Quick travel tip: Double check for smoking vs. non-smoking

smoking permittedLast week the Home Warrior, Mini Warrior, and I had to get out of our house for a few days due to the ongoing (never ending) house renovation. I used points to book a last minute room at a local Embassy Suites where I’ve stayed before. There was only type of room available, a king bedroom suite; luckily, that’s what we needed.

When we first arrived everything was great—the inside of the hotel is really lovely, with tall trees and koi ponds. The Mini Warrior and I headed for the complimentary breakfast line while the Home Warrior headed up to the room with our stuff. Home Warrior returned just as Mini and I were splitting a tasty omelet, and he had bad news.

Turns out the room smelled heavily of smoke. Like, smoke had permeated the walls, floors, and linens, and the room would never smell like a non-smoking room again. There was no way we could stay. It was kind of concerning to me—because Austin doesn’t allow indoor smoking in most public buildings, I assumed that the smell was left over from years ago when there were smoking rooms. But when I went down to the front desk to change, they informed me I had actually booked a smoking room. On the one hand, it was kind of a relief—there was a very good reason that room smelled smoky! On the other hand, when I booked the room there was only one type available, and I didn’t notice it specifying smoking or not.

They were able to switch us, and all’s well that ends well. I think because the tools I use to book rooms—both my corporate travel tool and the Hilton website—have my preferences saved, I never even see smoking rooms available as an option. You can bet I will look more closely moving forward! And just a gentle reminder, you probably should too.

Readers, have you ever accidentally booked the wrong room?


  1. Especially important when traveling abroad. My husband had a trip to Japan last year & was trapped in a smoking room the entire week because the hotel was too full to switch. Ugh, nightmare. Everything he brought smelled like smoke when he came back.

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