Although frequent travelers may keep “Do not disturb” signs on their doors to avoid interruptions for turn-down service or unnecessary cleanings, several hotels are now modifying their procedures in the interest of increased security.
At Walt Disney World hotels like Disney's Contemporary Resort, Polynesian Village Resort, and Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, “Do not disturb” signs will be replaced with “Room occupied” signs.
"The hotel and its staff reserve the right to enter your room for any purposes including, but not limited to, performing maintenance and repairs or checking on the safety and security of guests and property," Disney’s new guest information pack reads. A hotel employee will be required to enter a room at least once every 24 hours, even if the “Room occupied” sign is on the door. Staff must knock and announce themselves before entering the room.
And, according to Loyalty Lobby, Hilton recently revamped its “Do not disturb” policy for its hotels worldwide. Going forward, hotel cleaning staff should slip “unable to service” cards under the doors of hotel rooms that have displayed “Do not disturb” signs for more than 24 hours straight.
“We understand and respect your need for privacy,” Hilton’s new “unable to service” cards will read. “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 hotel management will check on the guest room.”
Cleaning staff are then supposed to alert management who, depending on the “risk level” of the guest, will perform a visual inspection of the room. Guests who are part of a flight crew or law enforcement will not be subject to searches.
Some Las Vegas hotels, including the Orleans Hotel and Casino, began changing their “Do not disturb” signs and procedures in November.
According to the American Hotel and Lodging Association, typical hotel operating procedures dictate that someone from hotel staff must check on a room if a “Do not disturb” sign has been hanging for three days straight.