Hotel Feebies Too Confusing

June 27, 2009 at 6:26 am 23 comments

Huh!?I haven’t purchased shampoo or soap in 20 years! I use the little bottles and bars in the hotels where I stay on teaching trips and bring home the leftovers. I decant the shampoo into my personal shampoo bottle at home and mold the slightly used bars onto whatever is currently in the shower soap dish. (This is how I am able to afford my extravagant lifestyle.)

Recently one particular hotel chain has gotten cute, no doubt some idiotic marketing ploy. Instead of calling the shampoo, ah… SHAMPOO, they call it something else. That was my problem. I couldn’t figure out what they called it.

I thought I’d be OK when I identified the soap. The label said “cleanse.” It was obviously soap. The bar shape gave it away and I could see through the wrapper. I threw the soap in the shower and turned on the water. OK, we’re on a roll.

The three things in the back of the plastic “SimplySmart” display I figured out by process of elimination:  COVER, MEND, and SHINE. SHINE must be for shoes. MEND is a foreign concept, but I could feel a needle and some thread inside so that must be for piecing or applique if the TSA agents confiscate your sewing kit at the airport.  COVER is a shower cap.  (Hint: wash your hair and save the clear plastic shower cap to cover leftovers from dinner after you get home. You can see through it and the elastic around the edge keeps the food from falling off the plate in the refrigerator.)

So far, so good.  Standing on the top shelf of the newly christened “SimplyStupid” display were four bottles containing liquid, one of which was surely SHAMPOO. Here the labels were of no use whatever  SCRUB, WASH, TAME, and SOFTEN.

SOFTEN had to be hand cream. Excuse me, lotion. La-dee-dah. One down; three to go. Mind you, I’m standing in the bathroom bare naked (except for my glasses) wanting desperately to just get in the shower and move forward with my day, but I don’t know which one is the shampoo.  I don’t know what the heck TAME is supposed to be.  Cream rinse? Also known as “conditioner?” Could be… I don’t use that, so its out of the equation.

I’m down to two:  SCRUB and WASH. Interchangeable.  Who is the moron who thought this up?! What was left? Shampoo and what, body wash? Or something else? Mouthwash? Do I WASH my hair and SCRUB my body? Or am I supposed to  SCRUB my hair and WASH my body?! Guess it depends which is dirtier? I don’t know; is this a trick question?!

In desperation I rooted through my cosmetic case and found an old, nearly dead bottle of SHAMPOO and I used it. Thank goodness I did.

The aroma infused CLEANSE (soap) smelled so strongly of cinnamon that had I used the matching scented SHAMPOO and/or BODY WASH / MOUTHWASH / EYEGLASS CLEANER I would have smelled like a Cinnabon all day long.

Note to hoteliers: Can we get back to basics? PLEASE? SOAP, SHAMPOO, CONDITIONER, LOTION work just fine. And make the letters big and black. So I can read them without my glasses on. And a reference point for the visually challenged behind the curtain would be a great idea too. I get in there sans glasses and the white tub melts into the white walls which melts into the white shower curtain. I can’t see a thing. A person could kill themselves in your hotel. Can you paint the walls a different color maybe?

And while I’m at it, stop folding the ends of the toilet paper. It stopped being “classy” as soon as I realized somebody had to get their fingers all over the toilet paper to get it that way. Major ick.

Thank you!

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Entry filed under: Miscellaneous Musings.

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23 Comments Add your own

  • 1. martha bilski  |  June 27, 2009 at 9:05 am

    every single thing you say is true!! and also –why would anyone need an iron in a hotel room? who is going to be ironing seams in a hotel room. Can’t that be done at the retreat hall?

    Shh! They’ll take it away. I need an iron in my hotel room. Next time I teach String Quilting at a conference you watch me come in the classroom in the morning. I bring the ironing board from my hotel room. I march right by the front desk with it. Nobody bats an eye. At most shows I have to “liberate” the ironing board because all the ironing stations (crappy desktop boards, or folded icky towels) are out in the hall. I iron for my students, at least for the first couple of hours. I’m supposed to do that our in the hallway? I don’t think so! (And I always return it. Probably the only time the thing gets used.)~~Ami


  • 2. Deb Sims  |  June 27, 2009 at 9:17 am

    Ami, you did it again–cracked me up! Why can’t simple things just be simple??? Shampoo is shampoo and soap is soap! And my cleaning ladies fold the TP and make poufs out of the kleenex and they don’t undersand why I think it’s wasteful because I just throw them out!
    If you and I were running the world things would be so much easier.


