Archive for September, 2010

Gasping for fresh air

September 7th, 2010

There’s a simple question I ask when booking a hotel room. Can I open the windows?

I’ve lost count of the sleepless nights spent incarcerated in some hotel room with outside views through thick panes of glass set rigidly into the wall. Being captive in such a room renders me a caged animal.

Why would anyone even consider building a room with windows that don’t open? It’s warped logic. You can quote safety regulations all you want but what I want is the ability to breathe in and to hear wherever it is that I am. That intrinsic to my being there. Should it become adversely noisy, smelly, whatever outside, I can always simply close the window. I should have that choice.

Sadly, too many hotels today deny this basic human right of indulging in the simple pleasure of breathing fresh air. Instead, guests are doomed to incarceration, forced to inhale the recycled substitute for air that billows from an air-conditioning system, one usually set in a most inappropriate position so it chills you to the bone when asleep. Even worse are hotels where rooms have the double damnation of fixed windows and air-con you can’t adjust or switch off.

Granted the power of air-con control, guests then face another vexing issue. Most air-conditioning systems in “enclosed” hotels are always so damn noisy. You spend the night switching the apparatus off for peace and quiet only to have to switch it back on within the hour because you are gasping for oxygen or about to faint from stifling heat.

The solution? A simple breeze. It works wonders in combating both heat and fatigue and promoting relaxation. Open the windows, please!