Handling noisy hotel neighbors

a wooden sign with a circle cut outIn the past, whenever I’ve done “Was this rude?” type of posts, it’s never been about me. It’s always been situations that I’ve witnessed happening to other people. Well, this time something questionable happened to me, and I want to get your take on it.

A couple of months ago, the Home Warrior, Mini Warrior, and I headed out to Vegas for a conference. I was in meetings all day, and the guys hung out in the hotel room or walked around looking at stuff. A good time was had by all, until our second evening. It was about 10:30, and the Home Warrior and I were watching a little TV before turning in for the night, while the Mini Warrior slept in his Pack ‘n’ Play.  All of the sudden, the Mini Warrior woke up and started crying. I get it—strange room, not his normal crib, etc. He cried for about a minute, and I went over and gave him his pacifier before going to brush my teeth. He cried for about another minute when I heard a loud banging noise. At first, I thought someone was at the front door, but when I checked no one was there. Then the Home Warrior told me it was a loud knock on the connecting door. Evidently our neighbor was disturbed by the two minutes of baby crying.

Here are my problems with this. First of all, banging on the connecting door is just rude, no matter what’s going on. Second, do you really think making a loud noise is going to make a baby stop crying? Third, it’s Vegas for Pete’s sake! I have heard all kinds of crazy things in neighboring hotel rooms, but IMO that is just par for the course in Vegas. Finally, he had seriously only been crying for two or three minutes—not long at all in baby time.

After a quick debate, we decided to call the front desk. They sent a security guy up to talk to us, and that was the last we heard of it. This is what our neighbor should have done! If your neighbor is being too noisy, call the front desk and let them handle it. I think this is good etiquette, but also seems safest. You never know who is in the room next to you, and handling it yourself could lead to uncomfortable confrontations.

This is the first time I’ve ever called the front desk on a neighbor. Typically I just turn up my white noise and drown out whatever I’m hearing from next door.

Readers, what do you think? Was our neighbor justified? What do you do when you have a noisy neighbor?



  1. While the neighbor shouldn’t have banged on the door, I think calling the front desk on him was an over-reaction. If he kept doing it, maybe.

  2. I am very, very touchy when it comes to noisy anybody – especially kids (leave them at home, imo)…but even I wouldn’t have concerned myself with 2 min. of crying.

  3. No, of course your neighbor wasn’t justified, and yes, they should have called downstairs if they had a problem.

    But I’m more interested in how to handle baby noise in a hotel generally. I’ve never had a problem with a crying baby (which is surprising, considering how much hoteling I do), but I can imagine how horrible it would be if a little one was up all night next door. I’m not sure what a good solution would be!

  4. My last Vegas trip I was up about 6am, when all of a sudden a woman started playing her guitar and singing. Loudly. Like, I could make out every word through the wall. How anyone thinks this is ok is beyond me. I didn’t do anything about it because I was already up, but this just took the cake.

    And to add insult to injury? The song sucked. Horribly.

  5. A number of years ago I flew to Boston for a business meeting. Because of issues with a connecting flight I was many hours late and missed the meeting.

    I finally got to my hotel around 10:00 p.m. I tried doing some work in the room I was given but the air conditioner was broken and the room was stifling hot. I was given another room almost two hours later and didn’t get settled in until around midnight.

    Just as I crawled into bed I heard banging on the wall between the rooms; a man moaning; and a woman yelling, “Oh G-d, oh G-d!” This went on for a few minutes. I thought of calling the front desk but decided to handle the situation myself.

    I pounded on the wall and yelled very loudly, “This is G-d. It’s after midnight, I’m very tired, and you’re pissing me off. BE QUIET!”

    You could have heard a pin drop the rest of the evening.

  6. our last trip as a family was to san diego at a resort for a yoga conference. kid cried off and on all night each night. new place. time change. teething. i did feel bad for my neighbors, and i apologized when i saw them going in and out of their rooms. they were all very understanding, thankfully.

    i think certain noises are deliberate (guitar playing and loud singing), and other noises can’t be helped (crying baby, coughing/sneezing). people need to learn to roll with the punches. have a little compassion for each other.

  7. We had a similar experience on a vacation in Florida but our neighbors were way cooler than yours. They said they understood and felt bad given that the baby was crying at 2AM. People don’t understand, or forget, that a crying child is not what the parents want either. Some common courtesy should be extended.

