Welcome to our comprehensive guide on hotel housekeeping efficiency! In this article, we will delve into a question that both hotel guests and industry professionals often ponder: How long should it take to clean a hotel room? As an experienced SEO writer specializing in the hospitality industry, I can confidently say that finding the perfect balance between speed and thoroughness is the ultimate goal for every hotel's housekeeping department.

While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, we will explore various factors that can influence the time it takes to clean a hotel room. From the room's size and amenities to the level of cleanliness expected by guests, we will cover it all.

Furthermore, we will provide expert tips and best practices to help hotel housekeepers improve their cleaning speed without compromising quality. With the right strategies in place, hoteliers can maximize room turnover and guest satisfaction, ultimately boosting their revenues and reputation.

So, whether you are a hotel owner, manager, or a curious guest, this guide is for you. Get ready to discover the secrets to efficient hotel housekeeping and learn how to strike the perfect balance between cleaning speed and exceptional service. Let's get started!

Importance of efficient hotel housekeeping

Efficient hotel housekeeping is crucial for the success of any hotel. A clean and well-maintained room is one of the key factors that influence guest satisfaction and overall experience. Guests expect their rooms to be immaculate and inviting, and any shortcomings in housekeeping can lead to negative reviews and a tarnished reputation.

Moreover, efficient housekeeping directly impacts a hotel's bottom line. The faster a room can be cleaned and made ready for the next guest, the more revenue the hotel can generate. Room turnover is a critical metric in the hospitality industry, and every minute saved in the cleaning process translates into increased revenue potential.

To achieve efficient housekeeping, hotels need to consider various factors that can affect the cleaning time. Let's explore these factors in more detail.

Factors affecting the time it takes to clean a hotel room

Cleaning a hotel room is not a one-size-fits-all task. The time it takes to clean a room can vary depending on several factors:

1. Room Size: The size of the room is one of the primary factors that determine the cleaning time. Larger rooms naturally require more time to clean compared to smaller ones. Housekeeping staff need to allocate sufficient time to thoroughly clean all areas, including bathrooms, bedrooms, and living spaces.

2. Amenities and Features: The number and complexity of amenities and features in a room also impact the cleaning time. Rooms with additional amenities like kitchenettes, Jacuzzis, or multiple TVs require extra attention and time to ensure everything is clean and in working order.

3. Guest Expectations: Different hotels have different cleanliness standards, and meeting guest expectations is crucial. Some hotels may have higher cleanliness standards, requiring more time for detailed cleaning. Understanding the specific cleanliness expectations of your hotel and its guests is essential for efficient housekeeping.

Efficient hotel housekeeping requires a balance between speed and quality. Now that we understand the factors that influence cleaning time, let's explore some standard cleaning times for different types of hotel rooms to provide a benchmark for efficient housekeeping.

Standard cleaning times for different types of hotel rooms

Cleaning times can vary widely depending on the type of hotel room. Here are some general guidelines for standard cleaning times:

1. Standard Room: On average, it takes around 30 minutes to clean a standard hotel room. This includes dusting, vacuuming, changing linens, cleaning the bathroom, restocking amenities, and ensuring all surfaces are clean and sanitized.

2. Suite: Suites are larger and often come with additional amenities. Cleaning a suite can take between 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the size and complexity of the room. Housekeepers need to pay extra attention to the living areas, kitchenettes, and any additional features.

3. Luxury Room: Luxury rooms are known for their higher-end amenities and meticulous attention to detail. Cleaning a luxury room can take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half. Housekeepers must ensure that every corner of the room is spotless and all luxury features are well-maintained.

These are just general guidelines, and actual cleaning times may vary depending on the specific requirements of each hotel. The goal is to achieve efficiency without compromising on quality. To achieve this, hotel housekeepers can employ various techniques and best practices. Let's explore some of these techniques in the next section.

Efficient hotel housekeeping techniques and best practices

Efficient hotel housekeeping is not just about speed; it's about finding the most effective and streamlined ways to clean a room without sacrificing cleanliness. Here are some techniques and best practices to improve housekeeping efficiency:

1. Create a Cleaning Checklist: A detailed cleaning checklist ensures that every step of the cleaning process is followed consistently. It helps housekeepers stay organized and ensures that no area is overlooked. A well-designed checklist can save time and improve the overall quality of cleaning.

2. Use Color-Coded Cleaning Supplies: Color-coded cleaning supplies, such as microfiber cloths and mops, can help prevent cross-contamination between different areas. For example, using different colors for the bathroom and bedroom areas ensures that cleaning tools are not mixed, reducing the risk of spreading germs.

3. Adopt Team Cleaning: Team cleaning involves dividing the cleaning tasks among multiple housekeepers, with each person responsible for a specific area. This approach allows housekeepers to specialize in their assigned tasks, resulting in faster and more efficient cleaning.

4. Implement Time-Saving Techniques: Housekeepers can employ various time-saving techniques to speed up the cleaning process. For example, using a backpack vacuum cleaner allows for more mobility and faster vacuuming. Preparing a cleaning cart with all necessary supplies minimizes the time spent searching for tools and products.

5. Invest in High-Quality Cleaning Equipment: Upgrading to high-quality cleaning equipment can significantly improve efficiency. For instance, using lightweight and maneuverable vacuum cleaners reduces fatigue and allows housekeepers to cover more ground in less time.

By implementing these techniques and best practices, hotels can enhance their housekeeping efficiency and provide a superior guest experience. However, efficient housekeeping is not just about the tools and techniques; it also depends on the skills and knowledge of the housekeeping staff.

Tools and equipment for efficient hotel room cleaning

Proper training and education are essential for hotel housekeeping staff to perform their tasks efficiently. Well-trained staff not only clean faster but also deliver a higher level of service. Here are some key aspects of training and education for hotel housekeepers:

1. Cleaning Techniques and Procedures: Housekeeping staff should be trained in the most effective cleaning techniques and procedures. This includes proper dusting, vacuuming, bed-making, and bathroom cleaning techniques. Training should also cover the use of cleaning products and equipment.

2. Time Management Skills: Time management skills are crucial for efficient housekeeping. Staff should be trained in prioritizing tasks, managing their time effectively, and working with a sense of urgency without compromising quality.

3. Communication and Teamwork: Effective communication and teamwork are vital for seamless housekeeping operations. Staff should be trained to communicate any maintenance or repair needs promptly. They should also be encouraged to collaborate and assist each other when needed.

4. Ongoing Training and Development: Housekeeping staff should receive ongoing training and development opportunities to keep their skills up to date. This can include attending workshops, seminars, or online courses related to housekeeping best practices and new cleaning technologies.

Investing in the training and education of housekeeping staff not only improves efficiency but also boosts staff morale and job satisfaction. Now that we have covered the importance of training, let's explore some strategies to further improve hotel housekeeping efficiency.

