Bleh: Marriott Hotels Are Installing In-Shower Dispensers

Filed Under: Hotels, Marriott

Marriott has just announced that they will be replacing the individual bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and soap, with in-shower dispensers. In the past we’ve seen this at some limited service hotels (since this is obviously lower cost), though it’s now coming to actual Marriott properties.

This will be required for all 450 Marriott hotels that are managed directly by the company in North America, and will be optional for franchised hotels. Not surprisingly, this is being marketed as a plastic-saving initiative, though Marriott’s VP of sustainability calls it a “win-win:”

“This is a win-win from a sustainability perspective, operational perspective, and financial perspective.”

“Many of our franchisees share our values and are just as passionate as we are about subjects like this. It’s part of our DNA, and we’re always looking towards opportunities that make a difference. This is one.”

I love how guests are left out of the “win-win” equation. I can appreciate the desire to do good for the environment, though there’s no denying that hotels largely use this as an opportunity to cut costs. It’s the same as hotels encouraging you not to have your sheets changed too often, and to limit water use.

Marriott says that this new program will save an average of 250 pounds of plastic per year for a 140-room hotel, which translates to 23,000 plastic bottles. Marriott says that this will save most owners $1,000 to $2,000 per year (which frankly is less than I was expecting).

Rather suspiciously, Marriott claims that the feedback for this during their test program has been “almost universally positive,” per Lodging Magazine:

Guests were also enthusiastic about the program throughout Marriott’s pilot testing. “There was almost universally positive feedback from out guests. We wanted to make sure that if a guest really wanted to have their own amenity bottles they could take them, they were still available on request,” Naguib says.

They received “almost universally positive feedback?” Really? I’ve written in the past about my suspicions regarding how companies collect feedback, and this is one of those situations. I can appreciate that normal bottles may still be available on demand, though in practice most us won’t go through the effort of requesting them.

There’s something that feels inherently low end about these dispensers, though perhaps that’s just because up until now those are the hotels I’ve associated this with.

Really my issue with these dispensers is twofold:

  • I question their cleanliness; everyone is pushing the pump in the same place while touching every body part imaginable, and I question how well the pumps are cleaned
  • I find that these dispensers don’t work far too often; it’s one thing if they consistently worked, but I find that a good percentage of the time I have issues

Where do you stand on this — is this a reasonable environmental measure for hotels to take, or is this just a simple way for them to cut costs? Do you care?

(Tip of the hat to Dennis)

  1. @lucky mariott has sent out emails to select guests about a April 16 meeting about loyalty programs will you be going? Looks like there will be atleast some introductory info to the new program if not a full reveal/q&a session at the meeting.

  2. As long as they lock the dispensers properly and securely, I’m not going to oppose this. Some hotels have easy-to-open dispensers and I can’t imagine what gross things other guests may put in them.

  3. I’m not a fan, for me it’s more of the cleanliness issue.

    Why not just make the bottles smaller, out of recycled plastic, or some other green way?

  4. I think this is great. Hopefully the stuff coming out the dispensers will help you clean off the stuff you acquired from using it. TBH, I’d rather use these dispensers than have our beaches littered with the dead wildlife who’ve choked on little Le Labo bottles.

  5. Yes, it feels less classy; but the environmental benefits are huge, and *far* outweigh the small aesthetic downside. Ditto for “green choice”/ not changing sheets every single day. I think it’s really irresponsible to bash this.

    The idea that people putting their fingers on the same pump is “uncleanly” is completely ridiculous. That’s also true of, e.g., the toilet flush, the sink knobs, and *everything else in the hotel room.* At least people are actively cleaning themselves at the time they’re touching the dispenser pump.

  6. I actually am happy about this. It may be the pinnacle of laziness, but I find these much easier to use than the tiny individual bottles. I usually carry travel sized toiletries as I prefer the brands I prefer, but when I use the hotel stuff I find the wall mounted dispensers better.

    If its good for the environment, thats another plus. Its obviously an easy claim to make, and the real intentions are cost savings, but who cares? In the grand scheme of things, its not a big deal.

    If the cleanliness bothers you, which is a valid concern, push the pump once, lather the button or pump up, rinse it, and its good to go. Soap is soap after all.

  7. I hope they get rid of the Chinese-made amenities I found in rooms from Mideast to Africa to Asia last year. Yecchhhhhh.

  8. I’m also strongly in favor of this. Unfortunately, the travel industry creates a ton of physical waste and I’m totally willing to sacrifice some convenience if it means reducing the amount of plastic that is thrown away, even if hotels are benefitting from the cost cuts. Even better if sustainable practices benefit the traveller (for instance using silver and glassware instead of plastic on flights) but baby steps are necessary.

  9. I think this is really great. The mini bottles get used once and get thrown away, usually wasting 50% of the shampoo or conditioner. Then the mini bottles get replaced each day. Extremely wasteful.

    I usually take the unopened ones for airbnb or other vacation rental stays, but that’s not the point. All for reduction of use of plastics to bolster the environment.

    Airline lounges use these installed bottles for showers and I’ve never once heard complaints about that (on this blog or elsewhere)

  10. People always bring up cleanliness when hotels install these things. But if you think about it,

    1. you touch the pump
    2. You have a handful of soapy stuff
    3. You wash .. yourself

    Any and all germs are taken care of by step 3 ?

  11. I vote for making bar soap appear again. As much as it doesn’t get used, there’s ways to recycle for third world countries.

    Also, it’s the middle ground of cutting plastic and meeting sanitary demands. Shampoo, conditioner, etc can be made into little bars.

  12. Also very supportive of this change. The small loss of “classiness” and ablity to take a container on the go with you is far outweighed by the positive environmental benefits. I have always hated those little bottles.

    In terms of cleanliness, that doesn’t bother me much. You likely pick up way more nasty bacteria touching the door handle on the way out of the bathroom (something that is basically never cleaned) than you would pick up from the dispenser.

