Friday, February 29, 2008

How clean is the hotel room you stay in?

Yesterday, here in the office where I of our managers was discussing the hotel room he stayed in last week. He commented how dissatisfied he was with the housekeeping of said hotel room. Now, this guy is new to our branch....nice guy, but seriously, this dude's cleanliness expectations are worse than Danny Tanner, played by Bob know this guy, from the television show, "Full House"...

When at the hotel, he said he crawled down beneath the sheets to the bottom of the bed, took a pen and made a small x on the bottom of the sheet. The next day, upon returning to his hotel room, he pulled the sheets back, to check and see if the x was still there. That way, he would know if the maid had changed the sheets or not. Lo and behold, the x was still there. He threw a fit, demanded that housekeeping return, reclean the room, he was going to stay there, watch them this time, to see that they did. He said he also takes his own anti-bacterial wipes with him, to wipe down the bathroom, counters, phone, etc...

Now, in my opinion, that is a little excessive. Unitl I found out that he had developed a staph infection from the hotel he stayed at. I thought alot about, I did some research online...just to see how clean some hotels really are. I found, that my co-worker may not be overly excessive after all.

Here is what I found...from MSNBC.

Hotel rooms are public places, and you are sharing them with other people.

1. Choose your lodging well.
Know that a smaller property may be cleaner than a large one. The more rooms a housekeeper has to turn over, the more likely he is to cut corners.

2. Give the room a good inspection. You can get a sense of the cleanliness of a room as soon as you walk in the door. But take the time to look in the bathroom, under the beds, in drawers, etc. And pull back the bedcovers! Bedbugs and other critters can be an issue at even the nicest properties.

A vigilant guest who liked to pull back bedcovers found one of the biggest problems ever a hotel. He found lice in his bed, and the hotel was able to track the little bugs to their source. An elderly couple, who were very sweet but obviously had hygiene issues, had brought a suitcase full of lice on vacation with them. The hotel had to shut down three floors for extermination.

3. Speak up. If you feel the room is not up to par, say so. And don’t worry that you will have to move rooms. Chances are you won’t have to. Give a housekeeping supervisor about 15 minutes in a room, and he can usually rectify any problem. But if multiple rooms, common areas, and especially restaurants or pools at a property all seem unclean to the point of being unsafe, you have every right to leave and ask for a refund.

4. Ditch the bedspread. How often are the bedspreads cleaned? The truth is: not that often. Cleaning bedspreads is expensive, and most folks would balk at the room rate if that cost were passed on to the customer. So yes, that comforter could very well be dirty. Remove it if you like.

But have heart: A nice trend we’re seeing at some properties is the use of duvets with removable duvet covers that can easily be cleaned after each guest. Ask about the linens when you book your room; you may be in for a pleasant surprise.

5. Carry your own cleaners. If you really are phobic about germs, or if you know you pick up every little virus, you may want to do your own wipe-down of your room. Antibacterial solutions are easy to find in travel sizes. Take some with you and wipe down the telephone, door handles, bathroom fixtures — whatever “bugs” you. Bring your own heavy-duty hand-washing soap, too, if you like.

But don’t stress too much. Most housekeepers do a great job and wipe down all surfaces with industrial-strength cleaners. (That recent study that showed how a person with a cold can contaminate a room? They tested for germs before the room was cleaned, not after.) That’s not to say that some budget-conscious housekeeping managers water down the chemicals! So feel free to take extra precautions if you like.

So, knowing what I know, do I take all these precautions when I travel? Honestly, no. I do check for bedbugs — they’re scary! And when I turn in for the night, I pull that bedspread totally off the bed.I do believe that there are more germs on that community fax machine in the office — and on my child after a day at school — than in an entire hotel room. But as cozy as that room might seem, it’s not really your home away from home. It’s a public place, and it doesn’t hurt to treat it as such.

What are your thoughts on hotel room cleanliness?
What precautions if any do you take when sleeping at a hotel?

Do you use the bedspread, reclean the bathroom?

Let's discuss......


April said...

A co-worker pointed out that article to us a couple of weeks ago. We were joking that when she goes to Maine, she's going to need to take her own pillow, comforters, and so much other stuff that it'd be easier just to not go!
It's so rare that I get to vacation, I don't even think about this stuff when I do go. Sometimes, ignorance really is bliss...until, I guess, I get a staph infection! Ewwww...

Blog Hoppin',
Balancing Hops


April..I know, it kind of creeps you out, if you think about it. I try not to....

Daddy Forever said...

I heard bad things about hotels too. Kinda makes me want to bring my own sheets, but that would be insane.