Training and education for hotel housekeeping staff

Improving hotel housekeeping efficiency requires a holistic approach that incorporates various strategies and tactics. Here are some effective strategies to consider:

1. Efficient Scheduling: Optimize the housekeeping schedule to align with check-in and check-out times. This ensures that rooms are ready for new guests as soon as possible. Analyze historical data to identify peak and off-peak seasons and adjust staffing accordingly.

2. Cross-Training: Cross-train housekeeping staff to perform multiple tasks. This allows for greater flexibility and ensures that there is always someone available to handle unexpected situations. Cross-training also promotes a sense of teamwork and collaboration among the staff.

3. Use of Technology: Embrace technology to streamline housekeeping operations. Housekeeping management software can track room status, assign tasks, and generate reports. Mobile apps can provide real-time updates and communication between staff members.

4. Regular Inspections: Implement a system of regular inspections to ensure consistent quality and identify areas for improvement. Regular inspections help identify training needs, equipment maintenance requirements, and any issues that may affect efficiency.

5. Guest Feedback and Surveys: Pay attention to guest feedback and surveys related to housekeeping. This provides valuable insights into guest expectations and allows for continuous improvement. Address any concerns or issues raised by guests promptly and take proactive measures to prevent similar incidents in the future.

These strategies, combined with the right tools, training, and technology, can significantly enhance hotel housekeeping efficiency and guest satisfaction. To illustrate the impact of efficient housekeeping, let's explore some case studies of hotels that have successfully implemented these strategies.

Strategies for improving hotel housekeeping efficiency

Case Study 1: Hotel X

Hotel X, a luxury boutique hotel, implemented a comprehensive housekeeping efficiency program. They invested in high-quality cleaning equipment and trained their staff in the latest cleaning techniques. By adopting team cleaning and implementing efficient scheduling, they were able to reduce the average cleaning time per room by 20%. This allowed them to increase room turnover and improve guest satisfaction, leading to a 15% increase in revenue within six months.

Case Study 2: Hotel Y

Hotel Y, a mid-range business hotel, focused on technology-driven housekeeping operations. They implemented a housekeeping management software that streamlined task assignment and provided real-time updates to staff members. The software also allowed for seamless communication between housekeeping and maintenance departments. As a result, Hotel Y reduced cleaning time by 15% and achieved higher guest satisfaction scores.

These case studies highlight the positive impact that efficient housekeeping can have on a hotel's operations and profitability. By implementing the right strategies and leveraging technology, hotels can achieve remarkable results.

The role of technology in streamlining hotel housekeeping processes

Technology plays a critical role in streamlining hotel housekeeping processes. From housekeeping management software to mobile apps and smart devices, technology offers numerous opportunities for efficiency improvement. Here are some ways technology can enhance hotel housekeeping operations:

1. Housekeeping Management Software: Housekeeping management software automates and streamlines various housekeeping tasks. It allows for efficient room assignment, tracks room status in real-time, and generates reports for performance analysis. This software also facilitates communication between staff members and provides a centralized platform for managing housekeeping operations.

2. Mobile Apps: Mobile apps enable housekeeping staff to access real-time updates, communicate with team members, and receive task assignments on their smartphones or tablets. This eliminates the need for manual paper-based systems, reduces errors, and improves overall efficiency.

3. Smart Devices: Smart devices, such as smart thermostats and motion sensors, can help optimize energy usage in vacant rooms. This reduces the time spent by housekeeping staff manually adjusting temperature settings and saves on utility costs.

4. Internet of Things (IoT): IoT technology can be used to automate various housekeeping tasks, such as monitoring inventory levels of cleaning supplies and amenities. By leveraging IoT devices, hotels can streamline inventory management, reduce waste, and ensure timely replenishment of supplies.

Technology continues to evolve, offering new possibilities for improving housekeeping efficiency. Hotels that embrace technological advancements can gain a competitive edge and deliver exceptional guest experiences.

Case studies of hotels with efficient housekeeping operations

Efficient hotel housekeeping is a critical aspect of a hotel's overall success. Finding the perfect balance between speed and thoroughness is essential to meet guest expectations and maximize room turnover. By considering factors such as room size, amenities, and guest expectations, hotels can determine the appropriate cleaning times for different types of rooms.

Implementing efficient housekeeping techniques, investing in high-quality tools and equipment, and providing comprehensive training to housekeeping staff are key to achieving efficiency without compromising quality. Additionally, strategies such as efficient scheduling, cross-training, and the use of technology can further enhance housekeeping operations.

Through case studies, we have seen the positive impact of efficient housekeeping on revenue and guest satisfaction. With the right strategies and a focus on continuous improvement, hotels can optimize housekeeping efficiency and create exceptional guest experiences.

In conclusion, efficient hotel housekeeping requires a combination of well-trained staff, effective processes, and the right tools and technology. By adopting a holistic approach and continuously striving for improvement, hotels can achieve the perfect balance between cleaning speed and exceptional service.

Conclusion and key takeaways

While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, there are several factors that can influence the time it takes to clean a hotel room. Let's explore some of the key considerations:

 Room Size and Layout

The size and layout of a hotel room play a significant role in determining the time required for cleaning. Larger rooms with multiple bedrooms, living areas, and bathrooms naturally take longer to clean compared to standard single rooms. Additionally, rooms with intricate designs or unconventional layouts may require more time and attention to detail. Housekeepers must factor in the size and layout of each room when estimating the time required for cleaning.

 Amenities and Features

The number and complexity of amenities and features in a hotel room can also impact the cleaning time. High-end hotels often offer a range of amenities such as minibars, coffee makers, and entertainment systems, all of which require additional cleaning and maintenance. Moreover, rooms with luxurious features like jacuzzis or private balconies demand extra attention. Housekeepers must allocate sufficient time to clean and sanitize these amenities to ensure a pleasant guest experience.

 Level of Cleanliness Expected by Guests

The level of cleanliness expected by guests can vary greatly. Some guests may have high standards and expect spotless rooms, while others may be more forgiving. Hotels must establish their cleanliness standards and communicate them clearly to their housekeeping staff. By setting clear expectations, housekeepers can prioritize their tasks and allocate the appropriate amount of time to meet these standards.

