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How do you know when guests are not in their rooms?

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Dee C.

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I have four rooms and I don't always know when guests leave for the day, so I can fluff their rooms. Do you use "do not disturb" or "please clean " signs and if you do, do guests always remember to use them? Any other ideas? Thanks.
 

Morticia

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We have 7 rooms and when we have summer help, we're generally watching to see who is gone out. If it's just us, I'll look out the window when I hear the door open or close to see who's gone.
Otherwise, we start cleaning the rooms we definitely know are empty (we saw them leave) and we knock on doors we're not sure about.
As to signs, we thought about them but here was the big concern- guest wants room cleaned but does not leave until 1 PM or so. We will not see that sign as we are done cleaning at 1 and we don't make regular 'rounds' near the guest rooms.
For us it is just easier to finish cleaning the kitchen (usually done between 10-10:30) and then we get started on the rooms. Guests are generally out the door before then.
 

Innkeeper To Go

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Yes, use the signs whenever possible.
No, guests don't always use them. But they do use them frequently enough to make it worthwhile having them.
 

Don Draper

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This is why it helps when both of us see the people before check-in so we can identify them by car!
We have 9 rooms so are large enough that someone ALWAYS leaves early and that's where our housekeepers can start...then we play the "identify by car" game for guesstimating who is still here. The last resort is the housekeepers just knock.
We thought about using signs but I doubt they would get used. We just have a note in the room that says to vacate your room between 9:30-12 if you'd like housekeeping to attend to it. My fear is the same as Mort's above, if we give them an option with the sign they'll lounge around 'til 3 and then decide they want their room cleaned.
 

Copperhead

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We have 5 guest rooms and try to watch who has headed out, otherwise we do check the cars in the drive. We do have signs for 'Do Not Disturb" that has a note below for the guest that housekeeping is done between the hours of 11 and 1. (this info is also in our guest room books)
NOTE: just because the car is gone does not necessarily mean everyone in that room is gone; ALWAYS knock!!!!
We went to a B&B that had 2 door hangers of different colors, white meant clean the room, black was do not distrub. The innkeeper went through a lengthy discussion on this which made me think, wow this is time consumming during check in (this place had 20+ rooms).
 

Morticia

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We have 5 guest rooms and try to watch who has headed out, otherwise we do check the cars in the drive. We do have signs for 'Do Not Disturb" that has a note below for the guest that housekeeping is done between the hours of 11 and 1. (this info is also in our guest room books)
NOTE: just because the car is gone does not necessarily mean everyone in that room is gone; ALWAYS knock!!!!
We went to a B&B that had 2 door hangers of different colors, white meant clean the room, black was do not distrub. The innkeeper went through a lengthy discussion on this which made me think, wow this is time consumming during check in (this place had 20+ rooms)..
Personally, I wouldn't mind not having to clean every room everyday. It's the one time I got a 'princess and the pea' guest who put the sign out in the evening when they went to dinner, we missed it, as of course we would, and the guest got peeved that would cancel the whole thing for me.
We just had guests for over a week who never wanted thier room touched. Yes, over a week. They asked one time for new towels but they took their own trash out to the dumpster when they thought it needed to go.
More like that would be nice but it was definitely harder to clean that bathroom 9 days later than it would have been had we been running thru there everyday.
I've noticed more guests telling us it isn't necessary to tidy their rooms, tho. Shy? Maybe. Leaving expensive equipment in the room? Maybe. Whatever the reason it has been a trend so far this month.
 

Innkeeper To Go

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We have 5 guest rooms and try to watch who has headed out, otherwise we do check the cars in the drive. We do have signs for 'Do Not Disturb" that has a note below for the guest that housekeeping is done between the hours of 11 and 1. (this info is also in our guest room books)
NOTE: just because the car is gone does not necessarily mean everyone in that room is gone; ALWAYS knock!!!!
We went to a B&B that had 2 door hangers of different colors, white meant clean the room, black was do not distrub. The innkeeper went through a lengthy discussion on this which made me think, wow this is time consumming during check in (this place had 20+ rooms)..
Personally, I wouldn't mind not having to clean every room everyday. It's the one time I got a 'princess and the pea' guest who put the sign out in the evening when they went to dinner, we missed it, as of course we would, and the guest got peeved that would cancel the whole thing for me.
We just had guests for over a week who never wanted thier room touched. Yes, over a week. They asked one time for new towels but they took their own trash out to the dumpster when they thought it needed to go.
More like that would be nice but it was definitely harder to clean that bathroom 9 days later than it would have been had we been running thru there everyday.
I've noticed more guests telling us it isn't necessary to tidy their rooms, tho. Shy? Maybe. Leaving expensive equipment in the room? Maybe. Whatever the reason it has been a trend so far this month.
.
Morticia said:
Personally, I wouldn't mind not having to clean every room everyday
You'd really be surprised just how many guests will simply leave their do-not-disturb signs hanging the whole time they're there. Which is reason enough for me to really like the signs. They give guests more privacy while saving the inn both time and money. What's not to like about that?
Provided, that is, that they're not only tastefully designed (and there are plenty of nice ones out there) but also easy for guests to understand. If they need explaining at check-in (like the one's CH described finding at an inn), well, they're just silly.
 

