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View Full Version : Just back from AKL - disapointed with Housekeeping


BostonRob
05-02-2005, 09:40 AM
HOUSEKEEPING PROBLEMS.
As we were going to bed our first night, I noticed a nasty dark sticky spot on the floor between the two beds. I don't know what it was and don't care to know. But it was too late to do anything about it. At 7:00AM I called housekeeping and asked for a morning cleaning since we'd be napping in the early afternoon with our 2 year old daughter. I also requested bed rails for her bed. They told me 'no problem' We retrurned to our room at 1:30PM and it hadn't been touched yet, so we put out the 'Do not disturb' sign and took a nap. We were all awakened at 2:30 when the phone rang. It was housekeeping, asking when they could change our room. He heard my daughter crying and began apologizing profusely. I called him back later and we scheduled the cleaning for 6:00 PM. When we returned late that night, they had cleaned the room (and the nasty spot) but left no bedrails!
The next day we requested a morning cleaning and again were told they'd do it, but they didn't. So to summarize, here's my housekeeping complaints:
1) Nasty sticky spot on floor when checking in.
2) No early change day 2, despite being told they'd do it.
3) They woke us up despite our do not disturb sign.
4) They didn't give us the bedrails they promised.
5) No early change day 3.
6) This is not really a complaint, but they didn't give us any new soaps or shampoos, at all. I know I'm being petty by wanting a few to take home, but I did and I was disapointed. I did tip daily because it is entirely possible that none of our problems were caused by whomever was doing our room that day.

Please don't tell me I should have gone and talked to a manager or anything. If there was a problem bad enough, I would have done that. These were all minor inconveniences and I wasn't about to waste any time from our 3 day vacation trying to track down somebody to complain to.


THE REST OF my AKL review.

We arrived Tuesday at 11:00 AM. Our room was not ready (no surprise) and we were told that none of our requests would be honored. We requested a King bed, Zebra trail, Arusha Savannah, 3rd floor. Now I know that this is probably the perfect room that everybody wants, and I didn't expect EVERYTHING I requested, but it would have been nice to have ANY of the requests honored. If they aren't going to honor requests, maybe they shouldn't even take them.

So our room was ready at 3:00, they took us up to the 4th floor, I'm still not sure what the name of the Savannah or Trail was, but we were on the left side of the 'horshoe' looking behind the horshoe. Our room keys didn't work however, so I had to go back down to the desk and get them to fix that.

Our first evening was very pleasant. We were browsing in the gift shop before dinner and the lady working there asked us if we'd be around at 8:00 PM. Every night at 8:00 they have a parade around the lobby for the children. Each child grabs an instrument from the gift shop (drums, rattles, maracas, etc) and the whole throng (probably 30 children or more) marches around around the lobby making the most ungodly racket you ever heard. It was great fun and out daughter loved it and she got a Tinkerbell certificate.

Dinner at Boma was INCREDIBLE! I can't really elaborate because words wouldn't do it justice. If you like food, you'll love Boma

Over all, it was nice to have a Savannah room. As to whether it was worth the money, that's a personal decision. I will say that our Savannah appeared small and contrived. It was almost like looking out on a zoo. Mostly all we saw were ostriches. The Giraffes did come by at feeding time in the afternoon and that was nice, but for the most part it was just the Ostriches.

The lobby area was dark, despite the huge window/wall at one end. This was fine with us. When you spend all day in the brilliant, blinding Florida sun, its nice to have a refuge.

We didn't use the busses at all. The Valet parking was great. Ther pool was great - no problem finding chairs. But I think it was a slow week. I wish we had been there longer and could have explored more. I would certainly go back to the AKL if the price was right.

Lewisc
05-02-2005, 10:15 AM
Rob--Not trying to defend POOR service but the reality is the maids first clean the rooms of departing guests so they are ready for guests checking in. I suspect the housekeeper that was assigned to your room went off duty long before 6:00p, maybe 3:00p.

