Friday, December 21, 2007

You Think the Sheets are Dirty

There is no way around it, our dirty hotel story was gross. Even our public health expert called what we found at the Holiday Inn Downtown, the Alpharetta Embassy Suites and the Sheraton Galleria Suites disgusting and outrageous. But most importantly, he said what we watched was a clear health code violation.

This is how we found out about the story: a former employee called me to say that housekeeping doesn't wash the guest room cups or glasses. Sure enough, armed with hidden cameras we found he was right. The Embassy Suites housekeeper sprayed a blue liquid labeled "Do Not Drink" into our cups, which she put in our dirty sink. She rinsed them out then set them back out for the next person.

A spokeswoman for Embassy Suites wouldn't go on camera but let it slip, "Well they only have X amount of time to clean a room and that's why they do it." What?!?!?!?! Is she saying management doesn't allow them time to properly follow county health codes?

At the Holiday Inn housekeeping just splashed some water around the glasses then left them for the next person to use.

But the most disturbing thing we saw was at the Sheraton where our housekeeper, wearing a big glove, cleans the toilet. Next, she uses that same glove to clean our cups. But there's more: she sniffs our dirty wash cloth and uses that to dry our glasses.

What did Sheraton management have to say? "It's too controversial an issue" to comment. Hmmm..... Why is it controversial if it's an isolated incident?

The question is whether these housekeepers just weren't doing their job or if that's the way they are taught to do it. Here's what I know: we randomly picked these hotels and each one of them did nearly the same thing. We walked the hallways of these hotels to look at the housekeeping carts. We never saw racks of clean or dirty glasses anywhere.

If I could have gotten one spokesperson to talk in-depth I would have also asked why they re-use the paper caps on the cups to make the guest think they're freshly cleaned.

When we checked in to each of these hotels we told the desk that we were one company but two people would be staying - one the first night, a new person the next night. Not all of the hotels even bothered to change our sheets, if you can believe that.

Are these isolated incidents or is this just the way the major hotel chains do business these days?

What do you think ?

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