When we check into a hotel we frequently simply accept the room they assign us. We may choose a king bed or two queens and non-smoking but after that, we’re happy. But the room you choose could have a direct impact on your safety. And most hotels will allow you to specify as far as their vacancies permit. If you book a room on line you can still call the hotel and give them your preferences. It’s all the same to them. So what should you ask for?
You don’t want a room on the ground floor. That gives potential thieves much easier access, not to mention that ground floor rooms are frequently nosier. So you should ask for a room on the second floor or above. However, for safety sake, you don’t want a room above the 7th floor either. There aren’t a lot of fire departments that have ladders that will reach above the 7th floor. So choose a room between the 2nd and 7th floors.
Your room shouldn’t be across from or next to something that provides an excuse to loiter. Ice machines, vending machines, stairwells, and laundry rooms all provide an excuse for a bad guy to loiter just outside your room. If your room was directly across from one of these, a criminal could easily loiter until you arrive, then push you into your own room as the door opens and he now has you isolated.
Does that kind of thing happen often? No. But it does happen. How much does it cost to avoid those problems? A phone call and a moment or two. You decide if it’s worth it.
On a final note, once you’ve settled into your room, go back into the hallway and explore your route to the exits. Count the doors to the stairs or fire escape. If there is a fire, expect the hallway to be smoky. Knowing whether to leave your room crawling to the left or right and how far you have to crawl would be enormously helpful in a fire.