You can stay at a hotel that uses virus-killing robots to clean its rooms

Mar 26, 2020

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Would you sleep more soundly knowing your hotel room was deep-cleaned as thoroughly as a hospital after the previous guests checked out?

In Texas, one hotel is implementing a high-tech solution for staying squeaky clean, no matter the situation — namely, in the form of virus-killing robots.

The Westin Houston Medical Center now boasts the title of the first and only hotel in the country to use LightStrike™ Germ-Zapping Robots™ to combat germs. The robots use UV light to zap the germs away across the property — even disinfecting products such as bath amenities and coffee, which are then stored in sealed bags for guests — explained Archit Sanghvi, the vice president of operations for Pearl Hospitality, the hotel’s owner and operator. This adds another layer to the cleansing process.

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All public areas and guest rooms are also sanitized using Ecolab’s TB Disinfectant Cleaner, a hospital-grade disinfectant, and hotel staff has removed all nonessential items such as magazines and decorative pillows. The hotel currently has employed two of the germ-killing robots on the property to clean its 273 rooms.

The robots clean every guest room between stays, as well as common spaces such as the lobby, restaurant, café, bar and meeting room daily.

These enhanced disinfectant protocols have been used in over 500 hospitals around the world, as well as the Mayo Clinic.

“Guests have expressed gratitude for the extra layer of comfort and protection we offer with the germ-killing robots,” Sanghvi told TPG.

While we’re not medical professionals and can’t say for sure how thorough the germ-cleaning robots really are, there’s no doubt it’s an innovative approach, and would certainly help us sleep better while on the road.

Related: Complete guide to traveling during the coronavirus outbreak

Two scientists at the nearby Houston Medical Center developed the germ-zapping robot, so they didn’t have far to travel for their new gig at the Westin, Sanghvi said. The hotel is on the medical center property, and is only about an eight-minute walk to the entrance of the facility.

Image courtesy of Google Maps
Image courtesy of Google Maps

For a limited time, medical professionals can get a special cash rate, with nights starting around $155. The rate includes breakfast and lunch for one guest either in-house or to take away, as well as Wi-Fi. Rates for Bonvoy members start at $175 per night, but do not include breakfast or lunch. Award nights start at 30,000 Bonvoy points per night.

While Westin doesn’t have any immediate plans to roll out the robots to other properties, their appearance is clearly part of a larger trend to make hotel rooms cleaner and safer for travelers.

Two hotels in Copenhagen, for example, now feature self-cleaning rooms. Each one is treated with an invisible, odorless cleaning solution called ACT CleanCoat that actively eliminates microbes such as E. coli, viruses, mold spores and allergens. That technology has also been used aboard all nine Lindblad Expeditions vessels.

Still, you don’t have to stay at one of these specific properties to have a very hygienic stay and enjoy some additional peace of mind. Instead, just be diligent about washing your hands; wiping clean any potentially contaminated surfaces; and keeping these precautions in mind.

Featured photo the Lightstrike Germ Zapping Robot courtesy of Xenex.

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