The top 20 priorities for a hotel room - from fresh smelling bed linen to the fluffiness of towels

A quarter of travellers would be put off a hotel within ‘seconds’ if the cleanliness was not up to scratch — with dirty bedsheets, a grimy bathroom and bad smells the top gripes.

A study of 2,000 adults found three quarters would leave a hotel or B&B if they found dirty bedsheets waiting for them, while 71 per cent would walk out if the bathroom was not clean.

Others would abandon their trip if they encountered stained carpets (39 per cent), rude staff (52 per cent) and loud noises (38 per cent).

But in a post-Covid world, more than a third (35 per cent) would also be put off if there was no visible cleaning taking place.

Feedback and cleanliness

A previous survey carried out in 2019 found that when researching where to stay, 40 per cent were swayed by feedback on cleanliness.

However, post pandemic, 70 per cent will now look for comments on a venue’s hygiene before booking.

It also emerged that despite more than a quarter being desperate to book a holiday after nearly 18 months of travel restrictions, half of adults will be put off making a booking if they didn’t feel confident in the hotel’s hygiene.

And one in five (20 per cent) will even pack their own cleaning products to give a room a once over before they unpack to ensure it is up to scratch.

Berat Onur, from P&G Professional, which commissioned the research to highlight its CleanPLUS Experience, said: “After the last year, hygiene has become a huge priority for us all - especially when we are away from our own homes.

“We are all really looking forward to getting back to holidays and breaks from our home, but we all want the reassurance that we will be safe and staying somewhere clean.

“Even before Covid, there are things which would put us off a hotel or B&B accommodation, and this is only becoming something we are more conscious of now.”


To help support B&Bs, guest-houses and hotels, P&G Professional has partnered with hotelier and restaurateur Marco Pierre White to help holidaymakers enjoy a ‘Safecation’ across the UK this summer.

He features in a video discussing the importance of cleanliness on first impressions in a hotel, and also explores how often different surfaces are touched by guests.

Marco Pierre White, who owns The Rudloe Arms, a hotel set in 14 acres of Wiltshire countryside, said: “I’m not surprised this research shows 50 per cent of people have been put off booking a break due to cleanliness concerns.

“As all in the hospitality industry will know, the health and safety of our guests is of the utmost importance.

“Following a challenging time, it’s fantastic to be able to welcome guests back and reassure customers with the CleanPLUS Experience - a gold standard of excellence when it comes to cleanliness.”

Top priority

The study also found more than six in 10 adults named a fresh smelling bedroom as the top priority when it comes to travel accommodation.

This was followed by fresh smelling bed linen (61 per cent), an immaculate bathroom (57 per cent) and no stray hairs in the room (49 per cent).

These were more important than value for money (44 per cent), the view from the window (32 per cent) and the size of the room (31 per cent).

If they were to walk into a dirty hotel room, 44 per cent would feel angry while 32 per cent would feel anxious.

But 43 per cent went as far as to say they would feel revolted and 32 per cent would feel stressed.

And 81 per cent felt that if a lobby of a hotel was dirty or smelly, they would assume the room would also be unclean.

Nearly a third (32 per cent) would even be prepared to pay more for a hotel or B&B if it meant they knew it would be cleaned to the highest standards.

The study, carried out via OnePoll, also found that while 24 per cent already have a break arranged for this year, 36 per cent are waiting for lockdown measures to ease before booking a holiday.

In the current climate though, 27 per cent are now likely to look for cleanliness information before booking accommodation, while 39 per cent will pay more attention to cleanliness and hygiene standards now.

The CleanPLUS Experience is a stamp of approval from P&G Professional’s household name brands – Fairy Professional, Flash Professional and Microban 24 Professional – which serves as a mark of assurance for guests when booking a break.

Berat Onur, from P&G Professional, added: “The last 18 months have made a lot of people think more about cleanliness and hygiene, which can only be a good thing – particularly when staying away from home.

“These statistics show that 22 per cent are more likely to book a B&B or hotel if they know staff are using cleaning brands they trust.

“Customers want to see how businesses are managing cleanliness, and it is critical that this is communicated clearly to the public.”

To find out more about the CleanPLUS Experience, visit"


1.            Dirty bedsheets

2.            Disgusting bathroom

3.            Smelly room

4.            Bad smells

5.            Rude staff

6.            Horrible food

7.            Stained carpets

8.            Loud noises

9.            A dirty or grubby lobby/reception area

10.          No visible cleaning taking place


1.            A fresh smelling bedroom

2.            Fresh smelling bed linen

3.            An immaculate bathroom

4.            No stay hairs in the bedroom or bathroom

5.            No dirty ring around the bathtub

6.            Value for money

7.            Whiteness of the sheets

8.            Room temperature

9.            Natural light

10.          Size of bed

11.          The view from the window

12.          Size

13.          Fluffiness of the towels

14.          Style/décor

15.          Amount of pillows

16.          No fingerprints on the mirror or window

17.          The whiteness of the bathrobes

18.          Information or signage about cleaning procedures

19.          Whether there are plug sockets near the bed or not

20.          Bathroom size

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