Hotel Wall-Mounted Shower Dispensers, Good or Bad?

Hotel Bathroom

Shower Wall-Mounted DispensersDuring a recent stay at the Fairfield Inn in San Carlos, CA, I noticed that the small individual bottles of body wash, shampoo, and conditioner have disappeared from the sink counter. Instead, three large wall-mounted dispensers were installed on the shower wall. This change didn’t surprise me as I’ve read a few months back that this wave is coming to five Marriott brand hotels, the Fairfield Inn is one of them.

While I think the wall-mounted, Paul Mitchell teatree, the product is of okay quality, I have three main issues with the concept:

  1. On the third day of my stay, the body-wash bottle ran out. I am guessing the opaque nature of the bottles doesn’t indicate to housekeeping when dispensers are running low or empty. To solve this problem, I think Marriott should consider using clear or semi-clear bottles.
  2. This article from the National Institute of Health (NIH) makes me wonder how Marriott will ensure the dispensers and contents are kept free of contamination after every stay: Bacterial Hand Contamination and Transfer after Use of Contaminated Bulk-Soap-Refillable Dispensers.
  3. It is impacting my ability to collect the smaller bottles from my trips, which is most important to me. I am glad you asked why I collect them; I donate to a local shelter.

On another more recent stay, this week, at the Courtyard Austin Northwest/Arboretum I noticed the traditional personal size toiletries were still being offered – they must not have gotten the memo! However, I understand this rollout will be fully implemented by end of this year.

Courtyard Austin Northwest/Arboretum

Is this coming to Marriott hotels worldwide?

In general, overseas Marriott hotels provide a generous supply of high quality toiletries. On a trip to Cairo, in December 2016, the JW Marriott, Mirage City, was a gold mine. I stayed five nights, and every day I collected the complimentary offerings and housekeeping would replenish them. I returned home with a healthy collection of items to donate.

From everything I know so far, Marriott appears to be targeting North America managed hotels favored by business travelers. As such, overseas hotels may be safe, for now!

46b07481-433e-4bb7-a45d-6acf6d646815 JW Marriott, Mirage City, Cairo. What more can you ask for!



An article from the Los Angeles Times on May 05, 2018, indicates that InterContinental Hotels and Marriott International are actively replacing personal-size bottles with large wall-mounted ones. It also cites the following reasons why the two chains are making this change:

“the tiny empty bottles are rarely recycled and end up in landfills; the small bottles run out, especially when multiple guests stay in one room; and the caps to the bottles often fall into the drain, causing maintenance problems.”

I wholeheartedly support this initiative if the motive behind it is to reduce waste and ultimately save the environment. However, I don’t fully buy it – insert skeptical face. I believe cost savings are behind it all – which, honestly, I have no problem with as long as the savings are passed on to us, the consumers. We deserve it!

Final thought: is this the beginning of the end? I dread the day when hotels are going to charge for this stuff, like how airlines nickel-and-dime travelers and charge for snacks, checked-in luggage, seat selection, etc.

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