The Impact of Uncompromising Levels of Cleanliness on the Guest Experience

  • October 18, 2022

The twelfth Service Value at The Ritz-Carlton is, “I am responsible for uncompromising levels of cleanliness and creating a safe and accident-free environment.” Much like Service Value 11, which addresses privacy and security, Service Value 12 is considered table stakes for luxury hotels.  If a hotel is not clean, then those deficiencies will be the only thing a guest is able to focus on.  In fact, they will unconsciously begin looking for other ways in which their expectations are not being met.

Cleanliness Is Noticed When it is NOT Present

There are many things we probably don’t notice until they are lacking.  Think about a theatre stage for a moment.  You wouldn’t notice the performer’s microphone unless it was malfunctioning and creating feedback.  You wouldn’t notice the spotlight unless it was pointed at the wrong object or person.  The background of the stage would jump to the forefront of your mind if a set piece were askew. 

Cleanliness works the same way.  You don’t notice it unless it isn’t there.

Think about some recent customer service interactions you may have had.  Was there something missing that you wouldn’t have otherwise noticed?  How did that impact your overall experience?

Functional Service Values at Work

The Service Values relating to safety and cleanliness are what we consider to be “functional.”  They are essentials.  These functional Service Values provide a foundation for those which are related to emotional engagement, like Service Value 1, “I build strong relationships and create Ritz-Carlton guests for life,” or Service Value 3, “I am empowered to create unique, memorable and personal experiences for our guests.”

The Ritz-Carlton has high standards in place to ensure exceptional cleanliness throughout the hotel – from guest rooms to lobby spaces.  Our Ladies and Gentlemen go above and beyond these standards to ensure our guests enjoy the best experience possible.  They take pride in caring for their hotel as if it were their own home. 


  • At The Ritz-Carlton, these functional, “table stakes” Service Values provide a foundation for emotional engagement.  It is only when we deliver on BOTH the functional and emotional, that we create the Mystique the brand is known for around the world.
  • You may not be in the hotel business, but there is likely a key item (function, quality, characteristic) in your work that if you aren’t delivering on it fully and consistently, your customers notice.  What do you and you team do to ensure you are delivering on it?

Are you interested in learning more? Through our Culture of Excellence Offering, Ladies and Gentlemen can discover precisely how Service Value 12 – and each of our Gold Standards – sets the benchmark across our culture for powering memorable guest experiences.