Samster

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We have the door hangers and guests rarely use them except the PRIVACY side. But, I like having them. Room books also have info about when we re-fresh the rooms but of course there are plenty of people that never read them!
We usually end up chatting up guests at breakfast or right after and offer concierge services (directions, maps, dinner reservations, etc.) so that gives us an opportunity for us to figure out when they're out and to tell them that we'll refresh their rooms while they're sightseeing or whatever. Romantic weekends are really the only time that folks pass on daily maid service. Most appreciate it and we like to get in there and refresh rooms for guests. We have several pretty large suites and one has a full kitchen. We've had guests really "live" in that room and wish that we had gotten in there to empty trash, etc.
We also try to do a turndown service but we tell the guests that we only do it if we can tell if they're out of the room. We have 2 buildings so sometimes it's difficult to see when folks are gone for the day or when they leave for dinner AND lots of people walk around here. In 2 years it's worked out fine though.
For me as a guest, it's nice to come back to a room that's been refreshed.
 

Morticia

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We have 5 guest rooms and try to watch who has headed out, otherwise we do check the cars in the drive. We do have signs for 'Do Not Disturb" that has a note below for the guest that housekeeping is done between the hours of 11 and 1. (this info is also in our guest room books)
NOTE: just because the car is gone does not necessarily mean everyone in that room is gone; ALWAYS knock!!!!
We went to a B&B that had 2 door hangers of different colors, white meant clean the room, black was do not distrub. The innkeeper went through a lengthy discussion on this which made me think, wow this is time consumming during check in (this place had 20+ rooms)..
Personally, I wouldn't mind not having to clean every room everyday. It's the one time I got a 'princess and the pea' guest who put the sign out in the evening when they went to dinner, we missed it, as of course we would, and the guest got peeved that would cancel the whole thing for me.
We just had guests for over a week who never wanted thier room touched. Yes, over a week. They asked one time for new towels but they took their own trash out to the dumpster when they thought it needed to go.
More like that would be nice but it was definitely harder to clean that bathroom 9 days later than it would have been had we been running thru there everyday.
I've noticed more guests telling us it isn't necessary to tidy their rooms, tho. Shy? Maybe. Leaving expensive equipment in the room? Maybe. Whatever the reason it has been a trend so far this month.
.
Morticia said:
Personally, I wouldn't mind not having to clean every room everyday
You'd really be surprised just how many guests will simply leave their do-not-disturb signs hanging the whole time they're there. Which is reason enough for me to really like the signs. They give guests more privacy while saving the inn both time and money. What's not to like about that?
Provided, that is, that they're not only tastefully designed (and there are plenty of nice ones out there) but also easy for guests to understand. If they need explaining at check-in (like the one's CH described finding at an inn), well, they're just silly.
.
A few years ago there was a contest to desing witty door hangers. I can't find the results any longer but some of them were a riot. They got very creative. It was a hotel-based contest. Some were real works of art and others it was impossible to understand what they were for. Had they not been hanging on the doorknobs, no one would have known what to do with them.
Then again, there is this I just found...granddad's collection of doorhangers from around the world.
A different contest.
 
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We have the door hangers and guests rarely use them except the PRIVACY side. But, I like having them. Room books also have info about when we re-fresh the rooms but of course there are plenty of people that never read them!
We usually end up chatting up guests at breakfast or right after and offer concierge services (directions, maps, dinner reservations, etc.) so that gives us an opportunity for us to figure out when they're out and to tell them that we'll refresh their rooms while they're sightseeing or whatever. Romantic weekends are really the only time that folks pass on daily maid service. Most appreciate it and we like to get in there and refresh rooms for guests. We have several pretty large suites and one has a full kitchen. We've had guests really "live" in that room and wish that we had gotten in there to empty trash, etc.
We also try to do a turndown service but we tell the guests that we only do it if we can tell if they're out of the room. We have 2 buildings so sometimes it's difficult to see when folks are gone for the day or when they leave for dinner AND lots of people walk around here. In 2 years it's worked out fine though.
For me as a guest, it's nice to come back to a room that's been refreshed..
Very small here so I check the parking lot, look for door hangers or call their room. Mary in Bridgewater
 

