October 9, 2011 ?? – When Sharon Kirkwood walks into a hotel room, she often listens first.
It’s not a loud hallway party she tunes in at. “It’s the mechanical noises that drive me crazy – the noisy noises from heating / air conditioning, the buzzing of certain types of lighting fixtures,” said Kirkwood of Farmington Hills, Michigan, who works in consumer sales.
If it’s just too loud, says Kirkwood, she calls the hotel staff and asks them, “Could you sleep in this room?”
For business travelers who need a good night’s sleep to stay on the go for meetings and presentations, noisy hotel rooms can be the bane of their business trips.
Noise was the top hotel complaint identified by respondents in a 2011 guest satisfaction index study by JD Power and Associates in North America. It suggested smelly rooms, sluggish internet connections and unfriendly staff.
“It can certainly be detrimental to satisfaction, there is no doubt about it,” said Stuart Greif, vice president of global travel at JD Power.
Even the snoring guest next door can be a problem – so much so that Crowne Plaza has snore monitors patrolling the hallways of some of its UK hotels and trying snore absorption rooms in hotels across Europe.
“One complaint we regularly receive from guests is excessive snoring from adjoining rooms,” said Florence Eavis, a spokeswoman for IHG, which owns the Crowne Plaza brand.
Crowne Plaza began using snore monitors in June.
“Using a snore monitor to monitor the hotel’s quiet areas to make sure guests are undisturbed is a simple and effective way to ensure our guests can sleep soundly,” says Eavis.
If the patrol officer thinks a guest is too noisy, he asks the front desk to contact the room and offer solutions to reduce the noise, e.g. B. Bath products with soothing scents for snorers. The monitor could also “knock on the door … as an absolute last resort”. says Eavis.
Did you hear that?
Snoring monitors aren’t currently in the US, says Eavis.
“However,” she says, “we can check this if there is significant customer demand, since the comfort of our guests during their stay is our top priority.”
The chain is also testing snore absorption rooms in the UK, Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands. They are designed to help people who share a room with a snorer get a better night’s sleep.
“We know snoring between couples can be a real problem,” says Eavis.
Snoring is just one of the irritating noises hotel guests have to deal with.
Slamming doors, cackling hotel workers, couples in love next door, truck engines cranking in the parking lot, and leaking toilets are some of the irritants that some of USA TODAY’s Road Warriors say keep you awake.
“No question about it,” says Drew Guenett, an automotive consultant who lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, “doors are slamming.” He rolls up a towel and sticks it under his door to block out noise and light. “Is it that hard just to close the door?” he asks.
Jerry Quintiliani, a local sales manager who lives in Peoria, Illinois, is disturbed by other noises. “The worst thing for me,” he says, “is getting a room under the guy with Herman Munster feet who growls all night.”
Rebecca Carranza, an education publisher from Lake Barrington, Ill., Says, “The most annoying thing is when I’ve had a sleepless night in a hotel and the housekeeping (or technical) staff starts yelling and shouting in the hall an hour before my visit having to get up joking. That happens more and more often. “
There’s the obvious noise, says Jeff MacMillan, a consulting engineer in Big Sky, Mont., And then there’s “the annoying little noises” like a “toilet running (or a leaky faucet).”
“It seems the better the hotel, the quieter the room, or at least the better the noise attenuation,” says MacMillan. “You get what you pay for.”
Home remedies for on the go
Many USA TODAY Road Warriors, business travelers who travel millions of miles on the road every year, say they are quick to report a problem to hotel staff.
Many also have their own resources, ranging from earplugs to reserving corner rooms on the top floor to unplugging refrigerators.
Denise Travers, a research interviewer from Tampa, says, “Those under the windows (air conditioning and heating) units should be banned. The only thing you can do about it is move. I recently brought a mini-fridge with me a very loud fan. I wrapped it in a thick blanket. “
John Paul, a nonprofit group counselor who lives in Dallas, uses an iPhone app called White Noise that provides jungle, beach, or rain shower sounds to help prevent trouble. He also says, “I ask for a room away from ice machines and elevators.”
Just join the party
JD Power’s Griffin says it’s best if guests aren’t disturbed by noise from the start. However, when it does, a quick and adequate response from the hotel is vital. “You won’t always be able to make everyone happy,” he says, “but make an effort and do everything possible, that goes a long way.”
Rob Newman, a Los Angeles TV commercial producer, may have the ultimate solution for that noisy party that is within earshot. He invented it after his quiet was interrupted by Friday night raves that take place next to the Thai hotel he visits every year.
“I try to put a pillow over my head – but the bass vibrates right through you,” says Newman. “So what do I end up doing? I am finally giving up. I get dressed at 5am, get my flashlight and walk through the jungle until I get to the rave. If you can’t beat them, take part. “