Table of contents

• Introduction

• Laying the foundation: In-person training and shadowing •

Digital advancements: Video tutorials and online resources

• Implementing a buddy system and fostering mentorships

• Periodic workshops and guest speakers

• Embracing change: Preparing housekeeping staff for the unexpected

• Conclusion


Who ever thought scrubbing, dusting and cleaning could be pivotal to an organisation's success? Sarcasm, you say to me and I say, "Certainly not!" Hotel housekeeping is the unsung hero of the hospitality industry, and trust me, it isn't all about fluffing pillows and folding ugly towel swans. "But housekeeping staff! We are all trained cleaning professionals," you protest. Oh, you sweet, innocent thing. The importance of hotel housekeeping training extends beyond basic grooming; it’s about improving staff retention and cranking up guest satisfaction to full blast. So, you’ve hung that ‘do not disturb’ sign on your industry challenges? Bad move! You’re inadvertently turning away a sweet convoy of cost-effective efficiency and top-notch quality. Housekeeping in the hotel industry has evolved more than Darwin’s fish. With the right training, humming ‘whistle while you work’ could genuinely keep your employees whistle-happy! And before you ask, evolution here implies technology adoption. Yes, cleanliness is still next to godliness...and Wi-Fi. Plus, had Cinderella had a digital housekeeping training manual, I bet her stepsisters would have had a cleaner room and she, some free time to party earlier than midnight! So folks, hang on to your feather dusters as we plunge into the sparkling depths of hotel housekeeping training. No need for rubber gloves, I promise! P.S. Remember, the cleanliness of your hotel rooms is the only thing standing between you and those internet trolls who love a good rant on TripAdvisor.

Laying the foundation: In-person training and shadowing

Ah, the glamorous life of hotel housekeeping—where a hero's welcome awaits those who bravely tackle the fight against crumbs, confront the chaos of scattered towels, and face the fabled “toilet paper point.” It's a realm where senior staff and management wave their wands (okay, not wands, but clipboards and encouraging smiles) like seasoned maestros conducting an orchestra of sponges and disinfectants. In the grand initiation ritual, newbies are not thrown into the linen-scented battlefields unprepared. Oh no, they are guided by the sage wisdom of the veterans—those battle-hardened champions of cleanliness—ensuring a seamless transition into the brotherhood and sisterhood of spotless surfaces. This is where management steps in, making Gandalf’s "You shall not pass” look like child’s play. They create an environment that's as snug as a just-fluffed pillow, where the values and culture of the hotel are as clear as the streak-free mirrors their trainees will soon perfect. Learning in this field isn't just about mastering the graceful art of pillow-fluffing or the precise technique of tucking sheets. It’s also about embodying the vibe of the hotel. Is it a swanky symphony of elegance or a cozy hug of homeyness? Either way, you bet your bottom dollar those values will be more polished than the silverware. And the importance of shadowing? Let’s just say, without it, one might end up mistaking the "Do Not Disturb" sign for an origami challenge. Here's to the conquerors of chaos, the titans of tidiness—they’re not just employees; they’re keepers of the guest’s peace of mind. And let’s be real, the only thing scarier than a hotel horror story is the review of said horror story. So, hats off (but aprons on) to the stewards of sparkle, guiding the new recruits through the magical, yet completely mystifying world of hospitality hygiene.

Digital advancements: Video tutorials and online resources

Ah, the digital age - where smartphones are smarter than us, and we can learn almost anything with the click of a button. The hospitality industry has not been left behind in this tech-driven era, and digital advancements are making hotel housekeeping training easier and more efficient. So let's get digitally dirty! The benefits of video tutorials for housekeeping staff are muchas muchas! For starters, these snappy vids allow new staff to learn at their own pace while also providing a reference point for everyone in the team. No more manual scavenger hunts when someone inevitably forgets how to fold towels like a swan (which is totally normal, by the way). Examples of video tutorial topics can range from how to properly sanitize surfaces in a post-COVID world, mastering the delicate art of bed-making, to channeling inner Marie Kondo with efficient closet organization techniques (guests love a neat closet and a snake-free boot!). The possibilities are endless, and your staff will be more engaged than a Kardashian at a ring store. But there's more! Online resources like webinars and professional housekeeping blogs can be a goldmine for ongoing training. Encourage your team to subscribe, share, and stay informed about industry trends and best practices. You'll never know when the next viral cleaning hack like microwaving a wet sponge to remove bacteria could come in handy! So, get those cameras rolling and embrace the world of digital housekeeping training - all without breaking a sweat (or a chandelier)! The force is strong, young Padawan. Onward to revolutionizing hotel housekeeping one pixel at a time!

Implementing a buddy system and fostering mentorships

Moving on from the techno-glitz, we introduce another fantastic practice: pairing newbies and seasoneds in a buddy system. Ah! The beauty of mentorship wrapped in friendship! It's like Batman and Robin, Sherlock and Watson! New staff members embark on this epic housekeeping journey, and who better than Mr. or Ms. Experienced to buddy up with and form a formidable housekeeping duo? The benefits of such a system go beyond the obvious. Yes, I know, you're thinking "learn from my partner's experience," right? It’s not just that, it's also about encouraging meaningful relationships, confident teamwork, and cultivating a sense of camaraderie. This strategy provides a platform for seasoned staff to flaunt their expertise and wisdom gained over what seems like a millennium, nurturing a mentorship environment. The cherry on top of this heart-warming buddy story? Enhanced professional growth for all. After all, even Luke Skywalker needed a Yoda. Now remember, only 150 words, no more, no less. Just keeping the droid-parameters intact.

Periodic workshops and guest speakers

So, you've breezed through the foundation and digital advancements, and now you're thinking "Oh, great, not another meeting. I mean, what's with this obsession with meetings and workshops?" Well, grab a bagel and a cup of caffeine as we dive into the world of periodic workshops and guest lectures or as I like to call it, the never-ending education fiesta. Ah, ongoing training! Sounds like work while you work, right? But hey, wouldn’t you rather be prepared for the parade of changes thrown your way rather than get hit by the unexpected confetti of problems? Plus, it's not all that dreary! Periodic training helps dust cobwebs off your skills and sprouts new ones. Trust me, it's like going to the gym, but for your work skills. Now, let's shift gears and chat about guest speakers. Remember that awkward moment when your favourite aunt visited unannounced? Well, think of this as a less awkward (and hopefully more exciting) version of that. Guest speakers often bring vast industry experience and unique perspectives to the table, infusing your routines with a fresh dose of motivation. As for workshop themes, here's the fun part. It doesn't have to be strictly 'How to clean a rabid raccoon from the guest suite'. Mix it up a bit, make it about dealing with guests, personal growth, mastering dust bunnies, or even the art of perfecting bed corners. Remember, theme variety is the spice of knowledge life. Now buckle up, because next we will tackle the always exciting world...how to pair your trainee and trainer. Don’t worry, it is less complicated than your favorite matchmaking show, but more exciting for certain.

