Hotel Confidential: Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite!

Workamping as a housekeeperOur sabbatical has always been about discovering the ins and outs of potential business endeavors. Here at the dude ranch, we’re learning how real resorts operate.

The ranch has around 18 cabin rentals, and I’m on the cleaning crew. After just a few weeks, I’m discovering the answers to all sorts of things I wondered about whenever we’ve stayed in lodging establishments. For example;

Let’s start with bed linens. Did you know that most of the time, even at the schnazziest resorts, only the bed sheets get washed after a guest checks out? Not the mattress pad that they slept on. Nor the blankets that probably have a few hairs embedded in them. Certainly not the bedspread that they might have sat buck-naked on after taking a dump. And most definitely, not the pillows that they slobbered on. Rooms need to be turned over quickly for the next guest, and it’s just not practical (or resource-friendly) to wash everything, every time.

Keep in mind that generally, the more you pay for a hotel room, the cleaner it’s going to be. Here at the ranch, cabins aren’t cheap, so guests can rest easy. Paulette, the owner, has extremely high cleanliness standards, and I’m working my tail off to meet them.

It’s just that the other day I realized that even in four star hotels, the only thing that could be separating me and a raging case of scabies from another guest, is a thin white sheet.

20 thoughts on “Hotel Confidential: Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite!”

  1. These days I laugh at the fact that we’ve all become used to “anti-bacterial” this and that. What a scam! Because when you think about it, it’s really amazing to think about how many germs we share with others we don’t know, with or without Purel antibacterial gel. If we really wanted to avoid germs from the public, we’d all have to walk around in gigantic full body condoms!

  2. Well, after traveling from coast to coast for a mere month, I can tell you that I was more than glad to get back to my own bed. The places we went were incredible, but the places we stayed left much to be desired. My 11 year old son, Jacob, and I had a ritual of coming into a motel room, checking the bathrooms for cleanliness and wrapped plastic cups, scanning the walls for nasty things smeared on them by the guests left behind, and finally turning down the blankets to make sure that there were no signs of hair or other things that may defile a motel bed. We definitely got cleaner rooms when we spent more money, but after while I just couldn’t wait to get back to my own “germs”
    Call Me!

  3. Well every since I heard about the sheets and stuff on 20/20 several years ago I just do not do hotels very well. The last one I stayed at I used a whole bottle of Lysol spray on everything from the bedspread to the carpet, and no I am not obsessive-compulsive! Years ago I thought it was “romantic” and neat to go to a bed and breakfast, not anymore. I love my own bed and I know who and what has been on my bed and I am only ok with that. Thanks for the awesome blog I loved it!

  4. Great BLog!! I’ve been glued to it for hours now!

    Ewww, I watched those programs on 60 minutes and dateline as well! There are some very dirty things going on in those rooms. I’m glad I get to curl up each night in my own comfy bed no matter where we are! Rving is definitely got so many pluses and you’ve now reminded us of another!!

    Thanks for sharing all your stories and photos this really is a GREAT blog!!

    From one young rver to another!
    You Go Girl!!
    All the Best

  5. Renee – you are on the mark for the article you wrote about local
    grocery store – wow – powerfull words they were, go girl –

    Great pictures – you two are lving a dream most of us only ever dream about –

    See you end of this week when I get back from Texas – tell Jim hello and his
    road signs look great.

  6. yep hate hotels, would rather camp and sleep in the real dirt than that of a hotel (but you already know that).

    I think I watched the same program Rhodester did. One instance the maid used some kind of windex like cleaner in the drinking glasses and then wiped them down with the towel she picked up off the bathroom floor!!!!


  7. Gross… makes me glad we’re RVing now instead of hoteling it. At least if I don’t wash the bedding, we’re sleeping in our own grime instead of someone else’s.

    And yes… restaurants are no better. Years ago I worked in a 50s-style diner and made the mistake of pulling out the stove and fryers during a really slow time to clean underneath them. There was a hole in the floor that went under the building and when I got a closer look there was a river of oil with dead rats, bugs and molded food floating in it. I just about puked… and I never ate food from there again… my generous discount be damned. And I didn’t work there much longer after that.

  8. We have a regular guest that always brings a feather bed type sleep system thingy. She puts it on top of our stuff, a clean sheet goes over the couch. Of course she brings her own pillows.
    They come for the beautiful sandy beach of Lake Huron with the spectacular sunsets…

    The cottages are cleaned as best we can between each guest., But like you mentioned, not possible to launder bedspreads & pillows. Some people turn the spread over and use it that way and hope for the best.
    Good tip on using the remote. Thks Theresa.

  9. Oh man, dried throw up? SICK!!!!!

    I never really gave hotel room germs much thought before, until we worked at our first resort in New Mexico. It was there when this funny guy said to Jim and I, “you know how many hairy sphincters have sat on those bedspreads?”, I got sooo grossed out!

  10. Yuck……….and that’s why it’s so nice to stay in your own house every night. If I want to eat something off the floor – at least I know how dirty my floor is and whether or not the five second rule came into play.

  11. oh my, welcome to the world of tourist resort cleaning. I know exactly what you are encountering. We have multi-coloured patchwork quilts just for that reason…. the other day I was picking one up off the floor ( as everything gets thrown of the floor while making the bed)
    to put it back on…. voila….off fell a dried mushed up pile of THROW-UP !! ” guess this one better go to the cleaners….” luckily we had a back up !!

    never mind what else happens !!

    all the best….. Kelly

  12. Oh RhodesTer, you of all people know the real scoop about hotels.

    Working in hotels is akin to working in a restaurant. Once you find out the truth about the way things operate in these establishments, nothing’s ever the same.

    One time when I was waitressing, I took someone’s leftovers in the back to have it boxed up to go. But I spaced, and dumped it in the trash instead. I panicked, and the prep cook said “no worries,” as he grabbed the food from the top of the trash heap and put it in a styrofoam container. “Good to go” he said, and handed it to me.

    Now I always ask for a container and box up my own leftovers.

  13. Yes, I DID know all of that, oddly enough. How about the maids rinsing out the glasses in the sink instead of them being sent to the scullery? OH, and the other day I opened the store room for a pastry chef to get ingredients for his daily baking – a lone strawberry rolled off his cart and hit the kitchen floor – as he picked it up and put it back on top, he responded to my look with, “WHAT? I’m going to wash it off!”

  14. I skeeve out just thinking about staying in a hotel! I bring my own pillows and top sheet to lay on top of the sheets. I fold the bead spread as soon as we arrive and store it in a corner of the room. I even bring a zip lock bag for the remote because i heard that it is the dirtiest item in the room! I know I sound like a nut, but I can’t forget all the reports I have seen about hotel cleanliness (or uncleanliness) on TV programs like 60 minutes and 20/20! Ugh!

  15. Wow. Good thing that we won’t have to sleep in a hotel ever again… unless we are traveling overseas… and or our RV needs repair. Yuck… thing you learn.

  16. AUAUAUAUGHGHGHGHGMSHHSNNTMMTTPPPLTTTT!!! Gross!! I can’t stand other peoples filth. Ich!!! I wish you hadn’t brought that information to my attention!


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