Monday, November 30, 2009

Makes No Scents at All

Oh, no. Holiday travelers beware! This news comes straight from corporate Holiday Inn headquarters:

“Holiday Inn has over 3,000 properties across the world and each one is getting a facelift with improvements in bedding, landscaping, and believe it or not, a Holiday Inn scent. Every hotel is now obliged to plug in a lobby 'scent machine' producing a mild aroma of ginger, white tea, citrus and musk. The cheaper Holiday Inn Express sites will be pumping out a scent of sweet grass and green tea.”

It’s enough to make me gag, along with this warm and fuzzy little article posted below:

All I can say is: What are they thinking??? Who are they fooling???

First, good hotels – just plain old regular hotels that want to stay in business – should continually improve their product if they want to attract and keep our business. They should be well-lit outside. They should be neatly landscaped. The beds should be comfortable and the pillows as well. So, what do they want? Applause?

But hotels lobbies should not smell, nor should franchise owners be obliged to make their lobbies smelly unless they want to dramatically limit the number of people who will even consider using a Holiday Inn hotel. When hidden scent generators send chemical cocktails wafting through the air, sinuses and airways will suffer. And after a long day on the road or in the air, the last thing we want to do is choke in a scented hotel lobby or nurse a headache or tight chest all night because someone thought it might be a good idea.

I mean, where are you going to go? How will you book another hotel at the last moment? And will you get the same rate? How many times will you need to walk through that lobby during your stay? Is that where the free breakfast will be served? Where is the scent piped in from? At the lobby desk? Will Holiday Inn reservations clerks notify potential customers that they scent their lobbies?

What if you have asthma and you work there? Will you be conveniently dismissed because you miss too much work due to asthma? Will you have to file for workman’s compensation or unemployment? Will your health insurance rates go up when you file for COBRA?

Whose bad idea was this? Leaves me to wonder if the scent machines were simply a cheaper alternative to changing out musty carpets and drapery or mold growing behind the wallpaper.

To be honest, I’ve never made a hotel reservation thinking how nice it would be for the lobby to be chemically infused with imitation molecules that leave a slimy feeling in my nose, mouth and throat and that grip my chest. The real kicker is that the cheaper hotels get only two scents and one of them is green tea (why not just serve some) and the other is sweet (freshly mown) grass?!

I want my hotel to be a respite, one where the people who work there are happy for my business. I need their smile more than a scented reminder that I have asthma and will need to reach for my inhaler before handing over the credit card. It’s not too much to ask for clean bedding, a comfortable bed, a clean bathroom and clean air filters, clean ductwork and no mold. And every bit of this can be accomplished without ever using a scented cleaner.

I know because I’ve experienced the PURE Room hotel room now installed in many hotels across the country. Once you’ve tried one, nothing else compares. When making hotel reservations, don’t just ask for a non-smoking room and a scent-free lobby - ask for a PURE Room. It’s what every hotel room should be: clean and odor-free.

By way of disclosure, PURE Room advertises in AANMA’s quarterly magazine, Allergy & Asthma Today but has no idea I’ve written this blog. Please share this blog post with your friends and let Holiday Inn know what you think about their stinky plans.

Safe travels,


  1. Yuck! My son's asthma is affected by Febreeze, Plugins, etc. This will definitely rule out our staying at Holiday Inns.

  2. Mostly "ALL" hotels do the same to cover up smells, in fact, that is why cleaners have difference scents to cover up the "chemical" smells. There are other ways that hotels can actually use to clean the air, floor, beds and surfaces besides what they are trying with Pure Room. This is definatly a start but more needs to be done. There is a great product that can take care of this in home and every customer based areas. Holiday Inn is not the only one doing this ~ mostly all have these stinky items in place and have for years. Throw out ALL chemically based cleaners and use a natural product and you will see a HUGE change in allergy, ashma, etc. victims. I have been "chemically free" for 8yrs with a wonderful product and I would never go back!
    Thanks for the info on the rooms!

  3. Sorry, but we all love the green tea scent of Holiday Inn.

  4. There are hotels who cater to those who have allergies and chronic health concerns. Please take advantage of them. The majority of us are greatly enjoying the lovely scents presented in the Holiday Inn Express lobby and common areas. Go! Go! Go! You smell great!

  5. When did accessibility become an option? I've been to far too many hotels that make their guests and employees sick in an effort to "brand" themselves.