  13. If I’m paying $500 a night let alone $150 a night, my sheets should get changed every day, I should get my own toiletries, I should get a robe and slippers. Oh wait. Marriott has pretty much eliminated robes and slippers, too.

  14. I oppose this.

    It is possible to wipe the pump’s button if you’re afraid of germs. However, it’s not possible to take home soap.

    I take home soap and shampoo. That way, I don’t have to buy soap. Hilton’s soap is a decent Neutrogena bar, not some cut rate brand or made in a primitive country. (I don’t take home toilet paper and certainly not towels!)

  15. Sounds like the same stupid change like when Marriott announced it was removing desks from rooms because guests liked working from bed, not at desks.

  16. Agree with @Pam. This change is terrible. In addition to being unclean (if kids stayed in the room before you and made a mess underneath the dispenser, good luck!), it feels cheap. Plus, when staying at a nice hotel (though I would not include Marriott in that category), it can be nice to take home a little leftover shampoo or conditioner as a souvenir. Very lousy.

  17. It appears they’re starting to be installed in Courtyard hotels as well, based on the one I’m staying in this week.

  18. …Then the mini bottles get replaced each day. Extremely wasteful.
    Not true for me. I put the shampoo in the drawer. New ones are placed in the bathroom. I then use the shampoo in the drawer and take the new ones home.

    When I have 3-4 nearly empty bottles, I balance one open bottle on to another so it goes from 2 x 20% full bottles to one 40% bottle. Then 2 40% bottles make 1 80% bottle.

    Over the past 10 years, I’ve only had to buy shampoo a few times. I’ve not had to buy soap at all. Hilton has decent sized soap. Econolodge has tiny soap but luckily I rarely stay there.

  19. There are many high end hotels around the world that do this very thing. As long as the dispensers are properly secured and cleaned everyday I see no reason why not. As with any hotel stay it’s up to the guest to check the room over and that includes the bathrooms. I have no issues going downstairs with my bags in tow letting them know the bathroom especially the shower is not acceptable. After all you paid for the room and expect a certain level of service

  20. This is the last straw.

    I was thinking of changing over from Hilton Honors to the new Marriott SPG program but no longer.

    My hotel programs will now be Hilton Honors and Choice Privileges with minor IHG participation. No Marriott or Wyndham Rewards. The rare Hyatt stay will go to airline miles.

  21. “When I have 3-4 nearly empty bottles, I balance one open bottle on to another so it goes from 2 x 20% full bottles to one 40% bottle. Then 2 40% bottles make 1 80% bottle.”

    That’s great. And when you decide to throw them away, your great-grandchildren can retrieve them from the local landfill to reuse 100 years later in the same condition.

  22. Anecdotes from a few individuals who routinely take the mini toiletries home with them do not rebut the statistical evidence that the great majority of these bottles (and their contents) get thrown away — because most people do not take them home.

  23. Great news indeed. I can’t wait till all hotels adopt this sensible eco-friendly approach. And if it saves them some money in the process, why not.

  24. Most properties are franchised and I would imagine the vast majority won’t be following their lead.

  25. I have mixed feelings. On one hand I applaud any effort to reduce waste – there’s certainly enough of that in our culture.

    On the other hand I’m sad if this is a new trend. I often take home the mini bottles from high-end hotels and even use some as stocking stuffers (Bulgari, Le Labo, Etro) though I suspect the practice won’t extend to luxury hotels.

    Marriott amenities are a solid meh. Sometimes I bring my own when I can be so organized and I most certainly don’t take them with me

  26. In the lounges, these dispensers are not always bolted down correctly and you can open them. Last time at Heathrow T5 BA biz lounge, I could tell someone poured in bright green liquid into the shampoo dispenser just to get a kick out of an unsuspecting customer in the shower stall. Luckily I saw before I pumped. You can also use biodegradable bottles or plastic pouches to cut down on hard plastic waste. I could care less about bringing their crappy Thanh? brand bottles home (cheap smelling perfume on everything), this is more of a hygiene issue for me.

  27. very simple..if you do not like it..CHOICES..why bother in having a headache, for what?…they are going to do it anyway..cost cuttings or enviromental or whatever… are the boss of your own money..stay there or move along..

  28. I too take the mini bottles home but not for my own use. I donate them to a church who collects them for a homeless shelter. And I agree with many of you in that this new policy cheapens the hotel experience.

  29. [email protected] Gregg (1:40pm). I take the mini bottles to my research lab and extract a chemical from them that I then use to cure cancer in impoverished orphans in third-world countries. On the other hand, I personally know over 30 people who have contracted HIV from just looking at a secured soap dispenser.

  30. i routinely decline housekeeping services even when staying at Ritz Carlton. I don’t have the “i paid big bucks therefore i’m gonna use every single amenity i’m entitled to” type of mentality.

    I’m not some environment crazed nut from Berkeley but social responsibility (like doing your part of recycling) is the difference between those who are just educated and those who are enlightened.

  31. I just hope these containers are well-labeled, the .5pt type of the mini bottles drive me crazy. Especially the higher end brands that have identical dark or opaque bottles and tiny printing saying shampoo, body wash, conditioner, lotion, etc. I don’t wear my glasses in the shower and often can’t tell what I’m using.

  32. I’m okay with the dispensers, as long as they offer a decent product in them. Most of the Marriott chains I’ve stayed in had Paul Mitchell shampoo and conditioner, which is appreciated. I’m not a fan of some of the herbal toiletries that many hotels offer; the scents are too strong and trigger allergies.

  33. This is NOT what I would expect from a 4-star hotel, though I would have no problem with it at a 3.5-star or less (limited service as you said). It seems as if 4-star hotels are increasingly drifting to limited-service standards where they used to be essentially luxury hotels.

  34. I’m hugely supportive of this. It is definitely a win-win for anyone who’s not a paranoid germophobe. I’ve never felt less “classy” by having bulk shampoo in a hotel room…in fact I often find it annoying having to request more when my wife and I have used the one tiny bottle they give you.