Embracing change: Preparing housekeeping staff for the unexpected

Well, let's dive headfirst into the tsunami of change that frequently hits the shores of the hospitality industry, shall we? Remember when the biggest concern was whether the sheets were crisply ironed? Ah, the good old days. Nowadays, housekeeping staff are more like hygiene ninjas, combating invisible foes with disinfectants and PPE as their new weapons of choice. Adapting to new health and safety protocols has become as essential as remembering your room numbers. It's like learning a new dance routine; one misstep and the whole performance could be off. Team members now must pirouette around rooms with the grace of a ballerina, ensuring every nook and cranny meets the latest health standards. They've gone from changing sheets to changing the entire game. But fear not! Embracing housekeeping management software is like having a high-tech sidekick. It's the Robin to your Batman, helping you anticipate guest needs with uncanny precision. Suddenly, work orders are smoother than a bellboy's spiel, and real-time updates are flying around faster than gossip in a lift. Efficiency is the new buzzword, and who doesn't love a bit of industry jargon to sprinkle in their day-to-day? So, let's strap on our superhero capes, adjust our rubber gloves, and prepare for whatever curveball the hospitality world throws next. After all, when the going gets tough, the tough get innovative – or at least they download an app for that.


In conclusion, revolutionizing hotel housekeeping starts with training Jedis, ahem, I mean employees, in the art of modern training techniques. Investing in staff growth goes a long way and includes elements like in-person training, buddy systems, video tutorials, and embracing change (yes, even with lightsabers). So, let's gear up to polish those hotel rooms, while raising an army of well-trained, top-notch housekeeping staff who shall dazzle guests like never before!

Nous voici donc en 2024 où les technologies hôtelières intégrées comme le software de housekeeping continuent de jouer un rôle prépondérant face à des défis spécifiques en gestion hôtelière.

Le Bilan de 2023 : Coûts Opérationnels et Attentes des Clients

En 2023, les coûts opérationnels et de main-d'œuvre ont continué d'augmenter, parallèlement aux attentes croissantes des clients. En France, 2024 s'ouvre avec les JO et une augmentation de la demande de fonctionnalité intégrée dans le logiciel de gestion hôtelière surtout sur Paris. Cette situation intervient alors que les hôtels sont poussés vers des opérations durables, nécessitant d'importants investissements dans les plans d'amélioration des propriétés (PIP) pour le nettoyage des hôtels.

Priorité aux Contrôles de Coûts et Nouvelles Connexions de Données

La priorité du nettoyage hôtelier devrait être le renforcement des contrôles de coûts pour optimiser la rentabilité avant de lancer de nouvelles initiatives. Dans l'industrie hôtelière, de nombreuses opportunités d'économies restent cachées en raison de la complexité des opérations de nettoyage des hôtels. L'exploitation des données du tableau de bord de l'hôtel peut révéler des opportunités cachées pour améliorer les marges dans le housekeeping peut et dans d'autres secteurs.

Stratégies en Housekeeping et Maintenance: Réduction des temps de OOO et OOS

Dans l'industrie hôtelière, une stratégie en vogue consiste à favoriser les réservations directes, réduisant ainsi les coûts d'acquisition des clients grâce à un bon software de gestion. Cependant, les hôtels doivent aussi gérer les chambres hors service (OOS) et hors commande (OOO) grâce à leur logiciel de gestion de l'entretien, ce qui peut limiter l'occupation même en période de forte demande. Les solutions de housekeeping pour les hôtels et logiciel de gestion de l'entretien ménager permettent d'identifier et de résoudre rapidement les problèmes courants, réduisant ainsi les temps de non occupation de chaque chambre.

Une solution de gestion de l'entretien ménager en temps réel connecté au Pms permet de planifier et nettoyer les chambres de l'hôtel efficacement. Grâce à un bon processus de nettoyage, le nettoyage des chambres de chaque hôtel s'en trouve grandement amélioré.

L'importance de la planification énergétique et de la maintenance

Dans le contexte de la durabilité, les hôtels doivent réserver des fonds pour des Plans de Maintenance Préventive incluant le remplacement d'équipements par des modèles plus économes en énergie pour optimiser le processus de nettoyage. Une comparaison efficace des données, en lien avec les logiciels d'entretien ménager peut révéler des anomalies, comme une fuite détectée avant les inspections de routine, permettant des économies significatives.

Liste de contrôle du logiciel de gestion de l'entretien ménager pour les hôtels. 

Planification de la relève technologique

Enfin, dans l'industrie hôtelière, la migration vers le cloud est une étape clé pour une solution de gestion hôtelière, assurant l'intégrité des données même en cas de changement de direction ou de propriété. Cela fait partie de la " succession technologique ", essentielle pour le fonctionnement continu des hôtels. Avoir les femmes de ménage et la maintenance sur des appareils mobiles permet de contrôler les temps de nettoyage.


Pour 2024, centraliser les données de nettoyage des hôtels pour identifier et aborder rapidement les problèmes est crucial. Renforcer les contrôles et réaliser des améliorations incrémentielles aidera les hôtels à naviguer dans tous les scénarios, tout en facilitant leur croissance continue grâce à la fonctionnalité de gestion de l'entretien ménager. Un logiciel d'entretien ménager couplé au logiciel de gestion de l'hôtel comme Mews, Oracle Hospitality Opera ou d'autre aidera les hôteliers 

Il y a peine 2 ans, on n'entendait que ça dans les couloirs des salons sur l'innovation hôtelière aux Etats-Unis : la commande vocale arrive dans la chambre ! Cela me paraissait lointain à vrai dire. Et puis j'ai attendu la déferlante en Europe .... mais elle n'est pas arrivée (du moins pas à mes oreilles).

Jusqu'à ce que le hasard frappe à la porte et qu'Amazon nous propose de développer une expérience vocale hôtelière sur Alexa. C'est un partenariat avec Legrand qui a fait la rencontre. J'en parlerai dans un prochain article. Mais nous avons chez Roomchecking une expérience vécue de près de 100 interfaces PMS (acquise dans douleur) et cela rend bien sûr l'expérience vocale "guest aware".

Je connaissais Alexa bien sûr mais ne connaissais ni Alexa for Hospitality (qui fait partie d'Alexa Smart Properties) ni ce que cette implémentation verticale de la fameuse boule Amazon pouvait apporter.

Le pilote : le Pullman Tour Eiffel

A l'époque le GM (Andrès Lopez-Dafonte), early adopter, était déjà dans le sujet et quand on a proposé de mettre des Alexa dans les chambres avec notre solution de Housekeeping, Maintenance et Tâches...il n'a pas hésité. D'ailleurs je le remercie ici vivement. Le projet est maintenant sous la houlette du nouveau GM Benoit Stoltz qui va continuer à faire de cet hôtel situé au pied de la tour Eiffel avec vue plongeante (pour avoir une idée rappelez vous la première scène du film le Sens de la fête avec feu Jean Pierre Bacri) un bijou d'expérience client.

Alors avant de se lancer dans les développements de ce qui s'appelle une Skill Alexa, il a fallu déterminer ce qu'on allait proposer au client. Il fallait absolument que l'expérience ne soit pas gadget.

