There are 50 million allergy sufferers in the United States who have problems going on vacation because of the allergy aggravators in hotels, from the cleaning supplies used to the feathers inside the bed pillows. Hotel chains have taken notice, and are offering allergy-free rooms for sensitive noses for whom there aren’t enough antihistamines or nasal strips on the planet.
Four Seasons Hotel Chicago is offering a new Hypoallergenic Suite, featuring hardwood floors and simple shades instead of dust-trapping carpets and curtains, foam pillows, and hypo-allergenic toiletries with no fragrance or coloring. The room also is cleaned with allergen-free cleaning products.
You can spend a wheeze-free getaway at Hyatt Hotels by asking for one of their specially sterilized, sanitized, deodorized hypo-allergenic Respire Rooms, which are re-certified every six months. There are approximately 2,000 of these rooms in Hyatt brands including Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Regency and Andaz.
Unfortunately, allergy-free rooms cost as much as $30 a night more than conventional rooms. If you have severe allergies, a compromised immune system or asthma, that’s the price of waking up without your eyes all red and itchy, a stuffed nose, and a headache that ruins your vacation.
Allergy-free rooms cost more because they undergo a special process that includes installing a high-tech air purification system which filters out 99% of all viruses, bacteria and impurities on carpets, upholstery and other surfaces, and inhibits their growth. Rooms also undergo a high-ozone shock treatment that shields them from living organisms and odors. It’s called the PURE system, and you can find a list of hotel chains offering super-clean rooms on the PureRoom.com website.
Smelly rooms are not limited to those of us with allergies. I’m just back from a resort hotel where I insisted on a room change because the one I was assigned smelled so bad when I walked in with my luggage that I had no desire to sleep there.