Get Started

Learn more about Credit Cards, Travel Programs, Deals, and more.

Oof! Three Hotel Service Trends Only Getting Worse

This post may contain affiliate links - Advertiser Disclosure. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

Hotel Service Trends

Disappointing Hotel Service Trends

My family and I prefer hotel stays way more than any other lodging type.  We highly value hotel perks and services, so we have little to no interest in Vacasa, AirBnB, Vrbo, etc.  We live in our own house and don’t really have an interest in staying in some rando’s.  Hotels are a “treat” for us and something more different than the norm.  But I shouldn’t idealize hotel stays; things are far from perfect there.  For a good while now, I’ve noticed three negative hotel service trends which have gone beyond the point of return.  Overall, I’m confident these items won’t ever improve.

Tricky Housekeeping Service

To be clear, I’m not talking about housekeeping workers themselves here.  In my view, they are the most underappreciated hotel employees out there.  And daily housekeeping is still our favorite hotel perk.

Rather, the process to ensure daily housekeeping has become trickier over the years.  Understandably, many properties moved away from traditional housekeeping during the pandemic.  Meanwhile, chains saw an opportunity to effectively devalue the benefit.  Unsurprisingly, the consistency of receiving daily housekeeping hasn’t recovered to pre-pandemic levels, and I doubt it ever will.

Indeed, many properties have eliminated daily housekeeping, often citing a minimum number of nights to receive the service.  In my experience, some properties put the onus on travelers to proactively request it at check-in, or even on each separate day.  Periodically, front desk agents have been quick to cite miscommunication (conveniently, not involving them) as the reason rooms go uncleaned despite my previous requests.  Making things worse, many properties don’t describe their current housekeeping standards online.

Ensuring we receive routine housekeeping on hotel stays has become more work before and during stays – the opposite of a pleasure.

Hotel Service Trends

Valets Can’t Drive Stick

During an otherwise-delightful stay at the Kimpton The Forum Charlottesville a few weeks ago, the valet sheepishly mentioned to me that he couldn’t deliver my car because he “wasn’t comfortable” driving a manual transmission.  It turned out my car was nearby on the other side of the lobby drop-off.  I mentioned it was no huge problem and tipped him, although I’m not sure what for.  He did walk over the key a few feet from the cabinet, I guess.  I could’ve gone inside and brought this nonsense up with management, but instead, I walked a bit to my car and left.

Valet, at $26 daily, was the only parking option.  It’s comical that the property requires guests to pay this amount for a service when they don’t bother to staff the hotel with employees capable of providing it.  And it’s happened to me before; this is the fourth time in as many years.

Sure, more cars are automatic these days, but plenty of others, including mine, have a manual transmission.  Nonetheless, fewer valets know how to drive stick now, and it’ll only get worse.

The Disappearing Airport Shuttle

If it wasn’t obvious before, travelers can’t necessarily expect a reliable shuttle as part of an airport hotel stay.  About a year ago, a Memphis airport hotel advised me the shuttle service was only available by request.  And who knows if it would have been available at all?  My flight was too early for it, anyway, but I probably wouldn’t have chosen to rely on it otherwise.  Hello, Uber credits!

Whether it’s ineptitude, hotel operator penny-pinching, or both, airport shuttles are generally less available now than ever, in my experience.  Like housekeeping, the exact service standards are harder to pin down before traveling.  Not coincidentally, I’ve ultimately chosen other transportation means to and from the airport ever since.

In my view, such airport hotels as we previously knew them don’t exist anymore.  I only consider airport hotels ones which are physically attached to or within the airport.  Most of the others are just sad, dusty properties kinda, sorta around an airport.  I certainly can’t expect much else from them.

Hotel Service Trends

Hotel Service Trends – Conclusion

Perhaps today’s article is just another reminder of two sayings I try to live by: be prepared, and manage expectations.  It’s disheartening these hotel service trends have gotten to this point.  While I can hope some properties will return to competence, I don’t think they’ll turn around industry-wide in any meaningful way.  I’d love to be proven wrong.  Have you experienced any of these hotel service trends?  What other ones have you noticed recently?

Disclosure: Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

Increased Offer! - Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card 75K!

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is the old king of travel rewards cards. Right now earn 75K Chase Ultimate Rewards points after $4K spend in the first 3 months with a $95 annual fee. That's over $900 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Learn more about this card and its features!

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.
Benjy Harmon
Benjy Harmon
Benjy focuses on the intersection of points, travel, and financial independence (FI). An experienced world traveler, husband, and father, he currently roams throughout the USA close to expense-free. Benjy enjoys helping others achieve their FI and travel goals.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. The CEO of one large corporate owner of hotel properties will tout at conferences that his firm has a program to curtail the provision of loyalty program benefits. And, because executive compensation is tied to earnings, every budget line item — including labor costs — is a target. Both quality and quantity of service suffer. It takes a special type of owner to commit to quality.

  2. Last year we stayed at a Crowne Plaza at SFO which is in Burlingame by the airport. Besides the lack of anything including a restaurant they now charge for the airport shuttle. Why the hell would I stay at an airport hotel with shuttle service only to be charged for it. Just to add to it on our ride back to SFO for our flight the driver missed our terminal even though I had told him 3 to 4 times and he had to loop back around after dropping off everyone else.

    • Bummer, Michael! I presume an Uber wouldn’t have been much more expensive, and that is substantially more convenient.

  3. Admittedly I’m not a typical traveller in the points and miles world, but I largely gave up on big hotels a long time ago because I found a lot of the perks were more trouble than they were worth. Valet parking is a perfect example. I have to pay for parking, then wait, sometimes in a line, for somebody to bring my car around. By the time my car gets there I could have gotten it myself and been long gone. One time recently I was literally standing right next to my car parked in the front circle while I waited for the attendant to get several other cars and then move my car about 20 feet.

    Many other hotel services are similar. I travel light and don’t need (or want) somebody to carry my bags, but if I don’t let them do it I’m stiffing them of their tip. I have tipped someone and then just carried my own bags because it was easier and faster. The daily housekeeping is also largely a waste for me. If I am on leisure travel I am barely in the hotel and don’t care if they service the room, and if I am on work travel and working in the room I don’t want to be disturbed by housekeeping.

    There is a level of personal service that I have seen, usually from small, boutique hotels or B&Bs, but never large hotels. For example, my wife used to travel oversees regularly and would stay in the same small hotel a couple of time per month. When she would walk in the door they would have her favorite beer poured for her before she got to the desk. Now that is service I can appreciate!

  4. Agree completely on the airport shuttles. Frequently what is in reality doesn’t even match the brand’s website. I was at a Hilton mid-tier property by MCO a couple months ago (titled as Orlando Airport) and the shuttle didn’t even start until 9am! I had another where I arrived into BNA and called the Home2Suites at 9:55pm to be informed that the shuttle stops at 10 and I’d just missed the last pick-up so I should take an Uber. It was $32 for the 2.5 mile ride to the hotel. And in the morning? Shuttle doesn’t start until 7am. So another Uber ride (contrary to available around the clock according to at the time). After complaining to Hilton the property agreed to refund me $60 in Uber expenses. Then they didn’t do it. I had to call Hilton again, property promised again. They didn’t do it. Finally I got resolution after escalating with Hilton (more out of principle than anything).

    I’ve gone into airports where most hotels don’t have shuttles… or where after about 9pm you can’t get one period. Ridiculous.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here