I don’t review hotels in this blog, but my seeing the world means I stay at hotels a decent amount. My expectations for hotels are pretty basic:
- Functioning plumbing
- Iron in the room
- Honest billing
- A safe and secure feeling in the hotel.
I am equally good at a chain hotel (usually a Hilton property), a boutique hotel, or an Airbnb.
I rarely have a reason to complain about a hotel. The last time I did was because of some bullshit secret resort charges at an urban chain hotel. I can’t think of a time before that when I complained about a hotel. It’s all about expectations.
I don’t need (and rarely want) a Ritz Carlton, Park Hyatt, or Burj Al Arab Jumeirah.
Ironic isn’t it, when you consider my airplane
The Serious Problem with Hotel Windows
There is one thing that seems to bother me more and more lately: the lack of opening windows in hotels. Chain hotels just seem to have abandoned windows that open. We have become hermetically sealed in hotels (and office buildings) with fixed windows.
For the best night sleep, I want to open a window and feel the cool fresh air while I sleep. I want to hear birds outside. I want to escape noisy room HVACs (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning units) that too often blow too much dust, stale air, and old room farts. Is it cold outside? Warm? Windy? I don’t know in a hotel because I feel like I am stuck in this claustrophobic chamber.
At check-in, I usually ask for a room with a window that opens. Most common answer from the poor desk clerk: We don’t have any. I try not to give desk clerks a hard time, but I often continue: “Really? Wow that is surprising. Why not?”
I expect to get the answer, “I don’t know,” but usually the well-intentioned desk clerk says something like one of these memorable replies I’ve heard (in countdown order):
5. “Because guests leave them open.” (Hampton Inn)
4. “We have air conditioners in the rooms.” (Aloft)
3. “It gets to hot outside so you wouldn’t want to open the window believe me.” (Hilton Garden)
2. “it’s for safety so no one falls out.” (Hilton)
1. “I’m really sorry, but we don’t have any rooms with windows that open.” (I make a deflated sound). Desk clerk continues, “But lets see, I can put you in a room with a balcony. It has a sliding door that opens if that’s OK?” (Embassy Suites)
For that last answer I wanted to mouth-kiss the desk clerk, but that probably would have been weird so I didn’t. I just said, “That will be fine. I appreciate it.”
I believe the real answer why chain hotels don’t have opening windows is because operating windows that open and close are more expensive than fixed windows. Which shows how lame and shortsighted
the greedy developers that build these hotels are and how hypocritical the chains are.
Which leads me back to boutique hotels and Airbnb where more often than not the windows open.
Am I the only person that cares about this?