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Rating Hotels for Quietness

Mission Viejo, CA
posts: 120
reviews: 5
Rating Hotels for Quietness

TripAdvisor, and every other site that rates hotels, uses a purely subjective rating system that asks reviewers to also grade location, sleep quality, rooms, service, value, and cleanliness.

But there is one category that is missing, and it's the most important one to me: quiet. The only time I spend in my room is to shower, sleep, and change my clothes. The rest of the time I spend exploring. So all I really care about is how quiet the rooms are. Right now, the only way to find out to post a question for a specific destination before I leave, and see who responds.

Here are a few examples of what I mean:

I stayed at a motel in the Florida Keys that fronted the highway. It was quiet at night when I checked, but noisy in the early morning when the trucks got on the road. Another place in the Keys was off the highway, and quiet.

I just stayed in the Luxor in Las Vegas. The rooms all use wall-mounted air conditioners, which are always louder than some central air systems, and the windows didn't open. I turned off the A/C at night even though it was 101 during the day. When I checked into my room at Atlantis in the Bahamas, I wish I'd known that the rooms on one side were all above the air conditioning units that ran all night for the rest of that wing. I knew enough when I booked my room at the hotel in San Francisco, not to get a room that fronted the street with the cable cars, but not everyone may know that.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney
posts: 15,113
reviews: 36
1. Re: Rating Hotels for Quietness

Quietness is important to many hotel guests, but it still falls under subjective.

How would you propose these 'levels' of quietness be quantified or measured?

Mission Viejo, CA
posts: 120
reviews: 5
2. Re: Rating Hotels for Quietness

First, I wouldn't try and invent the perfect system. One of the current categories is location. It, and all the other categories, are subjective. I don't need to book a hotel near the center of a city if, like in Sydney, Shanhai, Rome, and Berlin to name a few, have subways or trains that can get me downtown in minutes. People on TA rate their experiences with their room and the hotel in general. There could be rating for how quiet the hotel in general was, and how quiet the room was. Or you might be able to get away with just rating the quietness of the room. A spread of ratings would indicate that some parts of the hotel were quiet, and others not so much.

Pittsburgh...
posts: 2,191
reviews: 60
3. Re: Rating Hotels for Quietness

I see noise levels detailed in the text of many lodging reviews. No numeric rating, but plenty of information available. I've found the comments to be extremely subjective and sometimes exaggerated though. I'm talking about complaints that something, anything, could be heard in the adjacent room...at a motel. I guess some expect the sound insulation of a recording studio, but that's neither here nor there.

I'm not sure how much good those "caption" ratings do anyway. They don't count for anything in terms of the property's overall rating and they don't even show up on the app. TA can add whatever they want to, but it seems that those that found noise levels to be important took the time to mention it.

Mission Viejo, CA
posts: 120
reviews: 5
4. Re: Rating Hotels for Quietness

Yes, comments about noise can often be found in the individual comments. I just did a quick check of hotels in Las Vegas. Within a minute I found 7 with between 5,000 and 9,000 reviews. I was looking for a quicker way to narrow down the choices. Again, I'm not looking for perfection. No review system is perfect, and they don't need to be. It's a way to help people quickly narrow their choices.

Chester, United...
posts: 48,293
reviews: 48
5. Re: Rating Hotels for Quietness

No review process is perfect and as has been said certain things can be very subjective and with noise levels it can vary from one side of a property to another and/or the floor level you are on

On a different topic - "sleep quality" in many reviews of a property you can read that the beds are excessively hard yet overall sleep quality scores a solid 4 out of 5

Pittsburgh...
posts: 2,191
reviews: 60
6. Re: Rating Hotels for Quietness

For that matter, noise levels are often factored in with sleep quality, at least based on what I've read in review text, i.e., "it was so loud I couldn't sleep." I don't have a real problem with the suggestion necessarily, but I have the feeling that at some point, there can be overkill on the caption ratings. After so many threads where we've discussed the lack of information written into review text, I think that adding more and more captions would perpetuate the problem. Moreover, not only do the captions mean virtually nothing in terms of the rating, you can't use them to filter or sort properties. Maybe if there was a "sort by sleep quality rating" function, I might feel differently. Or I could just be talking out of my nostril again...

Mission Viejo, CA
posts: 120
reviews: 5
7. Re: Rating Hotels for Quietness

The ability to sort is a good idea.

Eastleigh, United...
Destination Expert
for Eastleigh, Winchester
posts: 4,367
reviews: 94
8. Re: Rating Hotels for Quietness

I think it is best to explain in the body of the review what the source of the noise was so that other guests can ask for rooms away from the source.

Noise can be very localised and not all rooms are always equally affected.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney
posts: 15,113
reviews: 36
9. Re: Rating Hotels for Quietness

>>>It's a way to help people quickly narrow their choices<<<

But that right there is the inherent danger - selecting a property or narrowing down choices 'quickly'. The way to minimize disappointment is to do the ground work, as well as asking the locals.

No doubt everybody has heard the "but that hotel had great reviews on TA..."

Pittsburgh...
posts: 2,191
reviews: 60
10. Re: Rating Hotels for Quietness

I agree with posts 8 and 9. The source of unwanted sounds is a key part of the discussion. If you're in a roadside motel and highway noise is documented in the reviews, you'd need to request rooms in the back if there are any. The same can be said for beach resorts with poolside v. oceanfront v. parking lot side. That combined with knowing the layout of a facility will help make the choice clearer.

That said, none of that information can be gathered from a few green dots sprinkled on a listing. Even when decisions are made quickly, which does happen sometimes, you have all sorts of information available to you in the form of TA reviews, AAA/Frommer's evaluations, hotel websites and more. Worst case scenario, zoom in to the closest view on Google Maps and take a look at the street view if possible. Those tools have helped me in a number of cases. I'm all for convenience, but sometimes quick-fixes do more harm than good. The real meat of reviews lies in the text.