Hotel Online  Special Report


Checked Your Hotel’s Reviews Lately?
Odorous hotel rooms are getting stinky reviews
on travel sites; Is your hotel up to “sniff”?
By Dean Gruber, May 2006

Ever feel like the Internet was created specifically to sell travel? Beautiful pictures and virtual tours of your hotel or resort are really helping to increase online bookings. Likewise the colorful dialog and marketing-rich descriptions of your rooms and amenities are painting an even prettier picture.

But guess what? Travelers are using the same venue to write not-so-favorable reviews on your hotel. And, using even-more-colorful language, they are broadcasting to millions of prospective customers that your hotel isn’t up to snuff – or should I say “sniff.” ( is just one of many websites offering travel reviews. It features more than 4 million honest opinions from real travelers around the world. Approximately 157,000 of its reviews are about hotels, and more than 196,000 photos depict unsatisfactory accommodations of nearly 19,000 top hotels.

What are your guests saying? 

Recently I went to to see if I could find any complaints about “smelly” hotels. Here are excerpts from just a few of the more than 250 written complaints that come up when searching for “smelly or stinky” hotels.

“They allow dogs, but this place stinks.  When we got into our room, it had a very strange smell. I don't know if it had been a smoking room previously or if there was some residual pet smell in the room. I asked another guest about his room and he told me that he purchased air fresheners for his room. I went to the front desk to ask about air fresheners, and no one was there. There just happened to be some other guests sitting in the lobby who told me that he was outside smoking. I went out front, and he was smoking and chatting with some girls. I asked him about air fresheners, and he told me that someone had taken their air fresheners earlier and not brought them back. (That makes at least 3 smelly rooms.)”

“The worst hotel I have ever ‘not stayed’ in. It was absolutely gross. I have never stayed in a place like this (in fact we did not stay, we left and went up the street to a Best Western). The place absolutely stunk from the minute we walked in the door. My husband said,’Well the rooms have got to be better.’ He was very, very wrong. The bed was smelly and the air-conditioning was not working at all. We stayed a sum total of about three-quarters of an hour and then left. Business trip or not, I will not stay in a dumpster.”

“Smokey Hellhole. I booked this hotel last weekend because it was very close to the stadium. I foolishly didn't read these reviews before booking. We had a smoking room (the only thing they had available upon booking), so I knew what I was getting into. I've stayed in smoking rooms in other hotels, and they haven't been that bad. This room was smelly. Our friends had a non-smoking room on the first floor. It was musty smelling. They booked another hotel room in another place and just ate the $125 bucks for the night. When we were leaving the next day, one of the maids was sitting on the armchair near the elevator, chatting on her cell and smoking a cigarette. If they were smart, they would try to curb the public smoking to try to get the place back to normal.”

Are you beginning to get the picture?  One traveler review actually advised a hotel to invest in air fresheners or air filters if they wanted to stay in business. That guest was on to something. The problem, however, is that hotels can’t mask odors with sprays and deodorizers or remove them with air filters. In actuality, it just adds to the problem.

The following review explains why . . .

“Ooooh That Smell! For some unknown reason, when I checked into my room, it smelled like fish. After using an aerosol deodorizer that was provided by the hotel in the bathroom, the room soon smelled like fish and flowers. So I asked housekeeping to re-clean my room. When I returned, the room smelled like fish, flowers and chlorine bleach. I asked for my money back and was lucky enough to check-in to the hotel next door. I couldn’t believe my nose. My room--and the entire hotel--smelled mountain fresh! I called down to the front and asked them how they keep their hotel smelling so clean. They told me they use ozone generators daily. WOW! What a big difference!”
Discovering the O-zone

Ozone Generators have been providing hotels with mountain-fresh accommodations for many years. Unfortunately, it’s just not as top-of-mind as air fresheners or air filters are for back-of-the-house applications. Ozone Generators actually attack odor-causing molecules and eliminate them completely from the atmosphere or hotel environment.

Ozone Generators attack the molecules that make the odor.  Depending upon the application, an ozone generator emits large or small amounts of O3, or ozone molecules.  The O3 molecule has an unstable O atom which quickly attaches itself to the odor causing molecules, creating pure, clean and odor free oxygen as a by product.  Whether it's cigarette smoke, burning popcorn, mold or moth balls, the odor never returns.

So, before your hotel winds up with a stinky review, wake up and smell the mountain fresh air that only ozone generators can provide. 

Dean Gruber is president of Zontec Ozone, a leading manufacturer of Ozone Generators used worldwide in residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional applications. Visit or call Gruber at 800-474-0105.


Barb Worcester
Tel: (440) 930-5770

Dean Gruber
Zontec Ozone
Tel:  800-474-0105

Also See: Hoteliers Hail Zontec™ to Remove Room Odors / Manufacturer of ozone-based odor removal system receives rave reviews for eliminating unpleasant guestroom smells, including cigarette smoke, food and body odors / April 2006
Zontec™ Sponsors to Identify Best Places Where Guests Can ‘Breath Easy, Sleep Great’; Leading provider of air purification systems partners with industry’s newest online resource listing hotels committed to providing a clean, odor-free environment / April 2006
Zontec™ Cleaning Up Odors, Contaminants through Ozone Generation / March 2006

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