If, like me, you always wish for a quiet hotel room, then these tips may help. Good luck!
1. The room – check double glazing and TVs. If it’s a central city hotel or overlooks a busy highway, before booking ask if the windows have double glazing? If not then make sure you are not facing the street. Before booking also ask if the televisions in the hotel rooms have the sound limited to a maximum volume – most do these days. It will ensure that you are not disturbed by the TV next door.
2. The walls. How thick are the walls between the rooms? The only way you can perhaps discover this is by looking at internet forums – people usually make mention if there is a problem. If it is mentioned regularly then there is a problem.
3. Groups. Ask for the hotel’s policy is towards noisy groups in the hotel. Many hotels do not tolerate noisy guests and have a strict policy which they spell out very clearly and enforce rigorously.
4. Higher room less noise? Many people believe that higher rooms are always quieter, but I am not totally convinced. If the noise is within the hotel then possibly yes. But if the noise is coming from a wide area around the hotel and serious highway noise, then the higher you go the more you get I would think? Any science students out there like to comment?
5. Nightclubs/Discos. The music noise and the consequent drunks till daybreak are a real hazard especially on Friday and Saturday nights. Add to that 24 hour MacDonald’s like the one in Canberra which kept me awake most of the night with drunks getting their burger fix.
Check out if your room in any way overlooks a nightclub and change rooms immediately if it does. If the disco is in the basement of the hotel then secure a higher room – unless you like the bed to vibrate whilst you sleep!
6. Elevator. Ensure that your room is well away from the elevator. I like rooms with a long walk from the elevator and if I am the last room I am happy – there will be no one passing, talking loudly and laughing at 3 am. And no “dinging” from the elevator!
7. Saturdays. Saturday is wedding day and Saturday night is wedding party night in many classy/stylish hotels. This applies particularly to popular weekend destinations outside major cities. Try to be well away from the guests’ rooms and especially the bride and groom.
A few years ago in an Irish manor house hotel with thin walls, one newlywed couple next door kept me awake till 3am – very entertaining. But next day I was as tired as they no doubt were! But they had been having fun…
8. Rooms overlooking picturesque city squares. They are great during the week but at weekends when the stag/hen parties arrive to fall about drunk all night they can be a nightmare. In Europe it will be Amsterdam, Dublin, Prague, Barcelona, Tallinn etc. Generally you are safe there the 5 nights – Sunday to Thursday.
9. Rooms overlooking the kitchens. Delivery trucks can arrive from 5am and many cooks love to sing with their radios blaring. And the garbage collection truck tipping the bottles at 6am can also be a rude awakening!
10. Ask for a quiet room. On check in, or if possible in your booking request ask for a quiet room mentioning some of the above criteria as requirements. When you get to your room if you are still not happy go back to reception and ask politely if you can be moved.
This is where “being nice” can work wonders – I give many examples in my book “The Happy Holiday Travel Planner”. I have even secured free upgrades when being moved by just being friendly and polite to the front desk staff. Unfortunately, hotel staff have to deal with many rude, inarticulate guests these days so you may be amazed where being polite sometimes gets you.
If you are a light sleeper like me I hope this all helps – but also take earplugs to be on the safe side! ☺
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I really appreciate your tip to try and find out how thick the walls are! My wife and I have been thinking of getting a hotel room for our anniversary trip this weekend, and I know that my wife would appreciate a quiet room. I will be sure to tell her that we should try and call ahead and find out the thickness of the walls!