Slamming the Door on Noise in Hotel Corridors

S lamming doors and talking loudly are two contributors of the problem of noise in the corridors of hotel properties — which is ironic considering that the main reason why people stay at hotel properties is to get a good night’s sleep when away from home.

Consider this article written by Mark at the Miles From Blighty weblog, who had had enough of the seat recline issue prevalent throughout the media and wanted to instead discuss eight travel conundrums — one of which is noise in the corridors of hotel properties:

“Sleeping in a strange room, a strange bed, a strange time zone can all conspire to cause less than perfect sleep”, he wrote — along with a tip to take a pillow case from home, which purportedly makes him feel more at home. “Noisy guests in the corridor can be enough to wake me. So can we have a deal, as soon as you leave the lift you stop talking at anything more than a whisper? In exchange, when I check out at 5am, I won’t bang my door and wake you up?”

Well, you have a deal with me, Mark. You always had that deal. As I have mentioned in numerous articles over the years, problems such as these all boil down to respect — but that is not always the case.

The only time I have ever slammed a door of a hotel room is if both of my hands were carrying something and I was unable to use a leg or a foot to keep the door from slamming; but of course that was accidental and rarely happened — and even when it does happen, I feel bad. I do not like disturbing other people from their rest — or whatever they may happen to be doing at the time.

Otherwise, I always take great care to ensure that the door to a hotel room does not slam — as well as an exit door to a staircase, for that matter, if I choose not to use the elevator. If I need to say something to a companion while in the corridor of a hotel, I ensure that I speak as quietly as possible — or better yet, I will wait until I reach either the hotel room or the exit before I say what I need to say, if it is not urgent.

Why is it that sometimes other people cannot seem to exercise these simple ways to respect the peace and quiet of others in hotel properties?

The slamming of doors is probably the top pet peeve to FlyerTalk member seaduck79, who posted that “Hotel doors are very heavy, and close automatically, both conditions that don’t exist in most peoples’ homes. I understand how it can take someone by surprise. The FIRST time. After that, it’s pretty much just cluelessness or thoughtlessness. I have spoken to more than one fellow guest (nicely) about the noise it creates, and that usually helps. I did have to slam my own door loudly one time for a bunch of them to realize how it sounded in THEIR rooms (it worked!).”

According to this survey conducted earlier this year by Frequent Business Traveler magazine in conjunction with FlyerTalk, noise of any kind in hotels is the fifth top pet peeve for guests who travel frequently.

Although it was not in a hotel, I was once on a vessel for 19 hours traveling from Malta to Salerno. Aboard that vessel was a sports team comprised of teenaged boys who ran up and down the corridor all night long, yelling and screaming and slamming doors.

Needless to say, I never did sleep that night — despite complaining about the noise to staff. Nope — I received no compensation either. I will never do business with that company again.

Sometimes staying at a hotel property where the corridors are open to a multiple-story atrium may look nice — but if there is a catered event occurring in that hotel property, the noise can easily permeate throughout the atrium to the point where you will undoubtedly hear it in your hotel room. This is why I suggest that it is not typically a good idea to stay in a hotel property containing a grand atrium on a weekend where a wedding — or the “afterparty”, so to speak — can go on through the wee hours of the morning where the noise level of the guests can approach unacceptable levels.

A good night’s sleep can mean the difference between having a good day the next day and having a bad day — whether traveling leisurely or on business. It can also mean the difference in terms of your well being, as a rested body is better resistant to factors which could cause you to become ill. If you cannot have a good night’s sleep, what is the point of staying in a hotel? You may as well sleep in an airport and save your money…

…and — oddly enough, during those few times where I had no choice but to sleep in an airport — the airport can be quieter than a hotel, if you choose the right spot at which to sleep…

…but nothing beats a comfortable bed in a quiet hotel room.

Back in November of 2012, an announcement from the Premier Inn lodging chain — based in the United Kingdom where Mark is based — addressed the intention to combat noise with noise meters to be installed in the corridors throughout its chain of greater than 650 hotel properties. When hotel guests talk too loudly, a warning sign will supposedly flash — similar to the way a camera catches the speed of an oncoming vehicle and flashes the excessive speed limit when the car is going too fast.

I have never had the opportunity to stay at a Premier Inn hotel property to see if the noise meters were installed — and if so, if they indeed helped to mitigate the noise problem — but the lodging company did win the honor of Best Economy Hotel Brand for 2013 at the British Travel Awards, for what that is worth.

Furthermore, double-paned windows have been introduced to the rooms of hotel properties of the Premier Inn lodging chain; as well as springs installed on doors so that they close quietly.

Other lodging companies should follow this trend if they have not started doing so already.

There are steps you can take to mitigate the possibility of being disturbed by noise, although none are foolproof by any means — and this list is certainly not exhaustive:

  • Check to ensure that the hotel property at which you plan to stay has proactively equipped rooms with ways to reduce noise — especially at hotel properties located near airports
  • Secure a corner room, as less corridor usually means less traffic — plus your room will usually be located away from the bank of elevators and the ice machine room
  • Avoid rooms whose entrances face a grand atrium — as explained earlier — if you are sensitive to noise or really need peace and quiet in order to relax and sleep
  • Stay at a hotel property which does not have long corridors, as I have found that hotels which have shorter hallways — as well as twists and turns in those hallways — are usually quieter
  • Book a room on the upper floors of the hotel, which tend to be more expensive or reserved for guest with elite level status and therefore theoretically reduces the possibility of being disturbed by inconsiderate guests, as my personal experience suggests that upper level floors are usually quieter overall
  • Bring ear plugs — although I never wear them

 

What do you do to ensure that you get a good night’s sleep; and what additional suggestions can you offer to assist your fellow frequent travelers on better ensuring a good night’s sleep?

5 thoughts on “Slamming the Door on Noise in Hotel Corridors”

  1. DaninMCI says:

    Amen on all that. Corner rooms can backfire if close to a stairwell with another slamming door.
    I use ear plugs and a white noise phone app which is a big help actually.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      That is a good tip, DaninMCI — although I have never tried “white noise.” Thank you.

      The corner room caveat can be true — but I personally have not experienced that.

      Is it like one of those soundtracks of waves or whales?

  2. BOShappyflyer says:

    Amen. I stayed at a Starwood property in New York and it was a perfect stay except there was a couple in the room a couple of doors down who comes back at god-late/early hours, makes a lot of noise, talks loudly, and yes, slams their door. The doors are heavy, I’ll admit, but it seems natural to keep it down at those hours?

    Another time I was in Hong Kong and stayed at a property when the room capacity is 2. But I swear that a group of friends rented 2 rooms and they were going between the 2 rooms for a good portion at late hours. I would’ve complained except I was so tired from jetlag and everything, and I really wished I had ear plugs with me at the time. The hotel itself also had a conference where the event ran pretty late. I complained as apparently did a few other guests. Had I known that they were going to be hosting this event and we would be in a room directly above it, I would have looked for a different hotel or asked for a different room. I booked this hotel due to convenience of location (only 2 hotels in the area I needed to stay in). They sent me a gift basket (which is a nice gesture), but I did not get what I paid for (a place to get some sleep), and needless to say, this particular hotel has lost my business. At a min, they should have warned that there was a huge event at the hotel on the reservation page so potential guests knew what they were getting into.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      A gift basket may be a nice gesture, BOShappyflyer; but as you said, you needed a place to sleep — and a gift basket cannot replace the loss of a good night’s sleep.

  3. esmetravels says:

    Request a non-adjoining room.

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