Hotel Laundry
October 2, 2007 4:54 AM   Subscribe

How does hotel laundry work?

I've never used hotel laundry services before, but I'm running out of time before a business trip. How much do they usually cost? How quick is the turnaround? Anything else I should know about the usual M.O.? This will be a Hyatt in the midwest US, but I'm interested in general norms, really.
posted by yarrow to Travel & Transportation (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm sure if you called the hotel in question they would be able to answer all of these questions. We can only guess.

The general norms are that it is ridiculously expensive.
posted by grouse at 5:17 AM on October 2, 2007

I can't tell you how it works, but I can tell you that during the second week of my honeymoon I had them pick up about 1-2 lbs of laundry (a few pairs of socks, a few pairs of underwear, a t-shirt and a shirt) and when they came back it included a bill for $68. Every item had a little tiny tag ironed on to it, including each sock!

So the moral of my story is that you should only have them clean what is absolutely necessary, and it it's a laundry run you need, then take the nicest limo cab to the fanciest laundromat and spend the other $30 on a good meal.
posted by furtive at 5:37 AM on October 2, 2007

^...and if it's a laundry run you need...
posted by furtive at 5:38 AM on October 2, 2007

It's usually 2x-3x the price of normal places (often in NYC when I need it, I'll just go to a dry cleaner, because there's always one within walking distance of the hotel.)

They'll give you a 'time' to get clothing to them, if you want it same day; don't expect leeway on this. If they say, 9am, get it to them by 9am. They'll usually have it back, already in your room by 6pm.
posted by filmgeek at 5:44 AM on October 2, 2007

It's usually ala carte. So anything you can wash in the sink, do so. Or buy new, it's usually cheaper for socks and underwear.
posted by smackfu at 6:36 AM on October 2, 2007

It's very expensive and best left to recovery from accidental spills on your clothing etc. It's a lot cheaper to just carry extra clothing. Another option, many hotels have coin operated machines available.
posted by caddis at 6:52 AM on October 2, 2007

It's very expensive. But, my husband takes a lot of business trips and sometimes uses the hotel laundry and his work always pays for it. Is that an option for you?
posted by Brittanie at 7:06 AM on October 2, 2007

Thanks, all. That's what I expected - I guess I was just hoping to hear that I was wrong. I need to do some clothes shopping anyway, which'll be faster than using a laundromat.

Brittanie, good thought, but I work for a nonprofit and I think they'd be grumpy if I tried to expense my laundry.
posted by yarrow at 7:28 AM on October 2, 2007

Just as a side note, when traveling internationally like Thailand, or India... it's so cheap you're a fool not to bring home freshly laundered clothing!
posted by thilmony at 7:49 AM on October 2, 2007

On the other hand, I just came back from Hungary, Romania, Russia, Ukraine and other places, and it could be quite expensive if you needed it within a day or two. Just to see what it would cost, the one night I was in a nice hotel in Budapest, I was quoted a price of nearly $300 for a week's worth of laundry, and the places nearby needed three-four days. But in Romania, a woman did my laundry for about $4 a week. So it depends a lot, but generally hotels are a horrible rip-off.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 10:58 AM on October 2, 2007

In my experience, foreign hotels in less-developed countries charge the same outrageous prices as at home, but you can talk to one of the maids and get them to wash your clothes at their home (or maybe they take it to a laundry--who knows?) for a much more reasonable rate. You need to set up clandestine laundry exchanges off hotel property so they don't get fired though.

It makes sense if your in the hotel for a long period of time on business, anyway. Short-term the hotel is banking on the convenience factor of room-delivered laundry.
posted by cardboard at 11:55 AM on October 2, 2007

Some hotels have washers/dryers in the facility that are coin operated. Call in advance and ask.
posted by 6:1 at 12:20 PM on October 2, 2007

This totally varies. Laundry is usually cheaper than Dry cleaning. What can really kill you are service or other charges added to your ticket. Figure $3-$7 per item.

My solution if not on business where I can expense laundry or not working so much I cannot get away.

1) Google map my hotel. Search for "dry cleaning."

2) Call places near hotel untill I find one with same day service. I can't usually make their drop-off deadline, but if they have same-day they can do next day.

3) When packing, I pack the laundry/dry cleaning in a plastic bag. I have the taxi taking me to the hotel stop at the dry cleaning/laundry place. I drop off, usually just a few minutes.

4) I return to pick up.

This generally costs $10-$15 in taxis. Figure a taxi costs $1 a minute. So sometimes using the hotel laundry is easier and cheaper when you factor in transportation costs.

I've also had my clothes cleaned at home normally and fedexed to me at the hotel. This is usually if I was on a tight turnaround and my luggage was delayed or something. This works only if you have someone at home who can do such things for you either because you pay them or because they love you that much.
posted by Mozzie at 10:37 PM on October 2, 2007

I was paying between $0.25 and $1.00 a kilo (2.2lbs) for laundry in Thailand and Laos.
posted by furtive at 12:48 PM on October 27, 2007

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