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Travel Advice - Hotels: room location and selection

Let’s assume that you have already decided on the hotel for your vacation and made your reservation. If you have a room location preference, call the hotel directly and have them add your request to your reservation. If you do not have a room preference, read the following article and you might develop one.

When making a hotel reservation, you should be concerned with the room’s location within the building. Room location is, usually, not a decision that makes or breaks a vacation but the right room location can make a difference in your sleep and comfort.  If you have a room preference, make it known when you reserve a room.

 

  • In general, you should try to avoid rooms facing busy streets, expressways, or other sources of noise. Of course, there are some locations where facing the street is a desirable aspect of the hotel location (e.g. the Avenue des Champs Elysées in Paris or Las Ramblas in Barcelona). In most cities and towns, however, facing the street means that you will be in a room subject to the noise of traffic and travelers.
  • Make sure that your room is not next to the elevator bank, as this is a noisy, high traffic area. Many people shy away from rooms located next to alcoves containing ice and vending machines due to the noise of the equipment and people buying candy or getting ice when you are trying to sleep.
  • Another poor location is a room above a loading dock.
    • During one trip to a nicely appointed hotel in Paris, we were provided with what appeared to be a very nice room. When the garbage truck arrived at five thirty AM and its crew began banging cans around, our opinion of the room changed. At six, when another truck began unloading, we were even less pleased.

 

  • If you are concerned about fire safety or your ability to use stairs in an emergency, avoid the upper floors of hotels and attempt to snag a room close to the ground floor.
    • Note: lower floors are generally noisy as they are closer to the street and near the hotels kitchen and laundry facilities.
  • Try to avoid rooms that look into internal light or airshafts that provide no external view at all.
    • Perhaps it is a prejudice but  "viewless" rooms always appear dark and dingy.

If you are making reservations directly with the establishment, request the type of room location you desire and have it noted on your reservation record. If you make your reservations on-line, call or email the hotel and make your request after you have reserved the room.

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