Hotels encourage you to fly out for a visit while claiming to be going green by ditching plastic toiletries in favor of cost-saving bulk shampoo and conditioner – when if they cared about guest experience and the environment they would stick with single use biodegradable packages.
Marriott is moving to bulk toiletries worldwide by the end of next year. However we’re already seeing the problem for guests with this strategy. There are three basic issues.
- They don’t get refilled properly and when they do get refilled hotels are more likely to use counterfeit products.
- They’re germ magnets. They simply aren’t sanitized by housekeeping. Here’s a National Institutes of Health study on bacterial contamination of bulk-soap-refillable dispensers.
- And guests have been known to put stuff in them you wouldn’t want there. Even where there have been safeguarding locks in place I’ve had rooms where those weren’t locked.
I stayed at a Marriott Courtyard last year where the shampoo was empty. I stayed at the same property a week later, assigned to the same room, and the shampoo was still empty.
One Marriott guest shared an experience much worse.
At this property, in the shower are three large toiletry bottles – soap, shampoo and conditioner. After using them for several days it was noticed that the soap bottle had the tamper proof bracket removed. On closer inspection, the bottle was filled mostly with water, and what looked like semen. This bottle was then compared to with the soap in the other room and it was very evidently tampered with. …
The bottle was taken to the front desk, and the associate was horrified and sent up a replacement bottle, and arranged an opportunity to meet with a manager in the morning. In the morning, a manager offered his sincerest apologies, as well as 5000 points and the option to switch rooms. He also said he needed to investigate further and meet with the team. The hotel is in possession of the bottle.
I don’t know what the substance was in the bulk toiletry and it really doesn’t matter. That these get tampered with in practice should be enough to stop the project in its tracks. And 5000 Marriott points as an apology for this is genuinely offensive. How can the hotel expect to charge for a room that is so poorly cared for by housekeeping, and that jeopardizes a guest’s health by allowing the toiletries to be compromised in this way?
Two years ago someone replaced the soap in dispensers at the Detroit airport with a disgusting bodily fluid making this the most easily predictable – and predicted – consequence of bulk toiletries imaginable.
Don’t tell me this is the price we’re expected to pay for the environment when hotels have the option to provide single use biodegradable packaging for toiletries instead of unsanitary bulk packaging.
(HT: Reid F.)