Développer une Skill signifie baliser les parcours clients vocaux pour que les réponses soient validées par l'hotel. Pas question de répondre avec des promesses que l'hotel ne peux pas tenir comme un Check Out à n'importe quelle heure de la journée.

Je vous livre ici quelques enseignements après 1 an de mise en service !

En quoi la voix est-elle une avancée ? Et quels sont les usages?

Alexa est d'abord une super enceinte/horloge et 40% des usages consistent à brancher son téléphone en Bluetooth sur Alexa pour écouter de la musique.

Mais surtout et c'est là la clé : il est vraiment plus naturel pour une personne de poser une question à l'oral plutôt que de taper ou chercher sur une page web. C'est de la bande passante mentale en plus dans le havre de repos que représente la chambre d'hôtel.

Et les résultats sont clairs et constants :

On a entre 10 et 15% des guests de l'hôtel qui font au moins une requête par jour

Regardez cette vidéo pour le/la voir en action (je ne suis pas sûr du genre d'Alexa ;=)) :

Que demandent les clients ?

La liste des courses est longue comme dans la fin de la chanson de Nino Ferrer, je vends des robes :

Des kits dentaires (bah oui ça pèse trop lourd dans la valise), des kits de rasage, Adaptateur Electrique, alèse, gel douche mais aussi signalement de problèmes de téléphone, de télévision, d'eau chaude, de climatiseur, de wifi, de miroirs grossissants (!).

D'ailleurs Alexa sait déjà allumer une télévision et changer de chaine mais bon il faut une télévision compatible. Alors dans ce graphe on parle de problèmes de télévision. Pour le téléphone il faudra attendre un peu (même si Alexa sait appeler d'autres enceintes Alexa...)

Voici un petit graphique des problèmes les plus souvent singnalés à Alexa :

Ce n'est pas tout : ils demandent aussi des informations sur l'hôtel, les environs et leurs séjours

Bien sûr ils peuvent appeler la réception, mais là à n'importe quel moment du jour et de la nuit et autant de fois qu'ils le veulent ils peuvent demander : est ce que la piscine est ouverte? Puis je faire mes exercices de sport?

Au Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel, l'hôtel est capable d'enregistrer une annonce de bienvenue personnalisée (on est branché au PMS), mais aussi de proposer des cours de Français ou de gym et d'adapter le message en fonction du séjour (je me répète mais on est connecté au PMS ;=)).

Alors bien sûr pour une intégration complète on a dû aller très loin dans nos API. Imaginez qu'une femme de chambre peut maintenant valider la chambre par la voix et tout cela met à jour le PMS et informe la gouvernante en temps réel... Alexa, je suis Martine, la chambre est propre! (elle n'a pas donner son numéro de chambre, parce que chaque Alexa sait dans quelle chambre il/elle se trouve).

Tout cela est complétement intégré à notre système de Housekeeping, de Maintenance et de demandes clients (les tâches).

On développe en ce moment des expériences du type : Alexa, je suis le GM dis moi tous les problèmes de cette chambre! Et Alexa va répondre : en ce moment il y a un problème de douche et de moquette.

Et la confidentialité dans tout ça?

La sécurité et la confidentialité sont au cœur des enjeux : on ne va pas se le cacher, nous les Français sommes un peu suspicieux . Alors une très forte majorité de clients internationaux (Nord Américains en tête) sont les premiers utilisateurs d'Alexa dans les chambres. Alexa for Hospitality est bilingue cela dit et peut parler aussi bien français qu'anglais.

Côté développeur, je témoigne qu'Amazon ne rigole pas avec la confidentialité. On ne peut pas faire plein de chose juste à cause de leur obsession de la vie privée !

Alexa for Hospitality ? Mais je peux en acheter un sur Amazon ?!

Quelle différence y a-t-il entre un appareil Alexa acheté sur Amazon et un Alexa enrôlé dans Alexa for Hospitality ?

Gérer un Alexa ou deux c'est facile, mais 20 ou même 200 c'est une autre affaire. C'est tout l'intérêt de la déclinaison Alexa for Hospitality : mise à jour en masse, appareil obsolète en dehors du wifi de l'hôtel (pour calmer toute velléité d'emprunter un appareil pour la maison).

L'autre aspect fondamental et le plus magique c'est qu'Alexa for Hospitality est dès l'allumage en mode "hôtel first" : l'appareil sait dans quel hôtel il se trouve , dans quelle chambre il est et à quelles questions il doit répondre AVANT Alexa !

Qu'est ce que cela signifie ? Chaque interaction vocale sera d'abord traitée par Roomchecking avant Alexa. A la question où puis je manger ce soir, la Skill Roomchecking va d'abord vérifier si l'hôtel n'a pas prévu une réponse et seulement dans la négative va-t-il demander à l'univers Alexa qui va donner une réponse basée sur ses propres critères.

Et la monétisation, allez vous me dire ...

La guest expérience, c'est fondamental mais c'est vrai qu'Alexa for Hospitality à un coût (appareil, abonnement...) alors il faut penser à la monétisation.

C'est pourquoi avec l'émergence des Alexa avec écran, un nouveau monde de monétisation apparait. C'est notre prochaine grosse mise à jour.

Imaginez le client pouvant parler à Alexa et en même temps, cliquer sur l'écran pour sélectionner dans un menu ce qu'il veut manger : un hamburger, bien saignant avec des frites et un coca !

Je vous parlerai de la fonction Roomservice et F&B lors d'un prochain article dédié à cette nouveauté.

En tout cas, si la cliente ne s'appelle pas Alexa auquel cas elle aura une concurrente, et si pour être plus sérieux vous recevez beaucoup de client internationaux, tentez l'expérience, vous ne serez pas déçus! Contactez nous pour une démonstration.

Bon, mon titre est un peu tapageur, mais il cache une expérience fascinante que j'ai mené à Singapour cette année (je suis la première personne en partant de la droite pour ceux qui me connaissent ;=)).

Sous l'égide du Singapour Tourism Board, nous avons été sélectionné pour mener une expérience sur l'avenir des ménages dans les chambres d'hotels.


Post Covid, la Suisse de l'Asie comme on l'appel, a du faire face à une pénurie sévère de personnel. Contraints de rentrer chez eux durant le Covid les travailleurs du domaine, souvent venus des pays d'Asie du Sud Est , beaucoup ne sont pas revenus. Alors le gouvernement très en pointe sur la technologie a fait appel à des startup pouvant proposer des solutions.

Le challenge

Comment nettoyer autant sinon plus de chambres avec moins de personnel?

Les solutions sont simples logiquement : faire travailler plus longtemps en faisant nettoyer plus de chambres ou faire travailler plus vite le personnel pour encore une fois nettoyer plus de chambres.

Le stakhanovisme est révolu (du moins je l'espère) alors il faut innover...

