You have been there, trying to find the best hotel for your vacation. So, you get on the computer and try to find the best hotel for you, your family, or your friends. It’s important for you to look through dozens of hotels in the area. You’re checking out the prices, breakfast options, whether it has a pool, and any other features. Chances are pretty high that you also look at pictures of the hotel. You might compare what the rooms look like, the beds, how large the rooms are, and, of course, the cleanliness of the rooms. The biggest problem with this is – all the rooms look sparkling clean.
Therefore, you take it a step further and check out reviews. However, you often come across reviews that rate cleanliness low and others that rate it higher. Because people have different ideas of clean and dirty, it’s easy to struggle in trying to find the cleanest hotel room to help give you the best experience on your vacation. Fortunately, this article will describe instant ways to use in your evaluation to tell whether a hotel is truly clean or dirty. Let us take away the stress of picking the cleanest hotel room through these 30 helpful tips.
30. When you start your hotel inspection upon arrival, you want to start from the parking lot.
Many people think they have to get into the hotel room before starting their hotel inspection. This isn’t true. In fact, you want to start from the moment you drive into their parking lot. Besides looking to see if there is garbage around, you also want to notice how they repair their parking lot. Does it look like it hasn’t been cared for in years? Do you see any fresh paint for the parking spots? Take your time to notice the large and tiny details. When you think about what to look for, remember the saying, “First impressions mean a lot.”
Other than garbage and the basics of the parking lot, other factors you will want to consider are the exterior of the hotel. Do you notice that the landscaping is cared for? Are there exterior plants and flowers to give the hotel a more comfortable or homey feel? Is the grass mowed and cleaned up? You can even take a look at the exterior of the building, from the siding to the windows. For example, are the windows clean and free of cracks? In other words, do the owners and employees of the hotel make the outside look as they care about the building and business?
29. You don’t want to stop at the hotel’s exterior, even if it looks perfect to you.
The truth is that many businesses tend to put more care into the exterior part of their building and landscaping than they do to the interior. It is often a business trick, as making your outside look nice will automatically make people think that they take just as much care when it comes to the interior of their business. However, in reality, they might not put as much effort into the inside. Therefore, always make sure that you don’t skip any part of the inside. That includes an entryway that leads into the lobby area.
Even though an entryway can be harder to keep clean and take care of, it’s 100% possible to make sure it looks presentable. For example, any glass on the doors and windows is clean, garbage isn’t piled up, and the garbage container is clean. You can quickly get a sense of how often the hotel cleans its entryway by looking closely at the floor and the glass. If you notice dozens of fingerprints or the floor looks dirty, chances are the hotel doesn’t keep up on cleaning the area.
28. Once you get into the central part of the hotel, you want to inspect the lobby closely.
While the lobby isn’t exactly the first part of the hotel you will see upon arrival as you have already looked at the parking lot, lawn, the exterior of the building, and an entryway, it is usually the main part of the hotel. The lobby is the part of the hotel where employees are known to constantly clean and make sure that everything is in its spot. One reason for this is because it is thought to be the main common area of the hotel. Another reason is that it is usually carefully watched by the hotel staff.
Many people tend to skip the inspection of the lobby because they don’t feel like they will spend time in the area. For example, you know you won’t be sleeping on the couches in the lobby. The primary key for checking the lobby is that it will give you a good idea about the rest of the hotel. Think about it this way – if the hotel doesn’t keep their main common area clean and tidy, what do you think their rooms are more likely to look like? It’s similar to common areas in a home, such as a living room or dining room – they are usually a little cleaner than a private bedroom.
27. Always start your hotel hunt by finding a good location.
Location, location, location. If you haven’t realized it yet, location is often key to finding the cleanest hotels. While this isn’t always true, it’s often easier for hotels in areas where there is less crime to keep their exterior clean than for hotels known to be in a higher crime area. Of course, this isn’t the hotel’s fault, but it is something that you always want to be aware of, especially if you have children or traveling by yourself.
