Behind the Front Desk: 9 Curious Facts About Hotels

Hotels have been an integral part of our lives, particularly for those who travel frequently. However, the intriguing stories and quirky facts behind these establishments often remain hidden. Let’s delve into nine engaging facts about hotels that might surprise you.

Vintage old hotel bell on the table
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1. The Recycled Soap Saga: Many hotels, including industry giants like Hilton and Marriott, have a unique approach to waste management. They collect the used soaps from guest rooms, meticulously clean off any debris, and melt them down to produce fresh soaps. This practice not only reduces waste but also promotes sustainability.

2. Political Affiliations and Hotel Choices: Studies have shown that political ideologies may influence hotel selection. For instance, conservative U.S. citizens tend to be less willing to stay at hotels known for donating rooms to homeless people, due to a higher sense of disgust compared to their liberal counterparts.

3. From Root Beer Stand to Hotel Empire: The Marriott Corporation, one of the leading names in the hotel industry, had a humble start. In 1927, it began its journey as a modest root beer stand.

4. The Hilton Family’s Unfortunate Heiress: Francesca Hilton, the only child of actress Zsa Zsa Gabor and Conrad Hilton, the founder of Hilton Hotels, lived in destitution toward the end of her life. She was occasionally forced to sleep in her car, a striking contrast to her great-niece, Paris Hilton’s, life of luxury.

5. The Powerhouse Hotel: The New Yorker Hotel once boasted the largest private power plant in the U.S., capable of generating an impressive 2.575 MW. This was more than sufficient to cater to its 35,000 guests.

6. The McSleep Debacle: In 1988, Quality Inns attempted to launch a chain of economy hotels under the name “McSleep.” However, they were sued by McDonald’s for trademark infringement and lost the case.

7. RFID Saves the Day: Some hotels employ RFID chips to track their towels and linens. For example, a hotel in Hawaii managed to save over $15,000 in stolen towels using this innovative technology.

8. Sourdough Hotel: In Sweden, there exists a unique ‘hotel’ catering specifically to sourdough starters. They maintain and care for travelers’ bread dough, ensuring it continues to thrive while their owners are away.

9. The Bibles in the Bedside Drawer: The ubiquitous Bibles found in hotel bedside drawers are typically placed there by a group called Gideons International, rather than the hotel itself. This organization’s mission is to disseminate Bibles around the world, particularly in hotels.

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