Ten Tips for Choosing a Safe Hotel for Boomers
Having just stayed at a very hip hotel in Los Angeles, I must say that Boomer women like me need to look beyond hip for our hotel comfort.
Here are a few tips from a tour operator who specializes in boomer women and their travels.
1-Do not go by hotel brand alone. Look through the hotel site for neighborhood information. If you are an active boomer, you will want either a gym or good area to walk in…. in order to keep up your fitness.
2-Still unsure? Look at the street view of the hotel on Google Maps or other. Avoid hotels in financial districts, as they are dark at night. To save money, go for those in nicer residential areas that have public transportation. You can look on streeteasy.com in many cities, for homes or apartments for sale in the area to get an idea of affluence and local ambiance.
3-Call the hotel itself and ask how close the bus stop is. In many cities, those aged 60+ get a deal on public transportation. In Los Angeles the cost for a bus is 25cents, and in NY, even non-residents can apply for and get a senior Metro Card.
4-Choose hotels with less than 250 rooms and small lobbies. Never be ashamed to ask for hotel staff to walk you to your room, or your car in their garage if you are alone. If you are forgetful, have your list ready for room information before the porter leaves you. I often forget to ask about the wifi password or how to work the air conditioning. Even a European shower can be complicated. Test everything before he leaves so you do not have to change rooms later on. If an engineer is needed to fix something, change rooms immediately.
5-Ask reservationists on the hotel’s local number (not the 800 general number), where the gym is, and whether it is attended. What hours it is open and whether or not it has an emergency bell. Can you leave the door open if you are alone in the gym? Is there a water fountain near by?
6-Request a room away from elevators never ground floor; if you are a nervous type, ask for a room not too far from the elevator. If there is a terrace, look at it from outside before you accept the room; hotels sometimes have shared terraces. Check window and terrace locks.
7-Once you find your floor, glance at the stairwell. Often housekeeping leave stairwell doors ajar. Stairs are the easiest way for non-guests to get upstairs. Close it and report this to the front desk when you can.
8-Double lock your door. This might sound obvious, but non-use is a serious problem. Guests feel safe and forget that only a dead bolt is foolproof. Glance at the fire escape map. Have a flashlight application on your phone and know where it is at night.
9-Choose hotels that have one casual dining area or a take away bar. In Europe look for hotels with outdoor cafés; café dining is fun and a café tells you the street is a pedestrian favorite. Also a tea room can be welcoming if you are alone and just want a light bite. Avoid those with noisy dark bar areas. Another nice feature is what is called a living lobby:one with couches, magazines, even cheese and wine at 6PM.
10-Lastly if you do feel unsafe– even feel unsafe– not just be unsafe, always talk to management. They will be surprised as most guests complain about other issues, but are embarrassed to discuss that they did not feel safe. Mentioning that you use review sites like tripadvisor, yelp etc can get their attention quickly.
We hope these tips are useful to all of you. More tips are found on our blog at www.thewomenstravelgroup.wordpress.com.
Phyllis Stoller, NABBW’s Group Travel Associate is founder of The Women’s Travel Group, a tour operator which specializes in smart vacations for smart women, was recently honored as one of the 14 most influential women in Group Travel by Group Travel Magazine. The Women’s Travel Group works with travel agents and is a strategic partner of SITA World Tours.
For solo women travelers who do not yet know her, Phyllis also founded The Women’s Travel Club. Both it and The Women’s Travel Group cater to women travelers, especially those traveling solo on group tours and cruises.
Phyllis will personally escort trips to Sicily and India in 2014.
Find more of Phyllis’ travel tips on her blog at and on Facebook at “toursforwomen,” where you can feel free to ask Phyllis your travel questions.