Hotels across the country are beginning to cater the needs of the 50 million American allergy sufferers by offering allergen-free hotel rooms. Hotel guests with severe allergies are often forced to call room service and request special blankets, pillow covers and other hypoallergenic items to make their stay more comfortable. The concept can also appeal to hotel guests who worry about the "ick" factor, the concern about who the former occupant of your hotel room was and what he might have done there. A guaranteed sanitized room is a comforting thought to any traveler. Here's how to find an allergen-free hotel room.
Reserve a room at a hotel with Pure Rooms. The Pure Solutions company has teamed up with several hotel chains to perform a special 6-step process of thorough cleaning, sanitizing and a 4-hour long ozone shock treatment before a guest checks in. They also have installed special air filters, disinfecting agents in the heating and cooling coils, and charcoal-filtered shower heads. While they don't actually guarantee that no allergens are present in the rooms, they do assure guests these rooms are as allergy-friendly as any hotel room can be. See the Resource section below for hotels that offer Pure Rooms to their guests.
Stay in an Enviro-Room if you're traveling to Chicago. Environmental Technologies Solutions takes the allergy free concept a step further. Instead of treating an existing hotel room, Environmental Technologies Solutions completely renovates rooms, replacing carpeting with wooden flooring, draperies with wood shutters, and installing specially designed wallpaper, bed linens, pillow casings and countertops, all with the needs of severe allergy and asthma sufferers in mind. They also upgrade the venting system with hypoallergenic filters, automated antibacterial and disinfectant sprayers, and unscented bath lotions and soaps. There are fewer of these rooms available, though more are being built due to their popularity with guests. The Hilton Hotel in Chicago is currently offering Enviro-Rooms, and they say they will be expanding the idea to other locations soon (see Resources below).
Choose a guaranteed smoke-free room if your most serious concern is a reaction to cigarette smoke. Through a company called Freshstay, there are more than 120 hotel properties that guarantee their rooms have are 100 percent smoke free. Many hotels claim to have smoke-free rooms, but in some cases that only means there is no one smoking there while you occupy the room (see Resource below).