I agree, I wouldn't have wasted the time to complain.

Disney Planner Mama
05-02-2005, 10:55 AM
we had the same sorts of problems when we stayed at AKL in February. Coffee one day, but no filters, next day filters, but no mugs...wrong towels (4 of us in room, three towels, no hand towels), no bath mat, some days rooms were not made up until after 4 o'clock...and we were out of the rooms by 8:30-9 everymorning, took three calls to get someone to unclog a sink (at the beginning of our stay -- so a pre-existing clog)...

Wasn't worth it for us to complain to management, but I think the service has gone down slightly from where it was a year ago. We're just going to stay somewhere else next trip.

BostonRob
05-02-2005, 11:01 AM
we had the same sorts of problems when we stayed at AKL in February. Coffee one day, but no filters, next day filters, but no mugs...wrong towels (4 of us in room, three towels, no hand towels), no bath mat, some days rooms were not made up until after 4 o'clock...and we were out of the rooms by 8:30-9 everymorning, took three calls to get someone to unclog a sink (at the beginning of our stay -- so a pre-existing clog)...

Wasn't worth it for us to complain to management, but I think the service has gone down slightly from where it was a year ago. We're just going to stay somewhere else next trip.

I'd stay there again, even with the losuy service we got. Honestly, I loved the atmosphere. And I'm not an animal person, nor do I have any particular interest in Africa. It was just a wonderful resort.

fishinChip
05-02-2005, 01:30 PM
What time did they feed the animals? On our next visit to DW we would like to visit AKL. It would be great to see them feed the animals. When would you recommend we visit? THANKS!!!! :sunny:

BostonRob
05-02-2005, 01:58 PM
I'm not sure. I never saw them being fed. All I know is that two days in a row, around 3:00 PM, I saw Giraffes outside our room eating greens from a container attached to the top of a tree. Presumably this container is filled every day so that we get to see the giraffes. Taking that logic a step further, I'd guess that they do the same thing in other areas so that the Giraffes make their rounds. So if you're in room 4218, consider feeding time around 3:00PM. If you're in a different room, who knows?

Kimberly
05-02-2005, 02:10 PM
Sorry to hear about those, but at least you still had a good time, and it was great to hear about the actual resort. Usually when people complain, it seems that they have nothing good to say at all, and just focus on the bad. I really cannot wait until I go there for the first time in late May.

LisaS
05-02-2005, 02:26 PM
They put food out several times a day on each of the savannahs. The first time we stayed there our room faced the Sunset Savannah and I remember the truck coming around as late as 10pm to put out browse. It was a real treat to end the evening sitting on our balcony with a glass of wine watching the giraffes coming over at 10-10:30 pm for a late night snack. Of course they also put food out in the morning and in the afternoon but I can't remember what times we saw the food trucks.

If you are staying at AKL, there is a button on the phone for info on the animals. I would suggest you just press that button and ask whoever answers about the feeding times. It is good to know when they come around with food because of course the animals congregate in the feeding areas at those times and you get to see a lot of animals all at once.

BostonRob
05-02-2005, 02:37 PM
Sorry to hear about those, but at least you still had a good time, and it was great to hear about the actual resort. Usually when people complain, it seems that they have nothing good to say at all, and just focus on the bad. I really cannot wait until I go there for the first time in late May.

Well I'm not going to let stupid little things ruin my vacation, - we got a good deal on the room, so I can handle it. The Savannah rooms go for $320 per night this time of year. We had a code rate of $165. I think if I was paying full price, I might have been more upset.

Disney Planner Mama
05-02-2005, 04:23 PM
The atmosphere at Animal Kingdom Lodge is amazing. I don't know how disney does it -- I just think it must be a great job to be the architect/designer who plans these resorts. Maybe in my next life...

I usually see them feeding the animals very early in the morning...shortly after sunrise. But a CM at the hotel should be able to give you a more precise time. And try some of the lectures and things that they do -- They are posted in the lobby on a bulletin board.

