Watch: Tiny Shampoo Bottles Are Disappearing From Hotel Rooms (and Not Because Guests Are Taking Them)
It could soon be the end for tiny hotel shampoo bottles.
Both InterContinental Hotels and Marriott International have begun replacing signature tiny bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and body gel with large bottles with pumps attached to the wall.
The hotels argue that the larger, multi-use bottles are more environmentally friendly, eliminate the need for guests to call the front desk for toiletries, and don’t have small caps that can fall down drains and back up plumbing. But hotel guests are not necessarily convinced.
“What’s next, getting rid of the packs of coffee and making us scoop out of a can?” one frequent traveler told the Wall Street Journal. “I think it’s cheap, incredibly cheap.”
However, a spokesperson for Marriott said the program is not really about the savings. Large shampoo bottles would only save each hotel about $2,000 per year.
This year, about 450 Marriott locations will replace the small bottles with wall-mounted pumps, according to the Los Angeles Times. Locations include the Courtyard by Marriott, Residence Inn, TownPlace Suites, Fairfield Inn and SpringHill Suites. Other Marriott brands, including Four Points, Moxy and some Starwood Hotels & Resorts have already switched. Intercontinental Hotel brands like Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites, Candlewood Suites, Avid Hotels, Even Hotels and The Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants have already made the switch.
On the more luxurious end of the spectrum, some hotels count on guests taking home their small, specially formulated toiletries. But when the bottles stay, they often just end up in the trash. Programs like Clean the World partner with hotels to collect old supplies and redistribute them to those in need. The organization estimates that it has redistributed more than 41 million bars of soap since 2009.