This new hotel in Finland promises you a bedbug-free stay

Jan 27, 2020

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Few two-word combinations can instill such a tremendous amount of fear into travellers, city dwellers and, well, anyone quite like “bedbugs” can.

TPG’s director of travel content, Summer Hull, and her family recently brought the infernal pests back with them after a trip and dealt with the bugs for months.

I, too, encountered bedbugs in a previous New York City apartment where I was living, and ended up being forced to move out after trying in vain to exterminate them for several months. Long story short: These things aren’t fun.

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While there are a seemingly infinite number of ways you can find yourself dealing with the plight that is bedbugs, picking them up in a hotel and bringing them home with you is one of the most common scenarios. No hotel — no matter how much you spend on the room per night — could claim to be bedbug-safe.

Until now, that is.

A soon-to-open Marriott Autograph Collection hotel in Helsinki, Finland is the first new-construction hotel that claims to be entirely bedbug-safe.

(Photo courtesy of Hotel U14)
(Photo courtesy of Hotel U14)

You may be thinking: “How, exactly, can a hotel make such a claim against these menacing creatures that have tortured humans for thousands of years?” Well, same.

The answer — according to Hotel U14, a Marriott Autograph Collection hotel — is that the property is designed in collaboration with a Finnish startup known as Valpas, which was founded in 2013 after CEO Martim Gois caught bedbugs while travelling in Asia. He set out on a mission to eliminate bedbugs in hotels — without using pesticides or throwing furniture away. Now, Valpas holds four patents in technology and design, and has set a standard for hotels to achieve in order to be known as bedbug-safe. Hotel U14 claims that it will “reduce [bedbug] infestations to zero compared to other modern hotels, but it also ensures people travel and return home safe without carrying bedbugs along.”

(Photo courtesy of Hotel U14)
(Photo courtesy of Hotel U14)

Specifically, in-room technology is leveraged to prevent an infestation of bedbugs. Primarily, this consists of “smart” legs on the bed frame that attract and subsequently capture these vermin before they’re able to implant themselves in the bed. Once a bug is caught, the hotel staff is immediately notified, and then they can take steps to further protect the hotel.

If this claim holds true after the property opens in Helsinki’s city center in March of this year, it will be an answered prayer for travellers everywhere who have (totally legitimate) fears of bringing bedbugs home with them after a trip. It seems like Valpas is really on to something, too. Over the last two years, the company has partnered with hotels in a dozen cities across eight countries in Europe to make them bedbug safe, though U14 is the first new-build hotel that’s been designed to the Valpas standard.

If this hotel is successful and Valpas’s expansion continues, we’re optimistic these preventative measures could become standard at more and more hotels worldwide. With more people crisscrossing the globe at a given time than ever before, it’s all too easy to pick up these nefarious insects in one location and bring them home with you, where they can easily spread to infest every corner of your home.

Enjoying a hotel stay without living in fear of picking up bedbugs would certainly be a welcome development for all travellers.

Featured image courtesy of Hotel U14, an Autograph Collection Hotel

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