PDA

View Full Version : HoJo's Experience



Pages : [1] 2

Pirate Princess
11-18-2007, 10:19 PM
First off I would like to say I LOVED my stay at Howard Johnson's.. it was a FANTASTIC stay, very clean, super roomy, etc. etc.

However, I would like an opinion.. am I overreacting?

Here's the story:

I would like to preface this by saying, I always use the do not disturb sign. I am not one to have people I do not know in my room.. it is weird to me and we only stay a couple of days at DL so it doesn't get that messy. So when we arrived the Do Not Disturb sign went up.

Two days into the trip, after returning from the pool my DS needed a nap. As I am putting him to bed there is a knock followed immediately by someone opening the door. It was the housekeeping "supervisor." I was upset that she would come busting in especially when the sign was up. She tells me, "Oh sorry!" I mentioned the sign and she tells me, "I am the supervisor" and she pointed to her nameplate. I told her I was putting my son to bed and she could tell I was upset. She stated, "I just (phone) called up to your room and no one answered so I came to see if you needed any coffee or towels." (Does anyone else see the flawed logic here... she thinks no one is in the hotel room so she comes busting in to ask me.. although in her mind I am not there.. if I need anything???)
I again tell her I am fine and please respect the sign. I am trying to get my son (who is in his undies) to bed. Then I notice she has no cart with her.. no towels.. no coffee... BUT in her hands she has a few "Trip Rewards" table centerpiece thingys. It was really fishy and I thought about reporting it.

For those of you in the hotel "know," is the Do Not Disturb sign just a suggestion? Or is it supposed to be honored? Does the story sound a bit "off"? Or am I overreacting?

Thanks

Wendi
11-18-2007, 10:27 PM
I would think that she called, when no one answered, she determined that no one was in the room... therefore she wouldn't actually be "disturbing" anyone. She probably wasn't going to ask you if you needed coffee or towels, but check to see if your room was stocked. If you don't want anyone to come in at all whether you are there or not, you should definitely let them know, the DND sign isn't really enough...

Pirate Princess
11-18-2007, 10:29 PM
So the DND is a suggestion.. interesting. I have never had that experience (or at least I have never noticed anything moved/changed/added/removed/etc. while I was gone so I am assuming that it has never happened before). That is good to know for the future. Thanks!

However... what happens if it is honeymooners who aren't answering the phone for a reason... Eek!

adriennek
11-18-2007, 10:29 PM
Personally, I'd write a letter and let them know.

There was a Do Not Disturb sign on the door and she walked in without even waiting for a reply PERIOD, that's a problem. There's no excuse for that. Even if they think they have the right to enter your room when the sign is up - she didn't wait for a reply.

My personal opinion is that if the sign is up, they do not enter. What if you were asleep and just wanted to sleep? If they were concerned for your well-being, she should've had a security guard with you. If they're concerned because you haven't had your room cleaned, they can slip a note under your door "We came to clean but the sign was up. If you would like us to clean please call the front desk immediately. We're respecting your sign." And furthermore, the story didn't make sense. If she was checking for towels and coffee, she should've had towels and coffee.

I would start the letter just the way you presented it here: "We enjoy the property. We will return. But I need to express my disappointment and concern for that very reason- because we like your property and we want to feel comfortable when we return that this won't happen again."

Adrienne

adriennek
11-18-2007, 10:32 PM
I would think that she called, when no one answered, she determined that no one was in the room... therefore she wouldn't actually be "disturbing" anyone.

Sorry, I have to disagree. Obviously she called before they'd returned to the room and they'd had time to return in the meantime.

What if she'd been in the shower when the maid called?

The sign was up.

When we had friends at the DLH a few months ago on Concierge level, I mindlessly left up the DND sign when we left the room. The maid came to do turn-down service, the sign was up, so instead of ignoring it, she slipped a note under the door to let us know she came by but the sign was up.

I'm really not a fan of on-site properties, so if THEY can respect a sign, anyone can, LOL.

