One of the first things Angie Conquer does when she checks into a hotel room is study the thermostat.
She prefers a cold room: 68 degrees during the day and 64 when she is sleeping.
âIf I can control the temperature, this is one factor that will come into play when determining if I would return to this hotel,â says the retired paralegal turned travel blogger in Tampa.
Thermostats may be a very small part of a hotel room, but a lot of big thinking is now going into how temperatures are set.
âLocation, climate and time of year are determining factors,â says Ron Pohl, senior vice president and chief operating officer at Best Western Hotels and Resorts.Â âThe approach also varies during times of high and low occupancy.â
Several road warriors said guest room temperature and thermostats that are difficult to control are among their biggest complaints. Other pet peeves: noisy air conditioning, motion sensors that turn down the temperature in the middle of the night, inconsistent temperatures, or thermostats that are not energy-efficient.
âThis is a topic near and dear to my heart,â says Kevin Korterud, a technology consultant in New Albany, Ohio. âI have only found a few hotels to get this right.â
Hotels are making more of an effort to get it right these days, but cite the difficulties of pleasing everyone. For instance, while Conquer likes her thermostat in the 60s, Korterud thinks 70 is a better temperature.
Then thereâs the issue of geography. Florida, for instance, poses different challenges than much cooler San Francisco.
âIn Miami, our temperatures are hot and humidity is thick,â says Louis Escoto, director of sales and marketing at Sheraton Miami Airport Hotel, which just underwent a $10 million dollar renovation. âWe typically like guests to be immediately refreshed upon entering any room of the hotel. Sort of like that first gulp of cold water after a grueling work out.â
While many older hotels still have cooling and heating units built into the wall below a window, many more are opting for smaller, less noise-producing digital thermostats that can be programmed to certain temperatures depending on the climate and humidity. The technology is getting better and less expensive, says Randy Gaines, senior vice president of hotel openings, engineering, housekeeping retail and leasing operations at Hilton.
Manufacturers such as Honeywell, GE, LG, and Friedrich are making inroads.
âItâs rapidly changing,â Gaines says. âTechnology is our friend.â
Guests have the ability to control the thermostats at most hotels.
âWe want guests to always be comfortable in our guest rooms and having control over the temperature to fit their preferences is crucial to that experience,â says Kate Ashton,…