Top reasons people will leave a hotel – from dirty bedsheets to stained carpets

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% would walk out if the bathroom was not clean.

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

But in a post-Covid world, more than a third (35%) 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% were swayed by feedback on cleanliness.

However, post pandemic, 70% 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%) 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.

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“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.”

To help support B&Bs, guest-houses and hotels, P&G Professional has partnered with hotelier and restaurateur Marco Pierre White to help holidaymakers enjoy a ‘Safecation’ across the UK this summer.

He features in a video discussing the importance of cleanliness on first impressions in a hotel, and also explores how often different surfaces are touched by guests.

Marco Pierre White, who owns The Rudloe Arms, a hotel set in 14 acres of Wiltshire countryside, said: “I’m not surprised this research shows 50% 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.

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“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 three in five 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%), an immaculate bathroom (57%) and no stray hairs in the room (49%).

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

If they were to walk into a dirty hotel room, 44% would feel angry while 32% would feel anxious.

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But 43% went as far as to say they would feel revolted and 32% would feel stressed.

And 81% felt that if a lobby of a hotel was dirty or smelly, they would assume the room would also be unclean.

Nearly a third (32%) would even be prepared to pay more for a hotel or B&B if it meant they knew it would be cleaned to the highest standards.

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

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

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The CleanPLUS Experience [ ] is a stamp of approval from P&G Professional’s household name brands – Fairy Professional, Flash Professional and Microban 24 Professional – which serves as a mark of assurance for guests when booking a break.

Berat Onur, from P&G Professional, added: “The last 18 months have made a lot of people think more about cleanliness and hygiene, which can only be a good thing – particularly when staying away from home.

“These statistics show that 22% are more likely to book a B&B or hotel if they know staff are using cleaning brands they trust.

“Customers want to see how businesses are managing cleanliness, and it is critical that this is communicated clearly to the public.”

To find out more about the CleanPLUS Experience, visit"

Top 10 things that make people walk out of a hotel:

  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

Top priorities for a hotel room:

  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

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