The $35 was not the point

I went to San Francisco last weekend and stayed at the Westin St Francis. Overall, it was a nice hotel; we had a big, clean room with lots of space for Spencer to play. I shared a room with my sister and Spencer and my sister and I have difference of opinions on housekeeping in hotels. I would just reuse the towels and pull up the duvet, but she likes having them come in. I feel a little bad about the toys thrown everywhere and general baby messiness. I also hate people touching my stuff. It is why I could never have a cleaning person in my house something about it squicks me out.

On Sunday of our long weekend, Spencer kept unpacking and repacking my suitcase during morning playtime, which was getting old, so I pulled a brown grocery sack out of the closet and he was packing and unpacking his toys in the bag. Anything to pass the time was fine with me, he’d been such a trooper for 3 days so far in the hotel. Then we left for the morning, walked down to the Embarcadero and the Ferry Building, shared an organic, vegan, delicious doughnut with Spencer; my sister and I got brunch cocktails and we walked back to the hotel. The housekeeper was still in the room when we returned and she wouldn’t let us in the room until she did the bathroom because it was “so dirty.” It wasn’t really. All she did was empty the trash (which admittedly had some rank diapers in it) and change out the towels. We waited on chairs in the hall and finally went in.

I didn’t notice anything until hours later, which kills me now because she was still there with the cart when we got back. That evening, I noticed that the grocery sack was missing. Then I noticed that Spencer’s little yellow car was missing. Oh no! Housekeeping thought the bag was trash and threw it out with out looking in it. And the car was small. I was annoyed, but not mad. That happened later. I was packing up because we were checking out the next morning and realized that one of the stuffed blocks from his block set was missing. Crap. It also happens that both of these toys have sentimental value. The block set was the first baby gift we ever received, from my sister, when I was about 5 months pregnant. The car, while from a cheerios box, was the first car he consistently called car. And they were just gone. Forever.

I’ve managed, in 13 months, to only lose one baby item, a teether Spencer threw out of his stroller when we were at the mall. From that experience, I learned to pay better attention and use toys that attach to the stroller. He threw a pacifier out of his stroller when we were at the big fountain by the Ferry Building, but I found it. I know that losing things is a part of having a kid and I will have to get over it, but this was preventable. And I feel slightly violated; someone evaluated my belongings and decided some of them were garbage.

I spoke to front desk about it at check out and he offered to deduct the cost of the toys from the room. Which is a nice gesture. It doesn’t make me less angry, but it is nice nonetheless. I can tell you one thing: hotel housekeeping will not be in my room again. Ever. And I am not sure that I will stay at a Westin again either.

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3 Responses to “The $35 was not the point”

  1. Sylko says:

    I left a stuffed horse that we took everywhere at a Residence Inn once. I called to see if it had been turned into management by housekeeping, but it had not been turned in. I’m still sad about it. It was our travel toy.


  2. I generally don’t like the maids coming in when I’m at a hotel w/ the bub and all her stuff. It sucks you lost your toys!

    When we were in Key West last spring, we were walking around the harbor, and it was close to Ivy’s nap so we had one of her soft toys in the stroller with her- a little bunny we called Bun Bun. She eventually fell asleep and we stopped for a few drinks at the Schooner Wharf bar. When we got back we realized that Bun Bun wasn’t with us! The house we were staying in was close to the harbor so we went back but couldn’t find him anywhere. So now we joke that Bun Bun is on permanent vacation in Key West, and next time we go back we may just find him having a drink at the Schooner Wharf!!


  3. Suzanne says:

    Oh, what a shame, and I love the Westin too.

    While my husband’s family was on a cruise, his 85 year old grandmother took out her teeth and left them in the bathroom in one of those red plastic cups to soak. Somehow, housekeeping managed to throw the whole thing away without noticing the FULL SET OF TEETH. She went through the rest of the week toothless, eating applesauce and pudding. Boy was our family pissed. I thinks they got a couple hundred dollars in credit out of the company (plus the cost of a new set when she got home) but Granny’s still pretty bitter.

    Lesson: Housekeeping staff can be totally oblivious. Don’t trust them with your stuff.


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