When paying for a hotel room one may assume at least the sheets are clean. But an Inside Edition report shows otherwise. The newsmagazine found that surprisingly many hotels fail to change sheets before new guests check in.
To learn whether hotels stood by their new-customer-new-sheet policy, the investigative team performed a simple test. They sprayed a washable fluorescent paint on the sheets checked out and later checked in under different names.
The paint was not visible to the hotel’s staffers eyes, but it was pretty blatant under a UV light source. To erase any trace of doubt, the team sprayed the paint through a stencil with the message “I SLEPT HERE.”
Before checking out, the journalists left the beds unmade to ensure that maids knew the bed sheets needed to be changed.
The next day, the team booked the same room under phony names to leave the impression they were new to the hotel. This way they tested nine hotels in New York.
The Candlewood Inn & Suites, a 3-star hotel located at an 8-minute walk from Times Square failed the test. When investigators returned the following day, they found their freshly sprayed slogan on the sheets.
When a reporter asked why the maid hasn’t changed the linen the hotel manager explained that changing sheets daily is a policy of the hotel chain. The manager added the hotel expects from staffers to follow that policy.
The Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG), which owns the chain of hotels, said it has set in place “stringent quality standards” for its hotels.
“Any claim that a hotel is not following the standards falls below our expectations.”
The group reportedly advised other hotels to see this incident as a reminder to enforce the quality standards.
After the first incident, Inside Edition’s reporters had mixed feeling about it. They hoped that it was just an isolated case. But only further investigation could tell.
The next hotel on the list was another 3-star resort, La Quinta Inns & Suites, which is located close to the Central Park and at a 3-minute walk from the Empire State Building.
Investigators performed the same move: check in – spray – check out – and return.
The following day, to their surprise, the sheets were still imprinted with the “I SLEPT HERE” message.
“Disgusting! These sheets are dirty,”
the journalist who made the discovery said.
She next called the hotel manager who brought the maid responsible for the room with him. They both denied accusations they didn’t change the sheets but when they saw the message they apologized.
The manager added the hotel expects the maids to do their jobs.
When asked to comment, La Quinta Inns & Suites explained its hotels should provide a “consistent guest experience” across the entire chain. And that guest experience includes having a clean room when you check in, too.
The group added that it spoke to the management of the franchised hotel to address the issue.
The last hotel was a Marriott’s Residence Inn also close to the Times Square. There the team performed a more comprehensive test. They sprayed their slogan on the bottom bedsheet and the word “YUCK” on the top sheet. They also ensured both pillows bore the magazine’s logo.
The following day, maids changed pillowcases but somehow forgot the YUCK and I SLEPT HERE-imprinted bedsheets.
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