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?
Could it have anything to do with the hotels not wanting to get sued if something happens?
My guess is that it is more about construction money. If I were thinking like a lawyer (if I even could) a fire is probably the biggest risk in a hotel and therefore opening windows could have benefits.
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Roy – are the hotels in China and Japan the same on windows? I never been to either country 😕
As far as I remember, yes. Though there are even plenty of rooms without windows too. I think we usually can open them, but not all the way. I will pay more attention next time.
That’s it! Eric Clapton’s son fell. Put an open window and died. Hotel was sued. Big time.
I have same problem with hotel that hasn’t windows
I live in hotel with closed window
I have to buy oxygen concentrator
I have no other choice i have to live at hotel one year
I totally agree. It’s the main reason we avoid Vegas – we love the town, but accommodation choices to avoid hermetically sealed windows are (i) the Presidental Suite at Ceasar’s ($$$$$)!, or (ii) an old hotel that smells like urine and cigaretttes.
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Great comment on the extremes. Thank you. And hotels wonder why some people prefer AirB&B.
You are not the only one- I’m going batty with no window to open in a room with wall-to-wall carpet.
Combine that with allergies to “plug in smells” and “cleaning agents” and viola…I suddenly hate travel.
I have assumed the reason is that it’s cheaper to build and saves on air temperature costs.
I consider it dangerous. I travel 8X a year for work. Running out of old cheap hotels that still have windows with a quality clean room.
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Definitely cheaper to build. And yes if someone has an allergy to any product used in the hotel including cleaning agents well good luck because they will need it.
you are not alone – I do not want to be hermetically sealed in any room – dorms are doing it now too! ugh! I think the list of amenities at a hotel should include whether or not the windows open….
Dorms without widows that open is just sad, and especially with the germs that spread so rapidly through campuses. I did not know this. Agree on amenities – that is a good idea.
Thank you for discussing this
I hope there is a way to change this law
I absolutely hate sealed hotels
There is no healthy rest at suc6h places
At least 4″safety opening is way better.
I believe, hotels just saving money on energy, building and clean-up (if there is a rain) bills
And covering it all up under safety and green design calls.
So sad and such a shame!
This really concerns me too, fire is one issue, but it should be a basic human right to have access to fully opening untinted windows.
The tinted windows in Hotels, Trains and buses make every day look a shitty one and the lack of fresh air is a killer.
Laws need to change on this, people should have a right to expect fresh air in the 21st Century.
Open windows are now a high-priced luxury! I travel a lot and will no longer stay any where if they don’t have open window. I was in Florida once, a trip I took during the winter to get some much needed 80-degree weather. They put me in a room where the sliding glass door had been sealed. No access to the outside air! I felt like I could have been back in my northern state looking at a photo of a palm tree. I insisted they put me in a room with open windows, which meant I had to upgrade to a terrace suite. Their excuse for no window access in other rooms? It’s now a LAW in Florida which requires sealed windows in any room that doesn’t have a terrace. I call BS. Thanks for your post! Glad to know I’m not the only one.
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You can use openmyhotelwindow.com a directory for hotels with windows that open and balconies for fresh air.
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It’s absolutely crazy..— it’s your fault if you fall out an open window not the hotel. I feel claustrophobic when I’m in a hotel and the window wont open. I like to get that outside air coming in.
It’s absolutely about money. Such a shame that this is even legal. I am staying at a Hilton property waiting to fly back to Europe during the pandemic. It’s so degusting, especially that they have wall-to-wall carpeting and allow dogs. Every single day I wish I could open the window. Would you ever buy a house with the widows that do not open?