Hotels with windows that open

I’ve been travelling for the last few months and right now I’m in the United States, where the biggest challenge is finding hotels to stay in that have windows that open. How I wish that someone would create a website listing these increasingly elusive places!

I’ve heard that the main reason hotels seal their windows these days are because they qualify for lower insurance premiums if they do — something along the lines of suicidal jumpers not being able to do their thing, and sealed windows making it easier to control outbreaks of fire.

The problem with sealed windows is the lack of circulation of air, the toxifying effects of the chemicals used in air-conditioning units (refrigerants, anti-bacterial and anti-mould agents, etc), and the toxic chemicals used in cleaning products which build up in the space. There is also the constant drone of the machinery, which deeply affects a person’s quality of sleep because it keeps you “wired” all night long. The higher the pitch of the sound of the fan, the more disruptive an effect it has.

And, of course, meditating in a room with no fresh air is almost a complete waste of time. A good circulation of chi is an absolute “must” for both high states of sleep and high states of meditation.

One way I’ve found to search out hotels with windows that open is to enter the city name and the words “hotel” and “balcony” into a search engine. For example: “Singapore hotel balcony”. These rooms cost more but it’s a sure bet that wherever there’s a balcony, there will be a door that can be opened to let in fresh air. City name plus “hotel windows open” also works sometimes, if the hotel has thought to list the fact that they have opening windows.

Feel free to post here if you know of good hotels anywhere in the world that have windows that open.

Copyright © Clear Space Living Ltd 2007


Update in 2020
Someone finally created a website that lists hotels with windows that open!
US hotels with windows that open

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About Karen Kingston

Karen Kingston is a leading expert in clutter clearing, space clearing, feng shui, and healthy homes. Her two international bestselling books have combined sales of over three million copies in 26 languages and have established themselves as "must-read" classics in their fields. Her best-known title, Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui, is now in its fifth edition. She is best known for her perspective-changing insights and practical solutions that enable more conscious navigation of 21st-century living.
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41 Responses to Hotels with windows that open

  1. Wonderful to find your website. One thing we have loved about traveling in Europe is the variety of hotel windows that open. Here in the United States, not always so easy. Not expecting a window to open fully but just enough of a crack to allow fresh air and ventilation. Even before Covid, I searched for this feature. The carpets in hotels often make me sick and I have always felt that the air conditioners are blowing not so clean air. Thank you.

  2. Thanks for your website and focus on this problem. I travel a lot and just can’t stay in any more hotels with sealed windows. Until now I’ve called the hotels in the area I’m staying in until I find one that offers opening windows. But it takes time. A list of hotels with windows that open, or information about that in the various booking websites would be a huge help. Perhaps we could start a Facebook campaign to mobilise support for this.

  3. I am very claustrophobic and do have panic attacks with sealed up hotel rooms. The best I can do is try to stay in a Staybridge Suite, part of the IHG. The windows will only open about 3 inches but suffices to ward off a full blown attack and allows me to travel some distance but necessitates planing ahead for bookings and confirmation. Yes I too wish there was a website with a list.

  4. I stayed at a Marriott in Charleston, WV that had windows that were previously allowed to open, but then the hotel decided to put locks on them. Every time I try to open a window that has been updated to stayed locked, I get a HORRIBLE sense of dread. It’s like my body can’t wait to open the window to breathe some clean, fresh air, but then the window will not budge and I get a feeling of panic. It’s also nice to know that I could easily get out of the window in case of a fire. The sealed windows are the worst. The rooms just feel so stale and icky-I feel like I am in an aquarium. I try now to find little independent inns or just try to book balcony rooms.

  5. Hi! I found this article while trying to figure out how to book my next hotel knowing that I can open the window..
    Did anyone ever create a list?
    Thanks

  6. Hello
    I stayed recently in The Holiday Inn Express on Oxford Road Manchester, England and their room was stifeningly hot and no the windows do not open; I rang their reception to ask if the heating could be set lower but was informed that it was set centrally; they gave me a fan but it did not resolve anything. I wonder is there a list of Manchester Hotels that have opening windows?

  7. One of the best hotels I’ve stayed in (I have stayed in a lot) is Fairfield Inn & Suites in Hershey Pennsylvania. The windows only open a few inches but it’s enough to air out the room and the hotel, like I said, is excellent.

  8. I have just developed a fear of hotels with sealed windows. I have been claustrophobic in regards to elevators but never with hotel rooms. All of a sudden I get panic attacks in hotel rooms with sealed windows.

    I recently booked a balcony room but when there was a leak in the room we were moved to a one bedroom suite with sealed windows. Despite the fact it was a much larger room the windows were sealed and I felt terribly uncomfortable in the room.

    Is there a cure for this condition? I am not sure why I have this fear all of a sudden. I have had 3 occasions where it has happened. In two cases I was able to change to a balcony room.

    Thanks
    Guy

    1. Personally I would not call this a condition. I would call it a healthy response.

      It is totally unnatural for humans to sleep in sealed spaces that have no ventilation. Apart from the health effects of breathing in chemical toxins in air-conditioned spaces, sleeping in a sealed room also does not allow higher levels of spiritual connections that are supposed to happen during during the hours of the night. Since the quality of our sleep directly affects the quality of our waking life, this can have very disruptive consequences over time. I suggest you continue to insist on rooms that have a window or balcony door that can be opened. Even a small crack will make all the difference.

      However if you have claustrophobic reactions to confined spaces in general, this is an anxiety disorder you can seek help for. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy has a good success rate with this.

