Two of the world's largest hotel companies have started phasing out those tiny shampoo and conditioner bottles that travelers have been stealing from hotel bathrooms for years.
InterContinental Hotels and Marriott International both began this year to replace the individual-size bottles with large pump bottles that are locked and fastened to the showers in more than a dozen of their chains across the country.
The two hotel giants cited several reasons for the switch: 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.
Hotel representatives say they have installed the bigger dispensers at hotels favored by business travelers, who are considered more experienced travelers.
"It's a great opportunity to test this on business travelers who come in and out of our hotels instead of guests who only visit once or twice a year," said Denise Naguib, Marriott's vice president for sustainability and supplier diversity.
Hotel representatives say the change does not directly save the companies money, even though it will cut down on pilferage, but could help attract and retain guests.
"They love the in-shower, wall-mounted fixtures, easy-to-read labels, the well-known shampoo and bath brands, and having larger quantity of products," said InterContinental Hotels spokeswoman Ada Hatzios.
At the InterContinental Hotels, the 8.5-ounce pump bottles have been added to Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites, Candlewood Suites and Avid Hotels.
The Even Hotels, which are geared toward health-conscious travelers, launched in 2014 with 8.5-ounce shampoo pump bottles. The Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants, the boutique hotel chain acquired by InterContinental in 2014, began rolling out bulk-size shampoo and conditioner last year.
At Marriott, the tiny shampoo bottles are being replaced this year by larger pump bottles locked on wall fixtures at 450 hotels managed by Marriott. The bigger bottles have been added at five midprice brand hotels favored by business travelers: the Courtyard by Marriott, Residence Inn, TownPlace Suites, Fairfield Inn and SpringHill Suites.
Other Marriott hotel brands, including, Four Points, Moxy and some hotels operated under the subsidiary Starwood Hotels & Resorts, have already switched to the pump dispensers. AC Hotels, the Marriott subsidiary aimed at younger travelers, also plans to phase out the tiny shampoo bottles shortly, Marriott officials say.