Danvers
05-02-2005, 04:51 PM
If they aren't going to honor requests, maybe they shouldn't even take them.



;) Sigh. Some people.

BostonRob
05-02-2005, 04:52 PM
;) Sigh. Some people.

What are you trying to say?

Danvers
05-02-2005, 04:53 PM
What are you trying to say?
See the ;)?

katallo
05-02-2005, 05:18 PM
We stayed at the WL last month. There was an empty can of Red Bull (from the previous guest) under a bed the entire week!

Sleepy
05-02-2005, 05:38 PM
If they aren't going to honor requests, maybe they shouldn't even take them.

If you know a request has a high possibility of not being granted, why complain when it doesn't happen? Why make a request with high expectation? There are lots of people at WDW with young children who take afternoon naps. They manage to work something out. Maybe you could do as we have done at many hotels........take used towels and trash to the housekeeper cart in the hall and exchange them with fresh stuff. Maybe request to be the LAST room cleaned by housekeeping.

Lewisc is correct and I would like to add that during the time that housekeeping is scheduled to work, they also get an hour lunch taking away more time from their schedule to grant special requests when they are cleaning checked out rooms.

budwmn
05-02-2005, 07:25 PM
We were at AKL in April. The first morning, we left at 7:15 am for breakfast at CRT. We returned to the room at 2 pm and it hadn't been cleaned. I was bummed, but soooo tired that ignored it and just took a nap.

At 2:45 pm, housekeeping arrived. She was so sorry to wake me up that I felt bad for her. I explained that we had left early that morning and wondered why it wasn't made up sooner. She said that housekeeping is told to clean rooms of people who are checking out first. Sometimes, they don't check out until 10 or 11 am and that delays all the other rooms. She suggested putting the "please make up room" sign on the door knob. Every other day we did just that and the room was cleaned immediately. :goodvibes

Eeyore'sthebest
05-03-2005, 04:14 AM
Mousekeeping was the great last week for us at AKL. We stayed on the second floor, Arusha savannah. We checked in on the 24th at 10:30 a.m. Room was ready and they let us go up. First morning we left our tip for mousekeeping in the envelope my DD had made. Room was clean and fresh soaps, etc were left. Kind of upset we didn't have towel animals or anything like that but we got over it quickly. We must have a had a maid change the following day because we came back to a snowman, a monkey, a clown, a peacock and a mickey face the remaining days. Everyday we had fresh soap, towels, coffee, etc.
We always left the "Please make up the room" sign on the door so there was no question that we were out early and wanted our room done. They are in the hallways early working. If your sign is out there then they definitely know they can get in there immediately.
Only problem we had was a slowing moving drain in our room. It was a roll-in shower so the water got all over. We called the first day and maintenance didn't respond. I called the following morning and told them that the carpet was getting wet in the room because of the drain. It was fixed before we got back from the park.
I saw the ostrich savannah. We are right, there didn't seem to be that many animals and it seemed rather small. The arusha is the way too go and I was quite pleased with the second floor.

BostonRob
05-03-2005, 08:32 AM
See the ;)?

Yeah, unfortunately, I don't speak smileyese - so I have no idea what you are saying.

BostonRob
05-03-2005, 08:45 AM
If you know a request has a high possibility of not being granted, why complain when it doesn't happen? Why make a request with high expectation? There are lots of people at WDW with young children who take afternoon naps. They manage to work something out. Maybe you could do as we have done at many hotels........take used towels and trash to the housekeeper cart in the hall and exchange them with fresh stuff. Maybe request to be the LAST room cleaned by housekeeping.


First off, I'm not complaining about requests. I'm reporting the facts - thats why people read these boards, to hear about the experiences of others. I wasn't surprised that I didn't get all my room requests, I was surprised that I didn't get ANY of my room requests. If they take requests and they read requests, you'd think they could have given me either the floor I wanted or the trail I wanted or the savannah I wanted or the bed size I wanted. They did not - so once again, I wonder why they take such requests, if they're just going to ignore them.

