As many of you know, this past week I posted an article on amenity dispensers. So far I have gotten good response. I would like to share some of the best reader comments with you. When asked what she dislikes about dispensers, one reader said, "The designs are just not right. They all look very institutional, not lovely. In a small property, the cozy, maybe elegant, or quirky feel cannot be manifest with dispensers. Much more important: the function of many is difficult. Most designs take two hands to use. Many use a key system for refilling, some of which are tricky to operate or break easily. What I really like are the old chrome and globe dispensers with a drip dispenser one can simply push from underneath with the hand that is receiving the soap or shampoo or conditioner. The problem with the ones I have found (which are NOT found through any companies selling the amenities) is that the sizing is such that we must dilute the product to ensure it drips properly. So sizing the dispenser for thicker amenities would help a lot, but we have no control over that."
Another reader at a resort said, "Our ownership has said no each time I have presented this option. They believe it lowers the standard and has a locker room effect, even though AAA replied to my email and said as long as individual amenity bottles are available upon guest request, it would not affect the rating. I also believe the quality and ‘hardiness’ of the dispensers could be improved. Many of them feel like they would fall apart after some use." One CEO, after trying dispensers for a while, removed them. He said, "There is still a negative guest perception and when that is overcome, I am happy to go back to the dispensers."
One general manager of a New York luxury hotel said he would recommend phasing in dispensers at luxury properties, still offering the individual bottles along with the dispensers in the first phase and then finally removing the bottles in the second phase. One general manager had some good things to say about dispensers, saying, "There is some hesitation that the system is not quality oriented; I would disagree. High end spas and fitness centers have been using them for years. The customer seems to appreciate the effort toward conservation."
One innkeeper shared, "We like them a lot because we don’t have the waste (and expense) of individual amenity bottles, plus the guest can use as much or as little as they want of shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel. We can also supply a quality product since we buy it in bulk, and we have switched to undyed product so while they all look alike, the dispenser easily tells the guest which product to use. The use of undyed products is a further part of our green initiatives." One owner and general manager said the elimination of bottles and their caps would reduce the risk of slip and fall injuries in bathrooms. One general manager of a Marriott hotel, who was adamant about the specific name of his property not being used, said he has tested dispensers at his property without brand permission and the response was great. He would love to have them in every room.
If you would like to share your input, leave a comment here or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.