  35. I actually really like this. My only request would be that the dispensers can’t easily be tampered with. If people can open them, they will and that’s when you start to question what else is in with your shampoo. I’ve stayed at several non-chain hotels in Europe that have this but they always have the squeeze type dispensers that are hanging upside down. And no, soap is not constantly dripping out on the floor. Only when you squeeze it.

    I also don’t like the small quantities you get from the individual amenities. I have short hair and it’s hard to get more than a couple uses out of each. It’s nearly impossible if there are multiple people in the room. And for people with long hair, do you only get one use out of these? At least with the dispensers you can use what you feel like you need.

  36. The way I see it is that Marriott will replace bottles with dispensers. And in my opinion this will mean that there will be dispensers in the bathroom. I don’t want to be controversial, but bottles will be available on demand.

  37. It’s not much different than the soap dispensers in every bathroom, but if it’s just the larger bottles that can be opened by the previous occupant, it opens the door to some potentially nasty things. They definitely need to install something that can’t be tampered with. There was a just a story of someone peeing in a soap dispenser (I guess that’s his “thing”).

  38. I’m mixed. I generally don’t care for the soap at Marriott’s anyway. If they replace it with Tea Tree then I’m all for it. That Thann crap is awful! That being said, I’ve stayed at a few places recently that actually threw out my in-use bar and bottles of shampoo and conditioner to replace them with new. They were used once. That’s wasteful. How about just leave some fresh bottles in the room, and not replace them every day?

  39. I bring my own hair products and generally use the soap offered at hotels. I sure hope the liquid soap dispensers are tamper proof. If not, just give me an old fashioned mini soap bar. I applaud the eco friendly approach but will withhold judgment until I see how it’s implemented.

  40. Find it disgusting and increases waste of products as non conscientious people will have way more product to use than what is available in small bottles. Unfortunately this will be coming to SPG soon. Shame on you Marriott.

  41. This is a bad move. I prefer bar soap, and bottles of overly perfumed shower goop certainly cheapen the experience. I’ve stayed a a few Autograph Collection properties in recent months and they had these wretched pumps at all of them.

    I, too, use the shampoo at home (haven’t bought a bottle in 10 years), and I also enjoy collecting he soaps (I have hundreds).

    As for the enviro virtue signalers who think that a bit of plastic is gonna destroy ‘muh envihrinmint’, chill. Otherwise, go sleep in a lean-to and use a pit latrine.

  42. As long as the containers are secured so that adulteration is less likely, I’m all for reducing plastics.

  43. We stayed at a boutique hotel and they had it right. Touch free soap dispensers with high end organic soap/shampoo. The dispensers were metal and classy. They had offered little sample bottles of the soap/shampoo to take away at checkout and option to buy full size bottles if you liked the product, even offering free shipping home. Then again I have stayed at hotels in Asia where soap dispenser is stuck or out and have to call front desk to refill/fix. I have habit of testing out dispensers before getting into shower now 🙂

  44. It’s a loss of branding.

    I’m not opposed to using a dispensers to reduce waste. The brand name, style, color of the bottles, and they way they were arranged in the bathroom was a “show piece” of hospitality; how much the hotel cared about guests, how they wanted guests to recognize the quality of housekeeping, attention to detail, and attention to style. It’s a small change but this makes hotel rooms feel more generic and featureless.

  45. I think the hotels will soon find out that the amount of shampoo/shower gel used will go up. When I’m given one 30-50 ml bottle I tend to use it in a way that will last me for three showers a day. When I’m at a hotel with a jug I end up using much more. Contad Maldives just gives you large ceramic jugs filled with shampoo conditioner and shower gel. They just sit on the shelf. Totally not temperproof. I don’t like using them but when I do I use way too much.

    I think hotels should change the sheets and towels by default and allow guests to opt out not opt in like they do now.

    I think hotels should have both the small bottles and individual soap bars along with the jugs. Let the guest decide what they want to use.

  46. As someone who firmly believes in science and space exploration the sooner we eff up mother earth the more urgency we will have to settle mars.

    Please people, pollution is not something to worry about. We need at least a few thousand dying from pollution every year, preferably in Texas.

  47. This isn’t just Marriott, the flagship brand of Marriott International. Unless there is a clarification, this will be applicable at each property of every brand that Marriott International manages. Of course, in the United States, that’s less than 10% of the total Marriott International branded hotels.

    Will Marriott reduce room rates, even if by $0.01 a night? In some hotels, the resort and/or destination fee is supposed to pay for housekeeping. What is the fee paying for if each guest isn’t receiving their own toiletries? Marriott has already eliminated mouthwash, vanity kits, robes, slippers, and writing paper from most properties n the Renaissance and Marriott hotel brands. Some Renaissance and Marriott properties have robes or slippers upon request, but that is few and far between.

  48. Let me remind you that you use the communal liquid soap, mist and other amenities on airlines bathrooms.
    And I believe it’s even easier to open.

  49. The hygiene comments here are amusing. It’s not like those little bottles have foil seals, and most of the time they’re not even child tamper-proof. But the bulk dispensers are the at-risk items? Do you all lay a towel down on the hotel chairs before sitting on them?

    Same with feeling like its limiting service. Marriott just admitted the cost of each little bottle was $0.05-0.08 per. Do you feel less luxe now for not having an additional $0.08 to take home?

    If Marriottwood (Starriott?) can improve the quality of their offered shampoos and body washes through well-mounted and well-refreshed bulk bottles, that will be a significant upgrade to the experience.

  50. I’m generally in favour of this, although I admit to having a small batch of hotel bottles at home. Plastic is difficult to recycle, and too much of it is making its way into the ocean, where it breaks down into tiny pieces and gets eaten by sea life.

    Actually, I’d rather see high-end hotels go with shampoo in a bar – a friend got me a shampoo bar last week from Lush for my birthday and it’s fantastic…and that way the guest could put the unused bar back in the (paper) packaging and take it home. You can use it on your skin too.

  51. @shza – What an ass you are! I honestly do donate the little bottles as my church collects them for homeless shelters, battered women’s shelters, and the like.

