A quick guide for finding a quiet hotel room
By Marshall Loeb, MarketWatch
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Luxurious Egyptian linens, Moët in the minibar, an oversized Jacuzzi: They're all nice, but not of much use if you can hear noise in the hallway, doors slamming shut at all hours or the honeymoon couple in the next room. The key to peaceful sleep on your next trip is finding a quiet hotel room.
Travel Smart, a newsletter for travelers on a budget, offers these tips:
Search for a quiet neighborhood. Avoid hotels next to a nightclub, fire or police station, or a major highway.
Look into construction projects. Is the hotel being remodeled? Is it adding a new wing? Or is it upgrading its restaurant? If so, ask for a discount or go elsewhere.
Inquire about windows. Are they soundproof? You'd be surprised how many luxury properties have single pane windows.
Find out if there are "quiet zones." For example, all U.S. and Canadian Crowne Plaza Hotels have at least one "quiet zone floor." There is no housekeeping Sunday through Thursday (forget vacuums and noisy carts) or maintenance from 9 p.m. to 10 a.m. unless you request it. Rooms have special auto-closure doors that don't slam shut, and children and groups are not booked on these floors. Also, airport hotels are often surprisingly quiet because considerable effort is put into making them so.
Avoid party weekends. Do ask in advance what rooms are available if it's spring break, a major sports weekend, college reunion time or wedding-reception season. Fun events tend to be noisy.
Request a room on a high floor. And make sure it's away from the main entrance to avoid street noise, as well as far from the maid's supply closet, the ice and vending machines, and the restaurant or bar. Pick one that faces the inner courtyard if possible but not the garbage pick-up zone.
Finally, when you arrive, do not unpack until you're assured you're in a quiet room. If the room is near an elevator shaft or has a connecting door to an adjacent room, request another one.
I thought the line about "fun events tend to be noisy" was true. Many people are staying for "fun events" in San Francisco. We should all keep that in mind on Holiday Weekends, Halloween, New Year's Eve, Bay to Breakers, and the like. It's not always the hotels that are noisy, sometimes it's the people staying in them. We try our best to provide quiet accommodations, but the our guests do not always cooperate.