Allergy Free Hotel Rooms

By Heather Legg

Have you ever stayed in a hotel room and woken up in the morning with swollen, red puffy eyes? Perhaps you notice that when you arrive and have been in your room a little while, you begin to sneeze. Maybe your asthma becomes exacerbated when staying in a hotel. Yes, it very well could be that your hotel room is full of allergens and it’s causing your own allergies and asthma to act up. After all, do hotels take the same careful cleaning and allergen removing precautions that you do at home?

Surprisingly, the answer is becoming more often, yes. A Buffalo, NY based company, Pure Solutions, N.A. has been implementing a system to create what is known as PURE Allergy Friendly Rooms in hotels across the country. They go far beyond providing down free comforters and pillows. Brian Brault, the CEO, says there are seven methods to clean the rooms. Each room has its own air purifier, tea tree oil is used in cleaning, the air and water is treated and the mattresses and pillows are in special encasements to prevent and protect from dust mite allergens, plus more.

The Kimptom Hotel Chain is also experimenting with allergy free rooms where they use vacuum cleaners with special filters to trap pollen and dust mites as well as certified fragrance and chemical free cleaning products. It’s not only travelers with allergies seeking these rooms but also those looking for a life with less chemicals. It’s a big opportunity for hotels to gain more customers.

It’s also a big opportunity to charge more for rooms. On average, these rooms are $25 to $30 more than regular rooms.  Are these measures necessary and do they make a real difference to a traveler who will only be spending a small amount of time in a room? My husband usually asks for a down free pillow as soon as he gets to a hotel room, and that seems to do the trick for him. I don’t think he’ll be paying the premium allergy free room price as of yet. But then again, he’s not as severe as some other people may be.

But that’s just him. According to Pure Solutions, their hotel clients have grown from 50 last year to 250 this year. Obviously people want these rooms; some people need these rooms. For those with severe allergies, $30 may be worth it. In an article on families.com, a mother discusses the benefits of these rooms to her daughter who has cystic fibrosis and was never able to stay in a hotel room because it was too much of a struggle for her to breathe in them. She, however, can stay in a Pure room. Some tests run by Pure Room show that the particle counts in a Pure room are one tenth of those in a regular room and twelve times cleaner than outside air.

This is a nice feature offered by hotels, one that really is not that extravagant when you look at room service and minibar prices. The $30 spent on the room would barely even get you a room service breakfast, and it may do wonders for your health. Like so many other things in the allergy world, options are growing and those dealing with different allergies do not have to suffer so much.

Some other chains experimenting with this are the Wyndham, Intercontinental, Fairmont and Mandarin hotel chains and these rooms reach across the globe. Of course, there is no place like home, but whether it’s for work or for pleasure, it’s nice to have something close.

For more information on the PURE process and participating hotels, see www.pureroom.com.

Sources:

http://travel.usatoday.com/hotels/story/2011/05/Hotels-offer-%E2%80%94-and-charge-more-for-%E2%80%94-allergy-free-rooms/46734232/1

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-04-11/health/sc-health-0408-aa-hypoallergenic-20110411_1_hypoallergenic-rooms-pure-shield-allergy-sufferers

http://special-needs.families.com/blog/pure-room-helps-travelers-breath-easy

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