The definition of an allergy-friendly room has often been in flux in our industry. More than a decade ago, PURE Allergy Friendly Rooms were introduced. At that time, the PURE process included steps ranging from ozone shock treatment to an air purification system to a showerhead with a chlorine filter. PURE Allergy Friendly Rooms have since evolved and are now called Pure Rooms as part of a Pure Wellness experience. The current seven steps include: ozone shock treatment, sanitize air handling unit, deep clean soft and hard surfaces, apply Pure Shield Barrier, install air purification system, install antimicrobial tea tree oil cartridge in air handling unit, and install mattress and pillow encasements. At some point the chlorine filter in the showerhead was removed from the process.
In the most recent Lodging Survey published by AHLA and STR (2018), survey participants were asked if they make allergy-friendly rooms available to their guests. Twenty-eight percent of the almost 11,500 respondents said they do—down from 30 percent in 2016 and 45 percent in 2014. (A downward trend at a time of growing wellness awareness? Perplexing.) No definition of an allergy-friendly room is provided but apparently more than half of those responding in the upscale, upper upscale and luxury segments provide them. One must wonder how many of those respondents have different definitions of “allergy-friendly.” Interestingly, survey recipients were also asked in another question if they offer air purifiers in the guestroom. Just 11 percent said they do. Isn’t the core of an allergy-friendly room in the United States the air purifier? Again, more reason for allergy-friendly confusion.
Scandic’s New Standard
This past week, Scandic introduced a standard for allergy-friendly rooms. The following is a summary of most of that standard:
- The rooms must always have wooden floors.
- Only fragrance-free bathroom products must be provided.
- The room must be a room where nobody has ever smoked.
- It must be possible to open a window in a room (a ventilation window is sufficient).
- The rooms must be placed on their own floor or corridor where fur-bearing pets would not be permitted.
- A newly painted room cannot be sold as an allergy room until after three months have passed, as the paint must harden first.
- Pillows/quilts must be of synthetic materials.
- The mattress must be of synthetic materials.
- The rooms and beds must not have bedspreads/bed blankets or decorative cushions.
- Bedclothes and bathroom towels must be washed with an eco-labeled detergent.
- Avoid fragrant flowers and plants near the rooms.
Most striking to me is Scandic’s ditching of carpeting in guestrooms. Of course, it makes sense not to have carpeting—one of the best dirt and dust collectors there is. Also, Scandic believes an air purifier is not necessary. Maybe it isn’t in the room they have created? And, does it really take three months for paint to dry? (Do you need to wait that long if the paint is low VOC?) The Scandic rooms are also cleaned according to strict cleaning procedures. Scandic’s goal is to have all its hotels offer at least two allergy-friendly rooms within a year.
“While we’ve offered allergy-friendly rooms at Scandic for some time, we’re particularly proud that they’re now part of our accessibility standard,” says Magnus Berglund, Director of Accessibility at Scandic.
It is great to see an increasing number of hotels offer allergy-friendly rooms. I suspect, however, that if you ask 100 different hoteliers what that means exactly, you will get just about 100 different answers.
One must wonder if there will ever be a call for some industry-wide standardization of what an allergy-friendly room is. We are a long way from that point but until that happens there will be both hotelier and consumer confusion about its meaning.
Green Lodging News Welcomes TQ Industries Hotel Carts to Directory
Green Lodging News welcomes TQ Industries Hotel Carts Manufacturing and Sales to its Green Product & Service Directory in the “Carts/Housekeeping/Laundry/Luggage” category. There is no plastic involved with TQ Hotel carts. All models are manufactured from 30 percent post-consumer aluminum. Manufacturing from aluminum enables TQ to create an extremely durable product, lightweight to push, capable of being customized and 100 percent recyclable. Models for: room make-up, small “roll into the room” carts, houseman baskets, luggage and custom carts. Thousands of dollars are wasted repairing scratched walls each year. TQ models are equipped with lowered “durable” rolling bumpers that prevent damage 100 percent. Carts are manufactured to an order allowing easy modification in size, interior, or color. TQ’s team will assist in perfecting a cart design and arrange a trial cart. TQ carts can be repaired indefinitely. All parts are stocked and ship next day. Call (800) 826-1245 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
How to Search on Our Website
Like other search engines you find online, a search using one word will produce articles with that word included. If you would like to search for something that is more than one word long—ozone laundry, for example—you will need to put quotation marks around the words or phrase. Ozone laundry would then be “ozone laundry” in the search.
Who is Your Sustainability Champion?
Green Lodging News is always looking to profile sustainability champions in our Personnel Profile section. If you would like to nominate someone for this section of Green Lodging News, contact me at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Looking for Guest Columnists
Every two weeks Green Lodging News posts a new guest column on its website. (Click here for examples.) The guest column also appears in the weekly e-newsletter. Green Lodging News is currently in need of industry experts to contribute occasional guest columns. Experts may include consultants, architects, designers, suppliers and those who own or operate green lodging establishments. Columns may be articles that take a stance on a particular subject or be strictly educational in nature. Columnists benefit by having their photo included along with a one paragraph description of their company. Interested in writing a column? Contact Glenn Hasek, publisher and editor, at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
An All-New Advertising Opportunity!
Green Lodging News, lodging’s leading environmental news source, announces the launch of Green Suppliers Spotlight, an e-blast to 19,192 subscribers that features the lodging industry’s leading green products and services. The e-blast features multiple vendors—unlike the current Green Supplier Spotlight that allows one supplier to “own” the Green Lodging News subscriber list for one e-blast. (Click here for a Green Suppliers Spotlight sample.)
Green Suppliers Spotlight is published weekly on Thursdays to general managers, owners, management companies, directors of sustainability, directors of engineering, facilities managers and many others who are either in purchasing positions or who influence purchasing decisions. Suppliers of green products and services throughout North America and beyond are invited to participate in the e-blast. (Minimum two suppliers per e-blast.) Green Suppliers Spotlight was created to give vendors an opportunity to reach a high number of industry purchasers at a very low cost—as low as $200 per e-mail. (Click here for rate sheet.)
Those advertising in Green Suppliers Spotlight can include up to 100 words, one image, contact information and multiple links to their website in their ad. At the end of each month, a report will be sent to each supplier with information on delivered e-mails, opens and click-throughs. The Green Suppliers Spotlight e-blast will also be available in the Suppliers Spotlight Archive section of the Green Lodging News website.
Planning Advertising for 2019?
Green Lodging News is accepting reservations for advertising spots for 2019. Many excellent spots are available on our new website and in the weekly e-mail newsletter. Many Green Supplier Spotlight dates are also available. Interested in receiving a 2019 media kit? Be sure to contact me as soon as possible at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at email@example.com. A media kit can also be accessed by clicking here. Thank you to all those companies that consistently support Green Lodging News.
Newsletter & Green Supplier Spotlight Circulation
The circulation of our weekly e-newsletter and Green Supplier Spotlight currently stands at 19,100. Thank you to our new subscribers for signing up. Be sure to encourage your colleagues to do the same. There are “subscribe” links on the Green Lodging News home page. You may also e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to our list.
Green Lodging News & Social Media
Green Lodging News now has 1,796 Twitter followers. Thank you to all of those who follow our tweets. In addition to following us on Twitter, be sure to bookmark the Green Lodging News Blog in your browser. More importantly, participate with your comments. Green Lodging News is also on Facebook. Be sure to “Like” us there. Green Lodging News now has 930 Facebook likes.
As always, I can be reached at email@example.com.