As far as housekeeping goes, if they told be they'd try to make up my room in the morning but couldn't guarantee it, I'd be fine with that. But they simply said they'd do it. And since they had a 5 hour window starting at 7:00AM, when many people are still sleeping, it didn't seem like a promise they couldn't keep. But that wasn't what upset me. What upset me was that they called my room and woke us up. Yes, I'm complaining about that. I think its a legitimate complaint.

Finally, if you want to clean your own room on vacation, fine - go for it. But I'm on vacation; I'm paying for maid service; I'm willing to be flexible and patient, but I'm not cleaning my own room.

Lewisc
05-03-2005, 09:12 AM
No problem with your post. Useful information. I've read that if you have too many requests your requests just get ignored. There really isn't any way for the CM to know which requests are important to you and it's easier to just move on to a request that can be met.

Although your requests don't sound unreasonable there are very few K rooms. I suspect there may only literally be a handful of K rooms in the location you requested. Any request that, is in effect, a request of a specific room number or a request that only a small number of rooms satisfy is unreasonable. I KNOW YOU DIDN'T INTENT TO REQUEST A SPECIFIC ROOM number but that's basically what you were doing.

It's even tougher at AKL, a lot of guests are requesting the same Savannah and floor.

Disney has very few K rooms. If you want a K room you really can't make any other requests (other than smoking).

Surprised you couldn't get even one of your preferences when you checked in. I guess the resort was booked.


First off, I'm not complaining about requests. I'm reporting the facts - thats why people read these boards, to hear about the experiences of others. I wasn't surprised that I didn't get all my room requests, I was surprised that I didn't get ANY of my room requests. If they take requests and they read requests, you'd think they could have given me either the floor I wanted or the trail I wanted or the savannah I wanted or the bed size I wanted. They did not - so once again, I wonder why they take such requests, if they're just going to ignore them.

As far as housekeeping goes, if they told be they'd try to make up my room in the morning but couldn't guarantee it, I'd be fine with that. But they simply said they'd do it. And since they had a 5 hour window starting at 7:00AM, when many people are still sleeping, it didn't seem like a promise they couldn't keep. But that wasn't what upset me. What upset me was that they called my room and woke us up. Yes, I'm complaining about that. I think its a legitimate complaint.

Finally, if you want to clean your own room on vacation, fine - go for it. But I'm on vacation; I'm paying for maid service; I'm willing to be flexible and patient, but I'm not cleaning my own room.

BostonRob
05-03-2005, 09:34 AM
No problem with your post. Useful information. I've read that if you have too many requests your requests just get ignored. There really isn't any way for the CM to know which requests are important to you and it's easier to just move on to a request that can be met.

Although your requests don't sound unreasonable there are very few K rooms. I suspect there may only literally be a handful of K rooms in the location you requested. Any request that, is in effect, a request of a specific room number or a request that only a small number of rooms satisfy is unreasonable. I KNOW YOU DIDN'T INTENT TO REQUEST A SPECIFIC ROOM number but that's basically what you were doing.

It's even tougher at AKL, a lot of guests are requesting the same Savannah and floor.

Disney has very few K rooms. If you want a K room you really can't make any other requests (other than smoking).

Surprised you couldn't get even one of your preferences when you checked in. I guess the resort was booked.

Funny, I kinda took the opposite approach to what you suggest. I wasn't requesting a specific room; because i knew that wouldn't happen. I was merely requesting a bunch of things I'd like, in hopes that I'd get one or two of them. Maybe it did work against me.

Believe me, I understand how ridiculous the 'request' process is. While I was getting my keys re-scanned, I witnessed a family who was checking in with as many requests as me. They didn't get the bunk beds they wanted, so the father said, well, can we at least get something on the Zebra trail? The CM responded "but you have a pool view", to which the father replied, "yes, but we'd like a pool view on the Zebra trail side." So I know how ridiculous things get. But I figured I was better off making my requests than not. Maybe I was wrong.

