Why I’m Not a Fan of Hard Floors in Hotels

Sep 7, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Look, I get it. Hard flooring is a sign of prestige, a sign that you’re somewhere upscale. Or, at the very least, a notch above average. This is why realtors encourage sellers to emphasize “hardwoods throughout!” whenever possible. For those concerned with leftover germs in hotel rooms, I can’t ignore the fact that hard flooring is easier to clean than carpet, and it generally doesn’t show its age quite as much.

All that being said, I’m still pro-carpet.

Among many other quirks being introduced in what TPG himself has lovingly termed “millennial hotels” – things like an abject lack of hair conditioner and the mysterious disappearance of working desks – we’re finding that more and more new hotels are ditching carpet. While this may be seen as a pro to many, it’s worrisome for folks like me: minimalist packers who appreciate an environment that caters to in-room workouts.

san francisco proper hotel
My feet are aching just thinking about doing a set of high knees on this… (Photo courtesy of San Francisco Proper Hotel)

I recently stayed in the San Francisco Proper Hotel, one of the more eccentric Starwood properties to open this year, and while there was (barely) enough room for me to sweat my way through Beachbody’s Insanity Pure Cardio, the cold, unforgiving flooring was a real bruiser. I tried the obvious – laying down a couple of towels in a bid to create some form of padding to leap around on – but those slip and slide too much to be marked as a solution.

A few weeks later, I stayed at The James New York – NoMad. Not only did my room have clean, soft carpet, but the hotel encouraged me to put it to good use. One of the perks of staying at The James Hotels is its exclusive Four Bodies Wellness program, where guests are “invited to visit their in-room TVs to take part in an Aerospace work-out, experience Kundalini Yoga to cure jet lag and clear stress, access a complimentary one-month membership to the INSCAPE app and learn more about booking a one-to-one session with various intuitive counselors.” Now that’s more like it.

Kimpton Marlowe Hotel
In-room yoga mat, found at all Kimpton hotels (Photo courtesy of Kimpton Marlowe Hotel)

You could argue that I should bring cushioned shoes and force myself to love flooring that’s unyielding and bleak, and you wouldn’t be totally wrong. But, I’m a big believer in packing as lightly as possible, and an additional pair of shoes can be the difference between a week’s worth of clothing fitting in the overhead and me having a check a bag which may or may not ever make it to my destination. Here’s the other big problem with using gym shoes in your hotel room: the noise. If I’m crawling out of bed at ‘o dark thirty to start a HIIT session on the fourth floor, I’m guessing the souls a floor beneath aren’t really interested in hearing 45 minutes of thuds. Carpet solves that by absorbing the sound.

To those who’d encourage me to just visit the gym? I’d say that a gym visit goes against my minimalist approach. Packing gym outfits for a weeklong trip is like packing an entire extra wardrobe. While a few hotel brands (Westin comes to mind) will let you rent gym attire, most leave you to fend for yourself. And, hotel gyms can be crowded when you’re most apt to use them, not to mention the nightmare that is exercising beside someone else if you’re even the least bit introverted.

hilton fitness room
Yoga mats, included in Hilton’s Fitness Room (Photo courtesy of Hilton)

Thankfully, I do see a solution, even if carpet truly is on the way out in higher-end hotels. Hilton, for example, has installed fitness-focused rooms in select hotels, and while there’s a dearth of carpet in those, they do hand out sticky yoga mats that provide cushion for impact and sound dampening for those below you. Kimpton got a jump on this, with an in-room yoga mat now being a brand hallmark. Having freshly cleaned mats available at no charge, similar to how umbrellas can be borrowed today from upscale hotels, would keep both parties happy. Those stricken with mysophobia (or simply allergic to particles that tend to get lodged in carpet) would appreciate the default of having hard floors, while folks like myself who prefer in-room exercise wouldn’t lose out.

Featured image courtesy of The James Hotel – NoMad.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.