EmptyNest

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We always just checked for cars outside. But...just knock ALWAYS and announce yourself before opening a door. Sometimes the do not disturb signs work and other times people just forget them.
 

wendydk

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We have the door hangers and guests rarely use them except the PRIVACY side. But, I like having them. Room books also have info about when we re-fresh the rooms but of course there are plenty of people that never read them!
We usually end up chatting up guests at breakfast or right after and offer concierge services (directions, maps, dinner reservations, etc.) so that gives us an opportunity for us to figure out when they're out and to tell them that we'll refresh their rooms while they're sightseeing or whatever. Romantic weekends are really the only time that folks pass on daily maid service. Most appreciate it and we like to get in there and refresh rooms for guests. We have several pretty large suites and one has a full kitchen. We've had guests really "live" in that room and wish that we had gotten in there to empty trash, etc.
We also try to do a turndown service but we tell the guests that we only do it if we can tell if they're out of the room. We have 2 buildings so sometimes it's difficult to see when folks are gone for the day or when they leave for dinner AND lots of people walk around here. In 2 years it's worked out fine though.
For me as a guest, it's nice to come back to a room that's been refreshed..
Very small here so I check the parking lot, look for door hangers or call their room. Mary in Bridgewater
.
Mary at Bridgewater Inn and Cottage said:
Very small here so I check the parking lot, look for door hangers or call their room. Mary in Bridgewater
Ditto...if their car is gone and no noise comes from the room, then I knock.
 

egoodell

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We only have two rooms so ask at breakfast what their plans are for the day. Since we run the wine tours we have to be more upfront about needing to get in the rooms to fluff before we leave at 12 or 12:30. If they are on the wine tours they usually run out to Monticello or something in the morning and we can get in.
But most of our guests don't even care if we get in there or not for some reason.
RIki
 

Innkeeper To Go

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We have 5 guest rooms and try to watch who has headed out, otherwise we do check the cars in the drive. We do have signs for 'Do Not Disturb" that has a note below for the guest that housekeeping is done between the hours of 11 and 1. (this info is also in our guest room books)
NOTE: just because the car is gone does not necessarily mean everyone in that room is gone; ALWAYS knock!!!!
We went to a B&B that had 2 door hangers of different colors, white meant clean the room, black was do not distrub. The innkeeper went through a lengthy discussion on this which made me think, wow this is time consumming during check in (this place had 20+ rooms)..
Personally, I wouldn't mind not having to clean every room everyday. It's the one time I got a 'princess and the pea' guest who put the sign out in the evening when they went to dinner, we missed it, as of course we would, and the guest got peeved that would cancel the whole thing for me.
We just had guests for over a week who never wanted thier room touched. Yes, over a week. They asked one time for new towels but they took their own trash out to the dumpster when they thought it needed to go.
More like that would be nice but it was definitely harder to clean that bathroom 9 days later than it would have been had we been running thru there everyday.
I've noticed more guests telling us it isn't necessary to tidy their rooms, tho. Shy? Maybe. Leaving expensive equipment in the room? Maybe. Whatever the reason it has been a trend so far this month.
.
Morticia said:
Personally, I wouldn't mind not having to clean every room everyday
You'd really be surprised just how many guests will simply leave their do-not-disturb signs hanging the whole time they're there. Which is reason enough for me to really like the signs. They give guests more privacy while saving the inn both time and money. What's not to like about that?
Provided, that is, that they're not only tastefully designed (and there are plenty of nice ones out there) but also easy for guests to understand. If they need explaining at check-in (like the one's CH described finding at an inn), well, they're just silly.
.
A few years ago there was a contest to desing witty door hangers. I can't find the results any longer but some of them were a riot. They got very creative. It was a hotel-based contest. Some were real works of art and others it was impossible to understand what they were for. Had they not been hanging on the doorknobs, no one would have known what to do with them.
Then again, there is this I just found...granddad's collection of doorhangers from around the world.
A different contest.
.
Gotta say those Embassy Suites contest winners are absolutely adorable.
 

seashanty

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How do you know when guests are not in their rooms?[/h1]You don't!
Have had all cars gone from lot, quiet, quiet house, knocked on door (twice), announced 'Housekeeping' loudly ... twice, unlocked door and entered to discover husband asleep in bed.
p.s. I served him breakfast, could have sworn he left with his wife. He must have returned and gone back to bed.
 

