Disney and Hilton Have Updated Their Do Not Disturb Policies, reserving the right to enter and inspect guest rooms. Guests that highly value their privacy may want to avoid both Disney and Hilton hotels, although it's likely that more U.S. mid-market hotels will adopt similar policies for security reasons.
Disney has ditched the traditional “Do Not Disturb” sign altogether at its Florida Disney World hotels and resorts, replacing them with “Room Occupied” signs. The new policy, which is explained to guests in updated guest information materials, requires a hotel employee to enter a guest room at least once every 24 hours, even when a “Room Occupied” sign is on the door. The policy notes “The hotel and its staff reserve the right to enter your room for any purpose including, but not limited to, performing maintenance and repairs or checking on the safety and security of guests and property.”
Disney staff entering a guest room must knock and announce who they are before entering, but it's unclear how much notice guests will have before staff enter (what if they are fast asleep or getting dressed?)
The new Hilton policy, announced via an internal memo to all Hilton hotels and resorts worldwide, states that when housekeepers are unable to service a guest room due to a Do Not Disturb sign on the door, a card slipped under the door must read [bolding mine] “We understand and respect your need for privacy. The hotel reserves the right to visually inspect all guest rooms every 24 hours to ensure the well-being of our guests and confirm the condition of the room. If service is refused for this length of time, a member of the hotel management will check on the guest room.”
Additionally, the updated privacy section of the guest services directory will state “We understand and respect your need for privacy. The hotel reserves the right to visually inspect all guest rooms every 24 hours to ensure the well-being of our guests and confirm the condition of the room.”
I don't have personal or client experience at Hilton's extended stay properties, such as Homewood Suites, but I'd think that this could be a change for some guests at these properties that typically refuse the daily light housekeeping. And as with Disney, there's a question of what kind of notice a guest will have before hotel staff enter a room. Knocking followed by swift entry could be very invasive to guest privacy, so much will depend on how the new policy is implemented.
The catalyst for these changes to Disney's and Hilton's Do Not Disturb policies? The Las Vegas shooting of October 1, 2017, where the lone gunman was able to amass firearms in his room at the Mandalay Bay Hotel, having left a do-not-disturb sign on his door.
Will these changes affect your plans to stay at a Disney or Hilton property?
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