Oh, Canada. You’ve got national healthcare and spectacular scenery, but your hotel rooms … those need work.
According to a recent CBC Marketplace investigation conducted by a microbiologist, six diverse chain hotels ranging from budget to high-end had, “high levels of contamination creating potentially hazardous conditions for guests.”
Marketplace apparently surveyed thousands of “high-touch” spots in 54 rooms, using a “an adenosine triphosphate (ATP) measuring device that determines microbial contamination on surfaces.”
The filthiest items likely won’t come as a surprise to frequent travelers: bed comforters, bathroom faucets, and remote controls took top honors for bacterial counts. Microbiologist Keith Warriner of Guelph University, who conducted the investigation, warns that hotel bacteria is a greater health risk to guests, because the germs come from literally thousands of different bodies. In the case of bedding, we’re exposed to those nasties for a longer period of time.
If money is tight, you’ll be happy to know that ubiquitous cheapie Super 8 had some of the cleanest bathrooms, while luxury hotels often had poor results. The big picture is that just because a room looks clean, doesn’t mean it is. Blame overworked (and likely underpaid) hotel staff, who often don’t have adequate time to deep-clean all of the required rooms on their shifts.
Here’s a tip: Bring your own pillowcase, fold down the comforter, and make friends with a bottle of Purell when staying in a hotel or motel. Otherwise, just look at it as an immune system-building holiday.
[Photo credit: flickr user adrigu]