The Monday Rant: Nonsmoking Rooms . . .That Aren't
Have you ever specifically requested a nonsmoking hotel room only to find that the previous guest has ignored the rule?
It's not a huge problem if there are other rooms to be had, but when a hotel is sold out, it can be a big hassle. Even worse, you don't smell smoke when you walk in, but when you settle your head onto the pillow that night, an unmistakable hint of l'eau de smoke hits your nostrils. You either have to live with it or get dressed and packed to move rooms.
Hotels have heard this complaint again and again. Many, including Marriott and Westin, are now totally nonsmoking. And it's not a rule without teeth. Light up in a Marriott room, and you'll get hit with a $250 cleaning fee. Westin charges $200. Disney has upped the ante to $500. In Chicago, Swissotel gives out $10 rewards to tattling housekeepers, and then charges scofflaws $250.
Cruise lines are also tightening the screws, with many placing more restrictions on where you can smoke. Some, such as Azamara and Regent, not only don't let you smoke in your cabins, but they also prohibit smoking on private balconies. Oceania has probably the most stringent penalties: Get caught smoking in a prohibited area and you'll be charged "up to the fare paid for passage" plus the captain also reserves the right to kick you off the ship.
I have no problem with the tough penalties. As long as the hotel/cruise line is upfront about the no-smoking rule and gives their paying guest ample notice, fair is fair. Some who have been hit with the fee have complained in various blogs and articles that they didn't even know about it.
But isn't it up to smokers in today's world to ask about whether it's okay to smoke before they book the hotel room or the cruise cabin? And who are they to ignore the rules, anyway? There are still plenty of places that allow smoking: Go there. Or follow the rules.
What have your experiences been with "nonsmoking" rooms?
By Carol Sottili |
February 4, 2008; 7:20 AM ET
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