Individual hotel scores

Marketplace tested six national chains: Super 8, Econo Lodge, Best Western, Holiday Inn, The Fairmont and The Sheraton. We tested one hotel per chain, per city - Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver -- three rooms per hotel. 54 rooms in total. Tests were conducted in August and September, 2012.

In all, we did approximately 7,000 tests of 810 surfaces, all of which are commonly touched. This included scanning objects with a UV flashlight, testing for contamination using an ATP meter and taking contact plates which were incubated and examined at The University of Guelph by Keith Warriner, one of Canada's top microbiologists.

Six core items were tested and used to calculate the final scores received by each hotel. These items include: TV remote, comforter, toilet seat, bathroom counter, bathroom faucet, and black light of bed sheets. Each of these six core items were tested for ATP contamination, coliform, antibiotic resistant bacteria, C-difficile and TAC (Total Aerobic Count). We also tested ice machines.

Hotels were ranked for cleanliness - or lack thereof - based on the total score they received.

Hotel Scores

  1. Vancouver Econo Lodge: 53
  2. Montreal Super 8: 40
  3. Vancouver Sheraton: 37
  4. Vancouver Holiday Inn: 35
  5. Vancouver Fairmont: 31
  6. Montreal Econo Lodge: 31
  7. Montreal Holiday Inn: 30
  8. Toronto Best Western: 28
  9. Vancouver Super 8: 26
  10. Toronto Sheraton: 24
  11. Montreal Sheraton: 23
  12. Vancouver Best Western: 23
  13. Toronto Fairmont: 22
  14. Toronto Super 8: 22
  15. Montreal Fairmont: 20
  16. Toronto Econo Lodge: 20
  17. Toronto Holiday Inn: 17
  18. Montreal Best Western: 14


Six items that comprised score:

  • TV remote
  • Comforter
  • Toilet seat
  • Bathroom counter
  • Bathroom faucet
  • Black light sheets


Tests used to calculate score for each item:

ATP TAC Coliform ARB Ice Black Light Sheets C. Difficile


ATP Limits

The ATP limits used in the Marketplace story were standards designed by one of Canada's top microbiologists, Keith Warriner. These limits were based on standards used in the healthcare and food industry and extended as one would not expect a hotel room to meet the same level of sanitation as a hospital or food processing plant.


Full test results