Hotel Online  Special Report

Waterfront Hotels in Hot Water with Guests over Odors
Don’t drown in negative publicity from online reviews  . . . Zontec Ozone Generators
will save your reputation while improving your indoor air quality
By Dean Gruber, August 2006

High demand for hotel rooms this summer doesn’t necessarily mean a high level of guest satisfaction among coastal-hotel patrons. According to recent reports by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the hotel industry will achieve a record number of roomnights this summer. Recent guest complaints, however, on travel review web sites show some oceanfront properties are in hot water with guests due to poor indoor air quality and lack of proper cleaning tools which cause damp, moldy, musty odors.

Consider this: Travelers are forecast to spend an average of 6.0 percent more to rent a hotel room this summer compared to the summer of 2005 (based on the summer 2006 edition of Hotel Outlook, an econometric forecasting model developed by PKF Hospitality Research). It certainly would be a shame to lose this new-found revenue just because your hotel has an odor problem. 

Hotel occupancy rates are forecast to average 74.1 percent this summer, the highest level since 1997, according to PKF research. Since 2001, some of the greatest swings in lodging performance have occurred in the major coastal cities of the U.S. According to Smith Travel Research, the top U.S. coastal markets for summer occupancy include: the Hawaiian islands of Oahu and Maui; Manhattan and Long Island, New York; Los Angeles, Long Beach, Anaheim, Santa Ana and San Diego, Calif.; Miami, Hileah, Boca Raton and West Palm Beach, Fla.; and Houston, Texas. 

The good, the bad and the ugly

OK. More travelers are heading to the water – the gulf, the lake, the ocean. That’s the good news! The bad news comes from trip reviews reporting unpleasant, lingering, damp, wet, musty odors and ugly mold growth.

Let’s face it. With people comes odor. There are multi-cultural odors, body odors, accompanying pet odors, food odors and the No. 1 culprit – cigarette or cigar smoke. Likewise, when you have a waterfront property in a high-humidity climate, the hotel too will have odors – namely mold. 

Recently I went to and did a search for mold smells. I was surprised to see that there were 250 complaints listed for hotels – most of which represent coastal properties -- that smelled from mold – almost equal to the number of complaints I see about cigarette smoke odors. More surprising is the fact that 204 complaints contain the word “Fabreeze” – a topical spray advertised to mask odors. When travelers start recommending that their peers travel with products that temporarily “cover-up” odors – the lodging industry is in BIG TROUBLE.

One traveler wrote: “Take a bottle of FEBREEZE with you. (The room did not smell horrible but you are in the Carribean and no matter what you do you are still going to have a small musty smell. Face it. There are wet bathing suits, towels and such in the room and with the humidity so high they will never dry.”

Here are a few other excerpts from

“Great Beach – Horrible Stay!” This was a beautiful beach. Our family enjoyed spending time on the quiet beach and on the grounds of the villas (which were very well kept). However the stay wasn't all pleasant! When we arrived to check in, we did not get the room that we'd registered for over the net. … The room was also very smelly, moldy, and quite dirty. We had to go out and purchase cleaning supplies to use the showers. We tried using Febreeze to cover the smelly, moldy odor....that didn't work!

“Disgusting and Nasty” I saw this hotel on their website and it looked beautiful! But when we arrived at the actual hotel our mouths dropped open. It was terrible. This looked nothing like what they were showing online. The front of the lobby is very clean, but when you head around to the elevators, the smell of chlorine from the indoor pool nearly knocks you out. The hotel was full of mold and nasty smells. 

Here’s a heads up. When your guests say your hotel smells like a “mushroom,” you’ve got an odor problem. However, just because your hotel is on the water or features a lot of water attractions, it doesn’t mean that your guests have to throw in the towel, pack the Fabreeze and assume that mold odor will be part of their stay.

It’s just not true. 

A simple, proven solution

Ozone Generators have been providing hotels with mountain-fresh accommodations for many years. Ozone Generators actually attack odor-causing molecules and eliminate them completely from the atmosphere or hotel environment. That includes mold and mildew smells, pet odors and the too familiar stale cigar or cigarette.

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.  So your guests can say “good-bye” to smoke, burnt popcorn, mold, moth balls and bleach – forever. The odor never returns.

Simply keep the machine on your maid cart and plug it in for 30 minutes after each room is clean. It’s also great for the lobby, restaurants, exercise rooms, pool locker rooms, etc. Anywhere that you may have an unpleasant odor – ozone will remove it.

So, don’t drown in negative publicity. Go to and search you’re your hotel’s reviews. Then call Zontec Ozone to the rescue. Your guests will be glad you did – and they’ll thank you each time they return. 

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: Is Your Pet-Friendly Hotel ‘Odor’ Friendly? / Don’t let your hotel go to the dogs . . . Odorous hotel rooms are getting stinky reviews on travel sites / August 2006
Checked Your Hotel’s Reviews Lately? Odorous hotel rooms are getting stinky reviews on travel sites; Is your hotel up to “sniff”? / May 2006
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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