  8. As a frequent traveler who doesn’t have kids, I always joke that this situation is why I carry ear plugs. Try as they might, parents can’t just magically make babies stop crying. I have even said it to moms sitting next to me on a plane with a screaming baby. You have to take care of yourself if you are that easily disturbed by noise.

  9. This is definitely a weird one! I’ve stayed in a hotel with my baby, but only once she was a bit older and would reliably sleep through the night in most cases. The one time she didn’t, my mother was in the connecting room, so she obviously wasn’t bothered or banging on my wall. I probably wouldn’t have called down unless the banging happened more than once and it looked like I would be in for a truly threatening neighbor.

  10. I tried calling the front desk to complain about a noisy child. They said it was my child in my room and refused to help!
    I did have help about a smoker nearby causing my no smoking room to get smelly. They took care of it by moving the offender to another floor.

  11. Was staying at LM in BKK it was 2AM when I heard loud laughter and talking in the hall. Of course the door next to my room slammed shut a few moments later… loud music, more loud laughter… 3 calls to front desk later it stopped.

  12. I downloaded a white noise app (I like Simply Noise, brown noise, but there are a lot of options), and always travel with foam earplugs. Hotel walls are thin and not everyone is on the same sleep schedule as me!

  13. clearly rude to bang on the wall, but…. you also intruded on their vacation. We all owe responsibility to be considerate. Not saying you can prevent babies from crying, but have to recognize that you are having a negative effect on others.

    take the high road, apologize to the neighbor, and move on.

  14. First thing I check, Connecting doors. I immediately change rooms!

    One time I heard this couple having loud sex, was about to complain, but the ordeal lasted like 1 1/2 minutes. No need to complain for lousy sex I guess.

  15. You weren’t rude. They were (and I don’t have kids!). And you absolutely didn’t “intrude on their vacation” – there’s a reasonable expectation in hotels that there will be some noise, and it’s only when it’s continuous or flagrant that there’s a problem. Calling the front desk was a good idea, since they were clearly crazy people.

  16. I travel frequently with my children and while my son did cry a lot when he was younger. I would do the best job I could to quickly calm him down and I never had anyone bang on my door or complain. As a parent, it really bugs me that people say don’t take your kids. So I should never take my children to a hotel? I am more annoyed on a weekly basis when I travel by loud people in hallways and slamming doors all hours of the night than a baby in a room next to me. My one extreme situation where I did call the front desk was a neighbor very loudly listening to the adult entertainment on the TV room at 2 am.

    I think in the case of the poster, calling the front desk to let them know that yes their child was loud and the neighbor banged on the door was appropriate. They were letting them know they were aware of the noise in the case that the neighbor called.

  17. here’s my take on it. my hotel room neighbors were making all kinds of racket from yelling at each other to throwing things….i hit the wall 5-6 times real hard and the guy came over and apologized. but then about 10min later they were at it again….I hate this place. If it weren’t for my employer setting me up for free here I wouldn’t be here. as far as I am concerned I don’t give a shit if it’s rude because these people are trash.

  18. I don’t think you did anything wrong. “Intruding on their vacation” ? What a crock !!! If some considered 2 minutes of a baby crying ruining their vacation……They shouldn’t travel. But I do hate it when a bunch pathetic drunks come stumbling in and talk…And laugh loudly all the way down the hallway at 3 am….. Absolutely no respect for others.

  19. People with children should stay in child/family friendly hotels. Babies do not belong in movie theatres, nicer restaurants and in some instances hotel rooms. I also hate it when babies are left to cry during an entire long grocery shopping trip. People don’t want to hear this. Babysitters, grandma, friends, neighbors can all be tapped for help. Parents in hotels let their kids run hog wild. I have experienced it many times. It teaches kids that other people don’t matter. That they are #1. Not a good life lesson but one many parents teach by not insisting their kids be respectful of others. Babies of course are exempt from this but still–have some courtesy. Banging on the wall was rude but the neighbor had no idea how long this was going to go on. 10:30 pm in Vegas is a bit early. I always pack earplugs. And I do like kids and sympathize with parents who want an outing but many people have already raised their kids. They don’t want to listen to other people’s.

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