Your Healthy Travel Planner: Healthy-Hotel Checklist
How healthy is your hotel? Whats more, how healthy will you be when you check out of it? In general, the best way to sleuth out a hotel thats good for you is to call beforehand and verify the basics. Also, snoop around online to see what other travelers have said. Here, some get-started strategies.
For a list of smoke-free hotels, visit www.freshstay.com. And make sure theres a working thermostat in the room so you can control the temperature and airflow.
Check fat content
Look for places that offer healthy, low-fat options. At the head of the pack is the Loews Hotel chain, which has removed all trans-fats from its cuisine--even the snacks in the minibar.
Ask for an allergy-free room
Some major chains (Hilton, Marriott, Millennium, and Wyndham) offer rooms—for a price—that are designed and maintained to mini-mize dust mites and other allergens. Even low-cost chains such as Americas Best Inns and Suites now offer Evergreen rooms with air- and water-purification systems for only $3 to $5 more per night. No allergies? These still are probably the cleanest rooms in the hotel.
Do a renovation check
Call to make sure that parts of the hotel arent being renovated, which can cause a lot of noise pollution and stir up of dust and other nasties. Also, a newly renovated room may have strong, annoying odors from new carpet, wall coverings, and paint.
Beware of bedbugs
The little brown bugs can leave you with itchy welts, much like a mosquito would. Does your hotel have em? Before you book, check travelers online reviews for red flags. In your room, pull back the bed linen quickly and look for any action, especially along the mattress seams and tag. Check both headboard and bedside table for signs of life and tiny black spots (excrement). If you find anything, do we need to tell you what to do next? Get. Another. Room. Or hotel.
Take its fitness pulse
Is there a pool for your morning laps? A fitness center thats open all hours? Make sure the service will be up and running during your stay. And ask about fitness perks. Westin Hotels offers hotel rooms with treadmills or Spinning cycles, and the chain recently launched RunWESTIN—three-mile morning runs with a trained running concierge. And Kimpton Hotels offer a free tote bag with yoga mat and strap, block, and core-strength band (to use while youre on-site), in addition to a hotel TV channel with yoga instruction.