For those who travel regularly on business, you’ll know all too well how easy it is to end up in unclean accommodation. What may look glamorous on the brochure can actually be hiding stains, curious odours, germs, bacteria, and even bed bugs! Not the relaxing environment you hoped for after a long day working or exploring.
Serviced apartments now make up more than 25% of the Australian domestic accommodation industry, as reported by Travel Weekly. But the good news is that bunking down with germs and bacteria isn’t something you need to do when traveling.
Finding a good, clean serviced apartment that is true to what’s advertised is as simple as following these five handy tips:
Do your research
Sites such as Trip Advisor are great for reading reviews, but bear in mind that one bad review doesn’t mean it’s a bad place to stay. Be sure to read a variety of reviews, both good and bad, and pay attention to who has written them.
If service is something that’s important to you, call the serviced apartment and get a feel for their level of customer service. If they happily answer a few questions about their facilities and surrounding area, you can be assured they will are more likely to accommodate your needs on your arrival. Use this time to ask about the regularity of deep-cleaning amenities, such as room carpets and walls. Ask about their sanitising practices, and how often they have their air quality measured.
Assess on arrival
You should get a good idea of the cleanliness of your accommodation from the moment you arrive in the lobby. Dirty carpets and rugs in the reception are a dead giveaway that your room could be unclean, and how you are greeted reflects on the standards expected from staff. Check the landscaping, walkways, hallways, and elevators. Organised brochure stands and a fresh scent should be a good sign that management cares about cleanliness and order.
Once you open the door to your room, quickly survey the area for general cleanliness. Pull back the bedsheets, and if you see any black or red spots on the linen it could indicate bed bugs. In this case, get a staff member to inspect your room straight away. Bed bugs can cause severe itching and welt-like bites, and once in your luggage they can easily be transferred to your own home. The last thing you want is to return home with bed bugs.
Speak up if you’re not happy
If you feel that your room hasn’t been cleaned to the standard you expect, let staff know. It may be that they send a cleaner to clean the room again, or you may be granted a new, fresh room. Most serviced apartments would rather you express your concerns on arrival as opposed to leaving negative feedback or posting a bad review online.
While a clean room should be something on your checklist, you need to be realistic about the level of cleanliness. Serviced apartments are popular places with heavy foot traffic, so obviously some dirt will get on carpets from time to time. They are also designed to be warm and welcoming, not sterile and aseptic, so keep this in mind in regards to the decor – it may feel more homey than a normal hotel room, but what’ wrong with that?!
Take things into your own hands
Unfortunately, there are certain areas of hotel rooms that are commonly missed by cleaners, such as television remotes, light switches and door handles. If you are worried about the spreading of germs, take a pack of disinfecting wipes with you and give these things a quick wipe over. You can also pack hand sanitiser and wash your hands regularly.
It’ also worth noting that chain serviced apartment residences have generally had a long time to work out any kinks, and so are the safest choice in terms of cleanliness, service, and general accessibility. Always talk to the reception staff about any of your concerns, and they will be happy to help you with answers and solutions to any questions or problems you may have.