Westin Hotel Uses Shared Bath Amenities, With Zero Tamper Protection

Hotel chains were moving away from single use toiletries as a way of cutting costs even before the pandemic, and Marriott was at the forefront of this. Now, with owner costs Marriott’s top priority this isn’t going away.

However wall mounted bottles don’t get properly cleaned or refilled, and they’re a prime target for tampering by a practical joker or someone with more sinister motives.

A perfect example was a recent reader stay at the Westin Detroit Metro Airport. The shower amenities had no tamper-proof protection at all. The bottles were already half empty, though if someone wanted to replace the contents they could have emptied the bottles themselves to do so.

Take a look:

It was at the Detroit airport, after all, where some perv replaced the soap in bathrooms with you-know-what. But at least Marriott isn’t actually doing this.

I genuinely don’t understand how someone could think wall-mounted toiletries are a good idea for an upscale hotel chain, let alone this poor implementation. If hotels were concerned about the environment and guest experience they’d offer single use toiletries in biodegradable packaging, rather than using plastic packaging as the excuse narrative for cost-cutting.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. Despite their pretty high rates, the Thompson Dallas uses shared toiletries. They’re not even mounted to the wall. I could take it to the toilet with me.

  2. Completely disagree! This saves a lot of plastic and cost — the savings are either passed on as cost savings to the consumer, or to stockholders.
    The idea that they’re “hard to clean” is a bit ridiculous — there is no reason to clean the bottles since what was in there before was the same shampoo and it’s not like that would get dirty.
    And “tamper-proof”? What, are you going to lock down complimentary cookies or chocolates too because somebody might put you-know-what in them? On some level we have to realize that “practical jokers” — more accurately criminals — will find a way if they’re super determined.

    And if it really bothers you, you can always bring your own shampoo. I do that in case I stay in a crappy hotel where I don’t like the products.

  3. Time to get a life. If you are so terrified of unmonitored shampoo, bring your own. You should really be writing for the National Inquirer as so many of your posts are really not at all useful anymore.

  4. What do the hotels do for those with disabilities who are unable to easily use a pump to extract toiletries for use in a bathroom with surface-mounted toiletries requiring squeezing or pumping action?

    Say a person with only one properly functioning arm. How do the hotels accommodate such customers? Free standing toiletry bottles with the caps/pumps off?

  5. The easiest solution would to:
    1) Have refillable plastic bottles in the room; and
    2) Provide single use non-refillable bottles on demand.
    Problem solved and everyone is happy,

  6. @Gary you should really call out Kimpton, as they’ve been doing this for several years now. Toiletries are in large bottles with screw top pumps- anyone can easily open them. The bottles aren’t even wall mounted- anyone could just take them if they wanted to.

  7. Gary – assume you know certain jurisdictions (California for example) have mandated ALL hotels use wall mounted shampoo, conditioner and body wash as an environment issue.

    This was always a hot button issue for you (along w airport body scanners). I just assume you are a germaphobe prude and ignore your advice. IMHO nothing wrong w this and I have zero problem with ALL hotels putting them in. If you want individual containers buy them! Either get travel size and carry on or spend $10 to buy them at your destination. See I just solved your problem!!

  8. I thought Gary’s over-the-top, bizarre obsession with the possibility semen in his conditioner was over.

  9. Semen is organic and nontoxic which cannot be said of some of the ingredients used by manufactures of shampoo and conditioner.

  10. The CDC says dispensers are dangerous and spread diseases. If we listen to the CDC on masks and vaccines then we should listen to them on dispensers.

  11. California does not require dispensers, as far as I know. They require something other than non-single use plastic bottles.

  12. Gary’s fetish with bathrooms continues. He posts this all the time, but has yet to report a single incident at a hotel where this bizarre fear actually happened.

    Multi-use dispensers are unquestionably better.

  13. OMG! The people from wayfair are going to break in to hotel rooms and poison the shampoo bottles after they steal the election with Jewish space lasers!

  14. I agree Gus. The solution is simple if you’re afraid of tampering: bring your own. I would note that every air b&b I have ever stayed in just had a bottle of shampoo and conditioner in the shower. I know of no reports of mayhem.

  15. I LOVE the huge bottles, less plastic waste and I don’t run out, I wish everyone went with this system.

  16. @Gary: I suggest you see someone about this fear you have. If you are a travel blogger, do you never go to Europe where this is the norm? I have never heard of anyone having an issue. Never!

  17. Gary, I’m on your side. Beyond a lack of common decency, there are warped people who do this stuff intentionally. In one instance, upon checking into a Marriott in Boston, my bathroom commode contained a rather large present. And, after personally witnessing (utterly disgusting) hygiene practices at fast food restaurants, I no longer patronize them.




  18. Gary is right. Covid-19 broke out because virologists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology took off their biosafetey-level-4 suits then showered using multi-use shampoo, soap, and conditioner with bat “you know what” inside.

    It is still not clear which hotel provided the multi-use gain-of-function dispensers.

    Bring your own single use toiletries the next time you are in Wuhan to avoid causing another worldwide pandemic.

  19. For those who have seen the movie “The Help,” remember the scene in which the intolerable white woman is eating cake? And, the black cook says, “Eat my [poop].”

    It sounds as if some commenters don’t have a problem eating that cake . . . or having urine or semen in their shampoo. You are as indecent as the culprits. Which also explains the often venomous nature of your comments.

    You will quickly become a believer when you see a worker come out of a bathroom stall, not wash his hands, walk directly to the food prep area, and (without gloves) begin assembling Egg McMuffins.

  20. I totally agree that this is disgusting. I started carrying my own a couple years ago. I buy the small bottles by the case, throw a couple in my bag each trip and just toss them as they run out. Incremental cost for me but worth it. People are gross.

  21. I found my scalp burning in one hotel.I have no idea if it was tampered with or crappy products to make your scalp tingle.I have sensitive skin Horrible I will never go back
    Like changing bed linens guests should have the comfort of knowing things are safe and sanitary every time they enter their accommodations.We don’t need the hospitality industry to turn toiletries amenities into the local YMCA or plane lavatory.Stop beating up on Gary.Sheesh.Though after all these years he must have a pretty thick skin with all the criticism!

  22. @Gus. You lost credibility with me when you suggested they might pass on the savings to customers.

  23. How do you feel about counterfeit products? I am currently at a Hampton inn in Pueblo which does not have complete neutrogena products. The lotion has a blue stripe but is made by gilchrist & soamesh.

  24. On demand at check in, get only what you need. – I don’t need all the varieties, I despise liquid soaps except to hand wash

    I use bar soap and take it home, some find that disgusting, we’re even i guess, liquid in the wall? Aloft started it but still gave you the bars.

    Stupidity in a topic

  25. The Four Seasons Bora Bora is even more disgusting, yes you paid over thousand of dollar per night and get glass refillable bottles that didn’t even have pump! It was so hard to get lotion out that you literally had to stick your finger in, imagined how many people were doing that and I doubt they empty out and disinfect the bottle between each stay!

  26. I always bring my own empty bottles and refill my own to take home. The single use shampoo and conditioners did the job, but there is only so much shampoo in them. I can literally get enough for my entire family for the month in 1-2 stays. I can promise they are not saving money!

Comments are closed.