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Is Your Hotel's Coffee Cup Clean? | by The Rocketeer
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Is Your Hotel's Coffee Cup Clean?

Hotel Dirty Secrets


Have you ever wondered if there are shortcuts taken by the cleaning staff of hotel workers? Well, after a little experimenting, I discovered that there are. I guess it would be just too much to ask for a used coffee cup to be replaced with one that was washed in a dishwasher...


About a year ago, I started marking my coffee cups with the hotel supplied ink pen every day that I used the cup. It invariably seems to be the same cup when I return to the hotel after the cleaning staff finishes. I have made a point to bring this up to the hotel managers in every hotel I find this happening. One manager of a Sheraton in Atlanta apparently got tired of me bringing this up and refused to return my calls, so I stopped going to the Sheraton. The Embassy Suites down the road in Atlanta seems concerned every time I bring this up, but instead of resolving the issue with the cleaning staff (which they apparently have no control over) they gave me my own ceramic "Embassy Suites" emblazoned coffee mug in a gift bag left in my hotel room and with a note asking me to bring my coffee mug with me to use while I stay at their hotel.


The photo above is the mug in my room at the Atlanta Hilton Garden Inn hotel on Windy Hill at Powers Ferry in Atlanta. I'm not going to give them this cup until I check out Friday, to prove a point to them at how consistent their cleaning staff is using this shortcut.


What bothers me the most is that I have inspected cups in my room as soon as I check in and found them smudged with coffee residue and with a coffee smell in them many times... so even when the hotel guest changes, they don't change the cups!


I know I run the risk of looking like a crackpot by bringing this issue up, but I think it is unacceptable for the hotel industry to get away with this. I would like to ask each and every one of you that see this to do the same thing when you stay multiple nights in a hotel. Let's get the message across to the industry that this is unsanitary and won't be accepted.


Last Christmas, I almost asked for one of those ultraviolet flashlights and a pair of amber goggles like they use on CSI to detect bodily fluids so I could check out the bedspreads and sheets... but I was too afraid of what I might find, so for now, I'm living in denial every time I go to bed at the hotel.


What are your thoughts on this?


Update 28-Nov-2007:

Fox 5 Atlanta has two stories that aired earlier this month. The links to see them are here:

Link to Part 1 of the story on Fox 5 Atlanta.

Link to Part 2 of the story on Fox 5 Atlanta.


Here's the link for my interview.

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Taken on March 22, 2006