Canadian Hotel Rooms Test High For Bacteria, Investigation Shows

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]

One Night Stand: Salem, Illinois

Salem, IllinoisIf I wasn’t sitting in the Super 8 Motel in Olney, Illinois on the eve of my birthday the small town wouldn’t seem like such a bad place, but since I’m sitting in the Super 8 Motel lobby on the eve of my birthday bawling and blogging all in one I haven’t too much to say about the little area. Oh, wait Olney is home of the White Squirrels and great fishing. Otherwise, I don’t know what to tell you folks. There’s a Subway down the road along with a KFC, Burger King, DQ, and family owned Mexican joint. After going with Subway for lunch I figure it’ll be the beans and rice for dinner tonight until I escape in the morning to what has to be a much, MUCH, bigger locale in Illinois – Salem.

That’s right I’m calling all residents of Salem, Illinois with wireless internet, cable, dial-up or whatever you use to connect to the internet to help a girl out. Tell me what makes Salem rock or roll? Or is it Salem has a little more soul? (Sorry for the rhyme, I had to.) I know it’s a bit last minute and even if you don’t make it in time to salvage my birthday (a.k.a. annual day of me, myself and I / cake and eat all the ice cream too / do whatever the heck I want to do day) please, please leave a word or two for other people who may happen to travel thru. So far I’ve found this City of Salem site, which wasn’t too personable or helpful on detailing where the area hot spots a 20-30 something year-old would want to hang out at on any day. Judging from the event calendar I’ll be missing the city pool opening by six days.

Shucks.