Has anyone noticed that Marriott is starting to spray room with "scents"?
I'm at a Courtyard and after my first night there I woke up to a massive headache and nausea.
I asked the maid and she said that she does spray a perfume in the rooms. I emailed Marriott and they sent the email to the hotel manager
Who sent me this response.
Our Customer Care department forwarded me your concern with the use of perfume in the room. Our housekeepers do spray an odor neutralizer when they clean the rooms. This chemical does have a variety of scents and we change the one we are using about every three months. Our current scent is called "Laundry Fresh". This product is supplied by Ecolab, a Marriott approved vendor that supplies all our cleaning chemicals. I apologize for any miscommunication from our housekeeper about using perfume and I'm sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.
As you mentioned, you absolutely can request a "chemical free" room. At our hotel, when we get this request we reclean the room just using warm water and do not spray any other cleaning chemicals during the guests stay."
This is the second Marriott Hotel that I've stayed in that had a strong perfume smell that made me ill.
We finally have hotel rooms that do not smell of cigarette smoke, only to be subjected to chemical sprays. Even if I ask not to spray my room, in most hotels the windows cannot be opened so the chemicals get shared room to room by the ventilation system.
Has anyone else noticed this? Is this something that will cause health problems?
I would object to having my room sprayed with any scent. I have allergies and from what I read about a third of the population react to scents. They used to put scented shampoos and conditioners in the room and then went to scent free so they must know that a good portion of people don't want it.
They used to spray cars with strong scents and have stopped probably because many people objected.
I agree with Californian.
Also have sensitivites to chemicals/ perfumes/ scents.
What are they trying to neutralize? There has to be a better way.
I know I've seen signs of mold/ mildew in several bathrooms..... and dirty air filters.... areas not dusted/ vacuumed like they're supposed to be. Perhaps starting with deeper cleaning instead of trying to mask scents would help negate the need for spraying the rooms.
Today Ecolab, tomorrow http://www.scentpression.com/ or some other marketing technique (sound, color, touch)
More and more the burden is on the consumer to request exactly what they want, rather than having it as a standard, another effort required in securing a service.
As noted by others, the use of scents in hotels, whether in rooms, lobbies, restaurants, or other spaces, can be unpleasant for some and dangerous for others. Both my husband and I are sensitive to almost all scents and chemical smells. We get immediate headaches (within 1 min.) that may be accompanied by nausea. Removing ourselves from the scent will not necessarily bring immediate relief, which means we may suffer for the rest of the day or night. We faced a similar problem with cigarette and cigar smoke in the past. Our sensitivity to scents is not related to how many chemicals or other artificial ingredients are found in the products. Although these add to the problem, many natural scents produce the same symptoms.
When Marriott went totally smoke-free we made it our first choice for a hotel when booking, however we are becoming increasingly frustrated by the presence of scents in Marriott hotels (and many others). We will no longer stay in such places and will become loyal customers of whichever hotel chain(s) adopt a chain-wide scent-free policy. To be clear, this applies to all cleaning products, all use of air fresheners, etc., regardless of whether they are "green" or not.
There is no need for the use of such products and they most certainly do not increase our spending. They decrease it to zero at hotels, restaurants, and other retailers that do not respect the fact that many of us find these products both offensive and a health risk.
Please stop using scented products, period, Marriott!
Sorry to hear that uc! Headaches and nausea are certainly not what members should experience upon check in. I'd be happy to pass this feedback on to the greater team. If you'd like to DM me with more information (i.e. any specific properties?), I can pass your feedback on.
I also get sick from the sprays and scents used, and in fact switched to Marriott properties from Westin & Sheraton's, because the scents they put in the air gave me a migraine. I recently had to cancel a reservation at Marriott in
San Diego, Marina Marriott, because they began using scent in the lobby a year ago. When I called the hotel, they had no idea what was in it, just said that it was "corporate." When asked if they could turn it off during my stay, they said they had to get advance permission. They use so much Febreze at the Marriott at the SF Airport Marriott, that I cannot stay there either without getting a headache. Febreze actually changes your nose's ability to smell and impacts your brain. I mean, they advertise that you will not even smell a room full of old fish smell, so you know they are not fooling around with gentle smell enhancers.
