Hilton Capital Grand Abu Dhabi
Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Guests Rearranging Furniture in a Hotel Room?

Whenever I stay in a room at a hotel or resort property, I like to try to ensure that I am as comfortable as possible: perhaps I will prop up a couple of pillows; fold over or remove the duvet on the bed; or adjust the television so that I can watch it from the desk at where I am sitting instead of from the bed itself…

Guests Rearranging Furniture in a Hotel Room?

Hampton Inn & Suites By Hilton Calgary — University Northwest
Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

…but the other night, I spoke to a friend whom I have known for years and who works at a hotel property — and the friend could not believe how many guests have rearranged the furniture in the guest rooms during the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic.

I did not exactly understand the comment; so I asked for clarification.

“For example, the bed was moved from being against the wall to being against the window,” my friend told me. “Or, a dresser was moved to a corner of the room. Or, the television was moved from the top of the dresser to the top of the desk. Sometimes all of the furniture in the room was rearranged. I have never seen so much furniture rearranged in so many rooms.”

Neither of us could figure out why guests would want to rearrange the furniture in the room — or even leave the furniture rearranged after they checked out of the hotel property — but my friend was not happy about having members of the staff at the hotel property work on rearranging the furniture back to their respective places.


Hampton Inn Chester
To cover the fixed platform under the bed, skirts are usually used to hide the platform itself. Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

Many hotel and resort properties which are part of a budget brand or a brand in the middle range have beds which are secured on fixed platforms, which solve several issues: the bed cannot be moved; members of the housekeeping staff do not need to clean under the bed and therefore can clean rooms faster; and guests do not have to be concerned with losing any of their belongings under the bed.

Furthermore, the television is either anchored to the surface on which it rests; or the cords attached to it are not lengthy enough and cannot be unplugged or removed — but in either case, moving the television itself rather than simply adjusting it can be difficult.

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Lawrence
Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

I have been in spacious suites which were fully furnished; and I can see rearranging the furniture in a suite to create more room if I was hosting a gathering of colleagues in it during a business trip. I can also see staying at an extended stay hotel property for a lengthy period of time to increase comfort…

…but I cannot recall a time in which I have been in a room at a hotel or resort property and I have rearranged the furniture in the room — and even if I did, I would ensure that the furniture was returned to their original locations prior to checking out of the hotel property.

I have been known to move a chair on occasion or some other small or movable piece of furniture; but I always returned it back to where I found it.

Using several different types of terminology or parameters, I attempted to search for discussions posted to FlyerTalk with the topic of rearranging or moving furniture in the guest rooms of hotel or resort properties; but I was unsuccessful in finding such a discussion.

Have you ever needed to rearrange the furniture in a room of the hotel or resort property at which you were staying? If so, please impart your reason why in the Comments section below.

All photographs ©2015, ©2016, and ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

  1. Terribly strange to me. I have frequently traveled with 3-4 teenagers requiring extra beds and sofa beds and constantly changing sleeping arrangements- yet we never actually moved more than a chair.

  2. I’ve been in hotels where a bed platform is not used. I have found a bra, unopened candy, worthless Ecuadorian currency, sock, etc.

    I do it both ways. Usually, I leave the room very neat. The bed isn’t made but the covers and blankets are thrown in a semi-neat fashion and towels are in a neat pile, semi-rolled or folded. All the trash is in one container.

    A few times, I have moved stuff around a little. Maybe it should be a passive aggressive tactic? If you have feel you’ve been wronged, then you jumble everything. No, don’t. It just creates work for the maid.

  3. The only change I would make would be to move the TV outside of the room, but I would have wanted to have done that even before the pandemic.

  4. The only times I have moved furniture in a hotel room are nightstands to get to the outlets b/c there are no other outlets within 10 feet of the bed, and coffee tables and chairs to make room for the sofa bed.

    Note about sofa beds – I’ve found that they’re much more comfortable if you take out the mattress and put it on the floor rather than leaving it on the sofa bed frame. Those mattresses tend to be so thin, you can feel the bars and it is, in my opinion, rather uncomfortable. Sleeping on the floor is a much better experience, although it does take up more space.

  5. As a hotel owner, we have noticed a lot more of our guests this past year being locals and attracting a rowdy crowd. My suspicion is guests getting high and finding the need to move furniture around to keep busy at night.

  6. With the rise of Zoom, I have found a need to re-arrange the furniture so that my background is neutral (e.g. making sure a blank wall is my background rather than the middle of the hotel room).

    That said, I ALWAYS return the furniture to the original positions prior to check out.

    1. Same here. I move stuff for a neutral background to participate in video conferencing. But I put everything back afterwards.

  7. When the hotel I’m staying at does not offer cribs or pack n plays or does not have enough to offer, I have to move the mattress to the floor, otherwise my child will roll out of the bed and fall onto the floor. Most times, the layout of the furniture does not allow for a mattress to be laid on the floor unless the furniture is moved to one side of the room.

  8. My husband thinks that furniture should. It be “smashed” against the wall. He feels like he knows the best way that furniture should be arranged and so he’ll put it that way. I told him that it just makes more work for the maids to put the furniture back but he feels that it should just stay that way. I don’t get it.

  9. Thanks to the housing market and interest rates, we will be staying an undetermined amount of time in a motel/hotel. One of the first things I did was to look at pictures to see how I could better improve our space. I’ve planned where to move what, to make the space more livable. But I do plan to take a before picture and return items to their original homes.

  10. Uh oh, outlier here. It is a family joke that I ALWAYS completely rearrange furniture in any hotel room or Airbnb place we stay in.
    I put it down to my mother, grandmother and great grandmother being interior designers. I simply cannot relax in a badly-designed space.
    Now, as a therapist, I also know I’m a control freak (technical term, obviously). But,to be fair to myself, evidence shows that rearranging a room also promotes dopamine, and to some degree endorphin, production.
    I always take pictures of how the space was before and make sure it is put back EXACTLY as it was before we leave.
    Except for our last Airbnb stay. At my husband’s behest, before we left, I sent the owner pictures of the apartment as I had switched it around, and asked if he’d like me to leave it that way or switch it back.
    He was delighted with the changes and offered us a week’s free stay in any of his other apartments any time we’re in the area, with the understanding that I will rearrange the furniture…score 1 to tired husband!
    My other thing is to clean the space from top to bottom before I can settle. Yep, I’m nuts, but that’s a pre-qualification for becoming a successful therapist.
    On the upside, I have a family of young adults (and one poor, put-upon hubby) who now, when we arrive anywhere to stay, fire off many rude words about my crazy-lady habits, then wordlessly roll up their sleeves and, as a body, intone: ” Right Mother, where do you want this furniture?”
    My work is done, and there’s dollars in the therapy jar for each and every one of them.

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