I'll tell you, the one complaint I do have about the whole request thing is the "king bed" matter. Why is it that in some resorts you reserve and pay for a king bed, while in others you can only request one and hope? Doesn't make much sense to me. I'd happily have paid an extra $10 or $20 per night for a king bed.

Lewisc
05-03-2005, 10:02 AM
Funny, I kinda took the opposite approach to what you suggest. I wasn't requesting a specific room; because i knew that wouldn't happen. I was merely requesting a bunch of things I'd like, in hopes that I'd get one or two of them. Maybe it did work against me.


Rob this isn't directed to you but intended for other guests making requests. I think there only 40 rooms on the floor, trail and svanagh you requested. I think only 4 or 5 of the rooms are king. A request that can only be filled by 4 or 5 rooms is next to impossible to fill. The CM didn't know which request was most important to you so they just moved on to a guest they could help.

Unfortunately most of the guests want rooms that can accomodate families so Disney has very few K bedded rooms. I learned a K request, if granted, pretty much blocks out all your other requests.

LisaS
05-03-2005, 11:47 AM
Just to add some more data, I've stayed at AKL three times. Each time I requested "Non-smoking, King". The first time we got NS, Queen. The second time they had us in a NS, King but the room was just steps away from where we were the first time and we wanted to experience a different view. In order to get a room on a different savannah, we had to give up the king bed which we did. The third time we got NS, King with a great view. That was in late January and I suspect the hotel wasn't too full at the time and it was easier to accommodate requests. Or maybe we just got lucky!

Ladyhawke10
05-03-2005, 01:09 PM
But I figured I was better off making my requests than not. Maybe I was wrong.

I'll tell you, the one complaint I do have about the whole request thing is the "king bed" matter. Why is it that in some resorts you reserve and pay for a king bed, while in others you can only request one and hope? Doesn't make much sense to me. I'd happily have paid an extra $10 or $20 per night for a king bed.

Most of the time I've gotten most of my requests granted...in fact, it's been rare when we haven't. I know I've heard it's really hard to get a king bed (at Disney it's mostly families so they put in mainly queens/doubles). I agree with you, it'd be a good idea to offer an extra fee to allow for priority toward a specified request, such as a king bed. I also would be disappointed by the stuff on the floor--hope you get better mousekeeping on your next visit! :wizard:

bavaria
05-03-2005, 01:37 PM
BostonRob, I really can sympathize - how frustrating, and it sounds like you handled it well.

And I think that this wins my vote for favourite post of the day!:

Yeah, unfortunately, I don't speak smileyese - so I have no idea what you are saying.

:) (oops, let me know if you need me to translate!)

eeyore45
05-03-2005, 01:38 PM
My question, which could start a debate if I opened it to a new thread...

WHY NOT complain about housekeeping? Not complain about the mousekeepers mind you, but the fact that we pay $250 (app) per night in a Deluxe or otherwise 'resort' we should get better, if we dont demand better, than they (Disney CEO - management is what I'm trying to get at) will assume when they need the bottom line boosted for their stockholders, and Wall Street, you gotta cut back, and as long as we continue to accept life because of the true magic of Disney, its ok with us... I know for even me I get so giddy I"m at Disney, but it shouldnt be the "luck of the draw" meaning if a mousekeeper has a shorter time to make it through the rounds...

I understand not complaining to a manager because they then assume we want some sort of compensation, which I think many have posted that's not the case, the problem is the bottom line is starting to be noticable...

from what I'm reading, I could be wrong!

BostonRob
05-03-2005, 01:48 PM
My question, which could start a debate if I opened it to a new thread...

WHY NOT complain about housekeeping?


