I am a notoriously light sleeper, and any noise can wake me up from a deep sleep or keep me from falling asleep. I recently stayed in a well known chain hotel where I could hear every word of a conversation going on next door. Very frustrating. Are there any hotels that are known for having really quiet rooms?
–Michael, Santa Clara, Calif.
Here are some quick tips to help minimize noise:
• Do your research ahead of time and select a hotel in a quiet neighborhood. Make sure you're not located near a nightclub, fire, or police station, and stay away from local highways.
• Ask the hotel if there is construction going on nearby or if any remodeling projects are occurring in the hotel itself.
• Inquire about soundproofing on the windows.
• Noise from more inconspicuous devices can be as distracting as construction cranes when the machines are close to your room. Ask for a room away from vending machines, ice machines, elevators, and the restaurants and bars.
• Ask if your room is anywhere near the ballroom. If it's not the party keeping you up, it will be the cleaning crews working at 2 a.m. when the party stops.
• Ask the front desk what they have available to control noise, and you might be surprised: Loews Hotels actually offer white-noise machines to guests to borrow during their stays.
As for actual hotels known for their quiet rooms, the Benjamin Hotel in New York has an agreement with guests called the "sleep guarantee," which says those who do not sleep well can get a free night's stay. Guest rooms start from the fifth level, away from the sound of traffic, and have soundproof windows. The Sleep Concierge at the Benjamin offers amenities from 12 different types of pillows, sleeping tips, white-noise machines, dream dictionaries, and warm milk and cookies. http://www.sleepmenu.com/
Surprisingly, airport hotels can be a great bet for those looking to keep the noise out. Places like the Marriott Los Angeles Airport Hotel are designed to keep the sounds of jets out. Features such as double-paned windows ensure that the possible noises made by rowdy neighbors or television sets will not seep through to disturb your sleep.
AmericInn has more than 200 hotels in 23 states and offers specific noise-abatement technologies to provide a quiet stay. SoundGuard, the use of masonry blocks filled with sound-deadening and sound-muffling foam, is installed in 213 of the locations. This hotel also has insulated windows and doors that cut down the noise that can potentially come in from the hallways [http://www.americinn.com/].