Do you read the reviews left by previous guests before choosing a hotel to stay in? Are they reliable? In my travels I have found hotel reviews, on sites like Oyster and TripAdvisor, to be more accurate than not. So, when choosing a hotel to stay I always consider reviews and price as my 2 main criteria for deciding where to plop down my American Express.
Hotels know this too and therefore work hard to maintain a positive image with guests looking to tell the world about their stay online. A single negative review, true or not, can really hurt a hotel’s bottom line if not proven to be an aberration. But it’s not always easy for hotel properties, particularly those located in busy urban environments, to ensure you have a clean, comfortable stay. Occupancy rates at some of the city’s finest lodging establishments are typically very high which means as soon as guest #1 checks out, guest #2 is waiting in the lobby to check in and it’s up to the housekeeping staff to meet the challenge.
Just recently I checked into a luxury hotel property in Manhattan. This was the kind of property that checked both boxes of meeting my needs of a good overnight rate AND very good online reviews. After checking in I was given the keys to a room on a low floor with mediocre view. No doubt the front desk attendant “awarded” me this room after seeing my reservation was booked on a discount travel site. Oh well, be that as it may, as long as the room was clean and confortable my stay would be a success and another positive review would be posted for this luxury Times Square hotel brand. Unfortunately as soon as I stepped off the elevator my nose was met with the very recognizable scent of backyard summer barbeque. Yes, that’s correct, you heard me right it smelled like a dozen frozen hamburgers were moving to medium rare on the backyard grill. The smell continued to be strong in my room as I unlocked the door and peered my head in. When I called the front desk to inquire it turned out that I wasn’t the only concerned guest and that the burger smell from the fast food joint next store happened “from time to time”. Well, my room was moved and the rest of my stay provided perfectly uneventful.
Luckily for the hotel there was an additional open room to move me to. Had the property been sold out I was stuck at the backyard bbq for the rest of my unpleasant stay. This for sure would have been a problem and most likely lead to a negative online review. Situations like these that pop up often are seriously challenging for housekeeping staff to deal with. Body Odor, cooking smells, smoking, allergens, mold, vomit are all airborne odor challenges facing even the most luxury of hotel properties. Many luxury hotels now deploy a new air purification technology called the Odorox® Boss HTL to quickly and naturally remedy odor issues on their properties. Techniques of the past like sprays, ozone, ionizers and filters either mask the odor, are ineffective or, in the case of ozone, are very harmful!
So next time you are looking for the perfect luxury hotel reservation; check multiple booking sites for the best rate and read the reviews before making your selection. If you happen to come across an offensive smell during your stay hopefully the staff can move your room and hopefully the staff can use one of the new Odorox® Boss HTL machines to eliminate the odor issue or risk losing $500 a night by having to put the room out of service.