You bring up a good point. I didn't want to take the time out of my short vacation to complain. But perhaps I should complain now. Generally my view on these things is that WDW execs know the service isn't perfect. They've decided that the service they're giving is acceptable and that it isn't worth taking $x out of their bottom line to bring the service closer to perfect. I tend to believe that somebody is being paid a lot of money to make these decisions and that one complaint from one guy like me won't make a difference. I suppose that is an apathetic, pessimistic and slightly cynical view of things. So maybe I will write a letter. Anybody know who the name and mailing address of the General Manager of the AKL?

Lewisc
05-03-2005, 02:05 PM
Good question. Some things are bad enough to complain about on an internet board but not bad enough to take the time to write a letter. ;)


My question, which could start a debate if I opened it to a new thread...

WHY NOT complain about housekeeping? Not complain about the mousekeepers mind you, but the fact that we pay $250 (app) per night in a Deluxe or otherwise 'resort' we should get better, if we dont demand better, !

eeyore45
05-03-2005, 08:36 PM
I just think its a worthy cause, things can improve if only we ask... ok I do believe the glass is half full... and I do believe in fairies...

http://studio.go.com/cgi-bin/gmail/generic_mail.cgi?template=disneyworld/form.tpl

I couldnt find a snail mail address, and I do believe snail mail has more attention getting factors... just think if 1,000 people write and say I love Disney, I stay at resorts all over the country, but why arent the housekeepers given more time to do a more thourogh job for my health in a DELUXE or just in a "resort" hotel...

just thinking...

epcotfan
05-04-2005, 04:38 AM
We had lousy housekeeping at AKL as well. Dirty room, sheets and the maid threw out personal property and receipts which I needed to claim at Canada Customs.

Sleepy
05-04-2005, 05:33 AM
.......... and the maid threw out personal property and receipts which I needed to claim at Canada Customs.

When I worked housekeeping, I was not allowed to touch ANYTHING. If the lid to the toilet was down and had personal items on it, the toilet remained uncleaned. Same with the anything else. Sink counter with items could not be touched (parts with no personal items could). We were not even allowed to pick up the items and clean under them and return items to same spot. Even what we considered trash could not be thrown away......that pizza box on the table with half eaten pizza could have been bought 30 minutes before I got to the room and the people could have just stepped out to visit the drink machine, intending to return to eat the leftovers. We had strict rules.

epcotfan
05-04-2005, 05:58 AM
I thought most housekeeping worked like that Sleepy. I'd never had a maid touch my stuff before, let alone throw stuff out. Even old cans of pop. I could understand if I'd put my things in the garbage or recycling bin, but I didn't.

Edited to add: After that incident I always hide my purchases and keep my receipts in the safe or in my wallet.

BostonRob
05-04-2005, 08:57 AM
When I worked housekeeping, I was not allowed to touch ANYTHING. If the lid to the toilet was down and had personal items on it, the toilet remained uncleaned. Same with the anything else. Sink counter with items could not be touched (parts with no personal items could). We were not even allowed to pick up the items and clean under them and return items to same spot. Even what we considered trash could not be thrown away......that pizza box on the table with half eaten pizza could have been bought 30 minutes before I got to the room and the people could have just stepped out to visit the drink machine, intending to return to eat the leftovers. We had strict rules.

In regards to touching personal items, I'm always surprised when people bemoan their luck if the maid didn't arrange their child's stuffed animals in funny poses. DO YOU PEOPLE REALLY WANT THE HANDS THAT JUST CLEANED EVERY TOILET ON THE FLOOR TOUCHING YOUR CHILD'S TOYS?

Sleepy
05-04-2005, 04:51 PM
In regards to touching personal items, I'm always surprised when people bemoan their luck if the maid didn't arrange their child's stuffed animals in funny poses. DO YOU PEOPLE REALLY WANT THE HANDS THAT JUST CLEANED EVERY TOILET ON THE FLOOR TOUCHING YOUR CHILD'S TOYS?

I don't know about Disney, but I certainly did NOT clean the toilet with my bare hands. I used gloves and washed my hands after removing the gloves.