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Are We (and the Hotel Industry) Ready to Switch to Toiletry Dispensers?

Where: Various Locations
June 24, 2013 at 10:58 AM | by | ()

For how small and seemingly insignificant they are, those little soap bars in the bathroom sure get a lot of attention. We've heard a lot about the efforts of hotels to recycle the partially-used bars left behind by guests, and when we looked at what people have stolen from hotel rooms, bathroom amenities were on everyone's list of most likely to be swiped.

And now, as hotels continue to search for ways to cut costs and minimize their environmental impact, we might start seeing less and less of them altogether. We might see them replaced by toiletry dispensers.

According to Pineapple Hospitality, the era of “amenity wars” between hotels has given way to a green movement where the traveling public’s growing environmental attitude is finally strong enough to overcome any feelings of luxury that might be lost by doing away with individual amenities. We understand that the source of that statement has a sales pitch driving it, but still we find it to be true. People’s minds are opened wider now than ever to green initiatives, even if they make the trip away from home a little less glamorous. It’s why so many people are willing to use their towel more than once.

So the window of change in the name of conservation might be open, but should hotels act on it? Are we ready to give up our coveted little bars of soap and bottles of shampoo and conditioner? For the consumer, any resistance against the switch will probably have more to do with novelty and nostalgia than an actual preference for solid sanitizers, but there might be a resistance nonetheless. The hotel industry, especially those who currently offer specialty bath products/salts, will no doubt have to evaluate the potential reaction of their clientele before making the decision to liquidize.

Where do you stand? Is it time to begin saying goodbye to individual bars of soap in the name of the environment? Even though they would definitely be on next year's list of most stolen items, we humbly suggest that hotels consider freestanding dispensers as opposed to the wall-mounted models shown above. There is still room for creativity should the switch go down, and it would be great if we could avoid making the bathroom feel like a locker room.

[Photo via Pineapple Hospitality]

Archived Comments:


If I am staying at an Aloft hotel, where they use dispensers, I think that's fine. But if I am staying a luxury spot where I am paying top dollar, you will give me a bottle of shampoo, conditioner, body wash and body lotion as well as a couple of bars of soap. You will.

From Facebook:

Here's what folks are saying on our Facebook page when we asked what would they do if they saw this dispenser in their hotel bathroom:

· "Love it!"

· "I have not sure if I like the idea but get the reasons why they go that route"

· " I have, and its a great idea.!"

· "I like it, those little amenity bottles this replaces are often hard to use and wasteful."

More mixed reviews

Some more comments from our FB. We really hit a nerve over there!

· "Most European hotels are already doing this and I like it."

· "Seems tacky to me...

· "The dispensers/branding could look a little nicer but I think it's a great idea and it wouldn't bother me in the slightest. I would love to see the hotel industry get rid of the mini bottles - so wasteful..."

· "my hotel has already phased out the bottles and have installed these. Mixed reviews from our guests though."

· ""Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City has something very similar"

· "I'm ok with it, as long as it's not easy to open the top. I'm concerned that other guests would put stuff that does not belong in the dispensers...

· "I have seen them but I use my own - no clue what might be in them."