The Pros & Cons of Staying On A Hotel’s First Floor

by SharonKurheg

When you stay at a motel, you usually don’t have a whole lot of choices of floors. Usually just 1 or 2 or occasionally 3. When you stay at a hotel though (did you know there were this many differences between hotels and motels?), there are a whole slew of floors you might be on.

Some people don’t care what floor they’re on; they’re more interested in being closer to or further away from the elevator, getting their request of 2 queens or 1 king-sized bed, or making sure their room is clean. However for those who have their preferences of what floor they want to be on (or what floors they DON’T want to be on – here’s why so people don’t want to be on certain floors), they’re usually pretty strong preferences.

The first floor of a hotel (or motel) usually has two camps – people who REALLY want to stay on the first floor, and those who REALLY DON’T want to stay there. And it all boils down to the pros and cons of staying on the first floor:


Easier access

When you stay on the first floor, you have easy access to your room. You enter the building, walk a few steps and you’re at the door to your room.

Hot water

Hotels never run out of hot water (here’s why). But the further you are from the main hot water source, the longer it will take for hot water to make it to you. Rooms are the first floor are always close to a source of hot water, so it will take less time for their hot water to start running hot.


If there’s an emergency in the hotel, it’s a lot faster and easier to exit the building from the first floor.

People, particularly women, staying alone in a hotel have faster access to the front desk and, depending on the hotel, security guards if they’re on the first floor.

When Covid was a bigger issue, some people were concerned about going on the elevator because it was a small space with poor ventilation and proved difficult for social distancing. Being on the first floor meant avoiding the elevators entirely.

Some people simply aren’t fond of elevators. They could be claustrophobic or are concerned about the elevator breaking down.

Earlier check in

This one is a “maybe” but if enough people don’t want a first-floor room, you may be able to check in early if you’re willing to take a room on the first floor.


This would occur more with high rise hotels, but “a room with a view” is going to cost more than a room without one.



Regardless of what floor you’re on, you might have to deal with a lot of noise if your room is near the elevator or the ice machine. On the first floor you may also have to deal with noise from the front desk, lobby, or continental breakfast (by the way, here’s why they call it “continental breakfast”). If your room is near one of the side exits of the hotel, you may hear the noise in relation to that, too – the door banging as people enter and exit the building

Groups of guests that the hotel fears might be loud, like sports teams or youth groups, might purposely be put on the first floor so their trampling around doesn’t bother guests below them. However they could wind up being your next-door neighbors, too – complete with hanging out together late at night and no using their “inside voices.”

City noises aren’t as loud when you’re a few dozen floors above it.

Even if you’re directly above the hotel’s ballroom, chances are you won’t hear the weddings and bar mitzvahs from the, I dunno, 48th floor. But if you’re a few rooms down the hall from it? Depending on how the ballrooms, convention halls and rooms are laid out, yeah, you might.

The view

Obviously, the view from the first floor is not going to be great. The parking lot, the Waffle House across the street, bushes, air conditioning units…all that and more might be your view from the first floor.


Guests on the first floor are the ones most at risk for break-ins since they’re the most accessible rooms to people from the outside (would-be thieves also don’t want to deal with the potential delay of elevators).


First floor rooms are at street level. Depending on what your room faces, people may easily be able to see into your room. Keep those curtains closed!


If there are bugs in the area, of course they could potentially be found anywhere in the hotel. But they’re generally going to get in from the first floor level. So there’s more chance of seeing them there, especially early in an infestation.



If your hotel allows pets, management generally tends to make the “pet friendly” rooms on the first floor, since it’s easier to get them outside for walks.

If you’re allergic to animals, the potential of being in or near one of these pet friendly rooms might set your allergies off.

But if you’re a fan of dogs, having a first floor room gives you more opportunities to say hello to the good boys/girls in the hallway. 😉

What do you think?

Which do you prefer? First floor? Upper floor? How come? (or why not the other?)

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Tim November 5, 2022 - 5:03 am

Fourth Floor. High enough away from lazy thieves or worse yet low enough to get out quickly by way of stairs in case of emergency…

Elena January 29, 2024 - 11:21 pm

I prefer the first floor. It is more convenient. It is less isolated. If there was some kind of disaster or power outage, it would be easier to exit.


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