How Often Do Hotels Change Their Sheets?: Quality You Can Taste

Jun 01, 2001

NEW ORLEANS (5-21-01) -- I know someone who worked as a maid in a hotel, and she confirmed what I all ready knew, but didn't want to think about: hotels never clean the bedspreads or quilts. Jim Romenesko's Obscure Reading Room linked to a Des Moines Register story that quoted a criminologist who found 106 stains on a Holiday Inn bedspread-38 of the stains were semen.

A stay at a Holiday Inn can be pretty expensive. I was curious, though, about the really high-end hotels. What do they do with their bedspreads? I placed a call to the New Orleans Ritz Carlton. The Ritz Carlton just finished a 200 million dollar restoration of an old department store on Canal Street. The new building holds three Ritz branded hotels. I spoke with the housekeeping manager.

"We can change your bedspread every day, if you like," she said.

But what is the standard bedspread policy?

"Until they get dirty...usually once a week," she said.

Hilton Hotels was a little more confused by my question. I explained that there was a story about a bedspread with 38 semen stains, and I was concerned about the spread of disease through bedspreads. "Mostly every day," Hilton said. They said it like they wanted to believe it.

One more call to the New Orleans W hotel, an incredibly crazy-hip hotel with a meditation garden and a bar partly owned by Cindy Crawford. Rooms are stocked with Aveda bath products. There is furniture you can't sit in, techno music, dark lit bathrooms.

How often do you change your bedspreads?

"We don't change them, we wash them," was W's reply. A turn of subject worthy of a zen garden.

Then you wash them how often?

"Every week or so."

-Harvey Wallbanger