  • 3. Julie  |  June 27, 2009 at 9:22 am

    I’m with you about the folded toilet paper. I also hate when they take the top few tissues out of the kleenex (or whatever brand they are using) tissue box and make paper flowers out of them and stick them back into the box. Now it’s not just the first tissue that has been contaminated but the inside of the box. So, whatever nasties have been introduced into the box are there to contaminate every tissue that is removed from the box!! Double ick!

    I think the germs are dead by then; they can’t live forever. Personally, I’d rather obsess about the cleanliness (or lack there of) of the bedspread, remote, oh dear, just about everything I touch. Thanks SO much for your comment!~~Ami


  • 4. Laurie  |  June 27, 2009 at 9:23 am

    We always stay at that hotel chain (gotta love those free nights!). I always bring my own toiletries, but my daughter heard me reading your blog out loud and shouted downstairs that the bottles are marked on the back as to their real contents. Hope this helps!!

    No way! I have to stay there again just to read the label on the back. And how do you get free nights. I belong to every “loyalty” program on the planet and have never gotten a free night ANYWHERE!~~Ami


    • 5. Laurie  |  June 27, 2009 at 4:53 pm

      My husband stays there exculsively for business travel. He’s a platinum member of their Priority Club. For every dollar you spend for a room you earn 10 priority club points. Of course a ‘free’ room will cost you a minimum of 10,000 points and some hotels in nicer areas now charge 25,000 points a room. Still, we’ve gotten lots of free hotel stays that way and you get a free breakfast to boot. (We get a free room when we travel to Paducah for the AQS show every year — whoopee!!)


  • 6. Elaine Adair  |  June 27, 2009 at 10:09 am


    I have trouble differentiating shampoo from conditioner without glasses, and hey, don’t get them in the wrong order!

    And how about – no grab bars, or only the shower curtain rod waaaaaay up about 8 feet up there, well beyond my reach, so if I have to grab WAAAY up that high to reduce slipping possibility, I’d slip for sure … and how about when they put some kind of new insert OVER an old tub, and now you have to step even HIGHER to get IN and OUT, threatening a mishap for sure!

    And how about NOT charging me for the SAFE for my pitiful valuables, because occasionally our valuables left in the room develop LEGS!!! Aren’t we supposed to be SAFE IN their establishment? Shouldn’t the employees be NOT-THIEVES?

    OK, I’m done! 8-((


  • 7. Ellen Cabluck  |  June 27, 2009 at 10:18 am

    Love your vote for simplicity–couldn’t agree more. Keep up the good work, because smiling and laughing are good for the soul.


  • 8. Nnacy  |  June 27, 2009 at 10:22 am

    Your column cracked me up … as always. Of course, you could do like dh and I do — along with all of the people in my office who travel — we bring the little cutsie soaps and bottles of stuff home, take them to the office, where they are then collected by the QUILTERS group. Boxes full of these items are taken to the children who are in care at a Shelter. They love them. (Yes, I can proudly say, that we have a quilters group at work who make 45 x 60″ quilts for the children in care at this Shelter — almost 2,000 of them in the past 17.5 years).


  • 9. quiltdivajulie  |  June 27, 2009 at 11:45 am

    Sad part is, I think they’re trying to confuse us so we don’t use their products (thus saving them $$)… especially now, when customer service counts A LOT, I hate these petty kinds of “cutbacks” … thanks for a good laugh this morning (I can’t see without my glasses, either).



  • 10. Mona  |  June 27, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    Another one in total agreement with you… but just think…

    1 – at least the words are in English,

    I’ve been known to refold the toilet tissue as I found it before leaving ….in the interest of saving the poor lady one thing to do….(being sarcastic of course!) : = )

    But again, as you say Ami, I’m more concerned about the sanitation of the bed sheets and covers and mattress – what with the high increase in bed bug infestations being reported,
    Wonder when there will be a travel kit for travelers to purchase to check for those things….YUK BIG TIME!



  • 11. Frank Palmer  |  June 27, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    Scrub is facial scrub and Wash is hair and body wash. Some places think they can save money by making a shower gel/shampoo combo even though they have to have a separate facial cleanser AND still have a bar of hand soap.

    If you get the chance to try an Aloft hotel, they are the best airport hotel I have ever visited. No vending machines, but real food and drinks available 24/7, modern rooms, and fun, interactive touches in the lobby and elevator. And inexpensive!


  • 12. Cam Wilsie  |  June 27, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    Think I know which hotel chain does that–still have some of those clean looking but challenging-labeled bottles from my last stay at that one located at I-475 and the Robert T. in Flint. They amused me as much as they challenged me to figure out. I also had one labeled “rinse” and one sniff confirmed that it was mouthwash!

