3 in 4 would leave hotel room if they discovered dirty sheets

A quarter of travellers would be put off a hotel within ‘seconds’ if the cleanliness was not up to scratch — with dirty bedsheets, a grimy bathroom and bad smells the top gripes.

A study of 2,000 adults found three quarters would leave a hotel or B&B if they found dirty bedsheets waiting for them, while 71 per cent would walk out if the bathroom was not clean.

Others would abandon their trip if they encountered stained carpets (39 per cent), rude staff (52 per cent) and loud noises (38 per cent).

But in a post-Covid world, more than a third (35 per cent) would also be put off if there was no visible cleaning taking place.

A previous survey carried out in 2019 found that when researching where to stay, 40 per cent were swayed by feedback on cleanliness.

However, post-pandemic, 70 per cent will now look for comments on a venue’s hygiene before booking.

It also emerged that despite more than a quarter being desperate to book a holiday after nearly 18 months of travel restrictions, half of adults will be put off making a booking if they didn’t feel confident in the hotel’s hygiene.

And one in five (20 per cent) will even pack their own cleaning products to give a room a once over before they unpack to ensure it is up to scratch.

Berat Onur, from P&G Professional, which commissioned the research to highlight its CleanPLUS Experience, said:

“After the last year, hygiene has become a huge priority for us all – especially when we are away from our own homes.

“We are all really looking forward to getting back to holidays and breaks from our home, but we all want the reassurance that we will be safe and staying somewhere clean.

“Even before Covid, there are things which would put us off a hotel or B&B accommodation, and this is only becoming something we are more conscious of now.”

Marco Pierre White, who owns The Rudloe Arms, a hotel set in 14 acres of Wiltshire countryside, added:

“I’m not surprised this research shows 50 per cent of people have been put off booking a break due to cleanliness concerns.

“As all in the hospitality industry will know, the health and safety of our guests is of the utmost importance.

“Following a challenging time, it’s fantastic to be able to welcome guests back and reassure customers with the CleanPLUS Experience – a gold standard of excellence when it comes to cleanliness.”

The study also found more than six in 10 adults named a fresh-smelling bedroom as the top priority when it comes to travel accommodation.

This was followed by fresh-smelling bed linen (61 per cent), an immaculate bathroom (57 per cent) and no stray hairs in the room (49 per cent).

These were more important than value for money (44 per cent), the view from the window (32 per cent) and the size of the room (31 per cent).

The study, carried out via OnePoll, also found that while 24 per cent already have a break arranged for this year, 36 per cent are waiting for lockdown measures to ease before booking a holiday.

In the current climate though, 27 per cent are now likely to look for cleanliness information before booking accommodation, while 39 per cent will pay more attention to cleanliness and hygiene standards now.


1.            Dirty bedsheets

2.            Disgusting bathroom     

3.            Smelly room      

4.            Bad smells          

5.            Rude staff          

6.            Horrible food   

7.            Stained carpets

8.            Loud noises         

9.            A dirty or grubby lobby/reception area  

10.          No visible cleaning taking place 


1.            A fresh-smelling bedroom          

2.            Fresh smelling bed linen               

3.            An immaculate bathroom            

4.            No stay hairs in the bedroom or bathroom          

5.            No dirty ring around the bathtub             

6.            Value for money            

7.            Whiteness of the sheets              

8.            Room temperature        

9.            Natural light      

10.          Size of bed         

11.          The view from the window        

12.          Size       

13.          Fluffiness of the towels

14.          Style/décor       

15.          Amount of pillows           

16.          No fingerprints on the mirror or window             

17.          The whiteness of the bathrobes

18.          Information or signage about cleaning procedures           

19.          Whether there are plug sockets near the bed or not         

20.          Bathroom size  

Chris Price