Regardless of what hotel you visit in the U.S., you can be sure you’ll get a small handful of amenities – soap and shampoo for sure, and possibly even lotion. Even when hotels have switched from single-size bottles to larger, refillable ones to save the environment (and themselves a ton of money), they didn’t cut any of the three out.
If you stay at a super duper fancy place, you may get a few other amenities such as a sewing kit, comb, nail file, mouthwash, shoehorn, etc. But as much of an essential as toothpaste may be considered, and as much as you may forget to bring it as much as you might your soap, hotels rarely, if ever have it available.
Ever wonder why? Turns out there are a few reasons…
It costs too much
Hotel owners will cut corners wherever they can – guests are encouraged to reuse towels in the name of the environment (which I get and don’t have a problem with – but that it costs them less to wash fewer towels is not lost on anyone), blankets, mattress pads, etc. are rarely washed, and even housekeeping services themselves have oftentimes been cut.
Oral hygiene products cost more per ounce than toiletries. So with a budget of “X,” there’s not enough for toothpaste.
It’s not sexy enough
Higher end hotels have more budget – those are the places you’ll see the sewing kits and the like. However, clients of those higher end hotels are looking for higher end products. There really aren’t any higher end brands of toothpaste; rich people use Crest and Colgate, just like us commoners. So hoteliers of luxury hotels just don’t include them.
They’re not expected to
How many people go down to the front desk and ask if they have toothpaste? Not many. If people don’t ask for toothpaste en masse (like they would if there was no soap in the room – because it’s expected), hotels aren’t going to make it available.
They don’t need to
Although online ratings count too, hotels, especially luxury level ones, aspire to have/maintain a certain number of stars from rating powerhouses. A 2013 report from Slate said that, to get AAA diamonds:
- one-diamond establishments must stock two small bars of soap
- two-diamond places need to have two slightly larger bars of soap, plus one packet or bottled item
- three, four, and five diamond hotels are expected to provide even larger soaps and ever-widening apothecaries of creams, lotions, and gels.
None of them are required to include toothpaste in the room.
Never say never!
By the way, never say never – certain brands of Hyatt hotels, such as Hyatt Place, do offer Aquafresh toothpaste. Some Kimptons also have small toothpaste (and toothbrushes!), for the asking. But they are the few exceptions in the U.S.
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