Last updated: 01:32 PM ET, Wed April 13 2016

Hotel Room Hygiene: Separating Fact From Fiction

Hotel & Resort | Patrick Clarke | April 13, 2016

Hotel Room Hygiene: Separating Fact From Fiction

It's fair to say that no two hotel stays are the same. Which means that guests' opinions and beliefs are typically influenced by their own experiences, whether good or bad.

Therefore, it's important to separate the facts from the myths.

While a hotels' reputations rely heavily on their location, amenity offerings and quality of customer service, cleanliness goes a long way in determining whether a hotel is successful. 

If you've ever spent a night in a dirty hotel room odds are you told someone about it. 

In wake of a recent Reddit post showing a piece of hotel stationery that read "If you're reading this, then housekeeping did not change your sheets," we'll start with arguably every guest's worst fear and explore a pair of other myths pertaining to guest savings and security.

Sheets Are Replaced After Each Guest

Sure, other travelers have slept in that bed and bedbugs do exist at many hotels. But you can take solace in the fact that your sheets are fresh.

If you find evidence that that's not the case or are doubtful, there's no harm in reaching out to the front desk. 

Fact or Myth: Fact

Luxury Rooms are Cleaner Than Midscale, Economy Rooms

There seems to be a common misconception that the rooms inside four- and five-star hotels are cleaner than those inside their two- and three-star counterparts. And although it's understandable given that guests are likely paying more to stay there, it's a myth.

After all, a study conducted by Travelmath earlier this year analyzing the bathroom counters, remotes, desks and phones inside various three-, four- and five-star hotels found that the latter two categories possessed the most colony-forming units on average. 

Fact or Myth: Myth

Guests Should Book Direct for the Best Deal

Despite the recent emergence of direct-booking campaigns from companies like Hilton Worldwide and Marriott International that claim the best rates are only available to guests who book through direct channels, online travel agencies shouldn't be ignored.

"Due to rate parity clauses in agreements between hotels and OTAs, hotels are contractually obligated to not undersell OTAs," president of hotel consultancy Renown Daniel Craig told USA Today. "And due to general incompetence, many hotels allow OTAs to undercut them."

Nonetheless guests can often use an OTA estimate to score an even better price direct from the hotel they're trying to book.

Fact or Myth: Myth

Bathroom Counters Possess the Most Germs

While many guests often believe that the television remote control in their room should either be wiped down or avoided at all costs, they should know that they are more likely to encounter germs on the countertop in their room's bathroom.

The aforementioned study conducted by Travelmath found bathroom counters at three-, four- and five-star hotels to possess an average of 1,288,817 colony-forming units per square inch, more than remotes, desks and phones.

Fact or Myth: Fact

Hotels Store Your Data on the Room Key Card

Given today's technology one could easily fathom a hotel storing their personal data, including their credit card information on their electronic room key card. However guests shouldn't fear having their identity stolen if they lose their key card for some reason.

It's true hotels need your payment card information to book you a room. But that data is kept secure.

Fact or Myth: Myth


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