Adrienne

Pirate Princess
11-18-2007, 10:45 PM
Adrienne,
Thanks, I will write a letter. I had an "icky" feeling in my stomach when this happened which stayed with me. Although I usually trust my intuition, I hate to think the worst of people. Who knows her actual intention.. but it just seemed "fishy." I am glad I have some input so I know that her actions were not right and I am justified in my feelings.

Wendi: It's good to know that some people think of the DND sign as a suggestion... it will make me think twice about bringing high dollar items to hotel rooms and leaving out my "unmentionables." :eek::p


(Side note: We were back at the hotel room long enough to have my DS eat two oranges, drink a box of juice, argue with me about the nap, change out of his swim trunks, and put on undies.. so if she did call, it was awhile until she came)

CV12Pirate
11-19-2007, 03:10 AM
I have traveled all over the world in my career, stayed at 5 star hotels and -5 star motels. One thing I can tell you for sure is that they all do it. The knock, the yelling out of “housekeeping” and the opening of the door at the same time is the norm. And yes they do come in to check if the sign has been up for a couple of days. Even after a couple of days of sliding cards under the door, they will open up and check.

If for no other reason, to check to see if the room still looks like a room. Many rooms have been trashed in many hotels over the years. We know you wouldn’t do that sort of thing but they don’t.

That is why it is so important to use the second and third locks (if they have a third lock) in addition to the DND sign. Most places have a lock you turn and then they have that latch thing that replaced the old fashioned chain.

Also, with regard to personal items left in any hotel room. Do not leave anything out in the open. Put them in the drawers or in your suitcase or bag and lock them. Buy those little luggage locks.

It sounds weird but things left out in the open are not considered private. If they are in a drawer or your bag then it is considered private. If something gets stolen that was left in the open, all they have to say is that they didn’t see it when they were in there. AND THEY DO SAY IT! When ya leave the room… Batten down the hatches.

But once again, use the locks. My question is why you didn’t have ALL of the locks locked in the first place. And if you are really concerned, there is always the old fashioned “put the chair under the doorknob” trick.

ktrm
11-19-2007, 07:16 AM
I just came back from HoJos and used the Do Not Disturb sign on my checkout day because we were all trying to pack and did not want someone to come in on us. Although the housekeeping was working in all the other rooms around us, they did not disturb us. HoJos has nice personnel and I would write a letter if you were concerned. They seem to listen and be accommodating to some of my concerns.


I got a great entertainment rate this trip. I love the cleanliness of the hotel, but the beds are very, very hard for me. My mom had a home office room and the beds seemed a bit softer. The first staff member of HoJos said that all the beds are the same, but another said the home office room has upgraded beds. I could swear they were different. HoJos offered to change rooms for me, but when I checked out another room (not an upgraded home office room), the beds seemed just as hard. Anyone know if the home office beds are different for certain? Although I had a great time, I really did not sleep well at all. The Hampton Inn beds are much more to my liking, but the staff and the grounds are not as pleasant. Alas, will I ever find the perfect hotel at the right price?

MommyTo3Boys1Girl
11-19-2007, 09:43 AM
I think the sign should def. be respected and I would let the management know your concerns.
I would not put much in to what the supervisor said though, about wanting to see if you needed anything etc. I would bet she was checking up on things, assuming the maids had told her they had not been able to clean the room etc., for a couple days, it is probably her job to check on things. I doubt her intent was to do any harm to your things etc.

Jim Dear and Darling
11-19-2007, 09:51 AM
I'd write a letter too. In all honesty though, it sounds to me like the supervisor was just trying to make sure everything was okay in the room. In the future, I would let the front desk know at check in, that you don't like housekeeping in your room, so they don't worry when the DND sign is on your door for more than a day or two...


One thing I can tell you for sure is that they all do it. The knock, the yelling out of “housekeeping” and the opening of the door at the same time is the norm.

And yes, this is true. I have been walked in on by housekeeping while naked once, because they knocked and entered at the same time.

