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US hotels re-examine 'Do Not Disturb' policy

Diane Fermin Roeder, January 5th, 2018

Hilton has updated its 'Do Not Disturb' policy for its hotels, stipulating that team members should inform active security or duty managers if a 'Do Not Disturb' sign or light has been in place at a guestroom door for longer than 24 consecutive hours, according to a company internal announcement.

Hilton isn’t the only hotel company taking a look at its 'Do Not Disturb' policy. Four Walt Disney World hotels in Orlando, Florida have changed the language used on the signs, changing 'Do Not Disturb' to 'Room Occupied' instead.

Housekeepers will be allowed to enter doors labeled 'Room Occupied' even if the sign is on the door, but must first knock and identify themselves. Like Hilton, Disney has notified guests ahead of arrival to inform them of the change.

Wynn Resorts has also changed its policy and now has employees investigate any 'Do Not Disturb' signs in place for more than 12 consecutive hours.

Both Hilton and Disney have cited guest safety as the reason for the change but have denied local American media speculation that the policy change is linked to the October 2017 Mandalay Bay hotel shooting incident during a Las Vegas concert, whereby the shooter was able to stash 10 suitcases filled with weapons and ammunition  undetected in his hotel room for three days. During that time, housekeeping was unable to enter his room, as a 'Do Not Disturb' sign had been in place throughout the duration of his stay.

It is usual practice for hotel operators to leave a guestroom with a 'Do Not Disturb' sign untouched for multiple days, barring housekeeping or any other employee from checking inside.