How to wow your guests – housekeeping service tips

turn-key housekeeping

How confident are you that your associates are regularly looking for ways to fulfill requests or resolve problems before guests have time to think about them?

In the hospitality industry, this is the norm if you want to stand out and exceed guests’ expectations.  At The Service Companies, we partner with many properties and brands. While service cultures and standards differ across them, all of our clients have a similar desire to wow, delight, and add value and a personalized touch to the customer experience.

As I was inspecting a guest room a while ago, I noticed the guest’s toothpaste was squeezed to the last drop.  I immediately thought about that guest coming back after a long day without toothpaste and having to call and wait for more to be delivered. The natural thing for me to do was place another tube of toothpaste for the guest. This made me think – what seems to be an ordinary task for me, doesn’t come naturally to everyone.

During our corporate mandated daily pre-shift meetings, our housekeeping leaders make this service training a regular practice. It is important to share ideas and best practices with associates so they are confident and empowered to create more memorable moments.

The first step is learning to read cues.

How well do you know your guests? Is your guest a coffee or tea drinker? Do they prefer regular or decaf? Does your VIP guest enjoy red or white wine, diet or regular soda, ales or lagers?

Once your housekeeping associates are aware of what the guest has been using, empower them to place extra items during service. Your guests will definitely take notice and appreciate your attentiveness.

A few simple practices our team employs:

  • Having a favorite beverage in a fresh bucket of ice waiting for the guest.
  • Leaving an extra bottle or two of water if the guest is a runner or utilizes the fitness center. Additionally, leaving a note and wishing them a great workout is a nice gesture.
  • Leaving extra tissues and/or tea service if you notice your guest is feeling under the weather or has the sniffles.  A “Get Well” note with the associate’s name offering additional assistance is a thoughtful touch.
  • Leaving them reading material such as a magazine or newspaper many properties stock. Provide this the afternoon or evening before checkout so they can take it along. Wish them a safe trip and hopefully a return visit soon. This is one of my favorites and it is very effective.

One drawback of travel is not having all the conveniences of home during a hectic business trip or jam-packed vacation schedule.  Implementing just one of these extra steps takes some of the planning and thinking off of a guest’s plate and creates more of those memorable experiences that your guest will look forward to coming back to.

Laurie Katinos is one of the leading hospitality operations directors. Her expertise in housekeeping operations spans over 20 years, with the majority of her time spent with Hyatt Hotels Corporation and The Service Companies. Her knowledge and operations savvy has contributed to The Service Companies becoming the unrivaled provider of cleaning, staffing and managed services in the hospitality industry.


  1. Hello Laurie,
    You probably don’t remember me Anselmo, I was in management training under you.
    Happy New year, glad to see your still with The Service Companies.
    One if the things that I remember most about my training as a manager and that I’ve carried on in my personal life is the Wow factor of the Service Company. I still make our bed how I was trained, I display our guest towels how I was trained and believe it or not, I even do it in hotels I may stay in. My time with The Service Companies was not only memorable but has left me with a great appreciation for the unsung members of housekeeping. I make it a point wherever I travel to give my thanks to the housekeepers as I know first hand the efforts put forth by them.
    Thank you and the Service Company for all that I was taught,

  2. Very interesting insight. I believe in professionals so this is a very useful article for everyone. Thank you very much for sharing..

  3. I visit hotels regularly and I’m always impressed by the level of service and the way they tidy the rooms. Thank you for sharing this to widen the understanding of how the industry works!

  4. A housekeeper that leaves a beverage in a fresh bucket of ice waiting sounds like an excellent housekeeper. I am thinking of staffing housekeepers during the holidays so that I can have a house that is in nice shape, even when there’s a lot of guests. Someone who provides extra beverages and reading material would be some traits I would like in a housekeeper.

    • Hallo Mrs. Laurie,

      I read your article and enjoyed it very much.I work in hotel housekeeping.We do have “goodie bags” for our honors club members, they pack two bottles of water, a map of the town, a powerbar and chocolate for the guest.In some cases we also put soda in the room if we know about a guests specific taste.I usually leave a note for them but I ve been brainstorming for a while about some sort of note that is special, perhaps even crafty.I would love to hear your ideas about making their stay memorable

  5. Thanks for sharing this informative blog.

  6. Thanks for the tips. Very inspiring and useful indeed.

  7. This is a really interesting article and I learn a lot of thing from this. Thanks!

  8. Thanks for the information

  9. Hey
    Thank you for the article
    I also work as a room attendant and I would like to create a memorable experience for my who had just had an eye surgery

  10. Great article! Making sure you put your full effort into learning the customer to make sure their experience is the best one possible. Thanks for sharing!

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