GORGON
11-19-2007, 10:26 AM
I would write a letter. I usually stay there as well and i would be upset over this . The Staff is usually great but things like that need to be brought to their attention.

codewoman
11-19-2007, 12:17 PM
I was a motel maid at a Best Western for a year while in college. We respected the DND sign absolutely. We would knock to enter, but I would look in the peephole first (Is there light coming through there? I couldn't see anything!). If I saw light or heard noise in there I would act as if someone was in the room. I always knocked fairly quietly at first, then louder, then VERY LOUD before I tried to open the door. Then I would announce myself while not looking in the room and listen for the shower. If no one answered, I very carefully went into the room. If I heard the shower, I came back later. I never walked in on anyone! But I did have a few "shower people." I doubt they knew I was there.

My bigest fear was what I would find under the bed (check-outs only). I had heard stories!!

Your maid/supervisor/whomever should not have come in to your room, period. They could call and leave a phone message or slip a note under the door. People leave up the DND sign all the time.

adriennek
11-19-2007, 01:20 PM
Who knows her actual intention.. but it just seemed "fishy." I am glad I have some input so I know that her actions were not right and I am justified in my feelings.

Regardless of her intent - she could've sincerely just been checking the room - it doesn't matter. The sign was up, you'd been in the room awhile, and she walked right in.

FWIW, (remember, I'm totally on your side here,) I would leave the suggestion that she was malicious in her intent out of the letter. That's hearsay. Stick to the facts - the facts were that she left no message for you, you'd been in the room for a decent period of time and the DND sign was on the door when she walked in to you and your nearly undressed child.

I think that if you put the intent in there, you may distract them from the issue and it may put them on the defensive.


Your maid/supervisor/whomever should not have come in to your room, period. They could call and leave a phone message or slip a note under the door. People leave up the DND sign all the time.

Oh, good, even an insider says so, LOL. :)

Adrienne

Pastafarian
11-19-2007, 02:55 PM
I think that if you put the intent in there, you may distract them from the issue and it may put them on the defensive.


Adrienne

Excellent advice! Most people will automatically protect those they know from perceived threats or insults (it's human nature, people will even protect casual strangers that they see on a bus every day in a dispute rather than someone they have never seen believe it or not).

To the Op, I agree with everyone else that you should write and advice the manager of the situation so that they can inform their staff that the DND means DND.

Maybe start the letter off something like "Dear Sir or Madame (unless you know the name of who you are addressing), I am writing to inform you of a recent incident at your location. I am not looking for any employees to be reprimanded, but rather to bring your attention to the fact that Housekeeping is occassionally not adhering to the policy of Do Not Disturb signs being utilized. Explain incident". Close with something to the effect that you appreciate their cooperation in making sure housekeeping is aware of the importance of DND signs and their intent and you are looking forward to your next stay with hopes this will not happen again.

(just a suggestion)

Pirate Princess
11-19-2007, 04:02 PM
Adrienne I would only put the facts in my letter... I was just posing my feelings on the board... nor would I hypothesize about the "honeymooner" scenario in a letter.
My undergrad's focus was rhetoric/persuasion... I know much about how to get my point across without putting people on the defense (although in casual writing I don't always think that strategically)... it was no mistake I started my post with: "First off I would like to say I LOVED my stay at Howard Johnson's.. it was a FANTASTIC stay, very clean, super roomy, etc. etc."

I know there are many HoJo lovers that would likely come to the defense of the hotel if they thought I was attacking it.

But I honestly did love my stay. My previous favorite hotel, Carousel Inn and Suites, is no longer my favorite. It pales in comparison for the same price point... and the entertainment rate didn't hurt either :p We will be back there for our next trip (unless I get my career job before then... then we are splurging on a resort hotel because after years and years and years and years of school and gazing up at the GCH and DLR pool I deserve it.)

I am glad to see there are varying opinions on the board so now I know to be more careful since I now know everyone does not share the same view of the DND sign as I do. As for not using the second lock... it completely slipped my mind. I never lock the door at home during the day but I do at night. Unfortunately this habit followed me to the hotel room. I learned from my mistake and won't be doing it again.

