Holiday Inn’s new human bed warmer service: good for bed bugs

by nobugsonme on January 21, 2010 · 5 comments

in bad ideas, bed bugs, bed bugs in hotels, spread of bed bugs

The Telegraph reports that Holiday Inn is piloting a new service where staff come into your room and lie in your bed to warm it up for you.

I am not making this up.

The Telegraph cites Dr Chris Idzikowski, director of the Edinburgh Sleep Centre,

”A warm bed – approximately 20 to 24 degrees Celsius – is a good way to start this process whereas a cold bed would inhibit sleep. Holiday Inn’s new bed warmers service should help people achieve a good night’s sleep especially as it’s taking much longer for them to warm up when they come in from the snow.”


Holiday Inn spokeswoman Jane Bednall said the idea was ”like having a giant hot water bottle in your bed”.

From another perspective, it’s also exactly like having people who have been in lots of other hotel guests’ rooms and beds — just moments before — get in your bed, right before you do.

It seems like this might speed up the spread of bed bugs, which are often present in some rooms at even the finest hotels.  Bed bugs can come into any hotel room with travelers, and now they have yet another way to circulate from room to room.

Even if you searched your room for bed bugs, you can’t be sure others are doing the same.

The “service” is being piloted in Manchester and London.

Clearly Holiday Inn has not consulted our friend and Bedbugger Forums regular David Cain of on this one.  But they may well have more need of him soon.

via Upgrade: Travel Better.

1 cilecto January 21, 2010 at 2:00 pm

I smell hoax, joke (ala The Onion) or limited publicity stunt.
– why hire and manage people to do this when “a giant water bottle” or electric pad (which don’t have sick days) would suffice?
– people lying in your bed wearing heavy coverings is an inefficient way to warm a bed. Then the bed needs to be remade, and cools off.

I haven’t even started with the BB issue.
A glass of beer says this is bogus. We can settle after Sorkin’s next appearance (sone restrictions apply).

2 nobugsonme January 21, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Hi ci,

We may need to find a secret, undisclosed location, but you’re on!

It would be quite a nice hoax if they pulled it off. It has been picked up by Reuters and uncountable news sources.

Here’s a press release from 1/19 in the industry magazine HOTELS.

It notes that

The complimentary five-minute bed warming service will trial at Holiday Inn London Kensington Forum, Holiday Inn Kingston South and Holiday Inn Manchester Central Park. Sessions should be booked to take place between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m., from January 18 to 25.

3 spideyjg January 21, 2010 at 9:19 pm

Eeeeeeeewwwwwwwwww! Not even due to the BB potential.


4 nobugsonme January 22, 2010 at 1:34 am

Yes, I should have stressed how skeevish it made me otherwise.

But you know me, obsessed with bed bugs.

5 parakeets January 22, 2010 at 10:47 am

When I first caught the title “bed warmer service” for hotels, I thought maybe they had come up with a bed-size Packtite they could use to “bake” your bed before you get into it so as to kill any bedbugs (and mites, too), that might be there. I think this must be a spoof. They can warm beds with plug-in bed warmers without the bit of sexual innuendo the idea and photo suggests.

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