Davenport Hotel Making National News Again - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Davenport Hotel Making National News Again

By Harriet Baskas
Travel writer
msnbc.com contributor
 
You check in at the luxury hotel. You let yourself in the room. You realize something is missing.  Bathrobe? Check. Minibar? Check. High thread count bed sheets? Check. Those amenities are all there. You walk to the bathroom, you pull back the shower curtain, and what the ...?

Some upscale hotels are doing away with tiny shampoo bottles and miniature bars of bath soap and installing push-button dispensers instead.

Standard in many budget hotel chains across the U.S. and Europe, amenities dispensers in luxe hotels strike some frequent travelers as tacky and unsanitary. "Seems cheap to me," says software trainer Melissa Odom, who spends about 200 nights a year in hotels. "I'd think, ‘Ick, whose hands have been on this?' "

Other travelers notice, but don't seem to mind. "I don't particularly like them," says travel planner Sheri Doyle, "but I appreciate the environmental reasons for doing it."

Dispensing with the landfill
Pat Maher, the green consultant for the American Hotel and Lodging Association, predicts amenities dispensers will be the norm within five years. "Right now, half a million of those little shampoo bottles end up in landfills every day. Hotels that say they're eco-friendly establishments and doing all those things they do with the greening of their hotels ... will start getting complaints if people stay at their hotels and they don't have soap dispensers."

Maher says properties currently testing or installing bathroom amenities dispensers include the Kimpton, Ritz Carlton and Choice Hotels as well as Starwood's extended-stay Element Hotels.

But the historic Davenport Hotel in Spokane, Wash. — the first hotel to have air conditioning and a central vacuum system — has had amenities dispensers in all guest bathrooms since the hotel's $38 million makeover in 2002. "The hotel owners were a little ahead of the curve on that," says the Davenport's Matt Jensen. "It's very efficient, it makes sense financially and it fits in with the hotel's historically green approach. We fill the dispensers with very high quality bath products, and the only people who seem disappointed are the ones who like taking home those little bottles of shampoo."

S.O.S. — Save Our Soap
Of course plenty of hotels still stock guest bathrooms with a full array of miniature products. But look closely and you may notice those products tend to be shrinking. "Only about 10 percent of a bar of hotel soap gets used," says Maher. "So some hotels are using smaller bars or using bars with curves carved into them so that the bars looks the same size, but have a third less soap."

 

 

 

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