I am not a hotelier, just a host like most of us here, navigating my way through making the most out of my experience… not just in financial terms but also for the sake of doing something cool and right by my guests.
With that said, I’m noticing that thus far, each of the several cleaners I’ve had has been making the beds for guests in a different way. Some cleaners use 2 pillows, some 4, some flip over the comforter and top sheet, some don’t. Some leave a towel on the end of it, some leave a towel near the pillows. Some roll the towel and others fold it. Some fold the comforter towards the bottom of the bed and others extend it all the way to the pillows. In the past, I’ve gone as far as asking guests what level of softness they prefer for their pillows. But that is obviously not efficient and I rarely do it now that I have more volume.
I know how a bed is made depends a lot on the bed itself, what sort of sheets, bedding and towels you have, room decor etc. And yes it’s a matter of preference… I or each host can instruct their cleaners to make the beds however the host wants to. But what is the best way to make them? What do guests like the most? What is easiest and quickest? What is best looking in your opinion? Care to share any examples and photos, or videos and online instructions? Perhaps there are even bed making classes out there I and/or my cleaners can take. This is a serious question, or more like a serious chain of questions… What is considered best practice for making beds for guests?
Mind you, I never got or saw another host getting a bad Airbnb review for how a bed was made (not talking about cleanliness here, just the way it’s made). I did have one guest mention in a review their sheets were not of highest thread count. But that comment was left in the private section of the review and it did not affect their rating. In any case, I firmly believe that a well-made bed can make your listing more attractive and on an intrinsic level it can create a better impression of your home in the guest’s mind which may result in a higher star review. Even if in their mind, the guest is not leaving you 5 stars because and only because of how the bed was made, it can an overall contributing factor… in my opinion.
To that point, how are most hotel beds made anyway? Do they always use 4 pillows, a comforter and a bedspread? Funny how I’ve travelled a ton and stayed at hundreds of hotels but I never really paid that much attention to these details. Because to be honest every hotel bed in a room I stayed at always looked super tight and done very professionally. But the beds in my Airbnb apartments are maybe 50 - 80% there… After I or my cleaners make them, they just don’t look as sleek as hotel beds and I am not sure exactly why. The beds themselves and my sheets are beautiful, obviously clean, and the way I and my cleaners make them is not bad or disorganized… yet I just can’t get the same look as in hotels… something is missing.
And yes I know that Airbnb properties are supposed to be different from hotels. Trust me, mine are unique… I just don’t want my guest beds to reflect my unique inability to make a bed Everybody, and I mean everybody, likes a nicely made bed… it just sets the mood for having a restful night. I don’t know if everybody likes their bed made the hotel way (if there is such a standard way). But from your experience and observation/knowledge, does each hotel have a different way of making their beds? For example, beds are made one way in Hilton and another in Sheraton? And how do hotels train their cleaning staff to make beds the same way each time?
Another related question I’m curious about is do you offer your Airbnb guests the equivalent of what hotels call “turndown service”? As FYI Wikipedia’s definition of “turndown service” is turning down the bed linen of the bed in the room & preparing the bed for use, sometimes leaving an item of confectionery such as a chocolate or a mint on top of a pillow in the bed. Oh my! Well most times I’ve stayed in hotels, if I even remember requesting or being informed my rate includes turndown service, my turndown service consisted of just having a made bed with the top sheet flipped over on one side of it and no chocolates. But is there an Airbnb version of turndown service? And who (what type of guest) requests turndown service in hotels anyway? Has any of your Airbnb guests asked for turndown service or for their bed to be made a certain way?
And last but not least important, my opinion is that yes, how a bed is made can improve a guest’s experience. But for the most part, beds just have to be made. It can really be as simple as that. If the bed is not made, then you have a problem. All other cases of the bed being made one way vs another are just variations of a fine situation… with one way of making the bed being good and another way of making a bed being even better, almost like a bonus. So for now, personally, the only instruction I give my cleaners is that they need to make the bed in a way you can tell it’s been made. But what about other hosts who may have given all this a thought?
Edited to add: As I read comments I come up with a few further thoughts related to this subject. This one being that I always wondered what is the general standard for naming/marketing sheet sets in stores “the hotel collection”… what qualifies linen as high-quality hotel grade? For example, do they have to be white and over a certain thread count and of a certain type of material (cotton and not silk) to be called hotel-type bedding? As I mentioned previously, the only negative feedback I ever received regarding a bed was that my sheets were a bit thin and not hotel quality… however thick hotel quality is.