The Farmers Daughter

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We always knock and announce "Housekeeping"! Then wait for a reply. If no reply, we make a lot of noise jangling the keys and opening the lock just in case someone is in the bathroom or something. This usually works. Often if the room is occupied the guest will just say "no thank you" and that works for me too.
 

Big Bri

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We have the door hangers and guests rarely use them except the PRIVACY side. But, I like having them. Room books also have info about when we re-fresh the rooms but of course there are plenty of people that never read them!
We usually end up chatting up guests at breakfast or right after and offer concierge services (directions, maps, dinner reservations, etc.) so that gives us an opportunity for us to figure out when they're out and to tell them that we'll refresh their rooms while they're sightseeing or whatever. Romantic weekends are really the only time that folks pass on daily maid service. Most appreciate it and we like to get in there and refresh rooms for guests. We have several pretty large suites and one has a full kitchen. We've had guests really "live" in that room and wish that we had gotten in there to empty trash, etc.
We also try to do a turndown service but we tell the guests that we only do it if we can tell if they're out of the room. We have 2 buildings so sometimes it's difficult to see when folks are gone for the day or when they leave for dinner AND lots of people walk around here. In 2 years it's worked out fine though.
For me as a guest, it's nice to come back to a room that's been refreshed..
Very small here so I check the parking lot, look for door hangers or call their room. Mary in Bridgewater
.
Mary at Bridgewater Inn and Cottage said:
Very small here so I check the parking lot, look for door hangers or call their room. Mary in Bridgewater
Ditto...if their car is gone and no noise comes from the room, then I knock.
.
We do the same. Usually i am working in my office so I hear if people leave and will just look out my door if I am really curious to know who left. I am also able to see our parking lot from my office. We also will sometimes ask what the guest has planned for the day and they tell us if they are going to meet someone, go somewhere and even will tell us when they plan on doing that so we kind of have a general idea how long they will be staying in their room.
Most of our guests since they are visiting the University leave by 9:30am and if we are not sure if they are still in the room, we just knock on the door and say 'Housekeeping'.
 

Breakfast Diva

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We do a couple of things to keep track of who is coming and going. We have a dry erase board in the kitchen which lists the rooms, names, time of breakfast, dietary restrictions and make of car. That way if it's insanely crazy, we can always look to see who's car is in the lot. The other thing we have is a driveway monitor (a hose, sort of like a gas station) which does a ding-dong in the inn's kitchen and our separate innkeeper's house. This way I know if someone has drive up or has left. I can't tell you how much this monitor has helped me. I no longer feel like I have to be on alert, listening to hear a car door or constantly looking out a window to see if a check-in has pulled up.
We only refresh rooms until 12:00 noon. After that, they can let us know if they need any clean towels, etc. I have thought about doing a door hanger, but like a previous poster, didn't want the guest to think if they hung it out we would freshen their room any time of the day or night. I still might do the door hanger, but it would say only "ROOM FRESHENING NOT NEEDED". That way I would know not to bother, yet it doesn't give guests another option.
 

muirford

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We do a couple of things to keep track of who is coming and going. We have a dry erase board in the kitchen which lists the rooms, names, time of breakfast, dietary restrictions and make of car. That way if it's insanely crazy, we can always look to see who's car is in the lot. The other thing we have is a driveway monitor (a hose, sort of like a gas station) which does a ding-dong in the inn's kitchen and our separate innkeeper's house. This way I know if someone has drive up or has left. I can't tell you how much this monitor has helped me. I no longer feel like I have to be on alert, listening to hear a car door or constantly looking out a window to see if a check-in has pulled up.
We only refresh rooms until 12:00 noon. After that, they can let us know if they need any clean towels, etc. I have thought about doing a door hanger, but like a previous poster, didn't want the guest to think if they hung it out we would freshen their room any time of the day or night. I still might do the door hanger, but it would say only "ROOM FRESHENING NOT NEEDED". That way I would know not to bother, yet it doesn't give guests another option..
Breakfast Diva said:
The other thing we have is a driveway monitor (a hose, sort of like a gas station) which does a ding-dong in the inn's kitchen and our separate innkeeper's house. This way I know if someone has drive up or has left. I can't tell you how much this monitor has helped me. I no longer feel like I have to be on alert, listening to hear a car door or constantly looking out a window to see if a check-in has pulled up.
I like that idea a lot - not just for guests, but we've had problems lately with all the snow of college kids whose own parking lot isn't plowed deciding that it's okay to park in our lot. After we've spent a lot of time and moved our own cars elsewhere so our guests would have a place to park. Would you mind sharing where you got your monitor, maybe the brand name, and is it battery-operated or plug-in?
 
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