I always call ahead and see if the smell is going on in the lobby before checking in.
This is an excellent topic. I too am concerned about chemical sprays being used in rooms. Im doubtful it is for scent unless the property is old and musty and needs to have a fresh smell. My bigger concern is insecticides used for bed bugs and or other creepy crawly critters. I really try to book properties with rooms where you can open a window, however some properties are like sealed tombs with no way to access fresh air, only the central air conditioning unit is recirculating the air.
Is there a way to find out what we are breathing. Like most frequent travellers we spend a lot, I mean a lot of nights in hotel rooms verse the holiday travellers. The effects of chemicals on the human body have to be adverse with frequent exposure in the long term.
So lets get the strait goods on what is going in our rooms...
anyway to find that out???
Do the hotel managements/ franchisees or Marriott corp hq even pay attention to our posts?
I would like to think that if they cared about their specific properties or the Marriott brand itself, that they would understand that this affects a lot of people.
Like many of those who have posted, I'm sensitive to something in the "air freshners" as well. If a property feels they need to use these, then something's probably wrong. Or needs cleaning. The solution is to figure it out instead of compounding the issue by exposing your guests to even more irritants/ contaminants.
Right after check in at a Courtyard in Texas last year, I notice an employee spraying the entire lobby area with some "freshner" I almost choked. Told the front the front desk attendant... they could care less.
If we had the opportunity to rate our hotel stays like we used to, then I would have posted this so others would know... perhaps even the hotel management and corporate Marriott. Interesting coincidence that our feedback mechanism disappeared about the time I started noticing what I feel is an abuse of air "freshner".
Ohmygosh, this is HUGE for me, as well as my mother. The scented air filters and sprays not only give us instant migraines with nausea, it also sets off our asthma. I have literally checked out of a property for this very reason. I have also just finished booking a number of properties and actually changed my mind about one of them based on the references to scents in the rooms on TripAdvisor.
I know quite a number of other people who have the same issues. I have no idea whose bright idea this was but it needs to stop. A chemical is a chemical is a chemical.
Okay, I'll shut up now. lol
I cancel rooms based on the use of chemical scents also, and quit staying at the Westin and Sheraton chains because of getting a migraine every time exposed to their smells. The scents are not confined to the lobby, since they are gases they travel throughout the property, such as up elevator shafts and down hallways. Make your concerns known to the properties. The more they hear about it, the more they will realize its not just a handful of people with too much time on their hands.
Chemical scents, especially those that are continually used in areas such as lobbys will hopefully be exposed for the unnecessary toxins that they contain and be discontinued. The marketing ploy is that guests will unconsciously connect the nice smell they experience with the hotel, and become a frequent guest to experience that feeling again. What the hotels overlook is that these smells contain many chemicals, not all of which are disclosed, due to proprietary claims made by the chemical companies that make them. Its not potpourri made of rose petals that are sitting in the lobby, but chemicals dispersed by chemical agents. This is an important issue that impacts not only allergy sufferers but anyone who continually breathes this air, such as employees who have no choice but to be there and breath it all day. I hope the Marriott will return to its former policy of relying on clean air, rather than relying on involuntary exposure to chemical scents.
Here is the MSDS on that product, rogerg. Last page shows it as a moderate risk to health. It's also deadly to the environment:
Environmental Effects : Harmful to aquatic life.
The product should not be allowed to enter drains, water courses or the soil.
Here is the MSDS on that product, rogerg. Last page shows it as a moderate risk to health. It's also deadly to the environment:
Environmental Effects : Harmful to aquatic life.
The product should not be allowed to enter drains, water courses or the soil.
Good call on the MSDS. I couldn't help noticing, under section 3, that they describe the fragrance as a "Proprietary Ingredient". It seems to be one way the manufacturers can get away with putting just about anything in the products since there really are no regulations in place.
