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Picture of Health: Clean and Healthy Builds Guest Loyalty

It’s no secret that guests prefer a clean, sanitary hotel room. But beyond a single stay, how impactful is a clean facility?

Cleanliness is not a “perk”

According to a Deliotte Study, when guests consider their hotel stays, security, free Wi-Fi, and cleanliness are “expected basic” essentials to the hotel visit.

Based on Deloitte’s research, business travelers think of a hotel room as a mobile office, and require a working environment that is clean, properly equipped, and conducive to distraction-free productivity. Encapsulated in this need is not only proper furnishings and connectivity, but a clean and organized environment.

A Picture’s Worth $1,000

Research commissioned by Trip Advisor suggests that the average hotel guest reads 6-12 reviews prior to booking their hotel.

Citing the study, conducted by PhoCusWright, “…more than half of global respondents do not want to make a booking commitment until they read reviews and learn what other travelers thought about the property.”

53% Of study subjects said they will not book a hotel that does not have reviews. In addition, when reading reviews, people tend to favor those which include photos. Since cleanliness (or uncleanliness) is an attribute that can be conveyed in a photo, the stakes are much higher for a hotelier to properly maintain their rooms.

Savvy travelers check mattresses for stains and pests

Evidence provided by Protect-A-Bed’s hospitality partners indicates that hotel guests make a habit of checking a mattress for pests and stains, and if protection is in place to help improve the bed’s hygiene.

If stains, pests, evidence of uncleanliness or even carelessness is discovered, guests demand to change rooms, have their mattresses replaced, or leave the property altogether.

Allergens can ruin an otherwise stellar hotel experience

Over the past 10 years, hotel allergens have become a frequent discussion point. As US News and World Report wrote, “Indeed, one night in a hotel room can lead to swollen eyes, a clogged nose, and a scratchy throat—symptoms that tend to dampen the traveling experience.”

Naturally, any unpleasant experience or lost sleep is going to negatively impact an online review.

While much can be done, like switching drapes to blinds, installing hard floors, and discontinuing the use of harsh cleaners, the mattress and pillows can be the worst offenders. Not only are they in consistent contact with guests throughout the night, but their fibrous composition easily absorbs the sweat, dust mites, allergens, bacteria and can act as a breeding ground for mold and mildew.

Some major chains have leveraged this market to their advantage by creating allergen-free hotel rooms. These rooms, which feature sleek, clean surfaces, deep cleanings, and waterproof, breathable bedding protection, have seen success in several markets and their numbers continue to grow.

Cultivate consistent perception of clean

Training your staff on the best practices for maintaining a clean hotel room always makes sense. Highlights can include:

  • Working from “top to bottom” so that as dust falls, carpets and objects close to the floor don’t need to be re-cleaned
  • Cleaning dust from light bulbs to give the room a brighter appearance
  • Regularly cleaning upholstered furniture, which can collect dust
  • Installing hypoallergenic/allergy reducing mattress and pillow protection

In this article, caregiver provider Care recommends waterproof, breathable mattress encasements and pillow protectors as a means to enhance a room’s hygiene.

The article draws on expertise from Karen Mitchell, the director of housekeeping at Chicago’s Palmer House Hilton, Jerry Messing, the executive housekeeper at Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort, and Peter Muriello, housekeeping manager at JW Marriott Chicago.

“‘Using waterproof, breathable mattress protectors not only keeps mattresses clean, but also can extend the life of your mattress,’ according to Messing. ‘There are many options that will protect your mattress from liquids and stains, dust mites and other allergens without changing the comfort and feel of your bed.’

‘The same goes for pillows.’ Muriello says, ‘Utilizing waterproof, breathable zippered pillow protectors will help extend the life of your pillows and offer your guest clean place to rest their head.’”

It’s more important than ever for hospitality professionals to provide a clean environment for their guests. Properly maintaining rooms, as well as installing mattress and pillow protectors, can help ensure happy guests and build repeat business. To learn more and explore the options for your property, visit www.protectabed.com/hospitality