Furthermore, hotels in areas that are known to be of higher value or in a commercial part of the town are more likely to keep up on their repairs and ensure that things are put in place and tidy. It can sometimes be because the city will inspect the building and make sure that they are keeping everything up to code. Another reason is that most travelers tend to stay in these areas, even if the hotel is a bit more costly because they want to feel safe while on vacation or traveling for other reasons.
26. It’s okay to follow the rules of the sniff test before you even check into your hotel room.
Sometimes, you start to think that you made the wrong choice in making a reservation at a hotel before you even check-in. It not only happens because people feel that the lawn is not cared for, outside of the building looks worn, or because there is a big crack in the front door. It also happens because you walk in the front doors, take a big sniff of the common area, and find a bad smell.
An essential part of ensuring that a hotel is immaculate, including the aroma and the air, is to complete a sniff test. All you need to do is walk into the front doors or any part of the hotel and take a deep breath. If you notice any bad smells, you might want to think about investigating a little more. The smells might be anything from mold to body odor left from the previous guest. Poor smells are also a sign of poor cleaning practices.
25. Don’t skip the shower floor when looking at your bathroom.
Most people don’t think to look at the bathtub or the shower floor thoroughly because you figure it’s an area that the housekeeper regularly cleans. The honest answer to this is that it’s not true. Sometimes housekeepers will only spray the area with a type of Lysol to help kill any germs left by the previous guests, and they won’t truly clean the area. The problem with this is that many viruses stay on the shower floor, like an athlete’s foot.
You might also get housekeepers that simply take a rag and wipe down any shelving areas and the ends to keep dust and grime from piling up in these areas. However, housekeepers must scrub the shower floor or bathtub along with cleaning the drain. If you want to do a drain check, make sure that you have a pair of gloves!
24. There are other things you want to do to prepare for the best hotel stay possible, and this checks out the cancellation policy.
Every hotel has some type of cancellation policy. This might be that you need to contact them within 24 hours before starting to check in to a few hours after you have checked in. Hotels will often charge your account immediately upon arrival, which can cause problems if you need to cancel after you have officially checked in, including having the hotel refuse because of a cancellation policy that you didn’t know about.
A good cancellation policy is just as important as making sure you book a hotel in a safe neighborhood and that the hotel is clean. The best cancelation policies are the ones that allow you to cancel after your check-in time. For example, suppose you can start checking in at 3:00 in the afternoon and need to cancel by 4:00. In that case, you have time to check out the hotel before you even check-in, allowing you to cancel immediately and not worry about anything else – other than finding a different hotel, of course.
23. When you enter your hotel room for the first time, check the bathroom before any other area.
If you are like most people, when you enter your hotel room for the first time, you tend to scan the room and quickly notice any dirt or if anything is out of place. You might also only do this because you want to get a good idea of the place you will be staying in, such as what type of decorations are on the wall and if the beds are nearly perfectly made. However, this isn’t the best step, especially when inspecting your hotel room.
In fact, the first room to start in is the bathroom. Why should you look at the bathroom first? Because this is the room where the most germs are, along with where people tend to hide and make the biggest messes. You also want to be as thorough as possible. It means that you want to look at hair in the drain plugs, notice any stains or soap scum around the toilet and bathtub or shower. Any type of gummy stains or hair everywhere is a perfect reason to request a different room.
22. It’s always better to bring your own bed sheets.
Before you even start looking at the hotel room, you will want to pack your own bedding so you can swap out the hotel bedding with yours. One of the main reasons you want to do this is because it’s not a sure thing that the hotel will clean the bedding after each guest. In fact, many hotels don’t clean the bedding after every guest. It will allow you to make sure that you are sleeping on bedding where you know exactly who has been sleeping on it. Don’t take time to think about the previous person.
Another tip is that you don’t need to pack all of your bedding, such as a fresh blanket. While you will probably back a bedspread and pillowcases, you can always request a new blanket from the hotel lobby. These are more likely to be clean as they typically come from the supply closet. Still, you will want to double-check the blanket for cleanliness and, especially, bed bugs. If you find that the blanket they’ve given you is dirty, bring it to the front desk clerk and let them know. Then, request that you receive a freshly laundered blanket.
