How to Sleep Well in a Hotel

Is the racket in your hotel keeping you awake? Here’s what you can do to get a good night’s sleep?

Credit: Flickr/rebecca anne

It might not be your own bed, but you can still get a good sleep in a hotel

Here’s what you can do to ensure a quiet night’s sleep when you’re travelling

A lot of hotels take nighttime noise levels seriously, and in the U.K., the Travelodge properties have recently gone so far as to put specially trained staff into sleep warden roles. They actually have people who monitor the hotels’ nighttime noise levels and issue warnings to any guest disturbing the peace. If the noise continues, sleep wardens have the right to tell the offender to pack up and get out.

Hotels that don’t have sleep wardens tend to have other strategies for dealing with noisy guests. There is a popular tool called the party waiver, which is employed by hotels including the Kimpton Hotel chain. When they check in, guests must sign this waiver giving hotel staff the right to ask guests to stop any noise after 10 p.m. If the noise continues, uncooperative guests will be asked to leave with no refund on their room charges.

Now, if you find yourself in a situation where the noise factor is out of the hotel’s control — or they’re just not dealing with it well enough for your liking — there are some do-it-yourself ways to help you get to sleep.

How to Get a Good Sleep in a Noisy Hotel

  • Make your own noise canceller: Try turning up the fan in your room, as the sound makes a great mask for unwanted noise. Adjust the fan to blow only air, unless you actually want to heat up or cool down the room.

  • Use earplugs: A lot of regular travellers will take along their own earplugs to shut out bothersome noise. If you’re desperate, a bit of toilet paper can always work in a pinch. You can also try noise-blocking headphones, which can be very effective.

  • Try a sound machine: Another great option and nowadays you can get them in a travel size, with their own alarm clock and MP3 player. These work to eliminate unwanted background noise by playing soothing sounds you can customize to your own liking.

  • Call ahead: It definitely helps to do some work ahead of time if you’re really concerned about noise. Call the hotel or resort before reserving your room to find out if there are any weddings, large meetings or conventions booked into the property during your stay.

  • Request a quiet room: When checking in, you can also request a room far away from elevators, ice machines and, of course, any loud bars or restaurants.

Get Help from Hotel Staff

What if, despite all your efforts to book a restful stay in a quiet hotel, you’re still kept awake at night by hard-partying guests? 

First off, don’t try to confront the noisy offenders yourself. It’s best to get the hotel staff involved right away and have them deal directly with the troublesome guests.

If all else fails and the hotel staff is unable to handle the situation effectively, a phone call to the police may be warranted.

Originally published in TV Week. For daily updates, subscribe to the free TV Week e-newsletter, or purchase a subscription to the weekly magazine.