    2. Hi Guy,

      Same problem for me. I am actually avoiding going places because of the hotels with sealed windows. I would love to get a group together to remedy this problem.
      Sara

  9. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!! I have a terrible time with sealed windows in hotels and have just about given up travel because of this cheesy trend with hotels. I will try to offer my best input for your blog.

    Sara

  10. God awful American “thing”. The worst thing isn’t the fact that my window can only open 3 inches…instead of the full 4 feet, it’s that nobody in the US notices. In most other countries, people could not stand these iced down, climate controlled, toxic environments.

    Even if they were not toxic; fresh air, fresh oxygen, is a good thing.

    So now, in the middle of December, I’ll have to aircon my room because it’s too hot inside, even though outside it’s a fresh 50 degrees and it just rained…

  11. Wonderful to find your page! I think another reason hotels seal their windows is so they will not have to worry about rain or snow blowing in. I have a personal problem: I am claustrophobic and cannot stand being in tightly enclosed places. Worst places for me: Hotels at beach resorts that seal all the windows. (Do they think you don’t want the ocean breezes?) Hotels with AC that turn it off during the night! (“It’s not as hot at night, sir.”) Ocean liners that travel the cleanest air on the planet but seal the windows of all the cabins! I hate to travel anymore. Once I phoned a Hyatt hotel and was assured that their windows opened, so I booked a room. When I got there I found they were lying. Solidly sealed. When I’m driving the Interstate I circle around motels until I see one with opened windows. Hotel sites describe the size of the beds and TV, the number of towels, parking facilities, etc., etc. But I have never seen one that notes the factor that is important to me.

  12. Thank you so much; I was exhausted at 11 PM and not being very creative with my search for a hotel with openable windows. Balcony did the trick. As an AC-phobic and web developer I could make a website listing these hotels — and perhaps restaurants and other venues that are not iced down to impossible temps.

    What should it be called?

    1. Hi Jane

      Thanks for the offer to create a webpage, but I really don’t have enough recommended hotels to compile this. I’m really enjoying being back in the UK, though, where opening windows in hotels are the norm rather than the exception!

  13. I quite agree with all of these comments! There is nothing worse than staying in a hotel where the windows will not open. What are windows for, for heaven’s sake? The only solution is to call the hotel before booking to make sure.

  14. I live in hotels and it is my biggest pet peeve. I need windows that open. Would someone create a a site for this please!

    1. I spend hours on websites before travelling looking for hotels with opening windows! I simply cannot live in a glassed in space and so end up booking balconies which are hugely expensive- lucky I have an understanding husband!!

  15. I have severe asthma and cannot survive long without a flow of fresh air. I have found that most La Quinta and Motel 6 hotels (both also allow pets) have windows that open. Traveling would be so much easier for me if open windows was the norm. I have found the search for balconied rooms helpful too.

  16. i would be happy to stay in the most simple hotel with windows that open than in any of the ”updated” fancy hotels that are sealed tight against fresh air…..after spending 4 to 8 hours in the stale air of an airplane, i need to sleep with the windows open.

    1. I’ve found that of all the US hotel chains, Marriott hotels in general are the most likely to have windows that open, not just in the USA but in other parts of the world too. Hilton hotels, on the other hand, get my award for the hotel chain that is least likely to have windows that open.

  17. Yes, its a horrible trend.

    All these buildings ARE SICK. Full of pollutants and off gassings of carpet, draperies, paint, and other toxic chemicals.

    That plus most maids OVERSPRAY gallons of toxic cleaners everywhere.

    The result is a TOXIC CLOSED soup, that shouldn’t be used on anyone!

  18. Any hot part of world every room should have Air Conditioning, this is why the windows do not open, to keep the cold in. [Posted by an Air Conditioning company based in the UK]

  19. What do you suggest for those of us who live in hot and humid climates such as Florida where an air conditioner becomes a necessity much of the year?

    Karen Kingston: See my blog posting ‘Living with air conditioning’ on Jan 19, 2008.

  20. Goodwood Park Hotel in Singapore has quite a few rooms that have windows that open, but make sure you insist on this detail.

    1. Sadly, this wonderful hotel has now sealed most of its windows. The only way to get a room with any fresh air is to get a ground floor room with doors that open to a courtyard, and sleep with mosquitoes buzzing in and out all night.

  21. In the Latin Quarter, Paris, France, approximately 2 blocks from Notre Dame, we stayed at Hotel Minerve, on Rue Des Ecoles. Fabulous! A little balcony with geraniums & two chairs & table. Magnifique! And reasonable for Paris. On Sunday morning we woke up to the sounds of the bells of Notre Dame & then other churches chimed in. Wow! Next door is the Hotel Familia which is a sister hotel & a little cheaper. Fresh Parisian air!

  22. We have just come back from Thailand and lovely hotels but only air conditioned. I must admit I felt the lack of fresh air, and every night-time was a drag because of the drone of the air-con. I will keep in mind this article when I travel next time.

  23. Eastern & Oriental Hotel in Penang, Malaysia, has wonderful windows facing the Sea. Unfortunately the moisture really condenses on the walls as the rooms were cooled too much. And they don’t have wire mesh.

  24. Thank you so very much for this comment. I was wondering if I am the only one who cannot sleep well in rooms with closed windows and gets a headache. Recently we spent a short vacation in Siem Reap, Cambodia and choose to stay in a guesthouse (www.greengardenhome.com). They had aircon but we used it sparingly, opened the windows which were protected with wire mesh and had a good night’s sleep.It was lovely and charming and I was glad that we had not chosen one of the big hotels. But we had to insist on not spraying “Raid” followed by air freshener!

  25. Karen, you could contact ViewTrip and ask them to create a category for hotels with windows that open. They’d probably do that for you.

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