21. The guest usually forgets about the little things.
Think of it this way – if you forget to think about if something is clean in the hotel room, how easy is it for the housekeeper to forget to clean it? I am talking about the little things. The smaller items around the hotel room are touched by pretty much every guest. For example, a phone to call the front desk or room service. Yes, most people have cell phones, but this doesn’t mean that the previous guest didn’t touch the phone receiver.
Another item that is regularly forgotten about is the TV remote. Think of it – how often do you closely look at the TV remote before you get comfortable on the bed to watch TV? Then you have handles. There are a lot more handles than just the front door and bathroom. There are handles to open the fridge, drawers, closet, and grab the coffee pot.
20. Don’t forget to double-check any appliances and the ice bucket.
There are often regular features in a hotel room that many people don’t check out too closely when making sure the items are clean. One of these items is the coffee machine. Many tiny areas are crucial on a coffee machine, from pouring the water into the container to the pot or cup used. Take your time to carefully inspect this device under good lighting so you can clearly see the corners. If it isn’t clean, you can request a different one from the front desk.
Other areas are inside and around the fridge and microwave. You also want to make sure that you check the phone and underneath as well. It is often an area that isn’t touched much due to cell phones, so it can quickly collect dust. Finally, don’t forget about the ice bucket. While there are usually bags that you can place in the bucket that will help make sure you don’t get any nasty crumbs or dust from the inside of the bucket, it’s always a good idea to double-check the item for cleanliness.
19. Dust can cause health issues, so make sure that your hotel room is free of dust.
Dust is a natural part of any living space. It’s often annoying and tends to collect quickly. It can often find itself in places that you don’t look at or even see often, such as under beds, desks, and anywhere an open space and air can flow through. This is because this is how dust moves around through the air. The biggest problem is that dust often causes issues, including letting dust mites you don’t see with a human eye.
There are several health concerns regarding dust, such as coughing, hay fever, dry eyes, asthma attacks, sore throat, allergies, and sneezing. While you might not think that a night or two with a bunch of dust can cause any health issues, this isn’t true. In fact, you can quickly get sick, especially if you are allergic to dust or have any allergies. People with health issues, the elderly, and children are more likely to have problems after exposure to dust.
18. Always look very closely for signs of bed bugs.
Bed bugs are a nightmare for everyone. They are tiny bugs that are usually only about 4 to 5 mm in length and can attach to fabric, which means if you don’t notice them at some point while you are traveling, you can easily bring them home with you! What a nightmare! A bed bug infestation usually means that you need to throw out mattresses and call in professionals to get rid of them correctly. The scary part is that most people don’t look too closely for signs of bed bugs in a hotel.
Bed bugs can cause health problems as they feed on human blood. Not only do they cause small, red marks on your body, but they can also cause rashes, bacterial infections, and blisters. They are also known to cause mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression as they are stressful to try to get rid of. They can attach themselves to your clothing and even luggage, so you want to make sure that you check the room carefully before you set your items too close to the bed.
17. When you are looking at the sleeping area or the bedroom, you want to make sure you inspect everything from bottom to top.
Sometimes you have a hotel room with an open area with one or two beds, a little kitchen area, and a bathroom. Other times, you will have a hotel suite that’s more like a small apartment than a typical hotel room. No matter what type of space you are staying in temporarily, you want to make sure that you do a thorough check of every nook and cranny in sight. Start by looking on the floor around and under the bed, if possible. Then, work your way up but make sure to check each corner and around the mattress as well.
Many people even advise that you take out the pillowcases and inspect the pillows along with the inside of the pillowcase. Doing this can often help you find stains or any holes in the pillow that could cause problems later. When looking at the bed sheets, make sure to check for any wrinkles, as this is often a sign of poor care. Furthermore, it’s okay to take the sheets up and look for any holes in the mattress. Again, check for signs of bedbugs. Don’t just look at the big-ticket items that are easy to spot. Look over all the small details as well.