On a été retenu parmi des dizaines de solutions et le gouvernement à financé ce travail (à hauteur de 50k). Il est donc très sérieux et n'a aucune couleur commerciale (à part la notre bien sur)

Notre Solution

Et bien au risque de se faire lyncher, nous avons proposé 2 axes :

Une fois donc sélectionné parmi des dizaines d'autres startup, me voilà parti pour Singapour...Ville fascinante de propreté dans la rue comme dans le métro...où la seule chose qu'on peut attraper en tombant est un médicament et pas une bactérie (je suis parisien...)

Le pilote : Ibis On Bencoolen

Après avoir convaincu un client Roomchecking, le Ibis On Bencoolen, un hôtel de 536 chambres de catégorie Eco budget de participer à l'expérience, nous avons commencé à développer l'environnement pour permettre cette expérimentation.

S'il fallait le rappeler, le projet ne serait allé nulle part sans la collaboration intelligente de Jimmy Guang et David Lane, ainsi que de leurs équipes.

La Proposition client

Via une application on demande au client ce qu'il veut:

3 options sont proposées:

Je passe sur le parcours clients et le nombre incalculable d'essais sur la bonne façon de présenter les choses mais après 6 mois les résultats sont ETONNANTS !

Résultats et leçons

Vous serez surpris de voir que seuls 50% des clients demandent un ménage quotidien !

Bien sur il y a énormément de subtilités MAIS :

Bon je sais déjà qu'en France, c'est pas gagné, mais en Angleterre et aux Pays Bas, on avance en force !

Si cela intéresse des hôtels je suis prêt à partager les données.

Il suffit juste de booker avec moi 30 min (ne vous inquiétez pas, ce n'est pas de la vente forcée).


Mon challenge

Cela fait bien 3 ans que je passe la moitié de mon temps à créer des algorithmes pour automatiser l’ouverture le matin dans les hôtels. Venu fraichement du monde de la R&D je pensais le problème facile à résoudre…jusqu’à que je comprenne que le problème est bien plus complexe qu’il n’en a l’air….

Alors c’est vrai que quand le génie ChatGPT a pointé du nez je me suis rué pour voir s’il faisait mieux que moi. Je ne dis pas mieux que les gouvernant.e.s car ça c’est impossible (😉) mais au moins plus vite !

Le PMS Opera (et d'autres bien sur) sait faire une ouverture me direz vous… je répondrais que c’est en dessous de tout : une répartition linéaire bête et méchante.

J’en sais quelque chose : mon algorithme s’est fait insulté tellement de fois que j’ai commencé à comprendre qu’il y avait d’abord un problème de définition.

Pas si simple

Au début ça commence par : bah c’est simple il faut juste donner 12 chambres par femme de chambre.

Et puis ça se complique : ah, mais il faut respecter sa section et aussi ses crédits. Très bien… Mais il faut maximum 2 étages sinon il faut retirer des crédits…ok…et puis aussi si jamais il n’y a pas assez de crédits/chambres dans la section il faut puiser dans la section adjacente…qui d’ailleurs pas toujours la plus logique.

A chaque fois, je rajoute des contraintes à mon Solver…et ce n’est jamais assez : ah mais il faut équilibrer les départs (plus longs) avec les arrivées. J’avais oublié qu’il faut donner les chambres propres mais ne pas les compter tout de même ! et la liste s’allonge

Un jour je publierais une liste des contraintes par pays... personne n’est d’accord ! J'ai compilé une liste de 200 contraintes...

J’ai fini par mettre en place un algorithme de type gestion de contraintes linéaire. Donner un poids à chaque contrainte qui peuvent être mutuellement exclusive : changer d'étage ne vaut le coup que si on a au moins 2 chambres, si pas assez de crédit alors rajouter un étage mais retirer des crédits...

La métaphore des taches

C’est un peu comme la métaphore des taches : si tu commences par les petites taches, il ne restera pas de place pour les grosses tâches :

Il était une fois… un expert renommé qui tenait une conférence sur la meilleure façon de planifier son temps.
« Je vous propose une expérience » dit-il à son public attentif.
Il prit un grand bocal de verre et le remplit à ras bord de gros cailloux de la taille d’une balle de tennis. Puis il demanda à son public : « Est-ce que ce bocal est plein ? » Tout le monde répondit : « Oui ». « Bien », répondit-il « nous allons voir. »
C’est alors qu’il sortit un sac contenant des graviers et le versa dans le bocal.  Les graviers se faufilèrent entre les cailloux et remplirent le bocal. À nouveau, il posa la question : « Est-ce que le bocal est plein ? ». Le public, commençant à comprendre, répondit : « Non. » 
Il prit ensuite un sac de sable qu’il versa dans le bocal. Le sable, à son tour, se faufila entre les cailloux et les graviers jusqu’à remplir le bocal.
Il fit de même avec la bouteille d’eau qui était posée sur sa table et remplit à nouveau le bocal.
« Quel enseignement pouvons-nous tirer de cette expérience ? » demanda-t-il à son public. « Cette expérience montre que si l’on ne met pas les gros cailloux en premier dans le bocal, on ne pourra jamais les mettre tous. Il faut donc commencer par les gros cailloux avant de s’attaquer aux petits. »
(Les gros cailloux sont nos priorités, les graviers, le sable et l’eau sont les tâches de moindre importance que nous avons tendance à faire passer en premier. Une fois la journée bien remplie de graviers, de sable et d’eau, impossible de faire rentrer nos gros cailloux.)

Cette expérience ne peut pas marcher pour l’ouverture : on arrive vite à une impasse ! Si on commence par assigner les chambres par celles qui sont évidente, dans l’ordre des contraintes on arrive vite à une impasse. Il faut faire du Sudoku pour arriver à une solution viable


J’ai donné à ChatGPT une liste de 70 chambres dans un tableau qui ressemble à ça :

C'est parti :

il beug, un peu, se reprend (la classe tout de même) puis:

Mais il ne respecte pas les crédits ! il en donne 600 ! Impossible car derrière ce calcul informatique il y a des être humains qui travaillent.

Et plus je lui demande d'avancer plus il échoue.

Pour information, mon algorithme de calcul s'en sort beaucoup mieux. Si cela intéresse quelqu'un je pourrais en dire plus dans un prochain article. :

Il donne bien 400 crédits tout en respectant les contraintes !

Le mot de la fin

Bon, l'honneur est sauf et ChatGPT ne sait pas encore faire mieux que l'humain. L'algorithme utilisé par Roomchecking est très "métier" donc il est normal qu'il fasse mieux... mais cela me rassure.

