Should guests clean up before leaving? Here's what hotel managers, Airbnb hosts say
Ah, vacation—a time to sweep all your worries aside and just kick back and relax. Your mind goes into vacay mode as you indulge in snoozing on those cloud-like, fluffy pillows in your hotel room and soaking in the comfy bathtub. But as you use up all those amenities in your room, do you feel the need to clean up after yourself?
Hotels, Airbnb spaces, and resorts serve as your home away from home while you're on vacation. But the question of how you should leave your room when you leave has been a hot topic as of late.
JAKKA Beach Resort asked its guests to not leave their rooms a mess, sharing photos of previous stayers who left unwashed plates and unmade beds on their Facebook page.
This sparked a debate among netizens who were also split in the middle about whether one should clean up their rented rooms.
Showing courtesy is optional but it is a sign of character.
To clean or not to clean?
There isn't actually a one-answer-fits-all for this, as hotels and Airbnbs have different policies on the matter. For instance, hotel guests are not expected or obliged to clean, according to Solution4Hotels Group General Manager Kharla Luneta and Sales & Marketing's Lean De Leon.
"When they go to an accommodation establishment or a hotel, they expect to be served," Luneta told PhilSTAR L!fe. "Showing courtesy is optional but it is a sign of character."
The Group General Manager added that it is not expected unless the rules of the establishment stipulate it. However, there are policies on causing damages to hotel property.
"Any damage to hotel property, whether accidental or willful, is the responsibility of the registered guest for each particular room and they are expected to pay for such damages including broken glasses, stained linens, torn upholstery, etc.
Meanwhile, De Leon said hotel room rates are higher than Airbnb because they have a housekeeping department to take care of the used rooms.
"It is part of the service they pay for when they decide to check-in at an establishment. Although, as a common courtesy, some guests do tidy up a room before leaving."
Azalea Hotels & Residences Group General Manager Elisa Escobar, for her part, added that guests will be charged with cleaning costs if the room has been excessively soiled.
"There are no hard reminders such as posters on the wall but guests are expected not to damage hotel articles/property such as staining linen with henna tattoo as has been popular in Boracay," she said.
Unlike hotels, Airbnbs do ask their guests to clean as they go as their setups are different from hotels.
"AirBnB hosts give feedback to their guests in 3 categories: Communication, Following House Rules, and Cleanliness. So that alone tells us that guests need to clean-up after themselves," Airbnb host Byron Villegas, who owns Casita Real in Quezon told L!fe.
"At the very least, guests need to wash the dishes and put their trash in the bins," he continued, sharing that he printed and posted house rules by the door for guests to keep in mind.
This, however, varies as some hosts include cleaning fees with their rooms so guests are not required to tidy up but it's still encouraged, according to another Airbnb host.
An Airbnb spokesperson told Insider that hosts can choose their own cleaning fees, but 45% of global listings don't charge for it.
For their part, JAKKA Beach Resort said they do not require guests to clean up before leaving as they have housekeeping staff. "But we require to at least observe cleanliness as much as possible," it said.
Basic room etiquette
While some accommodations may have housekeeping staff to clean up, it's best to follow the set house rules in any rented space.
"Basic hotel room etiquette would be similar to how one would behave inside their own homes," Escobar said. "A responsible guest will use water and electricity conscientiously and avoid doing things which will damage the property."
For Airbnbs, guests can check the different house rules before they even rent the room. House rules set by Villegas, which others may also have, include respecting check-in and check-out times, respecting noise curfews, no smoking allowed, and turning off electronics and lights before going out.
Should you not have the time to clean up when it's not obliged, maybe you can consider giving the cleaning staff tips if you left a big mess.
(With reports from Kara Santos)