Of course, if you move something to check the cleanliness around and under the item, you also want to move it back to its rightful place, especially if it’s clean. However, before you do this, you also want to snap a picture to prove the dirty area. Think of it this way – if you don’t take a shot and complain and get a new room, a housekeeper can go into your old room and thoroughly clean it before any investigation with the hotel truly starts.
You always need to have proof and document everything. This means that if you move the mini fridge and you find dirt underneath it, the fridge probably hasn’t been moved during vacuuming, so snap and picture and then move it back. If the television is sitting on the dresser, move it a few inches to see if it’s been moved. That is when the housekeeper was dusting or not.
One of the best tips that anyone who stays in hotel rooms regularly will tell you is not to skip the travel websites when looking for a good, clean place to stay. Even if you are looking for a hotel room at the last minute, find a place with free wi-fi and search your location and hotel. Make sure to complete a thorough search of at least a few pages so you can make sure that you notice any travel websites that might discuss the possible hotel you’re staying at.
While this tip might help you more if you are looking to stay at a hotel chain, such as Super8, Hilton, or AmericInn, popular tourist areas are also more likely to have a travel website or two discuss their location. Even if you feel it’s an article that discusses several hotels, you will want to read through the article as it can give you clues at some of the best in the area.
14. Reading reviews can always help you when it comes to finding the best hotel that is truly clean.
If you have ever looked up a company on Google, you have probably found a few company reviews. When it comes to hotels, you can always find reviews on other websites, such as Expedia or Tripadvisor. While people are often careful about reviews because let’s face it, they are often based on opinion and experiences. They can also be helpful – mainly when people stick to the facts. The trick is that you really want to take the time to read the reviews. For instance, don’t simply look at how many stars they gave because they might think three stars is poor while you think it’s pretty good.
It also means that you don’t want to simply count how many one or five stars the hotel has when it comes to reviews. Instead, you want to read every word of the review carefully. Sometimes it’s a good idea to write down the main points on a pros and cons list, especially if you are looking at different hotels and websites with reviews. Look for tidbits of information that will be helpful for you as well, such as the wi-fi speed or whether it is close to their airport.
13. Light fixtures and switches can tell you if the cleaning job was quick.
The key to having a clean hotel room is that the housekeeper took their time cleaning your room. They made sure to check everything off their list and sanitize even the smallest areas regularly touched by guests, primarily due to the last year. While you don’t have a way to know how long your housekeeper cleaned the hotel room, there are areas you can examine closely to tell.
One of the best places to start to find clues on a quick or thorough cleaning job is looking at the light switches. You should find one right when you walk into your room. Fingerprints are easily noticeable on them, so you can tell if they’ve been wiped down or not. Another feature to look at is light fixtures, such as lamps. Door handles are also a great spot where you can notice fingerprints.
12. If you have to take an elevator, check it out.
Even if you are in the elevator with other guests, look around the floor of the elevator. Take your time to check the cleanliness of the buttons. Most importantly, look closely at the corners of the elevator. If you find that the elevator is dirty, ask the front desk about it. If it’s near the end of the day, the staff might not regularly clean it but have a set time when the elevator is quieter.
Simply let the front desk person know that you noticed some dirt, and that doesn’t make you feel comfortable when it comes to the cleanliness of your own room. Even if the hotel is pretty clean overall, they might not often clean the elevator, which might need to change. After all, they must impress their guests.
Most hotels will often request a card when making your reservation, whether it’s months or weeks in advance. While there are a few hotels that will charge a certain amount to your card if you make a reservation, most will wait to charge that card until you check-in. Whether you make an online reservation month in advance or wait until you get to the hotel for your stay, you want to make sure that you pay for your room with a credit card over a debit card or cash.
First, when paying with cash, it will be harder and take longer for reimbursement because they will need to send you a check. Second, when you use a debit card, you need to go through your bank for any issues, and they won’t usually request reimbursement with a company because your hotel room was dirty. However, a credit card company will work with you to get a refund due to a messy hotel room, especially if the hotel company stated they would give you your money back.
