Your Favorite In-Room Items Are Quietly Vanishing From Hotels

Some favorite hotel features are going away due to the coronavirus pandemic.

One of the things many of us are disappointed about this summer is missed vacations. But the fact of the matter is, it's probably for the best, seeing as hotels are some of the germiest places out there. The hospitality industry has clearly needed to make major changes in its sanitation programs for a while, but that's even more critical now, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Recently, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont laid out specific health and disinfection advisories for a number of industries, including local hotels and inns, which could be emulated in resorts around the country and the globe. These new guidelines include removing a few favorite in-room perks in order to make the space cleaner and reassure guests who are staying overnight. To find out what you may not see the next time you open the door to your hotel room, read on. And for more travel changes to expect, check out the 7 Danger Zones in Hotels You Need to Avoid, According to Experts.

Ice buckets

hotel employees don't want you to know how gross that ice bucket is

According to Lamont's guidelines, hotels should remove any amenities that are not essential to a hotel's main function, including ice machines. That means, you won't be seeing an ice bucket in your room either. But in reality, that's one item that should've been gone from hotel rooms long ago. A 2018 investigation conducted by public health inspectors in Minnesota found that because ice buckets are not required to be cleaned or sanitized in between stays, they're loaded with bacteria and are a hotspot for norovirus.

Coffee machines

small coffee machine in a hotel room

Coffee machines have long been some of the grossest items in hotel rooms. A 2015 study published in Scientific Reports sampled the coffee waste reservoirs in 10 different Nespresso machines, and researchers found many different bacterial strains within them, including disease- and infection-causing bacteria like bacillus and pseudomonas. And while bacterial infections are different from viral ones like COVID-19, germs are germs. So it's no surprise coffee machines shouldn't be in hotels amid coronavirus, according to Lamont. And for other places where you'll no longer see coffee machines, check out the 5 Things You'll Never See in Your Office Again After Coronavirus.


mini bar stocked into hotel room

We all love raiding the mini-bar late at night, but that perk is disappearing post-COVID-19, per Lamont's guidelines. Not only will removing the mini-bar limit the risk of you touching items that've been handled by previous guests, it will also reduce the amount of time hotel workers need to spend in a room preparing it for the next guest.


pen and paper and phone on desk in hotel

While the odds of COVID-19 transmission from shared surfaces is lower than we initially believed, removing pens from hotel rooms, as Lamont suggests, will likely give some relief to guests concerned about who stayed in the room before them and what they touched.

Writing pads

A notebook and a pen on the shelf.

If you loved doodling on a writing pad while placing your room service order, you'll have to find another way to keep busy. Along with hotel pens, writing pads will also be removed from hotels, if the business is following Lamont's guidelines. And for more travel changes to expect, check out 13 Things You May Never See on Airplanes Again After Coronavirus.

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