Thank you everyone for your input.

adriennek
11-19-2007, 04:19 PM
Adrienne I would only put the facts in my letter... I was just posing my feelings on the board... nor would I hypothesize about the "honeymooner" scenario in a letter.
My undergrad's focus was rhetoric/persuasion... I know much about how to get my point across without putting people on the defense (although in casual writing I don't always think that strategically)... it was no mistake I started my post with: "First off I would like to say I LOVED my stay at Howard Johnson's.. it was a FANTASTIC stay, very clean, super roomy, etc. etc."

Oh yeah. Yeah, like I said, I'm totally on your side. I have enjoyed my stays at the Hojos, too, but every good organization is subject to have a problem now and again - and they need to know about the problems so they can take care of them. :)


Adrienne

Rockchalker
11-21-2007, 09:21 AM
It sounds weird but things left out in the open are not considered private. If they are in a drawer or your bag then it is considered private. If something gets stolen that was left in the open, all they have to say is that they didn’t see it when they were in there. AND THEY DO SAY IT! When ya leave the room… Batten down the hatches.



I don't know how private you should consider the drawers. A couple of years ago when we stayed at the DLH I put the box of tissue from the bathroom inside the nightstand drawer with all my meds and closed the drawer. With my allergies I always need a tissue box near by. The next afternoon the box had been taken out of the drawer and put back in the bathroom holder. Kid you not. I cannot imagine that the DLH is THAT CHEAP, that they need to account for every tissue.....

bigrockstar
11-21-2007, 12:29 PM
Here in Oregon, there have been a couple of situations where a hotel room was used (and not necessarily cheap hotels) to cook meth. Because of this, a nice name-brand hotel here in Eugene had to be closed for the better part of a month while the place was cleared. Nowadays, it's pretty common here in Oregon to have the housekeeping supervisor check in on rooms that have had their DND signs up for more than 24 hours. I am not sure if this is a policy, but I'm pretty sure that if there is a reasonable belief that something illegal is going on in the room, hotel personnel can enter without warrant or warning. I know you weren't doing anything illegal!

In your case (as has already been stated), I don't understand why the supervisor didn't make more of an effort to see if your room was occupied...

CV12Pirate
11-21-2007, 06:33 PM
I don't know how private you should consider the drawers. A couple of years ago when we stayed at the DLH I put the box of tissue from the bathroom inside the nightstand drawer with all my meds and closed the drawer. With my allergies I always need a tissue box near by. The next afternoon the box had been taken out of the drawer and put back in the bathroom holder. Kid you not. I cannot imagine that the DLH is THAT CHEAP, that they need to account for every tissue.....

Call it what you want, it is not stealing your property. They put their tissue back into their bathroom. FWIW, I take 17 different meds a day, there is no way I leave them in a drawer when I leave a room. I lock those babies up!

kylephoto760
11-22-2007, 12:34 AM
I just went digging into the corporate standards for entering a room with a DND sign. (I work for a Marriott, not a HoJo so theirs may be different.)

The gist of it is that the hotel needs to do a welfare check everyday there is a sign on the door. If the sign has been up 3 days in a row they have to enter the room regardless of whether or not they were able to speak to anybody. If they can't make contact, then they're to enter the room to make sure nobody is dead... (Believe it or not, this task falls on the housekeeping department if there isn't round-the-clock security on property. I haven't stayed at the HoJo so I don't know how it is there.)

I know it can take our housekeeping supervisors 45 minutes to an hour to do a sweep of the hotel. I would be more concerned with the fact they didn't wait for a reply before entering. Just a word to the wise though (and I've been guilty of not doing this and being walked in on) lock at a minimum the bolt to your door. When that is thrown it takes a higher level key to unlock than the housekeeping department would normally possess.

adriennek
11-22-2007, 09:59 AM
The gist of it is that the hotel needs to do a welfare check everyday there is a sign on the door. If the sign has been up 3 days in a row they have to enter the room regardless of whether or not they were able to speak to anybody. If they can't make contact, then they're to enter the room to make sure nobody is dead... (Believe it or not, this task falls on the housekeeping department if there isn't round-the-clock security on property. I haven't stayed at the HoJo so I don't know how it is there.)

I know it can take our housekeeping supervisors 45 minutes to an hour to do a sweep of the hotel. I would be more concerned with the fact they didn't wait for a reply before entering.

