeter Stays: A Welcome Bite to Eat

DoubleTree launched the trend of greeting guests with a taste of home: a free just-baked hotel cookie. Now, hotels worldwide are handing out complimentary snacks to guests.

If you run a housekeeping business for a hotel, suggest the free cookie idea to management. Or, offer a simpler solution with a “welcome goodie bag” in each room. A simple bottled water, packaged cookie, and coupons to nearby businesses will show guests you care.


2) Room Service Gets Smarter with Hotel Tablets

When guests are hungry for more than cookie, now they can place room service orders on touchscreen hotel tablets. Instead of calling the front desk or kitchen (and tying up the phone lines), hotel tablets let guests browse the menu then send orders straight to the kitchen.

With hotel tablets, orders are more accurate and arrive faster. It’s another way to impress guests with a better in-room experience.


3) The New Way to Call Housekeeping

Oops! A couple just ordered room service on hotel tablets, and accidently knocked over their wine. To call your housekeeping team, guests don’t need to reach for the phone. They can say, “Alexa, please send housekeeping to room 102.”

Alexa is Amazon’s voice-activated system. Like hotel tablets, Alexa is a tech-forward way to make hotel stays more convenient and welcoming. Considering nearly 10% of American households today have Alexa-enabled devices, expect Alexa to show up in more hotel guestrooms.


4) Personalized Greetings

Amazon’s Alexa can also be used to welcome guests to their room. The Time Hotel in Nyack, New York (operated by Dream Group Hotels) puts the hockey puck-sized Amazon Echo Dot in each room. Hosts of conferences or weddings can record custom greetings that are played when guests open the door.

Someone from your housekeeping team could record a message after cleaning each room, introducing themselves and letting guests know you’re on call if the guest needs anything.

Other hotels are putting welcome messages on TV screens and hotel tablets. The same technology used for room service on hotel tablets, can transform any TV or screen into digital signage. Hotels can promote events, receptions, and promotions – anything they want – on these TVs and hotel tablets.

Another creative way to add a welcoming touch: Use a blank card to write a simple message and leave it on the nightstand. “Welcome to your room, our housekeeping team is here for you. Sincerely, (your name)”


5) Comforting Scents

From the personalized sounds of Alexa to the sights of signage on hotel tablets, creating a welcome in-room retreat for guests involves all 5 senses.

As a housekeeping professional, you know a fresh-smelling room is one sign of a job well done. Now, take it up a notch using the power of aromatherapy.

Consider equipping guestrooms with small aromatherapy air diffusers and essential oils. Guests can select lavender to calm down, or bergamot to wake up. There are even alarm clocks that can be set to wake up guests with an invigorating scene.

You can also mix up your own aromatherapy spray in a mist bottle to leave a subtle, natural scent after cleaning each room. Uses this aromatherapy room spray “recipe” to get started.

Another way to make guests feel welcome is to use organic or green cleaning supplies. No one wants to walk into a room that smells like bleach. If you work for a hotel property that uses harsh chemicals, talk to them about the benefits of greener products.

Not only do eco-friendly cleaning materials often smell better, they’re gentler on the environment and those with chemical sensitivities.

Going green could become a marketing angle for your housekeeping business – or the hotel you work for. In fact, any of these 7 strategies – like hotel tablets and voice-activated greetings – can be used to set the hotel apart from the competition.


6) Welcome Guests with Entertainment

Put a smile on guest faces – the moment they step into their room. From hotel tablets with games to Instagram-worthy towels folded into animals, take inspiration from these entertaining ideas.

The housekeeping staff of Carnival Cruise Lines are known for pioneering the towel animal art: from snakes to monkeys, donkeys to ducks. One cruise passenger created his own tutorial for creating critters from towels. Practice your skills, and your towel art could even go viral.

Another way to ensure guests keep smiling? Talk to the hotel about putting hotel tablets in each room. Yes, these are the same hotel tablets that can be used for digital signage and room service orders.

The best hotel tablets come loaded with digital arcade games for all ages and even connect guests to a nationwide trivia network. Interactive trivia games on hotel tablets run 7 days a week, 15 hours a day. The arcade games are on demand, 24/7.


7) Small Touches Make a Big Impact

Last put not least, there are small things you can do as a housekeeper to have guests feeling happy right away. Consider putting a fresh, non-fragrant flower – like a Gerber daisy – in each room. Or, place an apple with a small note on the table that says “Our guests are the apples of our eyes. Enjoy your stay!”

One of the best things you can do is set the right guestroom temperature. After long summer travels, treat guests to a perfectly chilled room. When it’s cold out, a cozy, warm room will invite them to relax and unwind.

From offering room service on hotel tablets to going above and beyond with little extras, hotels are stepping up their game when it comes to welcoming guests. Share these ideas with hotel management. Together, you can collaborate on creative ideas to give guests a warmer welcome – and ensure many happy returns.


About Author’s Organization: Buzztime has delivered on its mission statement for over three decades: bring the best in-venue entertainment to businesses – and the guests they serve. We achieve this by constantly evolving with new technology and integrating the latest trends into our in-demand products.

About the Author
Martha Scully
Martha is the founder of CanadianNanny.ca. Martha has been featured as a Child Care Expert in hundreds of publications across Canada including The Globe and Mail, CBC, Today's Parent and The National Post, She lives in British Columbia with her husband and two daughters.