Monday, May 31, 2010

Barefoot in Miami.

Dear South Beach:

I have always thought of you as sexy, but never, my apologies in advance, clean. Encountering a used condom on the beach confirmed by Dirty-Sexy Theory. So who-what-where-when-why would make me take my shoes off? Answer. Toothbrushes.

When I was told the former Gianni Versace mansion was under new ownership by Barton G. Weiss and boasted of a new hotel/restaurant The Villa By Barton G my reaction was still meh. (I heard former owners held tawdry parties there.) I was then told Weiss went to extraordinary efforts to restore the mansion to its Glory Days of Gianni. How extraordinary? The mansion's famed tiles were individually scrubbed with toothbrushes. That was all I needed to hear. The next thing I know I am eating Dover Sole off beautiful Versace-Rosenthal china. Which, BTW, was the best fish I have ever eaten. The preparation was perfect in its simplicity. And then, I just had to do it. I needed to run my bare feet over the mansion's legendary Thousand Mosaic Pool. I asked and was given permission to cross the velvet rope to the pool. Off came my shoes. Here and only here.


The Hygiene Hunter

Friday, May 28, 2010

Lucky dog.

This dog was fetching a stick in the Atlantic Ocean in South Beach, Miami. A stick. Not a condom. Thank goodness. Whether it is a gyro wrapper or a gyro wrapper, you know where it belongs. Repeat after me. IN A TRASH CAN. NOT THE BEACH. This dog is cleared to lick you. You. Not me.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Another smart touch.

Normally I will place hotel towels that are destined for laundry on the bathroom floor. Which makes me say a silent prayer for a laundry process that shows no mercy to 100.1% of germs. Body. Floor. Nausea. The Tides in Miami receives The Hygiene Hunter Feather Duster Award -- wrapped in plastic naturally -- for their plastic-lined towel basket. This is a first encounter of such for me in a hotel. AND I LOVED IT. Clearly, for housekeeping, this is also a much easier and hygienic method of picking up used towels. Hit.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A tidy hotel.

It does payoff to wake up early -- even in South Beach. Had I slept in until 3 p.m. I would have missed the Shampooing of the Terrace Cushions at The Tides in South Beach, Miami. The Tides is all creamy in color and that is a hard look to maintain. Particularly if someone with self-tanner were to sit on the furniture. I know nothing. Hit.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Excuse me. You dropped something.

I am all for being amorous. I am all for being amorous on a beach. I am all for being amorous on a beach with a hot random stranger. I am all for being amorous on a beach with a hot random stranger with a Green Card. I am all for being amorous on a beach with a hot random stranger with a Green Card and a condom. Call me old fashioned, or The Hygiene Hunter, but seriously, you should pick up after yourself. Even if you are on South Beach in Miami. People walk barefoot. Children play in the sand. Dogs seek new chew toys. Miss.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Saving me the trouble.

The Dreaded Beadspread! Typically, I would remove it from the bed and hide it in a nook or cranny OR call housekeeping and ask them to remove it. WHY? I have been told by those in the industry that bedspreads are drycleaned only once to twice a year. Sooooo many hotels have them. The Tides in South Beach, Miami is one that does not. Bravo! WHICH MEANS ... one less thing to concern myself with. The Tides is all about a carefree experience. Even for The Hygiene Hunter. The Egyptian Cotton Sheets are changed daily and are sheer bliss to sleep on. Hit.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Like a bear trap.

The housekeeping staff at The Tides have been caught dusting. No, I did not see them doing so in person, but I know based on the placement of my candles on the dining room table. (Which, BTW, could have gotten away without dusting.) They were misaligned by 13%. Kudos to you. You are the best. Air Kisses from The Hygiene Hunter.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Do not be fooled.

This man swimming off Miami Beach across the street from the majestic Tides Hotel is a Hygiene Hunter Wannabe. Seriously. Now this is taking MY GLOVE THING too far. (This gentleman does, however, get Brownie points for color coordinating with the ocean.) A true Hygiene Hunter knows sea salt is a natural disinfectant.

Friday, May 21, 2010

It was.

