10 Tips For A Better Hotel Rest

Hotels hold a very special place in every flight attendant's heart. They are the places where we rest our heads after a long day's work. Most crewmembers will stay in at least one hotel every time they go to work.

We have odd hotel hours. We might check in at 2 a.m. and check out at 10 p.m., so getting a good night's sleep may be a challenge. For example, at 8 a.m. the "attack" of the morning staff begins. The housekeeping army is on full offensive (and fully offensive. The whining and banging of vacuums, slamming of doors, and the yelling of instructions to one another are enough to drive you crazy.

In Europe, I have been awakened many times by hotel staff checking for a depleted mini-bar. Can you imagine waking up to some strange man at the foot of your bed counting drinks? The "Do Not Disturb" sign may be on the door, but that minibar counter seems to have a waiver.

I value sleep immensely, so through the years I have gathered some tricks to the art of sleeping away from home. The following is a list of tips for a happier hotel rest:

1. Room choice. Don't get a room by the elevator or ice machine. You will feel the vibration all night long. It may not be apparent at first, but, believe me, when the lights are out; it will be. One more thing: if the hotel has a disco, make sure you get a room at least two floors away. I can't tell you how many nights in South America I tried to sleep to the beat.

2. Do Not Disturb sign. If your room does not have one, call the concierge or make one out of the hotel stationary paper. Without it, housekeeping will drive you bananas in the morning. I've lost count of the number of times a maid has caught me as I stumbled to the bathroom, naked.

3. Earplugs. Yes, my top in-flight tip is also one of my top hotel tips. It's very important that you get used wearing them. Put them by the bedside table. Bring a back-up pair, just in case.

4. Party time. If there is a party going on next door, do not, and I repeat, do not call security on the assumption they will solve the matter. Instead, I recommend packing your bags, returning to the front desk, and requesting another room. It's very easy for the front desk to say that they have no more rooms on the phone, but much more difficult to say it in person. If you feel inconvenienced by the revelers, you could always remember their room number and then give them a call early the next morning.They are bound to be in mid-sleep with a hangover waiting. The same goes for the loud couple next door going for the sexual marathon record. It's fun to listen to for the first ten minutes but will make you cringe when it goes on for hours.

5. Television timer. If there is a timer function on the remote control, set it no matter how awake you feel. Waking up to a horror or war movie on high volume is a scary experience.

6. Operator. Call the operator and ask for a "do not disturb" on your phone line. Wrong-number calls will abound and are apt to ruin your slumber. You can request a "do not disturb" until a certain time or until you call and cancel. Alternately, you can merely unplug your phone.

7. Trailblazing. Clear a path from the bed to the toilet. This is so you don't have to turn a light on or stub a toe on the way to your nightly visit.

8. Liquids. Keep a glass, or better yet a bottle, of water within hand reach. Looking for some in the middle of the night might ruin any chance of getting back to sleep.