  52. Not a problem.

    But what is s problem, and why I left Marriott even though I’m LT Platinum is the removal of desks from the rooms.

    Lucky, you eork a lot on the road sand are in Marriotts target group. Do you like working on your laptop without a desk?

  53. ewww. you are going to have to start traveling with bleach wipes. The other thing that grosses me out is the tv remote…lol

  54. @ Leeza1 – Are you aware airlines give out amenity kits in first and business class that has the individual bottles inside the kits like hotels do on longer flights ?

  55. This is great – wish more hotels would do this. Mini-bottles are a tremendous waste. (one of my biggest pet peeves at hotels – I use a third or less of one of the mini shampoos in the morning, and then housekeeping replaces it. Awful).

    And worried about the cleanliness of them? LOL. Come on. Better never leave your bubble and never touch anything if you are worried about soap dispensers being dirty. If only there was a source of soap nearby to wash your hands after touching that scary dirty dispenser…

  56. Good! About time. Individual miniatures are too small / completely wasteful.

    Any germ phobia is complete hoo har. Don’t wanna use them? Bring your own.

    Lower costs for the hotels, less plastic in the environment. All hotels should be made to do this by law!

  57. This is pretty low of me but I love hoarding good mini bottle products when I stay at better quality hotels. I was a happy camper leaving France after collecting high-end brands of shampoo and conditioner such as malin and goetz, fragonard, shanghai tang, etc, and the airport security at NCE didn’t make a big deal out of it. But, when I got to LHR for connecting flight, the f**ng b**ch of a security officer made me consolidate my bottles into the tiny carry-on zip-block bag and I was upset to leave more than 2/3 of my collection behind. Ugh.

    But yes I agree with reducing waste. Maybe hotels should offer some monetary incentives for reusing towels or refilling water with water bottle, etc, so that people don’t feel like getting jipped for paying high prices.

  58. I’m all in… I do agree that issues like insuring proper sanitation is key… as is consistent working equipment is also a key issue… with those issues addressed, I’m all in.. the notion that it saves the companies money — and somehow that’s wrong or bad or this must be shared wit customers, is to me, an independent issue.. just like not repack towels daily… I’m sure it does lower costs.. I also sure to does reduce pollution and consumption of resources, but just because the connsumer doesn’t get a price break, doesn’t somehow undermine the larger environmental value.

  59. @ORDnHKG: Maybe some airlines do it, however, if you see the amenity kits on the trip reports from Ben, it’s really rare.
    They do give you lip balm, some face moisturizer, but no little bottle of soap.
    Also if you see the pictures fro the bathrooms, there’s almost always a communal soap and hand cream.

  60. sounds like a great idea to me. It’s a SOAP dispenser! How dirty could that be? And you’re essentially cleaning your hands the second the stuff gets pumped out. Do you not use the soap dispenser in a public restroom? Unless you can show me some scientific evidence that these dispensers are unclean I will continue to support the idea of every hotel doing this.

  61. i routinely decline housekeeping services even when staying at Ritz Carlton.

    They employee maids based on the number of rooms that need to be cleaned. If x% of rooms decline housekeeping services they will lay off or cut the hours of one of their maids. But good for you feeling so self righteous putting some poor lady out of a job.

  62. all in for this. Just makes so much sense. Honnestly I usually bring my own shampoo since the crap they have is horrible. Only hotel I’ve ever been to that had great products was a boutique hotel in Barcelona with Kores mini bottles.

  63. all in the name of sustainability. Just like not cleaning your room, reuseing towels, not changing sheets. They use this green excuse to save money. They dont care about sustainability.

  64. plastic can be recycled. Individual bottles are better. Marriott wants to be worse. end of story.

    If you are so concerned about waste, then bring your own shampoo and soap. Don’t use the individual bottles. If there is a big, communal bottle, still use your own supply.

    The trouble with those supporting the communal bottle is:
    1. They are trolls paid by Marriott, or
    2. They are communist dictators who want to stamp out freedom of choice, or
    3. They like urine in the communal shampoo and think it’s funny, or
    4. They are Marriott bean counters, or
    5. They are ignorant folks, bless their heart.

  65. I stayed at a Kimpton this past weekend for a wedding, and was surprised that they had the dispensers in the shower. But the products were great, and it was nice to have plenty of conditioner and such for morning showers and showers before the events–never had to worry about running out.

    While it can be nice to bring home higher end toiletries at some hotels, let’s be honest, the majority of hotel toiletries aren’t worth schlepping home. I totally don’t blame Marriott for making this switch. Little things like this add up to make a big environmental impact.

  66. they can always use infrared-sensed dispensing so zero contact with the bottles required for those germaphobes who can’t handle a shared bottle

  67. It’s gross. Already picturing the Dateline or 20/20 episode where in addition to in-room coffee makers testing positive for urine and light switches testing positive for fecal matter, now we’ll see these little treats show up in shampoo and conditioner dispensers. Joy.

  68. i routinely decline housekeeping services even when staying at Ritz Carlton.
    They employee maids based on the number of rooms that need to be cleaned. If x% of rooms decline housekeeping services they will lay off or cut the hours of one of their maids. But good for you feeling so self righteous putting some poor lady out of a job.
    The solution to that is to keep your room tidy. That way housekeeping can clean it quickly. I do that all the time. I partly make the bed. I clean the bathroom and leave towels in a nice pile. I put the TV remote back in place. All housekeeping has to do is vacuum (optional, if they do it), put new towels, put new shampoo and soap, straighten the bed, done. I sometimes leave a big tip, sometimes a small tip.

  69. I really support this initiative. The amount of waste generated by these bottles is incredible…. sure they *could* be recycled, but I assure you they are not. I’ve stayed recently at some very nice boutique-y properties in Europe, and this is definitely a trend. Provided they are immaculately clean (as is my expectation for the entire bathroom) and of a good quality, I am wholly keen.

