Would You Stay at a Hotel That Offered Earplugs?

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No one wants to be aware that the guests in the room next door are um. loudly enjoying their hotel stay. Neither do you want to hear someone else’s entire phone conversation, a revving motorcycle from the parking lot below, nor the pounding of little feet and shrieking high-pitched voices from down the hall. After pulling the covers tighter over your head at 2am and thinking about the fact that you have to wake up in just 3 hours to get to your meeting or the airport, it is enough to put anyone in a grumpy mood. Would earplugs help?

I stayed at the otherwise fantastic Park Hyatt Chicago and gave the stay low marks simply because the hotel is set in a busy area downtown that translated into my hearing way too much noise from the city streets below.

Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 10.58.02 AM

Some hotels have issues with the property itself. Thin walls, old doors that slam, single-paned windows and noisy air conditioners.

Other hotels may be a perfectly lovely setting, but the guests are noisy. This can be a hotel’s nightmare, because there are always modifications to the building structure that can be made but guests are well, guests.

Some properties have taken to leaving a set of earplugs in hotel rooms for their guests. They may be quietly tucked in with the cotton balls and bathroom amenities, or carefully laid out on a table with a welcome note.

I had a discussion with a hotel manager who said that just because they provide earplugs to guests does not mean that the property has a noise issue. They’re just trying to ensure that guests sleep well, and the earplugs may help. Some guests may sleep at home with earplugs and find it a nicety that their room has a pair, much like Q-tips. Many hotels now offer extra little amenities to guests in case they have forgotten something at home.

DSC05597Amenities at Ritz-Carlton Bali

It may be just a kind gesture, but if I was at a property and saw that earplugs had been left for me in the room I would immediately question what was wrong with the hotel. I’d start wondering if there construction going on or if the walls were thin and they’d received so many complaints they decided to start leaving earplugs. Maybe my thinking is faulty though.

If you found earplugs in your room, would your expectations be lowered? If you knew in advance that a hotel you were going to stay at left earplugs in guest rooms would you still stay there?

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  1. Cma
    Reply

    If I were already there, I’d just see it as a thoughtful amenity. Another scenario could be that you’re sharing a room with someone who snores.

    If I were researching beforehand I’d look to TripAdvisor or other sites if I had possible concerns about noise. I wouldn’t see earplugs as necessarily admitting the hotel had a problem.

    • Melinda
      Reply

      Cma and Ryan, it is a thoughtful amenity indeed to provide in case there is a snorer in the room. 🙂 Also, I might think differently if all hotel rooms came with earplugs as a standard amenity though rather than just some. Thanks for reading!

  2. Ryan
    Reply

    I wouldn’t think that at all. Crowne Plazas used to provide a sleep kit (maybe they still do) that had earplugs, a sleep mask, and sometimes lavender mist spray and a soothing CD. Ear plugs can also be useful if a sleeping partner snores.

    You don’t assume there is something wrong with the aircraft just because they have life jackets under the seats or that your rental car has a problem because it includes a jack do you?

  3. Tim
    Reply

    Just stayed in one that provided plugs (Hyatt Regency San Francisco); though I believe that MAY have resulted from noise complaints from the plaza below… didn’t assume an issue, and didnt need them. I actually wish some hotels in Europe provided them to assist jet lagged sleep.

    • Melinda
      Reply

      Jet lagged sleep, now that’s something I hadn’t considered Tim. Not a bad idea, and maybe some hotels in Europe are reading and taking note. 🙂

  4. askmrlee
    Reply

    The Standard in DTLA offers these (and they’re in a nice plastic case to take home). But I thought it was more for their image as a cool, hip, modern, party friendly hotel. They also have matches in the room even though it’s non smoking and there are no ashtrays.

    • Melinda
      Reply

      askmrlee, that’s cool that they offered them in a plastic case. Plus if it is a party-friendly property the earplugs might be helpful. Thanks for reading!

  5. Daniel Powell
    Reply

    In the top five of my favourite articles, thanks!

    • Melinda
      Reply

      Thanks Daniel Powell, and I’m guessing a great night’s sleep is at the top of your list for what you want from a hotel room. Mine too!

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