While down pillows and duvets add a plush decor to hotel beds, allergy sufferers find this added perk a nuisance and not a luxury. Hypoallergenic pillows and non-fragrant amenities can be requested from any hotel guest, but would it be easier to just designate a few rooms in the hotel as “hypoallergenic rooms”?
Hyatt thinks so, which is why the hotel company announced their “allergy friendly rooms” across its brand of hotels.
The rooms will be priced at an extra $20 to $30 per night, but will be free of dust mites, which live and multiply in bedding, carpeting and upholstered furniture. The move comes as Hyatt and other hoteliers look to capitalize on the growing number of allergy sufferers. According to the National Institutes of Health, about 54 percent of Americans are sensitive to at least one allergen, which results in sneezing, itching and in some cases, asthmatic attacks. The presence of odors, mold, dust or animal dander can be harmful to those with severe allergies.
To help alleviate the suffering for some travelers, Hyatt is relying on Pure Solutions, a privately held New York-based company that claims it can remove 98 percent of bacteria and viruses from hotel rooms. With this new partnership, Hyatt plans to designate a total of 2,000 rooms at 125 Hyatt Resort, Park Hyatt, Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, Hyatt and Andaz properties across the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean as hypoallergenic rooms available by the end of 2010. If the rooms prove to be popular, Hyatt will pay to expand the program.Just how will Pure rid the rooms of allergens?
“Pure’s technicians first take apart the air-handling system in the room, disinfect the parts, treat them with an agent to ward off moisture and add a tea tree oil cartridge that releases a natural anti-microbial agent. After disinfecting every surface in the room, Pure “shocks” the room for two to three hours with highly concentrated ozone to kill mold, bacteria and other unwanted organisms. They then spray carpets, curtains and surfaces with a bacteriostatic shield, Brault said, which lasts up to two and a half years and bonds with bacteria on a molecular level.”
The rooms are also equipped with medical-grade purifiers that eliminate dust, odor and small particles; beds and pillows are encased in microfiber that is impenetrable to dust mites, and allergens in the pillow feathers are removed.
The idea and effort behind these rooms are worthy of accolades but I have to wonder: Why not just do it for all rooms? Surely, everyone would appreciate breathing a little easier at night.
To find a hypoallergenic room, visit pureroom.com.