A little transparency would be nice. Especially for those of us with chemical sensitivities!
Just stayed at the Santa Ynez Marriott. I walked into the lobby and the scent was enough to knock one out. The halls were strong too and some in my room. I would have just walked out but was too tired to drive farther. I complained and was told that they get a lot of complaints but some people like it. For those complaining, it is a health issue or some level of discomfort. For those who like it, just a preference. I came away sick. This should not happen.
Sensitivity to chemicals is a major problem affecting 12-15% of the population. Unfortunately this health issue is not well known. If it does not affect you, how would you know how troublesome it is for others.
I have been a loyal Marriott consumer for decades. Last week I stayed at a corporate-owned Courtyard. While waiting to check in, my head started to ache. It only grew worse. I put on a mask so I could breathe somewhat better. The source was quickly identified: EcoLab "air fresheners" were placed in common areas. I decided to stay but not spent much time at this Courtyard.
The management removed the EcoLab "air fresher" from my floor. I appreciated the gesture. It helped some but the scent and chemicals lingered. I aired out my room keeping my patio door open for a couple hours. I then wore my mask outside my room.
Later on my trip I stayed at a non-corporate Courtyard. When I asked personnel there about "air freshers", they said they would never use because they can make some guests and some employees feel bad. Good for them. They understand.
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND Marriott review their procedures relating to "air refreshers."
If you research the toxicity of air refreshers, you will see what a problem this can be for your internal and external customers, whether they bring it to your attention or not. Health issues associated with air fresheners are well
documented. Unfortunately no significant action has been taken at the federal level. Most actions are state and city.
This can be an ADA issue. The ADA does not specify disabilities. My chemical sensitivity has been medically documented. My employer recognizes that I have this disability.
There are many sources available for Marriott personnel to learn about the problems associated with air fresheners. I will list a few URLs. You can find more I am sure. I suggest you review these and learn more about the issues.
wikipedia appears to accurately report toxicity information about air fresheners.
The bottom-line is that air fresheners will pose health hazards to some of your customers. Some like me have negative physical reactions. Others may have reactions but not know the cause. Children who have issues will have no clue about what is happening.
My experience working with small businesses has been that once managers are aware of the problems associated with air fresheners that do not use them in public places. Usually it is just a matter that managers or small business leaders were unaware of the health concerns.
Please review the above and reconsider your use of the air fresheners.
Although I am not super sensitive to smell, I admit that there have been a few times that I've been slapped in the face with the 'fragrance' when I entered the room. I notice the pattern of it being done in older Marriotts, most likely to disguise equally old (probably original) carpet and drapes. The Detroit CY spray will knock your socks off, trust me on that one. I barely got any sleep as it was hard to breath. Fresh air is always the best choice in my book.
After being a loyal 30 year customer of Marriott hotels, my family now avoids Marriott hotels because of the use of sickening fragrances. We have found hotel staff very helpful in trying to remove fragrances from our rooms. However, you can't remove in a moment the saturation of fragrances now common at nearly all Marriott hotels. We've literally gone to the store to buy new clean bedding, opened windows, removed soaps from the bathroom, etc. The only solution seems to be to avoid Marriott. This is disappointing because in other respects we have always enjoyed Marriott hotels.
Also, I have noticed that the fragrances do not appear to be used to mask odors. Perfectly clean rooms with absolutely no mold are scented. In my opinion, someone in Marriott management likes chemical scents and fails to recognize how sickening those scents are for other people.
In the past 6 months I had issues staying at the Residence Inn and the Courtyard because of strong chemical smell and allergic reaction. I was looking forward to a nice stay at the Residence Inn at Bethany Beach ocean front this past week. I called ahead of time thinking that it was pet dander that I had a reaction to previously. The staff was super nice and accommodating and said that they would do extra cleaning and put me in a room that they knew had not had pets in it and even gave me an ocean front upgrade. I walked in and not after 1 min my chest started to close up. I asked to change room, and the new room did not have as strong a smell but I started wheezing and had to check-out. This was when I realized that it was the chemicals that I was reacting to and not the pet dander. I asked what kind of cleaning products used and the manager said Ecolab. I drove down the coast and stayed at the Courtyard and it had the same smell in the corridor but not in the room. I moved to the Hilton the next day.
