Luxury hotels provide more perks than cheaper accommodations, but when it comes to the sort of gross bacteria squatting in suites, the upper-scale lodgings are offering the same old, same old.
Recently, the tourism website TravelMath.com did a scientific study of hotel accommodations. After taking samples from rooms at nine different hotels, they sent their swabs to the microbe experts at America's EmLab P&K to test the results. Turns out, the expensive suites are way germ-ier than discount accommodations.
Bathroom counters were three times filthier in 5-star hotels than in 3-star rooms. And TV remotes in luxury suites had almost 10 times more germs than clickers in cheaper lodging.
And we're talking about some of the nastiest of unwanted guests for your body. TravelMath found that those ritzy rooms were home to a surprising amount of gram-negative rods - a family of bacteria that includes E. coli and salmonella.
Across the board, hotel rooms had more microbes than the average American home, according to the lab results. So to avoid bringing those invisible roommates home with you, TravelMath recommends washing your hands regularly on your trip. They also suggest wiping down the dirtiest amenities - bathroom counters, desks and phones - with an antibacterial wipe or spay before touching them. And you can put TV remotes in Ziploc bags to avoid touching them directly.
If you're not too squeamish, check out the full results in the infographics below. Though you might contract a terminal case of germophobia from reading the results. The results are measured in germ colony forming units (CFU) per square inch.
Hotel Hygiene Overview
Bacteria Distribution by Star Rating
Bacteria Distribution by Type