10. Take the extra step when it comes to keeping yourself and the area clean.
It should be in the middle of everyone’s mind when traveling, especially after this past year. The truth is, you never know who stayed in the hotel room before you. You also never know how well the housekeeper cleaned the room. These are essential factors when it comes to cleanliness and your health. Therefore, even if the room looks nearly spotless, take a few extra steps to protect yourself.
For instance, keep your toothbrush in a travel case and don’t let it touch the counter in the hotel bathroom. You might also want to wear a pair of flip-flops into the shower, so your bare feet don’t touch the shower floor. Make sure that you are often washing your hands and using hand sanitizer. Furthermore, if you use your own bedding, bring a trash bag with you so you can put it in there and then immediately wash it when you get home.
It’s easy to look at the top of the furniture and notice any dust as it tends to pile up more on the top than it does on the sides. However, this can mean that the housekeeper doesn’t focus on the sides of the furniture. It can quickly cause problems for your health. Therefore, when you are going through your inspection, make sure you check out the sides of the furniture from the mini-fridge to the desk.
If you need to move the desk a bit to check the sides, do it. Pull the desk away from the wall to check between the front of the desk and the wall. While most hotels don’t require their housekeepers to perform a deep clean after every guest, they should be deep cleaning regularly enough that there aren’t piles of dirt and dust in these areas.
8. The biggest key when complaining about a hotel room is to remain calm.
Remaining calm is the most significant key factor in complaining about your hotel room, which isn’t always easy. For example, you walk into a hotel room and expect it to be clean. Then, you start to notice the dirt around the bathroom floor, specifically around the toilet and shower floor. You then detect a smell in your hotel room, fingerprints all over the door handle, and even an old filter in the coffee pot.
You are irritated, maybe even angry, by the time you reach the front desk to complain about your room. It’s easy to complain in an escalated voice or exhibit your frustration in other ways. However, you want to remain as calm as possible so you can. It might mean that you call a friend and discuss the issue to see if you’re simply overtired or you have reason to complain. You also want to take a few deep breaths before consulting the situation with the front desk.
7. It’s important to remember these key factors when you want to complain at a hotel.
Some several key factors and tips will help you effectively complain when it comes to a dirty hotel. The first key is to remain as mindful as possible regarding your words, actions, and nonverbal communication. For instance, you want to be kind, patient, flexible, and persistent. No matter what the person tells you about what they can or cannot do, make sure that you remain calm. This doesn’t mean that you can’t feel irritated or angry. It simply means that you need to keep your voice calm when discussing the situation.
Don’t just identify a problem but also identify a solution. For instance, maybe you decide that you will stay in the hotel, but you request a different room. Another solution is to request either a discount or a total refund. You want to find the person in power when complaining. However, don’t complain over the phone or in a letter. Instead, do so in person while you are at the hotel. If you find that no one can fix your problem, take notes about the issues and any communication with staff and bring it all home with you so you can further investigate by contacting the corporate office.
6. Follow these tips when you complain about your hotel room.
It’s not always easy to complain about your hotel room. In fact, many people struggle with speaking out, especially when it comes to people in certain positions or strangers. Then, some people struggle with anxiety and stress about the need to complain about their hotel room. It often causes many people to drop the complaint because their anxiety is too overwhelming for them. If this sounds like you, don’t worry because we have your back. All you need to do is follow the tips below to help you successfully complain about a dirty hotel.
First, you need to contact someone to tell them about your complaints immediately. This person might be the front desk employee or even a number to the manager you find in the hotel room or online. No matter who it is, make sure that you are clear about the dirty issues that you see. Second, be as helpful to their questions and respectful to them as you can. Yes, it is frustrating to walk into a dirty hotel room, but people will be more willing to listen and help you if they feel like you’re respecting them. Furthermore, they are more likely to respond respectfully in return.