Seriously. How could a wicker basket filled with Kleenex not glamour The Hygiene Hunter? Thank you Jose, Personal Assistant Extraordinaire, for your attention to detail. Tissue Party in Room ... Oh, if Howard Hughes were alive.

Or was it?

Colonel Mustard with a Lead Pipe in the The Sunroom Den with Full Atlantic Ocean View?

Was it?

As gorgeous as it is, and trust me, comfortable, it was not this Leaf Chair. BTW, I do not have varicose veins on my tushy. That, SOUTH BEACH GAWKERS, is a vintage print you are looking at.

Truth be told.

Today I checked into The Tides in South Beach. The Diva of Ocean Drive meet The Diva of Hygiene. I expected to be mesmerized by the vintage pieces in my room. Hand-picked by LA Designer Kelly Wearstler who was entrusted to bring her trademark glamour to this art deco property. That was three years ago. Today The Tides looks fantastic. AND, the hotel, THANK YOU OLFACTORY GODS, does not smell like 1936. So what magnetic force was diverting my attention from these divine pieces ...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A packing tip.

I read that packing your clothing in plastic will prevent them from wrinkling in your suitcase. I have tried this on numerous occasions and GUESS WHAT? Your clothes still wrinkle! So I have given up, opting instead to have my clothes pressed upon arrival at my destination. If your destination is humid, sometimes the creases take care of themselves. I will let you know how my theory works in Miami. Tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Soap on a mission.

When I asked the Mercer Hotel for an organic liquid handsoap (Soap dish scum is a yucky for The Hygiene Hunter) they brought me this. Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap! Castile based and boasts of 18 different uses. In addition to your hands you can wash your car, your pet and your mind. The liquid miracle also comes with a sermon on the bottle. Surely, that must count as attending Mass.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cleaning the air.

Noise pollution? Sneeze pollution? Different, yet the same. Some things are better left unshared. The Hygiene Hunter applauds NYU for their efforts.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Dirty and clean.

Dear Dirty Dishes Book:

Thank you for drawing my attention to you at the Mercer Hotel Lobby Library. I am not sure if it was your simple black & white spine that made me zero in on you or the fact that you have the word DIRTY in your title. Who am I kidding? It was the word DIRTY. I was, however, not looking for a cheap thrill. I was about to pick you up and read you when my attention was diverted away from you by the dustless shelves. Housekeeping is constantly cleaning the Lobby Lounge. I am so glad to know they are taking good care of you and your shelve mates. The next time I am in New York I will pick you up. You and only you.


The Hygiene Hunter

Friday, May 14, 2010

Things I Love Week. Day 5.

How can you not love an overweight rabbit? Babs -Basics are adorable creatures made of natural materials and 100% organic cottons. On the topic of clean, colors used promise to be free of heavy metals and cottons are processed without chlorine bleach or formaldehyde. Chemicals and flame retardants are not used intentionally. Common sense suggests you not roast your rabbit in a fireplace or share a romantic candlelit dinner with him.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Things I Love Week. Day 4.

After a year of sleeping on a mistake as opposed to with one, I had to, had to, had to, replace my mattress. I was tempted to replace THE MISTAKE with one of the ultra comfortable mattresses I have slept on in hotels. Yes, there is more to comfort than lack of other people's bodily fluids.

Then I was reminded that THE MISTAKE was supposed to be just like the one I had slept on in a hotel (the brand name is not enough; you require minutia to ensure you are purchasing the same product). BUT. The issue of off-gassing did concern me. Especially considering I was off-gassed by THE less than one-year-old MISTAKE.

So I ventured into the expensive world of organic mattress shopping. Which is in itself quite complicated. Made more so by the fact that once you buy, there are usually no comfort exchange guarantees. After a significant amount of research, I chose a Sueno 6" plus 4" Natural Rubber Sleep System. The verdict three weeks in? I LOVE IT. It does not smell like I am sleeping on a pile of rubber boots, or worse rubber tires, which I will admit was a concern. The difference? Natural rubber is made without petrochemicals.

