There are Two Types of Hotel Rooms in the U.S.

The moment of judgement comes when my wife and I walk into a hotel room in the U.S. If there is a wall air con/heater unit bulging out under the window, it is going to be a long night. These units rumble and desiccate the room’s inhabitants during the night. Our apartment is the same way and my wife’s solution is to turn them off during the night no matter how cold.

Fairfield Inn Gurnee IL 01

Readers, are there any mid or low-end US chains that reliably have central HVAC systems?

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  • Jamie

    Please… anyone… help us out here. My husband and I have the same problem. Except it’s worse in the summer months. He’d rather be hot than woken up by the AC. I find the loud noise annoying but prefer it to being too hot to sleep. In the winter it’s not so bad, because I don’t being cold while I’m asleep and then getting up early in the morning to turn the heat up.
    I know people suggest leaving the fan on all the time so that it’s not so jarring when the AC or heat kicks in, but that doesn’t work for us. My husband finds the fan too annoying to leave on as well.

  • smittytabb

    You have no idea how glad I am to hear that I am not the only one that turns them off no matter what, hot or cold. I hate forced air generally and I turn off all of them most of the time. I use a travel sound machine that might help you @Jamie or you can use a white noise phone app as well.

  • Chris

    If it’s not noise, you can fill the ice bucket with water and put it on the unit with a hand a towel half-in, half-out and it will wick the water, humidifying the room during the night.

  • Russbelle

    Residence Inn in DC had central. It worked well and wasn’t loud at all.

  • Andy

    December 2013, I spent 1 night in a brand new (first night open) at a Hampton Inn in the SF Bay Area. I was sad to see it had individual HVAC.

  • Noah

    depending on the city you are in (especially if not major metroopolitan downtown), Marriott and Hilton branded hotels (not the hamptons or courtyards or whatever) tend to have central air and many times can be found for less than $20 more than the discount chains. You can also always try calling the hotels to see if there are special, local discounts to come closer to a discount chain’s price.

  • Sang Kancil Guru

    Why not use Airbnb instead?

  • @Jamie – sitting in Minnesota I wasn’t thinking of summer, but that is worse indeed.

    @Chris – great tip, will have to try it. My wife recently got a portable humidifier from Satechi that she really likes, especially for a long flight.

    @Sang Kancil Guru – I have heard great things about Airbnb. In my case this week it was business travel that needed to be among company-approved hotels, however for personal I should experiment. One hesitation I have is our leisure trips are typically short and we fly in late and out early so I worry it will be a burden on the hosts, though perhaps more of an issue with couchsurfing.

  • Brandon

    Staying in a Marriott Residence Inn right now that has central heat/AC

  • Haley

    Compiling a list of hotels with central heat/air would be a huge service.

    My solution is to drown out the noise with a sound machine, but one of my travel companions hates it.

    As for AirBnB, when you contact the host let them know your check in/out hours. Some have coded entry so they don’t care, others are night owls. I had a fantastic luck with AirBnB and Homeaway. If you ever want to stay in a city with over saturated time shares (Orlando comes to mind) renting points from ‘owners’ through one of these services is great.

    You and your wife might also explore traditional BnB’s, if I’m paying cash I always try BnB first, you can get good discounts on BnB gift certificates and the level of accommodation in the mid range beats most paid hotel stays. Every now and then we are unimpressed but for the most part we have found real gems.

  • Haley

    Home2 suites San Antonio River Walk has central heat/AC AND you don’t even have to override it, it let me set the A/C to 68!

  • @Haley – thanks for all the great tips. We really should stay at more B&B’s. The past few years we have stayed at the wonderful Knox’s Dam Bed & Breakfast in Prince Edward Island, Canada and it is a highlight of the year for us, we are excited to be going back again this summer.