That's my main concern. I can appreciate doing a welfare check - that's absolutely reasonable. I can appreciate that it would take her awhile to do her rounds of welfare checks. The walking right in after she knocked and not waiting for a reply should be addressed.

Thanks for the input from another insider!

Adrienne

MommyTo3Boys1Girl
11-22-2007, 07:58 PM
I just went digging into the corporate standards for entering a room with a DND sign. (I work for a Marriott, not a HoJo so theirs may be different.)

The gist of it is that the hotel needs to do a welfare check everyday there is a sign on the door. If the sign has been up 3 days in a row they have to enter the room regardless of whether or not they were able to speak to anybody. If they can't make contact, then they're to enter the room to make sure nobody is dead... (Believe it or not, this task falls on the housekeeping department if there isn't round-the-clock security on property. I haven't stayed at the HoJo so I don't know how it is there.)

I know it can take our housekeeping supervisors 45 minutes to an hour to do a sweep of the hotel. I would be more concerned with the fact they didn't wait for a reply before entering. Just a word to the wise though (and I've been guilty of not doing this and being walked in on) lock at a minimum the bolt to your door. When that is thrown it takes a higher level key to unlock than the housekeeping department would normally possess.

It is great that they do those checks. Thanks for posting the information for us.

disneyhound
11-24-2007, 07:50 AM
I don't know how private you should consider the drawers. A couple of years ago when we stayed at the DLH I put the box of tissue from the bathroom inside the nightstand drawer with all my meds and closed the drawer. With my allergies I always need a tissue box near by. The next afternoon the box had been taken out of the drawer and put back in the bathroom holder. Kid you not. I cannot imagine that the DLH is THAT CHEAP, that they need to account for every tissue.....

I don't think "DLH is THAT CHEAP", but rather that the cleaning staff must clean every room to the hotel's standard, and that includes making sure the "paper products" are stocked and in their proper places. That box of tissue had to, absolutely required, be in it's proper place when the room was finished. The staff has probably been instructed to attempt to locate the tissue box before opening another one. DLH is a business, and they are watching their bottom line like any other hotel. If you had removed the tissue from the room, they would have replaced the box, IMHO. Would that staff person have opened the nightstand drawer, if not looking for the missing box of tissue, who knows. A defensive position is always warranted; don't forget to tip!

jMom
11-24-2007, 09:21 AM
I've been following this thread and while the individual actions can be explained and make a lot of sense, the whole experience still pings as not quite right to me.

I've learned to flip that top bolt too, to prevent people from walking in on me and one of the kids from walking out while I'm diaper changing/bathing the other.

DisneyPrincessCat
11-25-2007, 01:25 PM
I stayed in a Marriot on a trip elsewhere once and I was very ill. On the day we checked in my husband went down to get lunch and I stayed in the room. I was lying down and we had the Do Not Disturb sign up on the door. The maid came in and was going to try to give us a bedboard we had requested early that day. After lying on the bed when we got in the room that morning, we determined it was too hard for us. The bed was very squishy, too soft so they were going to make it firmer with a board. She Knocked and then entered at the same time while she was knocking. I was just about asleep in that half wake, half sleep state when she came in and saw me in bed at 12 PM. She wanted to change the board right then. I told her no. I was pissed, because I was very ill on that trip and I very badly needed some rest, and she just came barging in and paid no heed to the sign. When she saw me, she was kinda surprised. I told her I was ill and needed to sleep. We thought the DND sign would be enough to let me have privacy. I did not want to put on the second lock because if I feel asleep, DH would have had to pound to get in or wait til I woke up and I sleep very soundly and extra soundly when I have a stomach virus! It was not acceptable. My husband complained.

There is NO reason a maid should enter your room if you have a Do Not Disturb sign on your door, whether it is locked from the inside with that little door lock they have or not. For example, what if you just forget to put that little door lock up and you and your spouse or SO want to have a little romance time? :eek: That would surprise the maid!

It is NEVER okay to disregard the Do Not Disturb sign, no matter what, unless the room starts stinking up the hotel after several days and no one has come out :eek:....whole nother scenario there...:eek:
ssm