How to Avoid Paper Thin Walls in Hotels

HotelChatter || How to Avoid Paper Thin Walls in Hotels
How to Avoid Paper Thin Walls in Hotels

Tue Jul 25, 2006 at 01:48:29 PM EST
Tags: Hotel News, Tips

"Nothing is worse than hearing the detailed conversations of the people in the room next to you inside your pricey hotel room as you are trying to sleep.

Well, unless of course its the crinkling sounds of a potato bag over and over until apparently every last chip was gone as the NY Post found out.

The paper went on a mission to learn more about soundproofing rooms and what most hotels are doing. Here are the basics in rating a wall's soundproofing skills:

Simply put, the higher the number, the better the isolation.
An STC rating (Sound Transmission Class rating) below 34, Surace says, constitutes "paper thin walls." Between 40 and 45, "you'll hear the TV and possibly other activities of a personal nature." Above 50, he says, "Hotels don't get too many complaints.

The only thing is that many hotel walls were built using a 1960s method of soundproofing which doesn't quite work as well as, say drywall which has a "near-zero failure rate."

Hotels do try to accomodate guests when they know their walls are pretty flimsy. Such services include:

[A] white noise machine, delivered to Loews hotel rooms by the "Recovery Concierge," who also comes bearing eye masks and W Hotels' "twilight service," a second turn-down service with lavender-scented masks and aromatherapy oil meant to help you relax.

Upgrading to drywall is a costly alternative but some hotels are willing to do it like the Palomar Hotel in Washington DC who has made the upgrade. We think all hotels should try to make the upgrade. It certainly seems better than placing white-noise machines in each room.

If you're afraid of getting thin walls in your luxury hotel room, we say call the place first and ask if they have ever had any noise complaints. If you are feeling really bold, ask for someone to tell you which kind of soundproofing technique they used.

But if it's too late and you find yourself in a hotel with thin walls and no earplugs, call the front desk for a room on the higher floors. Or just check-out. There's a small chance the walls are going to be any thicker in a different room. Then write to us with the hotel name and location and what you couldn't help but overhear."

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HotelChatter || How to Avoid Paper Thin Walls in Hotels