  70. My main issue is what you’ve mentioned in one of your concerns: “•I question their cleanliness; everyone is pushing the pump in the same place while touching every body part imaginable, and I question how well the pumps are cleaned”. To go a step further, what if some guests decides to put something into the dispensers.

  71. As long as bar soap is available upon request. I’ve never liked body wash. And for those who say bring your own soap….its one more thing to lug around. If I’m paying $200+ per night, I’m NOT brining my own soap.

  72. they can always use infrared-sensed dispensing so zero contact with the bottles required for those germaphobes who can’t handle a shared bottle
    NO!!!!!! Then your hand will be out waiting for the shampoo or soap. Ever have that problem in airport bathrooms? No water comes out of the faucet despite waving hands fast, moving hands slowly, etc.

  73. Perhaps they can get motion sensor ones to help alleviate some of the issue? But yes in total agreement about the sustainability benefits and is so worthwhile. And yes, EVERY inch of that bathroom is questionable in terms of touching so…

  74. “I question their cleanliness; everyone is pushing the pump in the same place while touching every body part imaginable, and I question how well the pumps are cleaned”

    I’m not convinced. The same could be said of washing your hands in a bathroom after you’ve touched your parts. The germs can’t stay on your body if you wash them off. In the case of the toilet, you could stop the water with a paper towel. In the case of these pumps in the shower (which I like, because they’re easy to use and very convenient), you just wash any germs that you did catch off your body.

    “I find that these dispensers don’t work far too often; it’s one thing if they consistently worked, but I find that a good percentage of the time I have issues”

    Yeah, that’s something I’ve never had much experience with. Was at JFK Flagship Lounge twice; eight of the seven dispensers that I used worked!

  75. I don’t mind it much, maybe even positive. I find the mini bottles sometimes a hassle as well, at times difficult to open with wett hands, no good place to put them while showering, etc. Don’t think a dispenser is necessarily less classy, depends on how well they do it.

  76. This is a net positive.

    Think about how much plastic is wasted on a normal “trip” – between the plastic water bottles on the plane, plastic covers for blankets/pillows, plastic cups, plastic mini liquor bottles, plastic cups in the lounge, plastic water bottles for those who don’t bring their own refillable water bottle, plastic coffee lids, etc, etc.. – it’s a lot! And much of it doesn’t get recycled!

    If a hotel is able to save just a little by eliminating the individual bottles, I’m all for it. Selfishly, I would like to keep the beautiful beaches that I use my points to fly to free of plastic. Globally speaking, being conscious of ones usage of everything is the right thing to do.

  77. I don’t care as long as housekeeping remembers to fill them up. Based on what they use at Courtyard and some Residence Inn’s which look like the same brand as your picture, my wife thinks the shampoo is too minty and they no longer provide skin lotion in the room but will provide on request.

  78. I just stayed at the Courtyard in Charlotte and they already had these installed (the tea tree bottles). It was a little weird at first but I found it convenient.

  79. A good thing. Ideally the in-shower containers will contain a higher quality product. Although higher quality product is subjective. I much prefer only unscented products and few if any hotels will provide unscented products. If the container or the product in the container is not to your liking provide your own container or product.

  80. You know darn well that Marriott will spend more on the product in the dispensers because guests will use more of it now than they did when it was individual bottles, at least assuming the dispensers are actually refilled.

  81. Why are they refilling them? Cheap skates. Ok, the refillable ones can be the ones that you push and something comes out of the bottom. However, if they are top loaded ones, like in the picture, they should throw away them when they are empty and put new ones.

    Some cheapskate is going to either take the whole big bottle or use a water bottle to fill up all the shampoo.

    Marriott, No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  82. Not sure i agree. If you start thinking about what other guests have touched in your room, from the flush button to the taps to tv remote and light switches, you will never ever stay in a hotel again.

  83. I don’t like it but I think that should be the way to go for all the hotels. Hyatt Regency SF also used the in-shower dispensers (I stayed there a week ago).

  84. This is incredibly gross. I hate plastic waste, but there are many other ways to reduce. There are a number of compostable cornstarch plastics for example (you see them a lot at take away restaurants trying to be more “eco”) and if they really wanted to help avoid polluting our oceans/environment with plastic they could use those.

    This is unsanitary and I bet they NEVER refill them properly (I think Gary Leff did an article on that recently). Then again Marriott is not exactly a high end chain these days. I would actively stay away because of this.

  85. I’m ok with it. There are lots of surfaces that we have to touch in a hotel room. They are just trying to save costs though, while trying to persuade us it’s for the environment. The little bottles are kind of annoying. Don’t expect the high end stuff in those dispensers. It will be the cheapest product they can get.

  86. Utterly disgusting. I always travel with my own small bottles in case I encounter this. I won’t touch them.

  87. I honestly don’t mind it, I recently stay at a Disney hotel that had these dispensers in the hotel room and thought they were fine and that the product was nice, although I wish said dispenser was placed a tad higher as it was awkward having to bend over a fair bit to reach it, but I was in an ADA room that I was sharing with my parents. So I sorta get why they have it where it’s placed.
    And let’s be honest, most of the shampoo products in those tiny bottle are not that great, I generally find them to be either awful or at least serviceable most of the time, very rarely I would say they are worth taking home.

  88. They couldn’t give a rats about the plastic, just like their lies about “environmental” reasons for trying to dodge laundering the sheets and towels. It’s a cost-saving “enhancement” pure and simple, and I’ll go elsewhere

  89. Frequent travelers that read this blog don’t bring their own shampoo/bodywash? Hotel soap is mostly crap(Aloft has the only real decent bodywash). I don’t understand people who travel for a living and don’t bring their own stuff, given the inconsistency of hotel shampoo and soap quality even within their own nameplate.

  90. I think its kind of good and bad at the same time would have been better if they made recyled organic individual bottle

  91. I think this is a great trend. I often have trouble getting the shampoo out of the little bottles after a few days. And there are massive environmental benefits. I hope all hotels do this. As long as they are filling with nice shampoo and conditioner and housekeeping tidies drips, it is win-win for consumers and the environment.