This mattress promises to be durable, flexible and RESILIENT TO MOLD AND DUST MITES. Instead of a toxic flame retardant -- thank-you-person-who-was-smoking-in-bed-and-caught-on-fire-and-likely-sued-and-now-we-all-have-to-pay-for-your-mistake-by-sleeping-on-chemicals -- pure wool is used to act as a natural flame retardant.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Things I Love Week. Day 3.

If you may recall, I was tempted to make salad dressing with see-thru cleaner. See-thru cleaner's mate, germs-be-gone, smells less tasty although still lovely. Think of it as something you might use as an underarm deodorant, but won't. Which is impressive considering it is willing to go head-to-head with baby change tables.

Distilled water, castile soap, essential oils and good karma are the only ingredients you will find in this household cleaner. I adore any cleaner that does not warn against inhaling. AND BONUS, germs-be-gone suggests you are spreading a little bit of peace throughout your home when using this product. Germs-be-gone for every angry nation.

These cleaners are available from On their website, Small Planet states that Enviro Test Laboratories found germs-be-gone reduced bacteria such as E.coli and Enterobacter by 99.5 %. Enterobacter? The Hygiene Hunter has never heard of this villain before.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Things I Love Week. Day 2.

I owe a thank you to Intern Jill for these Soap Petals. IJ did her research. She knows I prefer soap over hand sanitizer so when she found this purse size item she knew it was the perfect gift for me. Now I just need the pocket size sink to go with it. The reason I like them is it takes FOREVER to get the pesky petals off your hands. WHICH MEANS ... you have no choice but to lather longer! Soap Petals for everyone! IJ, you will go far.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Things I Love Week. Day 1.

My Mother's Day flowers. Thank you to my offspring. Flowers make rooms feel so pretty and alive. They should also put you in the mood for spring cleaning. What? That is not odd. It is only odd if they do not put you in the mood. Roses on Valentine's Day are a total waste on the Hygiene Hunter. Truth be told, a carrot spurs me on to clean.

Friday, May 7, 2010

So thoughtful.

Look. Someone left a ready to smoke cigarette on the ground. If I were a smoker and if I were not The Hygiene Hunter I may find this gesture oddly generous. But a big improvement over my previous post about cigarettes in London (click).

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A meal in progress.

Excuse me. Where is your bread plate? I do not know about you, but I do know about me. I do not eat off the floor. Or a restaurant table. I just cannot get used to the French way of doing things. Except for the wine or champagne with everything. Miss.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Not a fan of fecal coliform bacteria.

The Hygiene Hunter says, "Chair over Floor any day!" Clearly this lady has been reading my blog. She does not have to worry about her purse catching anything from the floor. She does, however, have to consider the person sitting in that chair before her could have had an exposed posterior cavity. High-waisted pants for everyone! Hit.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Let's break bread.

One day after my Dear Lady-Sitting-Next-To-Me-In-An-Extremely-Cozy-Translated-Cramped-Parisian-Cafe plea and Parisians are placing their handbags on chairs. AND ... TAKING PICTURES OF THEIR HANDBAGS ON THE CHAIR! My blog is not fruitless. Hit.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Why oh why?

Dear Lady-Sitting-Next-To-Me-In-An-Extremely-Cozy-Translated-Cramped-Parisian-Cafe:

I am not a handbag voyeur. Nor am I pursepocket. Lucky for you:) I am the Hygiene Hunter. While I was pretending to look at photographs I had taken on my camera I was really taking a picture of your lovely handbag resting on the floor. Pourquoi? To point out the perils to the purse carrying public.

Peril One. The person sitting next to you could inadvertently drop an oyster into your handbag. If that oyster fell to the bottom of the contents in your bag, you could be driven insane for days trying to determine, "Where is that smell coming from?"

Peril Two. The person sitting next to you could purposely drop an oyster into your handbag. If that oyster fell to the bottom of the contents in your bag you could be driven insane for days trying to determine, "Where is that smell coming from?"

Peril Three. There could be fecal coliform bacteria in the very spot you set your handbag on. I know. I know. Some people say that is the path to a healthier immune system. I am not some people.


The Hygiene Hunter