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Miesian Corners

Cleanliness of Hotel Rooms (revisted)

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I know most of us have seen the Dateline NBC (or was it 20/20) about the cleanliness of hotel bedspreads, remote controls and telephones, but this just came to light in late November. For those of us who travel for work, more bad news. Check this out.

A later report (link provided on the viral video site below the one posted here) tested drinking glasses in the Ritz Carlton and Renaissance hotels in Atlanta. They were no better than a Holiday Inn.

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I've seen that video before (it's from FOX5 Atlanta), and basically all they do is wash the glasses in the bathroom sink. I wouldn't waste my money staying at a luxury hotel, so it doesn't really matter to me.

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Wash them in the bathroom sink, often using the same rag they used to clean everything else. Disgusting!

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I stay in hotels often and NEVER use the glasses in room at all. Only single use plastic that are wrapped for me. It's a shame to, because all that does is add garbage to local landfills.

I cringe to read these articles based on my travels.. :sick:

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Having been in the hotel business for more than a few years, I will add that the actions depicted are more common than one would like to believe. There is much, however, that goes on in restaurants that we would be horrified to see if we only could. I'm not suggesting that wearing blinders is a good idea, but there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes that is less than attractive in the hospitality business. I'm not trying to defend the actions here- they are indefensible. They are probably a lot more common than one would like to believe. Restarurant cleanliness is definitely an area in which ignorance can be bliss. You really don't want to know what happens in a lot of restaurant and hotel kitchens. Inspections or no, there is still a ring of truth to George Orwell's observations as a waiter in a grand hotel in Paris ( Down and Out in Paris) many years ago. We would like to believe that standards of hygiene have improved since then- in many ways they have. The shortcuts which employees take in the name of saving time are manifold, and their implications for health and safety are perhaps more alarming than we know. Vigilant management is they key to correcting these errors, but it's not pretty to see the evidence in these videos.

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^Indeed. At least restaurants are inspected periodically by the local health departments to insure there is a minimum level of hygiene being maintained. There are no such inspections for hotel rooms that I am aware of.

My mom was involved in this business for a long time and says the cleanliness of a particular hotel is highly dependent upon the local management of the hotel and not so dependent upon the chain. A small locally owned motel may be much cleaner than a high end luxury/business hotel. Some things you can do to help is to ask for extra pillows. These are usually new and will be much cleaner than the ones on the bed. Ask for a new bed spread. Unlike bed linen, hotels are not required to wash bedspreads daily so the one on the bed may have had all kinds of activities on it. Don't put anything on the carpet except for your shoes. Don't use the toiletries and utensils in the bathroom unless they are sealed in plastic or paper. (not something a maid could do)

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Hotels are fricking nasty. We recently stayed in a "decent" hotel up in Arkansas while on a photo excursion, and in this "decent" hotel there were touch-up spots all over the walls. Made me wonder what the hell went down in that room. On top of that they were too cheap to repaint the entire room... but those touch-up spots were everywhere. Probably 100 of them in this tiny hotel room.

On top of that I always wonder about the bed lines, bed spreads, etc. But after having seen this latest report about the drinking glasses (wasn't that on MSNBC as well??) it bothers me even more.

Does anyone here know, or can you speculate, as to the cleanliness of the 'W' hotels chain? Next time I go to Dallas I'm really wanting to stay in the 'W' Uptown for the awesome views looking toward downtown.

The Sandals Resorts chain I feel very comfortable with. On two different occasions I walked into my room in Jamaica while the maid service was cleaning. As I walked in at one point I saw her totally stripping the bed, which made me feel good.

Another thing I've heard about hotels is to not trust the in-room safes to store your valuables in!? I always thought you could but I read somewhere that people have been ripped off that way. That really sucks.

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.......

Another thing I've heard about hotels is to not trust the in-room safes to store your valuables in!? I always thought you could but I read somewhere that people have been ripped off that way. That really sucks.

