Smoking in hotel rooms can be a challenge. Many hotels have banned smoking in rooms entirely, and they may have stiff fines for smokers who break the rules. Still, there are still some smoker-friendly hotels that offer rooms where smoking is allowed, and it's possible to find a place to smoke even in the most smoker-resistant hotels.
Along with restaurants and other public places, hotels have begun to limit smoking on their premises; that reality can be challenging for smokers on the road. The best way to ensure that smoking is permitted in your particular hotel room is to ask for a smoking room when you make your booking. Make the request again when you check in. Many hotels require each visitor to initial that particular hotel's smoking policy along with the other check-in paperwork, clarifying whether smoking is permitted, where it is permitted and what the penalties are for smoking in non-smoking areas. Unless you have specifically reserved a room where smoking is permitted, it is likely that you will not be allowed to smoke in your hotel room.
Non-smoking hotel rooms may be the standard now, but that hasn't always been the case. Even though the number of smokers in the United States has not significantly decreased since the 1980s, the number of public places that allow smoking has rapidly decreased. Many states--including North Carolina and Virginia--have indoor smoking bans that make it illegal to smoke inside restaurants and public buildings. Smoking was banned on all airline flights in the United States in 1998. Hotels have followed suit. Leading the non-smoking hotel trend have been some major hotel players, including all Starwood, Disney and Marriot.
Though many hotels have banned smoking completely, there are a few hotels that remain smoker-friendly.
Hilton properties offer rooms for smokers. Its brands include Hilton, Doubletree, Homewood Suites, Embassy Suites and Hampton Inn.
Smokers can also find designated smoking rooms at hotels in the InterContinental Hotels Group, which include InterContinental, Staybridge Suites, Candlewood Suites, Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza and Hotel Indigo.
It may be tempting to smoke in a non-smoking hotel room, especially if you have tried and failed to find a room in a hotel that permits smoking. However, fines for smoking in non-smoking hotel rooms can be steep. It's not worth it.
Fines for smoking at the Walt Disney resort hotels run as high as £325; Swissotel Chicago fines guests £162 for smoking in its non-smoking rooms. Other hotels impose similar penalties on guests who smoke. These policies are often strictly enforced, and many reserve the right to fine guests after they check out if signs of smoking appear in their room.
Smokers in non-smoking hotels do have a few options.
Smokers can always step outside to have a cigarette if the weather permits, Most hotels keep ashtrays near the front door for this purpose. Some hotels have a smokers' lounge or bar area where smoking is permitted. Hotel concierge or desk attendants can point you toward a nearby area where smoking is permitted.