    And I am sorry – don’t be so worried about germs. Do you wipe down door knobs before you enter rooms? As long as you wash your hands regularly, you’ll be fine.

  92. Aloft does this and I like their products…so I buy a bottle of waster, pour the water out then fill the bottle with whatever product I like….Won’t let me take home small bottles, then I’ll help m,self to a larger one…

  93. This is a terrible idea. The germ spreading issue is just one element, let alone paying $200+ a night, getting in a 2 AM and finding out the bottle is empty for your 5 AM shower. This Platinum Marriott member was never asked what I thought about this Motel6 style “service enhancement” of Arne’s. If y’all are worried about plastic shampoo bottles ending up in the ocean, use the blue recycling bin in the room. One more Marriott new nickel & diming trick to save $1k/per year for a 200+ room hotel?

  94. As long as it’s not a shampoo and conditioner combined then this makes sense and is so much better than tiny bottles. If you don’t like bring your own.

  95. I always bring my own unless its a really high end property that has something that I’m too cheap to buy for myself.

  96. @John: you know, really, its not a concern of a hotel guest as to whether or not a maid has a job or not. Really, it isn’t.

  97. Charging hotel prices for motel services? Good luck! Just know that I’m not stupid enough to be ripped off like that!

  98. While I like the fact that it is more eco-friendly (hopefully it’s mandatory to recycle the empty bottles as well) – I think it presents a big risk of contamination. I hope they have a way to prevent unscrupulous guests from putting *other* things in the toiletry bottles.

    Hopefully they make the bottles clear and tint the product a bit to deter people from doing gross things.

  99. How can you sleep in hotel sheets If you’re grossed out by a soap container?
    Or eat in any restaurant?

    Infection and microbes are everywhere
    Deal with it

    A shared soap container is the least of your worries
    At least you can easily clean it yourself at the start of your shower, using a dedicated washcloth

    Much cleaner than the used sheets you’re sleeping in, or the carpet you’re walking on, or the TV remote you’re touching

    It is true, disposable bottles are “luxurious “ in that conspicuous consumption sort of way. “Look at me waste things”.
    But those tiny bottles aren’t that luxurious

  100. Normal Marriotts are already kind of selective service and low end. If St. Regis or Four Seasons announced this, that’d be a different story. When you think about it, lots of luxury hotels like Aman already have this, they just put it in classy, aesthetic ceramic bottles. Those seem more gross to me because someone could spit in those bottles if they really wanted to.

  101. @JRMW – May I add, Has anyone here thought that when you share a premium cabin with others that someone might have a life-threatening, but not easily communicable, disease like AIDS that cannot be easily detected at airports? Just because you sit in front doesn’t mean you’re in the pink of health. Think about that.

    @Harry HV – If a hotel cuts down on costs while doing their share to be more environmentally responsible, is it that reprehensible to you? Are they downgrading the shampoo/soap, or are they just changing the packaging?

  102. @ Lucky: I’ve got two comments here.
    1. I recently stayed in a higher end brand hotel that is in the categories above Ritz Carlton/St Regis and in the gym I used the shower. When the dispensers for three showers did not work I ended up giving up unscrewing the dispenser. So, while the hotel talks about the environment, sustainability, etc, it may actually in the long run cost them more because of issues like that.
    2. I find it incredibly annoying when there are too many signs in the room about saving the environment when we all know that to a large extent it is about the hotel’s costs and finances. If there is a small sign, then I do not mind, but sometimes there is a sign in the bathroom, on the night table, on the towel rack, etc. It also depends on how the sign is presented. If it is small and there it’s fine. If it is not directly in your face and kind of blends in then it is fine, but it is annoying when it is overdone.

  103. This is cheap and gross. I resent the penny pinching with rates and occupancies are such high levels. Sounds like with all the rumored changes at Marriott Rewards I’ll be staying less at Marriott anyways

  104. 1. It helps the environment. Why do you have an issue with that
    2. For someone who self diagnosed as recovering from the flu to fly from Asia to the USA you’re quite selectively germophobic. Or is it that is just our germs which are bad for you, while your germs are goods gift to mankind.

  105. 1. Too many chances of tampering
    2. If you are that concerned about “saving the environment” perhaps you shouldn’t travel to begin with…

  106. i’m with ghostwriter on this one. If I correctly recall, the AMAN properties in Bali all had multiple-use dispensers in their bathrooms.

  107. On balance I prefer this change. However I’m a bit skeptical that the products in the bulk dispensers are the same as those in individual bottles, eg, Bliss, a not bad product, but smells/feels different in bulk. While Lucky might suggest that any difference is attributable to the accumulated bodily matter of previous occupants, perhaps the bulk products are actually different?

  108. The number of comments this has generated shows the passion on the topic.
    I think this is absolutely horrible and nasty. I will purposely avoid any hotel if I know these dispensers are present. And if I find myself in a hotel with these, I’ll mess with the dispensers so that eventually the hotels revert back. (Sorry if you find coffee grinds in your soap.)

    And I agree – the feedback comments company like to advertise are complete BS. I doubt they often even ask people for their opinions. Obviously based on the comments here, it is not almost universally preferred!

  109. I do not like this news.

    Since when is soap in a plastic bottle? Hilton brands use nice Neutrogena white soap that is in a biodegradable paper box.

    If Marriotts are in a similar location as Hiltons, I’m not staying at a Marriott with these dispensers that you find in America’s Best Value Inns.

  110. It is incredibly fun to see how opinions oppose. These dispensers can be found everywhere in Japan from 3 to 5 star properties. Only foreigns brands don’t seem to play along.

    I like it. I can use more product/don’t have to worry that the tiny bottle will be empty. And if I really like the product, I can always nick some by pumping a bit into a reusable bottle.

  111. Lucky

    Every time you shake a guy’s hand, he was likely jerking himself off with that hand the previous night.

    Do you ever shake a guy’s hand? Are you that germophobic that you won’t touch a soap dispenser? Soap is there to cleanse your skin!!

    Do you ever wash your hands after you’ve been to the toilet?!

