Non-Smoking Hotel Room? Don’t Count On It.

This past Friday we drove to one of Ohio’s State Park Resorts for a quick weekend get-a-way. Because we have a hard time making any kind of getaway quick, we didn’t arrive until 10:00 p.m. With our reservation in hand, we still felt pretty perky and confident when my husband sauntered up to the check-in desk. Yes, we had a room. No, it was not non-smoking. “We don’t take non-smoking room reservations,” said the check-in person. “It’s first come first serve.” Those who arrive earlier get the non-smoking rooms and the resort was packed.

I had never heard of this before, but it seems that unless you specifically say you want a non-smoking room period, this is not a guarantee. This resort is not alone in the practice. According to, if you list non-smoking as a preference this doesn’t mean you’ll actually end up in a smoke-free room. The hotels will try to accommodate unless the non-smoking rooms are gone.

According to the woman I talked with at the check-in desk, most people request non-smoking rooms, even the smokers. So, what do you do to avoid a hotel room where a smoke smell lingers? If you want a non-smoking room, that’s what you have to specifically reserve if the hotel offers such a reservation. Because more people are requesting non-smoking rooms, more hotels are going to non-smoking. For details about smoke-free hotels, try Smoke-Free Hotels Around the World.

As for us, we kept the smoking room. I went to the room, sniffed the pillows, the curtains and the furniture and decided we could live with it. We all had such bad colds we couldn’t smell much anyway.