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woman bed pillows frustrated insomnia hotel roomI set the alarm, switched off the lamp and plopped down into my hotel bed, so deliciously soft and inviting that it felt like landing on a cloud. Curling up into my mountain of pillows, I settled in for a much-needed night of shuteye … when there suddenly came a teeth-grating sound from next door. “Oh, my God!! Stop texting me! Stop it! No, you shut up! My grandmother will hear!”

I don’t know about Granny, but I could certainly hear the dulcet tones of my pre-teen neighbor in the next room, who appeared to be having her own personal slumber party at 12:15 in the morning. I gritted my teeth for 15 minutes or so, pulling the duvet over my head to block out the sound — but that just left me suffocating under the blankets while my neighbor’s whiny voice bored through the barrier like an angry mosquito.

I considered my options (besides wringing her skinny neck, which I quickly but reluctantly discarded). Should I pound on the wall? Call the front desk? Trudge out into the hallway, barefoot and squinting, to knock on her door and beg her to let the poor, tired grown-ups around her sleep?

I went with the first option. A rap on our shared wall and a polite “Could you please keep it down over there?” seemed to startle the girl into an abashed silence, and I finally drifted off to sleep.

The next day, I asked a hotel staffer whether I did the right thing. She said I could have called the front desk, who would’ve sent a security person up to the room to warn my noisy neighbor. Per this hotel’s particular policy, after three such warnings a guest would be asked to leave.

Good to know. But on my next trip, I’m adding something new to my packing list: ear plugs.

— written by Sarah Schlichter

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12 Responses to “When the Hotel Guest Next Door Won’t Shut Up”

  1. BrandyS says:

    I do travel with earplugs but never seem to recall that I have them until I am packing up to leave the hotel!

    That said, I apologize to all the people in hotel rooms around me who have been kept awake during their travels by my snoring.

  2. Susan McLeod says:

    Don’t forget how loud your hotel doors are & try not to slam them when coming in at 2:00 a.m. or how talking in the hallway echos especially in the middle of the night!

    • Peter says:

      Door slammers are my biggest enemy in a hotel. I travel a lot and I can never understand why it is that certain people seem to have the idea that it is a God given right to slam their doors. And no, I do not want to hear about somebody’s drunken exploits at 02:00. And I truly believe these idiots do this at home as well. I will call the front desk first and if it gets really out of hand I call the police. The latter action being the most effective if not the most appreciated.

  3. Sharon Z says:

    I am always hesitant to call the front desk, but it does seem to work. We were kept up until 3am one time (why go to a hotel if you don’t plan to sleep??)but the second I called the desk the noise stopped. I could have kicked myself for not calling before.

    • Marco Polo says:

      This assuming that the place you are staying in still has room phones. For more info, look at my post “No more phones in hotel rooms?” in the “Travel Issues > Travel gripes” page of the Independent Traveler forums.

  4. Manny says:

    I had this issue the very last night of my stay in Mykonos, Greece. Stupid me paid for my room the night before as I needed to take off to the airport at 6am and didn’t want any delays etc. I was not able to sleep for a bit that night, a new guess next door decided to have a private party and had some friends over. I had to call front desk twice at 1:15am and at 3:30am.. I wasn’t able to sleep at all. I wanted some compensation from the hotel, good luck with that.. they claim it is not their fault and that they are legally protected. NEVER PAY ANY THING IN ADVANCE… EVER!!

  5. Gail says:

    In 1994 My husband and I stayed at the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni, in Bellagio, Italy. This is a grand hotel un the true sense of the word – beautiful, perfectly located, with wonderful food. The only problem – paper thin walls. The guests in the next room argued half the night. We slept with our heads at the baseboard and our feet at the headboard. I was too inexperienced to ask for a different room, but I should have. Now I know better. I always request a quiet room, away from elevators and vending machines. And if a room is too noisy, I ask for a different one. I’d rather spend an hour moving my things from one room to another than suffer through a sleepless night in an expensive hotel.

  6. Alan says:

    Should I pound on the wall? Yes. That’s always my first option and it nearly always works. It just reminds people that they are not alone.

  7. Beth says:

    When the toddler in the room above us kept running and jumping overhead at 1am I called the room directly, it’s easy to figure out the room number. One parent to another I asked for some consideration to let my family sleep. The mom on the other end of the phone was very responsive and the noise stopped.

  8. john says:

    This is easily fixed by Quietyme. We built this just for such situations. The desk staff knows about noise in realtime and you never have to concern yourself. Guests should not be used as disturbance detection.

  9. Scitt says:

    I’ve spent more nights in hotels than I’d like to count and after enough times of being confronted with angry reactions after banging on adjoining walls or doors (one guy pulled a gun and said he was going to f_ _ _ me up if I ever knocked on his door again), I’ve found that calling the front desk is usually best. Trouble is, many hotels won’t do anything about it unless their staff can personally hear the offending noise. Since noise travels in mysterious ways, it’s often hard to detect the source and/or it intermittently pauses, making it hard for security to detect. I don’t know how many times I’ve asked a front desk to check the room directly above me, and they call back (a further annoyance) to say that the room is dead quiet, suggesting that you’re imagining things. Getting up and checking for myself (another huge inconvenience), it might turn out that the offending noise was below me, several rooms to the side! Best to ask the front desk to check ALL nearby rooms, since staff is often too clueless/lazy to think of it themselves. In fairness to some noisy guests, unless they’ve spent a lot of times in hotels, it’s easy to delude themselves that they’re in soundproof boxes from which no noise escapes.

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