Naked or Not, I’m Coming In

There are first-world problems … and there are first-world problems.

Feeling a bit uncomfortable when the hotel housekeeper demands to clean your room while you are still in it, as happened to Lucky and was described by him in this post, is a Class 1 first-world problem on the whitewater rapids classification scale.

Very, very tame.

Returning to your room after a short trip to the front desk to find the door propped open, the housekeeper busily cleaning away, and your wife still unaware in the shower – that has to rate at least a Class 5!

I went to front desk. While I was out, my wife got in the shower. Since I was coming back soon, she didn’t deadbolt the door. When I came back, the door was propped open and the maid was cleaning the room. A bit confused, I asked her if she had seen my wife. She responded that my wife was in the shower. My wife didn’t even know the maid was there, but would have been in for a nice surprise if she walked out, especially with the front door propped open. ~Ken

An inability to communicate with housekeeping staff in a common language can explain a lot – but where in the world does someone believe it is ok to not only let themselves in, but leave the door propped open when someone is showering?

Putting aside for a moment Ken’s unreal experience, the main focus of the discussion revolves around whether you are comfortable having your room cleaned while you are in it, or if that is something that would make you uncomfortable. Interestingly, the split seems to be about 50/50. Here are a few representative quotes:

I’ve often had my room cleaned while inside because I often do MRs where I stay in hotel room working all day long. It’s usually not very awkward at all because I sit at my desk and work and maid does cleaning. ~HansGolden

I’ve had that happen many times, as other have indicated I might be busy working and I just sit at the desk and continue to work, doesn’t bother me.- They will actually change the sheets and not steal your stuff while your actually in the room while they are cleaning :-). ~Kevin

My friend does this all the time! It always looks weird to me, but I’ll go to his room when we travel together and the cleaning lady will be doing his bed while he’s right next to her on the computer. … I DND the entire stay to simply avoid this kind of thing ~Drew

And TTN warns that you need to be careful if you attempt to temporarily turn down the service, as you might just miss out entirely:

It happened just the opposite to us. We were at breakfast and cleaning knocked while my teenager was in the room. “Please come back later” meant NO cleaning at all. We asked the desk and they told us we declined it. Then, they gave us sheets and told us to change our own linens.

This conversation made me curious as to how/if hotel housekeeping staff are trained with regard to entering a room. A quick search of YouTube revealed a few professional hotel training videos – but all seemed to focus on the supplies that would be needed and the how-tos of specific room cleaning tasks. I didn’t find any that addressed the “correct” way to enter a guest’s room.

What I did find was a likely explanation as to why barge-ins occur – which you can see at about the 2:00 mark of this training video (Why didn’t I just start the video at the 2:00 mark you might ask? I thought the entire video was kind of interesting/entertaining):

If you don’t have time to watch the video right now, basically what it shows is that housekeeping staff are trained to keep a look out and if they see someone leave a room they should take advantage and clean it right away – even if the room isn’t scheduled to be cleaned yet.

What is your preference? Would you feel completely awkward if housekeeping wanted to clean the room while you were in it? Or are you comfortable living the Brady Bunch lifestyle – with the maid cleaning all around you as you leisurely read the paper or watch television?

Image: “Introvert’s plea” by Quinn Dombrowski. CC BY-SA 2.0.


  1. I absolutely hate it when they just barge in. It makes me feel unsafe. I often put the sign on the door when I don’t feel like I can trust a hotel’s service staff with my belongings.

    I was at a Melia hotel in Mallorca once and the maid loudly knocked and then opened the door before 9am on a Sunday…in a vacation spot no less. I was quite upset. Now the weird thing about this was that when I left the room later, the Do Not Disturb tag was gone. I don’t know if the maid took it with her to cover her tracks, or if someone else took it for reasons unknown.

    At any rate, I find it very unacceptable when the Do Not Disturb sign is ignored. It’s a rather straightforward request. If hotels don’t want to be responsible for cleaning the rooms later, they should make it clear that you must not have the tag on the door by a certain time if you want it tended to.

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