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Mum who strips hotel beds on hols calls guests who leave messy room 'lazy slobs'

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WHEN I see debate on social media about whether holidaymakers should tidy their room before check-out, I have to shake my head in
disbelief.

Honestly, I think only lazy slobs would leave their room in a total state.

I think only lazy slobs would leave their room in a total state

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I think only lazy slobs would leave their room in a total stateCredit: Getty
Writer Catherine Lofthouse worked in a Travelodge when she was 16

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Writer Catherine Lofthouse worked in a Travelodge when she was 16Credit: Catherine lofthouse

You wouldn’t leave your house in disarray, so I think people ought to expect to put in a bit of an effort to tidy up after themselves everywhere else too.

I always strip the beds and put the rubbish out when we’re heading
home from holiday.

When I was a chambermaid at Travelodge, we’d find rooms left in a right state, some even with used condoms and whipped cream all over the bed.

I’ve no idea what those people were thinking, expecting others to clean up their mess, and I was only 16 at the time, so it was a bit of an education on several fronts about what people get up to.

I think it’s respectful to workers who are doing a tiring job and long hours, for not a lot of money, to quickly tidy up after yourself by putting your used towels in the bath, stripping the beds and generally leaving the room ready for cleaning.

It takes less than five minutes for guests to do this, but if you’re cleaning lots of rooms over a day, it can make life so much easier if you find stripped beds and tidy surfaces because you’re only given the bare minimum of time to turn each room around.

If you have to spend ages collecting rubbish, which should already be in the bin, it all adds extra time and pressure to your working day.

Getting your room ready for cleaning can also have unexpected benefits for guests, as often I’ve found items that my kids have left behind while stripping the beds.

The only time I wouldn’t do this is if the cleaner is already at the door wanting to get on with their job.

Life happens, and small children can be unpredictable, so it’s not always possible to leave things as tidy as I might like, but I think I can count on one hand the number of places I’ve not left enough time to get the room sorted to my satisfaction for checkout.

It’s the same when we take the family out for a meal, whether we’re on holiday or at home.

We’ve just got back from an all-inclusive and the state that some of the tables were left in was shameful, with food all over the place, including on the chairs and floor.

We all know kids can make a mess, but at least have the good grace to tidy up after your own, and don’t expect the waiting staff to do it for you.

I once had to ask the servers at a pub in Mablethorpe for cleaning
equipment as one of my sons, who was a toddler at the time, had
managed to spill a whole drink all over himself, the high chair and
the floor.

We’d find rooms left in a right state, some even with used condoms and whipped cream all over the bed

From their reaction, you could see that it was an unusual request and that the staff would normally be expected by diners to clear that up.

But they were already run off their feet, as it was a Sunday lunchtime, and I didn’t want anyone to slip over before it could be sorted.

It’s just common decency to keep others safe and the shared environment clean.

Having said that, it does work both ways.

So if I strip the bed and find dirty mattresses and stained pillows, that’s a big no from me and I will complain.

I wouldn’t put up with it at home, so I don’t want it in a room I’ve paid to stay in.

And I’m always less than impressed if I get given cutlery or glassware that isn’t sparkling clean when I’m eating out.

It makes you wonder what other corners are being cut in terms of cleanliness and hygiene behind closed doors.

For me, it’s part of being a good guest to take the time to tidy up
after myself.

If everyone does a little bit to help out, hotel staff and restaurant workers have more time to make your experience special, which is what we all want when we’re away on holiday or eating out.

Other former hotel workers have also suggested guests need to do more when checking out of a room, including:

  • Putting away any complimentary appliances that might’ve been used
  • And, collecting used towels and placing them in the tub.

Despite the calls from hotel workers for guests to keep their rooms clean and tidy, some holidaymakers haven’t taken notice.

In 2022, one hotel cleaner branded guests as “animals” after they left cigarette boxes, wrappers and empty bottles all over their room.

When checking out of a hotel room, Catherine strips the beds and empties the bins

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When checking out of a hotel room, Catherine strips the beds and empties the binsCredit: Catherine Lofthouse

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