    I’m with you on the bedspread condition–always sweep that off to the floor, which only makes it worse for the next person. What is creeping me out now is that some hotels are using comforters covered with a duvet and no separate sheet, so how can I trust that duvet is changed after each guest when I know how hard it is to put a comforter into a duvet so seriously doubt those are changed with any frequency. Maybe this means I’ll have to start packing a 100% cotton twin size sheet to be sure I have a clean something between me and whatever is supposed to be the warmth layer.

    Final thing to creep all of us out–never put your suitcase onto the floor! Use the provided luggage rack or dresser top or anything that lifts the suitcase off the floor. A relative had bedbugs hitch a ride to her house via her suitcase on the floor, when we shared a room and I got the luggage rack since I’m the elder. Yuck! Ick! Nasssty! The bedbugs were costly to eliminate via having her house fumigated and then having to buy special (read costly) mattress and pillow covers.


  • 13. Barbara  |  June 27, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    You have hit the nail on the head as they say. I’m still not sure though if Scrub is for shampoo or body wash. I just cannot imagine going around smelling like cinnamon, love cinnamon myself but I don’t think I want to smell like it. Hotels and motels are all such funny places, there really is no place like home.


  • 14. Kathy A Merris  |  June 27, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    Every time I’m in a hotel in the future I’ll look in the bathroom and smile thinking of you.


  • 15. Kathy  |  June 27, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    As the last contributors stated, “there really is no place like home.” We have a medical condition – Alheizmers – and home is the best place to be. While we were well, we made several trips and enjoyed collecting all the goodies in the bathroom. Our daughter found bedbugs in a motel bed. She had to give a presentation the next morning or she would have packed up and gone home. It was a long night sitting on the wooden shelf beside the dresser all night. She checks each bed prior to even putting her luggage down.


  • 16. Quilting Librarian  |  June 27, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    Ami, I think I stayed in one of those places too. I had no idea what they meant, and I didn’t think to check the back. If I can’t see it from the front, well, it’s not worth it. Thanks again for all the laughs. Happy quilting. Rosemarie


  • 17. Laurie  |  June 27, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    The comment about slipping in the tub made me remember the time I was at the “hotel chain with the unclear toiletries labelling” and I slipped in the tub while taking a shower. Unfortunately, my backside was to the room and I fell out of the tub backwards (naked, of course!), narrowly missing hitting my head on the edge of the counter as I went down. As it was I hit my head on the floor and my dear husband, who heard the crash, managed to whack my arm with the door when he came flying into the bathroom to see what was wrong!! LOL! (I know it’s really not funny; it could’ve been quite serious, but I wasn’t hurt so I’m looking at the bright side.)


  • 18. Katina  |  June 27, 2009 at 11:20 pm

    Too funny. And it reminded me of something funny I did without MY glasses. Last time I was staying in a hotel I had identical size tubes of SPF face moisturizer and hair conditioner. Needless to say, I used the hair conditioner as a face moisturizer on one of the hottest days of the summer, and I still have a mole to prove it!! It took me hours to figure out why my moisturizer smelled sooo good!


  • 19. jaybird  |  June 28, 2009 at 9:05 am

    everything you said.
    so true.

    i also hate how the towels are all over the bathroom. and folded in strange ways which makes it impossible to know which one is for what. and the towel you are supposed to shower with is twice the size of a dishtowel. i don’t know about anyone else but i’ve got a small frame and that towel barely covers me. come on!


  • 20. Stephanie  |  June 28, 2009 at 9:23 am

    Heck, I just bring the wash/scrub/shampoo/whatever-it-cleans home and use it to wash the inside of my toilet. I can’t stand the cheapie shampoos on my hair, but a couple drops in the toilet water with a scrub brush and it works as well as any commercial cleaner. AND it’s less caustic to the environment. Doesn’t hurt that it has a nicer scent, either.

    Problem solved.


  • 21. Laurie  |  June 29, 2009 at 7:56 am

    Just one more rant about hotels — WHY when you make a reservation for 4 people and obviously check in with 4 people do they have your bathroom made up with only THREE towels and THREE washcloths?? Are we supposed to flip a coin to see who skips their shower?!?! Last time this happened my husband had to write a note for the maid pointing out that there were FOUR of us, so could we please have enough towels for everyone. Grrrr!


  • 22. Laura  |  June 29, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    One solution — stay at a Motel 6. Nothing fancy there — only a tiny bar of soap, a couple towels, and some TP. Nothing else, not even kleenex!
    (Actually, it was pretty seedy and yucky, and I don’t intend to try them again.)


  • 23. MaggieK  |  June 30, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    I had a friend who did something really funny in a hotel. He folded the toilet paper back into the little point every time he used it while he was staying over a week. At about day 4, the maid had become really concerned about him and left him a small supply of Exlax! Try it – it really messes with their minds :-)



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