    The mind boggles…You have issues

  112. I’m totally supportive of this. The win for the environment and having less waste far outweighs the rest. For the germs issue, I’m sorry but this is not even a thing because for one this is soap, so it washes itself and you’re washing yourself and for two, how is that any different than sitting on a toilet seat, touching the toilet flush or far worse, the remote or basically any door handle in the room? To me soap dispensers seem to be far less of an issue.
    The only thing that would really annoy me is if bottles are broken or empty, this is probably adding work for housekeeping.

  113. @sophie

    Yuk!! you have to say it so figuratively!!..and by the way shame on those who does not wash their hands after using the toilet…just had a shower in my hotel room…yes, it has a dispenser mounted on the wall..there is a section filled with white fluids tagged as conditioner…hope it is really what it says…otherwise….

  114. @LPQ
    We have nothing to fear from another airplane passenger with AIDS

    I’m no germaphobe
    As the name implies, phobias are an IRRATIONAL fear

    I mostly worry about sharing a hotel room with bed bugs, or an airplane with someone who has influenza

    Once I slept on the covers in my clothes and covered the pillow in a T shirt which I threw away because the sheets were crunchy. (Canceled flight, no other options in town)

    AIDS and soap dispensers do not concern me in the slightest

  115. Hotel brands, including Marriott, can’t even clean the pubic hair off the toilet seats and from the shower let alone replace dirty sheets. How is some housekeeper with only 20 minutes to clean a room suppose to be trusted to clean the dispensers?

  116. Matt says:
    April 11, 2018 at 1:14 am

    The number of comments this has generated shows the passion on the topic.

    In my opinion, it rather shows what large army of social-media-trolls is being employed by airlines, hotels and tourism providers nowadays.
    I bet 90% of those yelling HOOORAAAYYY are actually trolls. Lucky should verify their identity and delete the comments if cannot be verified.

    Plastic bottles can be recycled perfectly (as it is done in most European countries), and not a single bottle needs to end up in the oceans.

    Dispensers in a 5-star property? Seriously, how low can you go.
    I even avoid budget properties doing that.

  117. UNSANITARY, gross and a whole other host of descriptions. Guests could put unsavory “stuff” in the dispensers as a joke if they are not locked. YUCK! Thank goodness I don’t stay at the Marriott brand unless I am forced to!

  118. What’s to stop someone from spitting (or putting other bodily fluids) in the dispenser. Because you KNOW some sicko would do that.

  119. I’m in favor. I often get into a hotel shower, then remember I forgot to grab the shampoo on the sink, now I need to get out, slip on the floor, etc.

  120. @Wolfgang: recycling plastic is not as easy at it sounds. There are over 600 different types of plastic. Not every plastic is as easy to recycle and those that are need to be recycled with similar types of plastic. Also, recycling plastic requires resources that may also hurt the environment.

  121. Most of the bottles have ingredients listed on them. If someone is allergic to one of the ingredients, it is easy to identify if a certain product is to be avoided. With unnamed goo in the dispenser, now you are forced into taking your own toiletries for everything and everywhere. How many of us will actually return home that bottle of shampoo that we nearly, but not quite, finished on the trip? This is just generating more plastic waste for the hotel to handle, instead of 3p mini-bottle, they will have the full size monstrosity to deal with.

    Another thing to consider is why did hotels even started with mini-bottles to begin with? One possible reason is having control of what is in the bottle (as it is freshly added to the room after the previous occupant has left). Dispenser hanging on the wall is accessible to every occupant that was in the room, ever. No, it is not about hygiene, but I can guess that there is going to be a drunk occupant sometime in some room that thought it was funny to pour alcohol into the container. Or half-eaten apple core. Or pee. Unlike the semi-public gyms, where there are people milling about and incidents like these can be easily noticed, the hotel room is entirely private. One can do whatever he wants with dispenser and its contents.

    Second, based on average human nature, the communal shared resource usually gets depleted (intentionally or otherwise) much faster compared to the same resource that is perceived “individual”. People using/drinking/eating more when presented with “bottomless” option is well documented. Marriott will just replace plastic waste with an overflow of suds.

    I’m recycling fanatic (to the point of picking through tags of the newly bought clothes to recycle paper ones), but this is not about the environment – Marriott can just as well do mass-recycling of plastic bottles. But that would require an organization and extra cost for the new process, it is easier/cheaper to get rid of the bottles.

  122. @Marija

    “Most of the bottles have ingredients listed on them. If someone is allergic to one of the ingredients, it is easy to identify if a certain product is to be avoided.”

    The brand is always listed. You can always look up the product.

    “With unnamed goo in the dispenser, now you are forced into taking your own toiletries for everything and everywhere. How many of us will actually return home that bottle of shampoo that we nearly, but not quite, finished on the trip? ”

    Who, who would follow a frequent traveler blog, doesn’t do this already anyways? Most hotel shampoo and soap is garbage. Bring your own.

    “Another thing to consider is why did hotels even started with mini-bottles to begin with? One possible reason is having control of what is in the bottle (as it is freshly added to the room after the previous occupant has left). ”

    Because big bottles that would be tossed are wasteful. There’s never enough soap in the tiny bottles, so there’s little waste on that end, but lots of plastic waste. It’s the same reason bar soaps are not fullsized. It has nothing to do with controlling what anyone does with the room.

    Secondarily, speaking of sanitation, you realize that they don’t throw the pillows out every time someone stays in a room, right? The pillow that everyone’s body touches, whether it’s the pillow they rest their head on or put in between their thighs or sit on in their underwear in the crappy no-padding office chair. Changing a pillowcase doesn’t sanitize a pillow.

    The people harping on about sanitation are hilarious given the fact that you’re staying in one of the most unsanitized places you can be. Airplanes are cleaned better than hotel rooms, and they’re petri dishes with a lid.

  123. @bhcompy
    “Who, who would follow a frequent traveler blog, doesn’t do this already anyways? Most hotel shampoo and soap is garbage. Bring your own.”