Pour être fair j'ai demandé à ChatGPT et franchement il a le mérite de l'humilité ;=)

J'ai d'autres expériences que je voudrais partager. N'hésitez pas à me dire si vous voulez que je teste d'autres choses jweizman@roomchecking.com


The housekeeping department is the backbone of any successful hotel, resort, or hospitality business. Ensuring that rooms are clean, amenities are stocked, and guests are happy is a monumental task. For years, many hotels have relied on the venerable Excel spreadsheet to manage these complex operations. While Excel is a powerful tool, there are limitations to its capabilities in terms of real-time updates, easy sharing, and automation. Today, more and more businesses are shifting towards specialized software solutions like Roomchecking to supercharge their housekeeping operations. So, what does this transition mean for a housekeeping team?

A Look at the Old Guard: Excel



Stepping into the Future: Roomchecking Software



The Transition Experience

Preparation and Training

Switching to a new software will require some initial setup and training. Roomchecking often provides detailed onboarding processes to ease this transition. It’s important that management and the housekeeping staff fully understand how to make the most out of the new software.

Typically we need to do this :

Please consider 1 month is necessary to complete the setup.

Immediate Benefits

As soon as the system is operational, you can expect to see immediate improvements in task assignment, tracking, and completion. This increases the productivity of the housekeeping team and often results in a more pleasant guest experience.

Long-Term Impact

In the long run, the analytics capabilities of Roomchecking can provide insights into staff performance, inventory usage, and room maintenance needs. This data can be invaluable for improving operational efficiency and reducing costs.


The transition from Excel to Roomchecking involves an initial investment in both time and money, but the long-term benefits far outweigh the costs. Improved efficiency, enhanced accountability, and valuable operational insights are just a few of the advantages that specialized software brings to the housekeeping department. By embracing technology, you can ensure that your housekeeping team is well-equipped to meet the demands of the modern hospitality industry.

September 13, 2023

Display tasks per room on the cleaning calendar

Task Tags

August 8, 2023

Added Vaccant Dirty Plugin

New Round Robin Feature

More Data Sources to Dashboard : On/Off Duty, Audits

June 26, 2023

Tasks dashboard is improved - fixed durations, added few new columns.
Create task is now everywhere !

Tasks history - improved history messages across the app.
Tasks history - fixed tasks item sorting.
Minibar consumption endpoint - now the price on the item is not multiplied by the quantity.
Tasks - fixed real time updates for mass actions on both tasks and calendar.
Nightly cleaning planner - now you can change cleaning time for nightly/turn down cleanings.
Room instructions - reservation CICO dates and front office status is now displayed as reservation description.

June 16,2023

This important release brings back a very awaited feature : cleaner assigment in the inspector app !

Please check you have the latest version : 1.25.

You can change the Assignment by changing the cleaner.it will in real time update your cleaning planner.

Attendants are sorted, but the already cleaners in use will appear first

You can unassign by clicking again on the cleaner

Reset cleaning : you can reset a cleaning. the room will turn dirty and it will disappear fromt the list of cleaned rooms in the attendant app.

DND Filter fix : it will retain the previous HK status to appear in Dirty AND Dnd

We added the L&F Reference to the list :

We heard that you were missing some Reservation notes because it was in Room by defaut. It will now go the existing one

Dashboard: we added the group and subgroup of the task to be able to group by Maintenance for example

Create and Continue for tasks

Room's Overview: hopr gives you more information to quickly spot the situation

May 30, 2023

Automatic nightly HK updates - admin application is updated to have one global setting which can enable/disable the update and where you can choose whether

a) cleaning priority is reset,

b) turndown is reset and

c) DND is reset. This was made so you don't have to update ALL HK statuses in some way just to update those 3 which are really "separate" and global.

The job that actually does the work is changed to include those global settings and it is reworked somewhat after thorough testing.

Late check ins - There is so much there, I don't know how to explain but we implemented it across all daily cleaning plans and nightly cleaning plans, reservation sync and rooms overview. And everywhere else where the room's reservation status is calculated for today or prediction for the future. (Like cleaning calendar). Also the hotel settings are extended so you can adjust the "Late check in threshold time after midnight" per hotel.

Day use tag / detection - was fixed and modified to understand late check ins. This is primarily on the rooms overview.

External API HK endpoints - modified for quicker loads and faster execution.

Daily/Nightly cleaning planner - there was a really special edge case when the prediction of the cleanings for future plans modified reservation statuses. This was a major bug but was rarely manifested because the edge case was really and edge of edge cases.

Daily / Nightly cleaning planner - creating vacant cleanings - fixed for manually creating vacant cleanings, especially after late check in implementation.

Daily / Nightly cleaning planner - creating the plan automatically based on cleaner affinities - fixed and extended after late check in implementation.

Reservation sync - removed the room status calculation which produced weird and false logs when the room was OOO/OOS.

Reservation sync - added heuristics for resolving incoming duplicate reservations.

Reservation sync - added heuristics for resolving existing duplicate reservations because in earlier versions incoming duplicate reservations made a mess.

Hotel settings - extended with the list of properties you've asked for.

Mobile API application settings / configuration - extended with the list of added properties in the hotel settings.

Mobile API globally - removed room status calculation which was not important since the mobile app is loading room statuses from a separate endpoint.

Rooms overview - removed an icon which was imagined as a tasks for the reservation specifically but was not used.

Rooms overview - fixed the loading of the history when another room was selected while the history drawer is opened.

Rooms overview - extended the info drawer with room details, current extended information about reservations, cleanings and tasks.

Rooms overview - added tabs with specific histories - room history, reservation histories, tasks history.

Experience - extended experience CRUD with "Was client satisfied" flag

Experience dashboard - extended with "Was client satisfied" flag

Experience import/export - extended with "Was client satisfied" flag

Experience email report - extended with "Was client satisfied" flag

Room edit form - enabled changing room's PMS room name (This might have a validation issue, didn't fully test it yet)

Experiences - fix after multi-compensation implementation when there were no compensations.

Creating hotels for existing hotel group - now when you create a hotel for existing hotel group asset actions are duplicated to the new hotel based on existing data. The system detects which actions are used across all existing hotels in the group and decides which ones to duplicate to the new one.

User impersonation - Extended admin app to enable/disable user impersonation.

User impersonation - enabled user impersonation for mobile apps.

User impersonation - enabled user impersonation for web app.

CPSAT calculator and the timeline - fixed the time zone shift after accepting the CPSAT solution.

Microsoft Clarity - added clarity to the web app for improved insights into app usage.

External API - added UpdateUser endpoint to improve handling users for coloft? integration.

Assets and asset groups - improved validation to better handle possible duplicate names when inserting and importing assets and asset groups.

Daily / Nightly planner - added cleaning switch for "Not required" and newly generated cleaning when the system detects it should be done. (This is missing automatic sending the cleaning and notifications so the administrator has to manually resend the plan - for now)

Cleaning plugins - resolved the difference between the admin app and web app and fixed some bugs. (Not sure which exactly)

Found items - add/edit - focused when clicked on item in list.

