With over 25 million business travelers out there on trains, planes, and automobiles, do we really know who you are and what travel nightmares keep you up at night? The industry has had to adapt to a shift in today’s business traveler demographics; now 50/50 men and women, now 50/50 millennials to boomers, with new ethnicities and global influences. According to GBTA (Global Business Travel Assn.), 63% of you rank the convenience and comfort of your hotel as an essential to your business travel experience. A whopping 46% rank the cleanliness of your hotel room as your biggest concern.
Sol Torres, Director of Housekeeping at Normandy Farm Hotel & Conference Center, stated “I train my staff to make a bed and clean a room as if they were going to sleep in it.” When I asked Sol about the major concerns regarding mattress containment, she was quick to list dust mites, skin cells, hair, cosmetics, food particles, and body fluids. While most hotels replace their mattresses every 5-7 years, Normandy Farm completed a remodel of their hotel rooms in 2016, including all new furniture, carpet, WiFi, and bedding.
During our conversation, Sol shared her 20 years of experience in housekeeping along with five essential sanitation tips that all hotels should follow to ensure a good night’s sleep. If you are a complete germaphobe, no one will know if you “pre-game” your hotel room with Lysol or alcohol wipes, small baggies for the TV remote, and wear flip flops or slippers in the room and in the shower.
Tip #1 – Splish Splash
When you check in to your hotel room, put your suitcase down and wash your hands! Is the bathroom clean or did your first impression make your skin crawl? Are the cups wrapped in plastic or exposed? Are the amenities partially full or still sealed? Scum in the tub? Hair on the floor? This is very personal space and it should be spotless. If you are remotely concerned, call the front desk and either ask for a refresh or a new room.
Tip #2 - Mattress Lock Down
ALL mattresses should be fitted with an impermeable allergy protector to keep all contaminants from spreading. A GBTA poll found the #1 concern of business travelers that causes anxiety is bed bugs. Sol was very proud to report that in the history of Normandy Farm Hotel, they have never had a bed bug infestation and attributes that to strict preventative measures, along with detection. Normandy employs a highly trained canine crew that is specifically skilled in detecting bed bugs to ensure a good night’s rest without worry.
Tip #3 – Look for the “Blanket Sandwich”
I recently watched a housekeeper make a bed and realized that there was a method to her bed-making madness! I watched as she made a “blanket sandwich”, placing the 100% cotton blanket between two freshly laundered and bleached sheets. The “sandwich” is finished so there are no exposed fibers from the blanket against your skin. Allergens are an increasing concern so consider yourself safe when bedding and towels are 100% cotton and can be laundered in antimicrobial detergent. Down and feathery pillows are often not welcome!
Tip #4 – “Less is More” with Regard to Bedding
Bedspreads, throw pillows, and decorative throws collect dust, dirt, and are often used to hide stains. Nine times out of ten, these items are so useless that they end up on the floor. The next day, the housekeeper makes the bed and places the items back on the freshly made bed. If you see those unsightly flowered bedspreads on your bed, ask housekeeping to remake your bed with fresh sheets, and keep the “designer touches” off your bed! The big idea is to promote wellness in your sleeping environment and keeping your bed clean and fresh should be your hotel’s primary concern.
Tip #5 – Pillow Talk
So if approximately 2000 strangers slept in your bed before you did, imagine how many heads have been on those pillows? If you are really picky about pillows, many hotel chains are now offering a pillow “menu” with your choice of filling, firmness, and size. Every year, hotels replace old pillows, as new pillows reduce the instances of contamination. Most hotels do not wash pillows between guest visits so the only barrier between your head and the pillow is a clean pillowcase. While this might cause unrest for some, others take matters in to their own hands and travel with their own personal pillow. You could also call for a few extra pillowcases to be delivered to your room for a few extra layers of protection.
The bottom line is that the business traveler needs to get a good night’s rest. Although he or she may be the two thousand and first (2001st) person to lay in that bed and put their head on that pillow, they deserve the comfort and confidence as if they were the first. Normandy Farm Hotel & Conference Center caters to the specific needs of the business traveler by constantly enhancing their hotel offering to exceed expectation.
Join us as we celebrate National Business Traveler Day on April 24th, 2019. On this day we will honor our business travelers with prizes, giveaways, and upgrades for anyone staying at the Farm during that week.
About Karen Mandel
Karen Mandel, Sr. Business Development Manager at Normandy Farm Hotel & Conference Center draws from her forty plus years of global marketing experience to bring a melting pot of ideas and observations to corporate and social gatherings. Karen has used her expertise to create indelible positive impressions to her clients and coworkers alike.
Normandy Farm Hotel and Conference Center | Located just 25 minutes from Center City Philadelphia and situated in the heart of Blue Bell, Pa.,Normandy Farm Hotel and Conference Center is more than a meticulously restored American landmark—it's a fully wired, high-tech hospitality venue. Relax on our grand terrace, sip a cocktail in America's oldest silo, sleep in one of our newly remodeled hotel rooms, play a challenging game of golf on our championship course, plan an event with us or dine on our delectable farm-to-table cuisine. It all adds up to One Historic Experience.