This made me realized that my allergic reactions at another Residence Inn in Virginia Beach and in Sacramento with multiple room changes weren't pet dander related but it was the cleaning products in the carpet and upholstery. Interestingly, the Fairfield Inn I moved to after the incident at Residence Inn in Virginia Beach didn't use the same cleaning product.
Marriott is loosing me as customer because I now can't stay at any of their hotels.
I just sent the following to Marriott customer service as well as a news organization.
Dear Marriott Hotels,
I’m writing requesting a refund for the time I was a guest at one of your facilities. Due to no fault of my own, I was ill the entire time I was there because of the scent-branding your corporation is doing.
I stayed at the Naperville Illinois location for a working conference from Thursday, April 28th and checked out Sunday, May 1st. Immediately upon walking into the lobby, I was hit with an extremely strong perfume-like aroma. I checked in and was told the hotel is Eco-Friendly and given instruction regarding the lights and heating/cooling system in my room. I didn’t mention any aroma at this point because I thought it might have come from passing a guest with too liberal perfume.
But no, once in my room, I realized the aroma was something within the hotel and even though it wasn’t as strong in my room, I could still smell it. While in my room, I called housekeeping and asked for the feather pillows to be removed and replaced because of allergies. They brought me the hardest foam pillows I’ve ever used and simply told me to use the closet blanket instead of the feather comforter.
I went to the dining area which is part of the lobby/bar/lounge/restaurant and had dinner alone while I worked. I was seated in the booth that is furthest from the bar. As I worked, I could smell the perfume, which got a lot stronger every time someone walked past my table. By the time my dinner came, I was woozy, light-headed, my eyes were burning and watering, and I had a headache. None of which I had upon arrival at the Marriott.
After dinner, I went to the front desk where two employees greeted me. I asked if the hotel pumps air freshener through the heating/cooling system and told them whatever it was making me ill – woozy and feeling highly allergic to it. I mentioned I had just had all my feather pillows removed and asked if they could turn down the air scent.
One of the employees began telling me how all Marriott Hotels have a signature scent to help with branding and it’s not something they can turn off. He said the used air freshener machines in the lobby only. The other employee then told me that he, too, gets ill from the scent and several employees have complained and don’t like it either. (In retrospect, I wish I would’ve directed that young man to OSHA because what I have discovered in a short amount of research time is appalling.) I was told they would talk to a manager about turning it down.
When my conference began on Friday, several conference attendees commented on the effects they were experiencing due to the strong perfume scent floating around the hotel. Headaches, raw throat, watery eyes, burning eyes, light-headedness, etc. Many of us actually had to cover our noses while walking through the lobby and while sitting in the lobby restaurant and lounge area. This occurred all through Saturday and Sunday as well.
Sunday morning, while I was walking in the hallway that leads from the Grand Ballroom to the restaurant/bar area (where I had sat on Thursday for dinner), I noticed a black floor stand with a black square framed box on top of it against the wall. Inside the square frame was the Scent Unit, blasting full on people-sickening air freshener. I took the liberty of unplugging it. I wished I had noticed it sooner, along with the one placed behind a plant on a table at the main entrance, because I would’ve unplugged that one too.
It seems like such an easy fix but unfortunately, my complaint and the air quality others suffer through are less important than branding through smell.
I’d like to point out that in the very short amount time I spent researching, I came across complaint after complaint regarding people leaving your hotels due to getting sick, having asthma attacks, migraines, allergic reactions, etc. these complaints date back 2-3 years so this is a recurring problem you are aware of and do nothing about.
I’d also like to point out the irony of touting your Eco-friendly environment when you are using chemicals to poison the air and your guests. The ingredients in the Belle Fragrances, suppliers of your ScentAir fan units, include formaldehyde and a plethora of other toxic chemicals.
