How to Book The Safest Hotel Rooms
Where you sleep can increase your chances of survival in the event of an emergency.
Originally published March 29, 2016.
Safety is at the forefront of most travelers’ minds, not matter how short or rote the trip. How well can you protect yourself? What steps should you take to better ensure your safety? Travel + Leisure first tackled this topic with a post on the safest seat on the airplane—and now we've got intel on the safest room in a hotel.
Rob Walker, head of information and analysis for travel security at London-based International SOS, told the MailOnline Travel which rooms are the best to book for a better chance of survival in the event of a fire, attack, or disaster. If traveling in the United States, his suggestions include choosing a room above the first or second floors yet lower than the sixth or seventh floors. The reason? Those rooms are out of harm's way in terms of burglars, but low enough that you could survive a fall if you needed to jump. It’s also within reach of most fire department ladders.
“We also recommend travelers request rooms on the side of the building further away from the lobby, which is likely to be the main entry point for any attacker,” Walker said. “It is preferable to also choose the side away from other public areas, such as hotel restaurants, as those areas can be a target area, and rooms that are not easily accessed from the street, so as not to be an easy target for criminals. Yet, ideally it is good to be near the emergency exit stairs.”
Along with having things like an emergency evacuation plan ready to go, Walker recommends keeping a few other things in mind:
- Avoid rooms with interlocking doors if possible.
- Choose hotels that are not in high crime neighborhoods.
- Make sure your room has the following: deadbolts, an eyehole, and evacuation procedures.
- Pack a doorstop.
- When you enter, prop your hotel room door open with your luggage and do a quick sweep to make sure there are no intruders.
- Have a grab bag of essentials including your passport, water, and phone charger prepared in advance.