    Oh, yes, the enlightened one, all smart travelers are bringing full-size bottles of shampoo, the same way as they are all already NOT checking in any luggage, since they know better. Or, instead, everybody is spending $5 for one-use mini-bottles instead, in order to avoid check-in and the garbage passed as shampoo in hotels, generating just as much plastic garbage. <> You might deem masses uneducated for not bringing their own shampoo into a regular mid-tier hotel, and same can be said for hair drier, towels, desk lamps and extension cords. I don’t know why would anybody smart even bother with hotels – we should bring all of our own stuff, like camping. Maybe even a mattress, since too many mid-tier hotels have been skipping on replacements. The mantra “if you are smart, you should bring your own” is exactly how we degraded the service levels across the board – nobody cares, and everybody is “smart” by compensating for something that was understood as basic just a year ago.

    And no, putting pillowcase on the pillow does not sanitize the pillow any more than putting a thin piece of paper on the doctor’s examination bed is sanitizing bed. It is about the safety barrier, not about sanitizing everything in sight. I still don’t want to take off the pillowcase and sleep on a pillow that was not washed/replaced in ages. On the same note, I’m not using the curtains for bed sheet, nor am I lying on the hotel’s carpet, regardless of how clean and fresh it looks. And I definitely draw a line on slathering unknown gel substance over my skin. It is supposed to be clean soap, but there is no saying what it is when 30 people before me had access to it.

    And that is on top of the original Marriott comment:
    “The dispensers have especially been embraced by housekeepers, who no longer need to carry around plastic amenity bottles on carts. Now, they can simply replace the big bottle that’s loaded in the dispenser. ”
    No, they are not saving any plastic by re-filling. They are just replacing bigger bottles (more plastic) less often. Doubtful that they are saving any housekeeping time either, I can’t imagine that loading one dispenser with 3 bottles is quicker than the current process of placing new mini-bottles on a tray, even for 5-6 rooms.

  124. I don’t mind the change with these two caveats….

    1. Keep them full – I just stayed at a Courtyard where the conditioner in my shower was empty
    2. Still give me the little bottle of body lotion. So far, every property I’ve bee at that has the new bottles in the shower has not provided body lotion in any form.

  125. @Marija
    “Oh, yes, the enlightened one, all smart travelers are bringing full-size bottles of shampoo, the same way as they are all already NOT checking in any luggage, since they know better. Or, instead, everybody is spending $5 for one-use mini-bottles instead, in order to avoid check-in and the garbage passed as shampoo in hotels, generating just as much plastic garbage.”

    Reusable, TSA complaint, cheap.

  126. Put me down for “extremely gross”. There are a few spg properties that use them and I just wash my hair with the wrapped soap bar. I don’t trust people not to tamper with them.

  127. +1 for a thumbs-down for this. This is a 100% profit-motivated, 0% environmentally-motivated move by Marriott.

    I’m pretty environmentally-conscious. I drive the most environmentally-friendly car I can afford, house is wired for solar, I don’t have trash service at one of my homes, so I’m forced to lug my trash to the nearest dumpster. When you’re having to carry everything yourself, in your own car, to a dumpster a few miles away, you quickly learn how much excess packaging is used today.

    BUT… these little shampoo & conditioner bottles are NOTHING compared to the number of plastic water & drink bottles used daily. The “every bit helps” mentality is similar to the water restrictions we saw in California in recent years, where your average joe was trying to save a gallon here & there, whereas agriculture was pissing through millions of gallons per day. It’s a feel-good move, but doesn’t do a damn thing to solve the problem.

  128. I like this idea. Perhaps a better compromise would be shampoo and conditioner in the reusable dispenser and a small bar of soap in a paper box or wrapper. Or at least one would be able to ask the front desk for soap if they preferred it to body wash. At least I do.

  129. Not supportive. Unless they find a really nice way to make them look presentable, it’s definitely going to give Marriotts a dorm-like feel.

    I can’t speak to hygiene, though I do have concerns. I’m not sure Aromatic Wood is anti-microbial, or if that even matters.

    If they cared about the environment, they would mandate recycling bins in every room. Shockingly few offer this.

  130. I am very allergic to fragrance (contact-hives and respiratory-migraines). I don’t want this stuff in the shower (plus does that mean no more shelves where I can put the fragrance-free toiletries I bring myself?). Plus as someone said, if the previous occupant made a mess of the stuff and housekeeping didn’t clean up properly, I run the risk of hives and a migraine. Don’t know if I can request that Housekeeping empty the pumps. But I just know that they’ll fill them up the next day because even though in my profile and I obviously don’t use their products (mine are out on the counter), they invariably always leave new toiletries every day. ARRGGG

  131. I would love this if these were motion-activated and thus touch-free. I hate plastic waste, and I’m not desperate for hotel hair and body care goods. You know they’ll never install something that sophisticated (and expensive) though.

  132. For those who are worried about people tampering with the bottles, you can relax, as a special key is required to open the dispenser. The bottles are firmly locked in place and there is no way to remove or open them without the key.

  133. I just had my first debacle with these dispensers. The Aloft ones are fine as they work on gravity. These new “pump” ones didn’t work at the Courtyard last week. Instead of going into my palm under the nozzle, it shot the shampoo right into my face. I could never get any conditioner out, despite the container being full. This is a poorly thought out idea IMHO.

  134. They are all over Europe and Asia, and I am perfectly happy to have them install dispensers, but NOT the ones they choose. The scent is nauseating. Soap should be scentless in a hotel, you don’t know how your guests will respond to it. I personally spent all day waiting to get home and shower that horrific scent off.

  135. This is FANTASTIC! What’s wrong with you haters? Refill your own little 3oz travel bottles from these pump things when they’re particularly pleasant, and you’ll never buy shampoo again! This also prevents the hassle of having three bottles of lotion instead of shampoo and conditioner because housekeeping wasn’t paying attention.

    Make it so!

  136. I think it would make me cringe thinking of that weird pervy guest that would open the bottle and add something to it.

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *