How to Tell if You’re Staying in a Dirty Hotel Room
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
AAA recently announced its new Inspector’s Best Of Housekeeping award for hotels that set the highest bar for cleanliness. This new award recognizes those properties that go beyond the standard for AAA diamond ratings. So which cities have the cleanest hotels? The list might surprise you:
- New York City (161 hotels)
- Houston, Texas (90 hotels)
- Washington, DC (78 hotels)
- Orlando, Florida (69 hotels)
- Charlotte, North Carolina (68 hotels)
- Austin, Texas (63 hotels)
- Nashville, Tennessee (61 hotels)
- San Diego, California (60 hotels)
- Anaheim, California (50 hotels)
- San Antonio, Texas (49 hotels)
If you’re not one of AAA’s professionally trained hotel inspectors, what should you be looking for when you check in to get an idea about the level of cleanliness at a property?
Reneta McCarthy, a senior lecturer at Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration, spoke with TPG about some of the key points and tips for travelers for their next stay.
McCarthy said that while something might look clean it’s impossible to know for sure how well something was cleaned. She did say there are clues that you can look for to get an idea of how much time and effort went into getting your room ready for you though:
- Is the room free of dust and hair?
- Are the bathroom amenities arranged?
- Are the bathroom amenities new?
- Is the room organized and tidy?
- Is the bed well made?
McCarthy points out that if your housekeeper didn’t take the time to do these simple things well, then there’s a good chance they were less than thorough with cleaning and disinfecting your room.
“Most housekeepers take their job seriously, and do a great job,” McCarthy told TPG. However, she pointed out that the latest figure she heard was that there are around one million open jobs in the hospitality industry. The sector is currently experiencing a labor shortage and with housekeepers needing to clean 10 or more rooms each day in a typical hotel, there is a chance things are going to be missed.
If you’re really worried you can use those same disinfecting wipes you have in your bag for the plane to wipe down surfaces you might be concerned about in your hotel room, like door handles or the TV remote.
For the latest travel news, deals, and points and miles tips please subscribe to The Points Guy daily email newsletter.
Featured photo by Getty Images
WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.