The more I scrutinise the behind-the-scenes practices of hotels, the more I want to retrain as a toxicologist. I may not wear a lab coat to work or have post-nominal letters, but I am a geek when it comes to thinking about the link between our exposure to chemicals when we travel and physical and cognitive health. It’s definitely time we upped the conversation around the hosts sidestepping chemicals when it comes to their gardens, groceries and their great-looking interiors. How deeply do we think about what’s making the toiletries so perfumed, whether the pillows are infused with flame-retardant PBDEs, or if that Instagram-perfect pool is overloaded with chlorine?
Praise be for the growing number of holistically minded hoteliers. Pesticides and parabens are the tip of the xenobiotic iceberg. It’s not just sud-making sodium laureth sulfate to skip in the shower, but also phthalates, often used to thicken lotions and