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Hotel Inspections

By law, hotels are required to obtain a permit to operate legally in Kentucky. These permits are issued by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. As part of the requirements of the permit, hotels are required to pass inspection by a registered sanitarian, commonly known as a health inspector.

In Kentucky, a hotel is defined as any building or structure kept, used, maintained, advertised as a place where sleeping accommodations are provided to the public. This includes motels, tourist homes and similar establishments, but excludes boarding homes, rooming houses and bed and breakfasts.

Scores: What do they mean?
Follow-up inspections
Inspection reports

The inspections are conducted at least once per year. Additional inspections may result if needed. For example, a hotel receiving a safety/sanitation complaint may be inspected more than once a year.

Generally, the inspections are unannounced and the hotel is unaware ahead of time when an inspection will take place. This helps to ensure that facilities are operating in a safe and sanitary manner at all times, not just when staff are aware that an inspection is scheduled.

The purpose of inspecting hotels is to ensure the safety and health of patrons while staying in a hotel. Examples of things inspectors look for are:

Scores: What do they mean?Hotel inspection
Inspections involve a report containing 27 potential items of violation, each of which is assigned a point value based on how it can affect a person's health. The point values range from two to six, with two being least severe and six being most severe.

Most of the items on the inspection are weighted at two or four points and are characterized as non-critical. Others are weighted at six points because they are considered a higher threat and are characterized as critical. No items on the report are listed as three or five points.

An example of a non-critical item is a hotel room lacking a trash can.

An example of a critical item is a hotel room infested with bed bugs. Another example would be if an inspector found a fire or safety hazard, such as blocked emergency exits.

To calculate a hotel’s final score, the total of the points for all violations marked is subtracted from a total point value of 100.

Follow-up inspections
Follow-up inspections are required if a hotel has any critical violations and typically done if the hotel's score is below 85 without critical violations. Follow-up inspections are scheduled based on a reasonable amount of time it would take to correct the violations. A follow-up inspection can be conducted on the same visit, if the problem is something the hotel staff can correct immediately. A hotel can also require more than one follow-up inspection.

In any case, if the total score received is below 70, more immediate enforcement measures are taken involving imminent or immediate suspension of the hotel’s permit.

Scores below 70 may require administrative actions, including conferences with officials from the Kentucky Department for Public Health, which may result in later follow-up dates. The establishment may be required to close during this time period. 

If you have questions about a particular situation, you may request the complete inspection report by calling the Health Department at 859.341.4151 beteween 8 a.m. and.5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Inspection reports
The latest Inspection reports are available online by clicking here. These scores were updated on Aug. 28, 2017.