Found items - add/edit - focused when clicked on item in list.

Audits - added compare feature.

Automatic scaling of the web APIs. When the system detects increased load it adds new instances. Same for decreased load it removes instances.

Improved monitoring to detect increased number of server errors. It starts sending emails to our DevOps and Nikola and me so we don't wait for users to report but we can preemptively jump on it. It is also a detection for brute force attacks on the servers.

For a hotelier, choosing a PMS can be one of the most time consuming and stressful experiences ever. Buy the wrong system and, one year from now, you will feel like that guy who chose a Zune mp3 player over an iPod. The truth is that, with the always increasing number of companies out there claiming to be the best “turnkey solution” for you, it’s easy to get lost and confused so, before you even start considering your options, let’s get back to basics.

As we deploy RoomChecking into hundreds of hotels, we sometimes encounter hotels regretting their decisions on their choice of PMS system. Lack of integrations or complex and expensive integrations processes is often the first issue we encounter. So we went out to ask some hoteliers what they most wanted to see if they could have their dream PMS system today and here is a summary of their replies.

But first, What is a PMS?

PMS is short for Property Management System, a software that facilitates the management of your property by aggregating data from different operational departments (housekeeping, management, food & beverage, accounting, etc.) and automatizing operations (invoicing, reservation management, room assignment, etc.).

On top of that, PMS plays a strategic role too, as it collects vital data such as ADR, RevPar, pickup and occupancy rate, all information that are crucial to staying competitive and profitable. To use an anatomy analogy, it is safe to say that PMS is the “heart” of your hotel and, just like a human heart, it “pumps” blood to all the 3rd party solutions integrated to it: channel manager, booking engine, CRS, Yield Management software, POS and so on.

This chart gives you an idea of how a PMS system connects to the many other systems that hotels need.

Is your current PMS the right solution?

But, how can you know if your “heart” is working properly? A lot of hotels get lost in technicalities, while the only question that matters should be “is my current PMS making my life easier?”. Often the answer we have from hotels is “I don’t know, ” and that is a scary position to be in, because it’s a “no, it’s not” with an “it’s too complicated even to understand it” attached to it. So let’s try to dig into the common problems with PMSs.

Integrations: know before you choose

That’s one of the key factors when analyzing your current PMS or thinking about getting a new one. Sure, it does the job, and it’s not very expensive, but it’s not integrated with your channel manager, so your booking department has to manually manage each reservation, an operation that is not only time consuming, but increases the risk of human error. And “human error,” when it comes to hotels is synonymous with “overbooking” and “unsold rooms.” Scary, isn’t it? So if you don’t know where to look to evaluate your PMS, start from here: make a list of all the 3rd parties you work with and check how many of them can and cannot be integrated with your PMS.

“Compatible” and “integrated” are two of the words that recurred more often in the interviews we made with hoteliers while writing this article, so it looks like there’s a lot of dissatisfaction with them. Knowing in advance that they can be a big deal when it comes to choosing a PMS will save you from bad surprises later on.

To get an idea of just the basic integrations that hotels need to have, this chart from SnapShot illustrates it quite well.

Cloud or On-Premise?

If you’ve been in this business long enough, you will surely remember those clunky systems from the 90’s. Back then all PMS were physically installed on every single computer that needed to have access to the system, with data physically stored on one or more servers in the hotel. This meant that any possible hardware issue would have to be managed directly, with little to no support from the PMS. Not to mention the costs involved with buying the hardware, having backups servers in case something went wrong or just the simple discomfort you had to deal with if one computer crashed during a busy check-out morning.

Cloud-based software, on the other hand, is deployed over the Internet and is stored and maintained by the PMS itself. You can access it from any computer without installing anything. The front-office computer gets a virus, and it’s unusable? No problem: you can keep working on your laptop or your smartphone, without losing any data. Server goes down? PMS will deal with it, and you don’t have to worry over the performances of your hardware infrastructures. That being said, a lot of hotels are still using “on-premise” (aka “server based” or “legacy”) PMS. Why? Surprisingly enough, often it’s just a question of not wanting to deal with the stress and anxiety involved in the change. Let’s get a better look at it.

Retraining your staff

PMS are complicated, period. They process a big amount of data, and even to the most advanced user, it takes some training to get into them. Now, if you have a small bed and breakfast with four employees, retraining them to use the new PMS should not be a tough task. But if you’re running a 500 room property with restaurants, meeting rooms, and wellness center, this can turn into a nightmare if you don’t choose the right system. The manager of a group of independent hotels in San Francisco, when interviewed for this article, told us that one of the most important features for a PMS is a “simple, elegant, concise user interface for hourly employees.” Another general manager from the Czech Republic used almost the same words: “Ease of use for receptionists, with a great and intuitive workflow.” If you already changed one PMS you know the amount of stress that this experience brings and, if you don’t, take this article as a warning. To paraphrase philosopher William of Ockham "If you have two equally likely solutions to a problem, choose the simplest," that usually works out great when selecting a PMS.

Are tired of staff floor never being aware of the check out?*Give RoomChecking a try now

What now?

Answering the three points mentioned above should already give you enough information to choose your PMS, but of course, every hotel has different and specific needs, and it’s important that you write down a list of tasks that are crucial for your business and that your PMS should be able to fulfill. We spoke to several hoteliers while writing this and we came across some interesting (and sometimes unexpected) requests.

Pricing transparency is one of those: with a lot of modules and integrations available it is easy to get lost in the estimations. Make sure that you do understand all the features listed in the PMS quote before you buy.

Reporting is another: a PMS can integrate terabytes of data every minute, but if it does not provide a readable and understandable reporting system, then it’s completely useless. PMS providers tend to be “data-freak”, and often they like to store data for the only reasons for doing so but, to keep your business operational and profitable, you need to be able to extract the information you need without getting lost in millions of useless data. Make sure to check a few original reports before you choose your PMS. If you do not feel comfortable with them, then move on.

Support is another feature frequently discussed during our interviews: understand what the PMS can and can’t do for you, when it can do it (choose, if possible, a 24/7 support, especially if you’re buying a PMS from a provider not in your timezone), and if and how much it will cost you. You could need to integrate a new booking engine down the line, and you want to avoid bad surprises when it comes to hidden costs.

Some hoteliers even mentioned mobile check-in/out as a feature they would love to have, together with dedicated apps for smartphones to make employees and the guest experience better. Based on the level of technology of your property this could be a cool add on.

Final consideration

As you see, choosing a PMS is a crucial decision that may (and will) affect your business in both good or bad ways. It’s not something that can be done in a superficial manner and, most important, without having all the info to base your decision. Take the time to compare features, ask for demos and presentations and always think about where you want to be with your hotel in five years. Can the PMS help you reach your future goals, or is it just a temporary solution? And, never forget the only question that matters: “is it making your life easier?”

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