According to your own website, your core value is to Put People First as stated on your 2015 Health, Safety and Well Being report. From my experience, it seems you are putting scent branding first since you have been aware of this problem and complaint for years.
I see your 2015 Goals/Targets mention Providing a safe and healthy environment for associates and guests and I hope you begin to take this more seriously. Air quality has a huge impact on the health of many people. Even people who never experienced aroma sensitivity were experiencing health affects during my stay.
Another Goal/Target you’ve listed is Raising awareness of potential hazards for associates and guests and the ScentAir system is not just a potential hazard, it IS a hazard and needs to go.
Regarding your Goals/Targets, I say you’re in the right direction but please refer back to Put People First and avoid using products that make us sick. These products also have a negative impact on the environment through waste and water contamination.
I’ve read complaints from all over the World regarding “scent branding” in hotels and urge Marriott and other corporations to make their guests aware of the use of these products before a reservation is made. From now on, I will ask upon making a reservation and avoid staying anywhere that purposefully poisons indoor air.
Scents and Senseless Toxins article - https://www.prlog.org/11330184-scents-and-senseless-air-toxins-in-the-orleans-and-other-las-vegas-hotels.html
Toxic Air Fresheners - http://www.healthy-holistic-living.com/toxic-air-fresheners.html
Marriott Environmental Responsibly links. To this I say you’re in the right direction but please refer back to Put People First and avoid using products that make us sick. These products also have a negative impact on the environment through waste and water contamination. http://www.marriott.com/corporate-social-responsibility/corporate-environmental-responsibility.mi
Marriott 2014 – https://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/thread/17315
2015 Update On Health, Safety and Well Being – http://www.marriott.com/Multimedia/PDF/CorporateResponsibility/2015_Reports/2015_HealthSafetyandWellbeing.pdf
The foundation of Marriott International’s success lies in our core value to Put People
“Take care of your associates and they’ll take care of your customers and the customers
will come back.”
When our associates feel valued, respected and trusted, they are better able to take care of themselves, our customers and our communities. We believe the health, safety and wellbeing of our associates and guests is critical to our success and the vitality of our local communities. We have established formal programs to help drive our efforts in each of these areas.
Taking care of our guests and associates is a priority for Marriott. Our goals include:
Please note I have attached photos of the ScentAir machine located literally 6 to 8 feet from where I had been sitting on Thursday during my dinner. (photos not shown).
I can't believe that with all of the comments Marriott gets concerning the over use of scents, that they don't pay attention. I am sensitive to the scents and get headaches quickly.
Bottomline, I don't stay in Marriotts as often as I would otherwise. Note to Corporate Marriott: Not addressing our comments is/ will have an adverse impact on your top and bottom-lines. Also seems to me that the franchisees just blow off our comments since not enough of us are vocal about this to the hotel GMs/ franchisees. My instinct is that unless the comments are made in sufficient numbers at a higher level, nothing will be done about it.
Somehow, they don't seem to get it that there are other options. Loyalty only goes to where the beginning of health issues appears. At that point, you have lost a lot of customers... possibly for good.
Ira, thank you for your post!
It seems to me that either top management (Arne Sorenson) is either unaware or indifferent to the various issues raised by their most important--- and often neglected--- customers.
The use (over use) of chemicals to mask odors is a BIG deal to several of us who have chemical sensitivities. It would be sooo easy for them to look at this forum and see there are several people this affects. But nothing has changed. So I have to assume they choose to ignore our feedback OR they just don't care. I'm a big believer in pay attention to their actions--- NOT their words.
Bottom-line, my loyalty to Marriott (since 1983) is trumped by my concern for my health. Like others have stated, there are Marriott properties I will not stay at due to their use/ over use of chemicals that imperil my health. I can't imagine that Bill Marriott would have ever allowed this. Given this decline and Marriott's insoucience, I can understand why Ira sent this to the media. Too bad it had to come to this as they were warned by many loyal customers about the issue. Today's Marriott is not the Marriott I fell in love with in the 1980's.