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Guests also enjoy far more protection for valuables left in the safe at the front desk than they do for items placed in an in-room safe. While laws vary from state to state, there is generally a relatively low limit to coverage for items in a hotel room. If you leave items at the front desk safe, you will usually have more coverage. Reports from Cuba and other countries have also borne out my distrust of in-room safes. That said, I used the in-room safes without worry on a recent trip to France and Spain. Still, if on doubt, leave all valuables at the front desk- in a safe.

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I would not trust anything left in a hotel room, even in the safes.

My advice is first don't take anything on your trip that you don't want to either carry around all the time, or lose. Your second best bet is to leave valuables at the front desk and get a receipt for whatever you give them. Another option is to lock your stuff in the trunk of your vehicle if you have one with you. (just don't forget it if it is a rental car)

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Speaking of hotel security, does anyone else have trouble trusting valet parking? Maybe its just me but I just don't like the idea of handing over my car keys to some stranger, who are on occasion some shifty looking folks even at nice hotels, to park my car safely and without inspection for contents that might fall out in their favor. Of course because this bothers me I clean my car down so nothing of value or importance remains in it if I'm forced to use valet service . Anyone else have this concern and/or take such steps? I just think its prudent, but most folks I know use valet parking with no qualms of who they are handing their keys too.

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yikes! and Ive stayed at the Ritz-Carlton in Atlanta before.

believe it or not some people bring their own bed sheets. We hear all the time that hotels dont always change the sheets and certain bodily fluids have been found on them.....not to mention bed bugs. My mother use to always tell me not to walk bare foot on the floor in the hotel rooms.

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Having been in the hotel business for more than a few years, I will add that the actions depicted are more common than one would like to believe. There is much, however, that goes on in restaurants that we would be horrified to see if we only could. I'm not suggesting that wearing blinders is a good idea, but there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes that is less than attractive in the hospitality business. I'm not trying to defend the actions here- they are indefensible. They are probably a lot more common than one would like to believe. Restarurant cleanliness is definitely an area in which ignorance can be bliss. You really don't want to know what happens in a lot of restaurant and hotel kitchens. Inspections or no, there is still a ring of truth to George Orwell's observations as a waiter in a grand hotel in Paris ( Down and Out in Paris) many years ago. We would like to believe that standards of hygiene have improved since then- in many ways they have. The shortcuts which employees take in the name of saving time are manifold, and their implications for health and safety are perhaps more alarming than we know. Vigilant management is they key to correcting these errors, but it's not pretty to see the evidence in these videos.

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My absolute worst hotel experience was at the Holiday Inn-Springfield (NJ). The sprinkler (protruding from the wall, not from the ceiling) had a used condom hanging off of it. Nice.

Writing as a seasoned traveler (I've been on the road every week for 20 years now), here are some recommendations for things to do when staying in hotels. First, if the bed(s) has a traditional bedspread, remove it immediately! They are never washed. Make sure to check the towels before using them. One of my co-workers had the misfortune of getting out of the shower, picking up a seemingly clean (and folded neatly) towel and began drying off only to discover that it had been used on the previous guest's ass. Always check the sheets and pillow cases before jumping in bed. Just last week in Las Vegas, I had to change rooms because the pillow case had make up on the mattress-facing side. Check between the mattress and box spring for evidence of bed bugs (they are rampant these days and even 5 star hotels in NYC have been forced to deal with the issue). As some of the other poster's have said, place all valuables in the safe at the front desk. If traveling internationally put your passport in the safe and make a photocopy of it, keeping the copy on your person at all times. If you're traveling alone, anytime you go out on the town or maybe go hiking at a nearby natural area, leave a note in your room stating where you are planning to go. In the unlikely event something happens, there will be a record of what your plans were (I went hiking alone once outside Phoenix and twisted my ankle--no one had any clue as to where I had gone-thankfully, a some nice kids from ASU came across me and helped me back to my rental car, otherwise, I might have become a toasty treat for all sorts of desert creatures). And finally, although not a sanitary issue, if you are in a room that has the window unit air cond/heating unit and you're using the heat, follow these instructions: fill the ice bucket with water, take a towel and soak it in water, place one end of the towel in the water-filled bucket and drape the other end of the towel over the air vents. The towel will act as a wick and add much needed moisture to the room.

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