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Should Hostel Guests Make Their Own Beds?

Dennis Pitcock
Written by Dennis Pitcock

generator bedNowadays, there is a 50% chance your hostel dorm bed will be made or not. Okay, more than 50% of hostels actually make the beds for their guests, but there is a growing number of hostels that hand over the sheets to the guests to make their own beds. Is this something that could work for you?
Guests staying in hostel dorms aren’t near as picky as even those staying in a two star hotel. They wouldn’t mind making their own bed if it saved them some money. This only works in the dorms, where they naked beds are clean and well prepared with mattress pads and pillow protectors. Guests having to make their own beds will only burden them with only moments of inconvenience for many nights of good sleep.

To operate this way, you need a storage unit at the desk to hold your sheets. Staff should prepare sets of fitted sheets, flat sheets, and pillowcase in batches so they are ready at check-in. Also the cleaners should prepare the beds, changing the mattress pads and pillow protectors where needed. This also works great in hostels that do not assign beds for the untaken beds are even easier determine for other times, one guest spread his belongings across multiple beds, causing confusion. Guests are also told to remove their sheets and bring them to the desk at check-out.

Having the guest do the work frees up many man hours, giving your staff to work on other things. This is paying more time in cleaning the bathrooms, or paying more attention to the guests. You can find some well known award winning hostel chains doing just this, such as USA Hostels in California and Generator Hostels in Europe, proving that the guests don’t mind.
This model isn’t for everyone, and it does not apply to dorm rooms. Some hostel operators like the ability to control the quality of each and every bed, making sure their staff prepare it with diligence. Some hostels cannot find a way to operate without assigning beds. However, if you are looking for ways to cut costs an minimize the affect of the experience on your dorm guests, perhaps having them make their own beds would be right for you.

About the author

Dennis Pitcock

Dennis Pitcock

Dennis jumped into the hostel industry after a summer backpacking Europe in 2008. He went from being a guest to a manager within weeks, and currently does consulting for large and small hostels alike in 3 continents. Prior, he worked in eCommerce, so he has passion for the tech side of the industry and is now deeply entrenched in the hostel and activities industry.

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