5. These are a few more helpful tips for you when you need to take the step to complain about your hotel room.
If you speak to the front desk person, which should always be your option, you want to request two things immediately. You need to ask for a new room. It might be that the main hasn’t gotten to your room yet, or they are short-staffed. Also, you need to request to speak to the manager about the room and make sure that you stick to the facts. Of course, you aren’t the happiest person because of the room, but they more than likely understand your emotions through nonverbal communication, such as facial expressions and voice tone.
Another tip is to be up-front about how you want the problem addressed. For example, do you want them to clean it more thoroughly, or is there something else you feel is best? Make sure that you are giving the front desk clerk an acceptable solution. It’s also vital to document the conversation you have, such as writing down their name, time, date, address, and what was discussed. Finally, always follow up with a phone call or letter to the hotel or corporate office. If they were helpful, make sure that you thank them for their support in the matter.
4. It’s crucial to take time and write a hotel complaint letter when you come across a dirty hotel room, and these steps can help you get started.
Complaining is not always easy. In fact, some people struggle with it, especially when they need to go to managers or other people higher up on the chain to complain about a situation. While you can go to the front desk employee to complain, which is usually the first step you want to take, you also want to file a formal complaint letter, especially if you have already been in this situation and did nothing. First, you want to build up your case by taking proof of the dirty hotel.
If you can’t take pictures because it’s in the past, that’s okay. Continue to the next step, which is to start a formal letter by including your name, address, email, and phone number in the letter heading. You also want to add the date and the name of the hotel where you stayed. Take the time to look up the hotel’s contact information, especially if it is a national chain. You don’t want to send a letter to the Super 8 chain without the exact hotel address as the management won’t know where to begin their investigation.
3. You want to be professional and pleasant as you write your complaint letter to the hotel.
After you write the hotel contact information, you want to move on to the professional greeting. It is more than a “hi.” You want to either directly address the person you are writing the letter to or simply say “To While It May Concern.” Next, you will focus on the body of the letter. Again, no matter what experience you had, you want to keep the letter professional. Therefore, simply include all the information, such as hotel room number, dates, and any names you know, along with your detailed experience.
You want to give the person reading the letter a clear picture of what happened during your stay at the hotel and why you are writing this letter. You can request any reimbursement for the experience in the last paragraph of the letter. Be as specific as possible when requesting money by describing what and why you are asking for a reimbursement. End your letter by giving your contact information so the management of the hotel can contact you if necessary. Make sure to include that you are happy to converse with them about the situation and that you will report the incident to the Better Business Bureau.
2. If you find a dirty hotel room, you can start with these few steps to set the hotel investigation in motion.
It’s upsetting to walk into a dirty hotel room, especially when you had the belief that it was clean. Whether you have found yourself in this situation before or are currently in it, you can take specific steps to have the hotel room investigated for its sanitary practices. These are also critical steps for you to remember just in case you ever find yourself in this situation. First, you want to take pictures and be as detailed as you can. For example, if you see bugs crawling around the room, take photos or videos of them.
Don’t just take a couple of pictures, either. You want to take multiple close-up shots. You also need to report the conditions of the room to the hotel manager as soon as possible. It could be a situation where a housekeeper isn’t cleaning properly. Furthermore, the manager should move you into a different room and give you a discount. Also, if you notice blood or anything illegal, it is essential to notify the authorities immediately. Other numbers to contact are the Better Business Bureau and the health department. These two should be reached whether or not you get the police.
1. The final step to take when finding a dirty hotel room is to notify any social media outlets you have access to.
Most people have a social media site, whether it is Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. You want to make sure that you create a post about the conditions of the hotel room. However, you also need to ensure that you don’t lead yourself into a lawsuit. All you need to do is simply verify your experience by discussing exactly what happened – including if the manager gave you a discount or switched your room. Even though you might not feel that the hotel treated you fairly, you want to treat the situation fairly.
You can also contact the local media, such as newspapers, and notify them of the situation. If you need to, encourage them to conduct their own investigation as they will reach out to as many people as possible and maybe even find other guests who had similar experiences. If the hotel is a national chain, you can also email national news. Of course, if you have a travel blog or website, take the time to write a detailed and precise post about your experience and encourage your followers to share.