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Hampton Hotels Incorporates a Brand-wide Guest Room Odor
Control Program; Non-Scents Wins Over Signature Scents

MEMPHIS, Tenn., October 19, 2007 — The old saying goes, “the nose always knows.”  And when it comes to a hotel stay, the traveler’s nose – it seems – notices and knows more.  In a survey released today the majority (86 percent) of travelers say the smell of fresh air and linens is a better indicator to them that a hotel room is clean – compared to 14 percent who feel that the smell of cleaning products is more indicative.  Starting today, travelers can breathe a little easier – Hampton Hotels has announced a brand-wide initiative to “non-scent” its more than 145,000 hotel rooms.  

Non-Scents, created through a joint effort with Procter & Gamble’s Febreze® Linen & Sky brand, is a freshening program designed to leave the room smelling like nothing but clean air.  No odor of bathroom or window cleaner; no hint of perfume; no remnant of the previous night’s takeout.  
 

Two Products:
  • Febreze® Fabric Refresher™—a spray bottle to treat linens and fabric.
  • Febreze® Air Effects™—an aerosol can to spray into the room to capture odor and freshen the air. 

“We conducted rigorous consumer research and found that travelers just want their hotel room to smell fresh and clean – and not like anything else,” said Kurt Smith, senior director of product and service development for Hampton Hotels. “Part of our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is ensuring we do everything we can to ensure our guests have a pleasurable stay while appealing to all the senses – we’ve accomplished that with our bed, complimentary HSIA and wi-fi, and our On the House Hot Breakfast. Non-Scents is our way of evoking that guarantee by continuing to surprise and delight our guests via some of the finer senses.”

The development of Non-Scents is a bold statement for Hampton in the midst of an industry-wide trend that has seen many hotels choosing signature scents for their lobbies and guestrooms.  Hampton conducted extensive consumer research and testing, as well as a national survey of Americans’ attitude toward hotel room scents – the results of which were also announced today.  The survey, in addition to the statistics above, found that the majority of people (58 percent) simply prefer their hotel room to smell like nothing at all – compared to scented air freshener (25 percent), an exotic or tropical smell (7 percent), strong cleaning products (3 percent), or even like a new car (2 percent). 

Additional findings of the Hampton Non-Scents Survey include:

  • What’s That Chemical Smell: More than three-quarters (76 percent) of travelers say they’ve noticed a distinct scent – such as perfume or air freshener – during a recent overnight hotel stay.   
  • Get Me Out Of Here: When asked what they have done as a result of being in a hotel room with an undesirable smell, the majority of travelers (66 percent) have asked for a different room, complained, asked for a discount or refund, or cancelled their reservations. 
  • Travelers Hate Floral Scents: When asked what scent they would most prefer if a hotel were putting it in its rooms, only five percent would choose floral.  Instead, most (70 percent) would choose “just the smell of fresh air and clean linens.”  Other choices were a citrus smell like lemon (12 percent); pine (four percent); an exotic smell like musk or a tropical scent (four percent); and fresh baked goods (three percent).
  • Hotel Rooms Have A Canned Scent: A surprising number (34 percent) of Americans feel that most guest rooms today have a scent that reminds them of scented air fresheners.  Others feel that they smell like their home when it’s fresh and clean (26 percent); strong cleaning products (23 percent); a hospital (five percent); and a new car (two percent). 
  • Hotel Scent Nightmare: When asked what the worst smell would be if they had to be trapped in a hotel for a night, nearly two-thirds (60 percent) of the survey respondents felt that the odor of remnants of cigarette smoke would be the worst one.  Coming in second was strong perfume (14 percent) and sports equipment (14 percent), followed by cleaning products (five percent), and air fresheners with a strong smell (four percent).
Hampton’s Non-Scents initiative was introduced as a concept to the brand’s hotel properties in the spring of 2007, and now all 1,450 Hampton Hotels have included it as part of their housekeeping programs.  For more information, visit www.hampton.com.  The Hampton Non-Scents Survey was fielded by Kelton Research between September 7 and 14, 2007 using an email invitation and online survey. Quotas are set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total U.S. population age 18 and older who have stayed in a hotel room in the past two years. There were 1,007 respondents and a 3.1 percent margin of error.  For full results, please contact Ian Jeffries at (310) 967-2957 or ian_jeffries@cohnwolfe.com.

About Hampton Hotels
Hampton, which includes Hampton Inn and Hampton Inn & Suites hotels, is a mid-priced leader in the lodging segment.  Hampton is part of Hilton Hotels Corporation, the leading global hospitality company, with more than 2,800 hotels and 500,000 rooms in 78 countries and territories, including 105,000 team members worldwide.  The company owns, manages or franchises a hotel portfolio of some of the best known and highly regarded brands, including Hilton®, Conrad®, Doubletree®, Embassy Suites Hotels®, Hampton Inn®, Hampton Inn & Suites®, Hilton Garden Inn®, Hilton Grand Vacations™, Homewood Suites by Hilton® and The Waldorf=Astoria Collection®. The Hilton Family of Hotels adheres to founder Conrad Hilton’s philosophy that, “It has been, and continues to be, our responsibility to fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality.”  The company put a name to its unique brand of service that has made it the best known and most highly regarded hotel company:  be hospitable®.    The philosophy is shared by all brands in the Hilton Family of Hotels, and is the inspiration for its overarching message of kindness and generosity.  Hilton Hotels Corporation’s sponsorship of the U.S. Olympic Team will extend through the 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Beijing, China, and includes the 2008 U.S. Paralympic Team(s) and the 2007 U.S. Pan-Am Team.  For more information about our company, please visit www.hiltonworldwide.com, and to learn more about our be hospitable philosophy, please visit www.behospitable.com.

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Contact:

Tori Roberson
   Hampton Brand Communications
(901) 374-5534
 

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Also See: Hampton Hotels Completes Mammoth Roll Out of 210,000 Dramatically Improved and Consistent Beds / January 2007
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