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The Great Hotel Linen Debate: To Wash or Not to Wash

Dear Rudy,

A hotel I stayed at in Delray Beach, Florida, recently had one of those notices that have been cropping up all over urging guests to help conserve water. How? By leaving a note for the housekeeping staff telling them not to wash the sheets If you’re staying for more than one night. After all, you don’t wash your sheets at home every day. Why do it on vacation?

Some travelers find this arrogant. They figure that ostentatious, overpriced hotels have no business asking guests to be frugal and ecologically aware – and they have a point. However, I suspect that if hotels offered to donate money to an environmental cause each day the linens go unwashed, guests might be more willing to cooperate. They wouldn’t feel that they were being asked to sacrifice while the hotel reaped the benefits in lower utility bills.


Bed and Breakfasts: Service with a Smile and Then Some

Dear Rudy,

A lot of people automatically book a hotel room when they’re traveling abroad. But no matter how ritzy the property might be, chances are you’ll never get the kind of personalized service you get in a good bed and breakfast. In my experience, B&Bs do so many extra things for you – not because they have to, but because they WANT to.

Here’s an example. I rented a car in Northern Ireland last year, and found that I couldn’t negotiate the roads very well. The differences in the rules of the road in Ireland compared to the US made me a little uncomfortable. This could have really hampered my vacation, but luckily, I was staying at a bed and breakfast. The owners agreed to drive me around, acting as tour guides for five days. It was a wonderful way to experience a new place, and it never would have happened if I had been staying in a hotel.


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