Smoking rooms in hotelsBack to Forum
I recently travelled to Istanbul and was booked into a smoking room at the hotel by the travel agency. At first I thought that the previous guest had sneakily smoked in the room, as I wrongly believed that smoking rooms were a thing of the past, but then noticed the ashtray and matches on the table.
The hotel had no other rooms available for the first night, and instead sent up a small air filtration machine but unfortunately this didn’t do the trick. I resorted to opening the windows for a few hours (in cold rainy weather!), but the smoke was embedded in the furniture and the entire hotel floor seemed to be smoking. I was disappointed by the experience, particularly as I was recovering from a bad cold.
While it is increasingly rare to have smoking rooms in hotels, have any other travellers been in the same situation? What would you do if this was the case?27 Nov 2023
In countries where smoking is rife, such as China or Turkey, I try to stick to smoke-free hotels. In those cases where I do find myself in a smoking room and no other room is available I usually succeed in getting a refund, but sometimes all I can do is take the punch. Along with car accidents and plane crashes I consider smelly rooms one of the residual risks of business travel. 🙂27 Nov 2023
In many markets smoking is prohibited in hotel rooms – however some countries like Saudi Arabia and Japan that spring to mind – smoking rooms are “normal” and important to always request / book non smoking rooms.27 Nov 2023
I was booked in to a non smoking room at the Ibis Ho Chi Minh Airport recently. Despite signs stating it was prohibited in the room and on the floor it reeked of stale smoke. I was able to get another room but even a non-smoking room is no guarantee. Great hotel otherwise BTW.28 Nov 2023
at 08:1528 Nov 2023
A fair while back I travelled regularly with work to Bulgaria (Plovdiv).
On my first stay, rookie error or so I thought, I’d made no room preference and to say it reeked of cigarette smoke would be an understatement.
Second trip, I requested a non-smoking room and felt rather pleased with my levels of foresight.
Of course this room had also been smoked in, so I politely enquired at the front desk who, with a mixture of part indifference, part amusement just shrugged as if ‘it is what it is’.
Always enjoyed visiting, though smoking did feel a bit like a national pastime.28 Nov 2023
I am still a smoker, although now only a pipe. My wife remains a cigarette smoker. Back in the day, we would try to request a smoking room but we both eventually agreed that smoking in the bedroom was not clever. For many years, the compromise has been to try to book rooms with a balcony where smoking is permitted. Certainly, in my experience, the vast majority of hotels have gone fully no smoking indoors, at least in Europe and West Africa. But ther are still some and there are also plenty of hotels in both places where the fine for smoking is relatively insignficant (e.g. a 50 GBP cleaning fee at the end of your stay).
Nowadays though, I am more concerned about the provision of a semi-reasonable outside smoking area. Too many hotels just fix an ashtray to the entrance wall, which is not pleasant for either smokers or non-smokers. A pub-style bench (ideally with an umbrella) around the corner or at least away from the main entrance would be better for all, and many could do it.
1 user thanked author for this post.28 Nov 2023
Hong Kong has had for some years strong regulation re smoking. Smoking is not allowed in ony indoor public areas i.e. shopping centers hotels, offices. The regulations are strongly enforced.
Many hotels have retained a small number of smoking rooms but the ratio is very low at I am told about 10% of the inventory and some hotels are now entirely smoke free – this trend seems to be gathering momentum.
It is a number of years since I have heard of any complaint from our visitors re their hotel room having been smoked in.
China also introduced some years back banning smoking in public areas and non designated hotel rooms. The legislation seems to be increasingly observed in first level cities and better hotels but there is a long way still to go in many places.
1 user thanked author for this post.29 Nov 2023
I am a smoker myself and hate the smell of a stale room, choosing to take a low floor to easily pop outside, or high one if it has a rooftop area. During the several covid qurantinmes i did the first hotel was non smoking (Ibis) but they specifically said its ok as they will be gutting all rooms after covid just open window please so not to affect others rooms which did make me wonder if other rooms could smell it..not much quarantine! after that i made sure i booked quarantine hotels with Balconies29 Nov 2023