There’s A Panda In My Hotel Room!

Filed Under: Hotels

I’m staying at the Novotel Taipei Taoyuan Airport, and my inner child and inner germaphobe are conflicted. When I walked into the room, the first thing I noticed was this cuddly guy on the couch:


I’ve never seen something like this before, so at first I assumed someone just left a massive stuffed panda there and somehow housekeeping forgot it, or perhaps I was assigned a room occupied by someone else. But then I saw that it was wearing a Novotel shirt, so clearly it was placed there by the hotel. What a cute, unique touch! I’ve never seen anything like this before.


But then the germaphobe side of my brain kicked in. I’m generally not a fan of hotels having a lot of decorative pillows, since they spend half their time on the floor, and (I assume) are rarely washed.

If you’re like me and think decorative pillows are dirty, I imagine that this adorable panda is infinitely dirtier. The panda takes up about half the couch, so I imagine it spends about half its time on the floor, and goodness only knows how much time it spends being touched by people.

Has anyone seen something like this before at a Novotel? Is this adorable, or just plain dirty?

  1. Yep, that’ll most likely be quite dirty. Excellent point…

    I generally toss the decorative pillows on the couch, chair or if necessary the floor.

  2. If you’re that concerned, don’t lick the thing. It’s cute, and adds to the room ambiance. If you feel the need, move it then wash your hands. Or leave it as is if you don’t need the space.

  3. Nothing you can use over the counter is more effective in killing the widest range of germs than your own body is. Your body only does badly with germs it haa not seen yet or rarely seen.

    Getmaphobes are drama queens.

  4. You could make the same argument about airline seats, controls, handles, etc. I’m pretty sure they’re hardly ever wiped down, despite seeing daily use.

  5. I have stayed there three years ago and they had the giant panda on the couch then to. I thought it was very weird as well but funny to. I laughed when I saw that picture because I took the exact same one when I was there.

  6. A recent Kimpton Hotel in Portland had a very cute stuffed animal on the bed that patrons could purchase to take home. Not as big your panda, but cute nonetheless.

  7. Surprised the headline wasn’t “There’s a Bear in my hotel room!” Would have thought there would have been more hits on that one.

    Peace out.

  8. As a parent, it might make you pissed off if your children were with you. “Daddy, I want/need the Panda!” could quickly escalate into a brooding/angry child. There goes the evening! LOL 😉

  9. I wouldn’t have it in my room. You got a good point. It’s dirty and unnecessary. Transit hotel could be small, and giant stuffed animal just make it worse to make good use of the room.

    Welcome to Taiwan~

  10. I wouldn’t say that you are a germaphobe, considering that you are traveling all the time and staying in hotels (simplest examples can be given as bedbugs and wide variety of fungi in the bathrooms/showers). Plus, if you really were a germaphobe, you would wear a mask while you are at an airport. Hygiene conscious is a better term to describe your attitude

  11. Hi Lucky,

    Just a few queries re germophobia

    1. Do you wipe down your phone with disinfectant every day. Studies have shown that phones & remotes have the highest germ counts
    2. What do you do in FC? Do you wipe down the tray tables, arm rests, window shades, etc?
    3. Do you flush with your feet?
    4. Do you wipe down the seat youre at in the Lounge before sitting on it? After all, you never know who has used the seat and what their hygiene levels are?

    Only asking as I feel that in case you dont do the above, its more of a quirk than a phobia.

    Eg, I dont share a burger or a drink with someone I dont know well, but if I know you, it strangely doesnt affect me. You are allowed to take a bite or more out of my burger.


  12. Ooh, sorry, one more.
    Do you handle cash while wearing disposable gloves? If no, then why dont you. Those are also amongst the most biologically dirty things one can touch

    No malice, only trying to understand why you call it a phobia

  13. If anyone forgot, this is a travel blog. In any case, the sort of homophobic bullying disguised as ‘banter’ visible above is unwarranted and unacceptable on any blog, on any website, and in any walk of life. Give this guy, who runs a successful and informed site, a break.

  14. Guys (and I suspect I do mean guys):

    If the punchline of a gay joke is that someone is gay, then it’s not very funny. It’s 2017–be more creative.

    In all seriousness, if you want to see this phenomenon in action, watch Friends reruns. Some of the jokes about Chandler’s dad and Ross’ ex-wife are actually funny. Some of them are just characters noting that they’re gay and cueing the laugh track. Only one category turns out to be actual humor in an era where being gay is just, not in and of itself, funny.

  15. Amazing how sensitive some people are around here. Cuz Lucky has never made any jokes himself…

    A lot of people accuse Lucky of click bait. Just thought if that was the case, and knowing how riled some get, the title would have been better written as “Bear” and not specifically the Panda. People would have jumped all over that one.

    But if Friends is your idea of high-brow humor, well wow, just wow. Time to wake up, it’s 2017…

    Peace out.

  16. The comforter on your bed is probably dirtier. Hotel rooms are a germ pit. I say the panda stays – very cute!

  17. @Bobby H

    Are you gay? If not, do you think being gay is inherently funny?

    FWIW, I agree with you on Friends. That was just something that occurred to me watching a re-run in a hotel room the other day. That in the 90’s “gay” was actually a punchline. And it’s not today.

  18. @Lucky, why don’t you buy and pack a small UV flashlight with your toiletries? Instead of assuming the worst about hotel germs and other bio hazards, you can just turn on your (UV) flashlight and have a look-see. You could also use it to check the rest of the hotel room (bathroom, sheets, etc.)

  19. I had the same panda when i stayed at the Novotel near the Taoyuan airport this summer! To be honest, it was a total delight to see it in otherwise unpleasant circumstances (I was staying at the airport hotel for a night, alone, after my grandmother’s funeral, while hiding from the typhoon). I had the same thought as you — i.e.: this thing must be so full of germs — but my inner child/panda-loving self won out, and i gave it a huge hug (i kind of sat on it in order to do so, given the size) and took a bunch of selfies with it. Haha.

  20. The Panda looks awesome! But as a person who travel this much like you – and I do – you should not care about cute Pandas. Do you disinfect every hotel room you use? Hotel rooms are full of gems. And that’s why you have an immune system – to protect you.

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