It’s likely that this is better suited for IMHO, since I’m guessing the answer is “it depends”, YMMV, etc., but I thought I’d take a shot.
The purpose of a non-smoking hotel room - is that more to curb the danger of a fire, or more because of “the smell”?
And don’t get me wrong - I’m the last guy in the world to “look down” on anyone who smokes (I don’t personally… but my parents do, most of my best friends do, and some of my favorite ex-girlfriends do), so I’m not here to “judge”, and by saying “the smell”, I’m not trying to express any sort of negative connotation.
My general question (and if you work in the hotel/hospitality industry, then your input would be invaluable) - if you spend a night in an “all-non-smoking hotel” - do you run the risk of being “busted” if you light a few candles in the room, as a setting for a romantic evening?
I have a masseur friend who, when he is travelling, always lights scented candles in his hotel room when he has an outcall client. He says that he leaves them in plain view during the day when housekeeping is doing its rounds, and no one has ever given him a hard time about it.
I work in the hotel industry and have worked on the front desk in Oslo, Norway.
Most hotel management types are laid-back on behalf of the (legal, or at least grey-area) things the guests do in their hotel room. Fire is the major exception. I’ve worked for four different hotels and talked with colleagues from three gross more, and I’ve never met a single hotel that didn’t explicitly ban any and all form of open flames in the hotel.
Hotel fire statistics is the kind of thing that gives upper management nightmares. So if the maid reported finding candle stubs in your trash, or finding live candles in your room with or without your presence, you would probably be advised to find lodging elsewhere. (Though if they were found without your presence, you would probably be blacklisted from that hotel and any other in the franchise in the same city. Word has a way of travelling about these things. The different franchises may be competitors, but the people who work there are from the same pool and there’s a lot of lateral movement between franchises, so everyone knows everyone else.)
Rooms are “no smoking” because smoking stinks up the place.
Open fire in a hotel room is a recipe for disaster.
I’d advise you to go buy some fake candles, the ones that actually have small, flickering LEDs inside them. They’re not that expensive, they’re re-usable, and you won’t burn down a hotel full of people if you get careless with them.
The purpose of the non-smoking rooms is because of the lingering smell & residue from smoke/tobacco that many nonsmokers find annoying. I seem to recall reaidng somewhere, maybe here, that hotels sometimes have to take extraordinary measures to de-smoke a room that’s designated non-smoking if someone has been smoking in it. If it were primarily about safety, they wouldn’t allow smoking in any rooms.
This is what I was thinking. I’ve stayed in smoking-allowed hotel rooms before, and they stink. Often, I’ve seen the notice about it being a non-smoking room mention that there will be a “cleaning fee” if the room has found to have been smoked in. These lead me to presume that it is the “smoking room smell” that they are trying to avoid most of all.
So if your candles don’t cause that smell to linger in the room, probably no one will complain.
The argument that candles are a no-no under the reasoning that open flames are an unacceptable fire hazard seems reasonable. At least if smoking is banned in the entire facility. If the hotel has rooms that smoking is allowed in but bans candles, I would have to question their logic a bit.
Another reason for a smoking ban might be state laws that ban smoking in workplaces. I was surprised that I had a smoking/nonsmoking option when booking a stay in Atlanta a couple weeks ago. I was also surprised when I first smelled, then saw the smoking lounge at the airport.
Personally, if there’s not an explicit ban, I’d just use the candles and put them away when you’re done. Watch for spilled wax. I don’t think a candle has a greater chance of starting a fire in a hotel than any average bedroom.
When I drive my car past the hotel, I’m endangering lives, too. Fact is, I have a perfect record with candles starting accidental fires: 0%. Obviously, the usual rules apply: use common sense when placing the candles around the room and never leave them unattended. If you’re the type who has a candle related housefire incident a couple times a year, perhaps you should leave them at home. Similarly, if you cause a couple vehicle accidents a year, perhaps you should consider hanging up the keys for good. Candles and cars can be safely used.
While I acknowledge that some may be more sensitive to odors than others, I can’t see a candle lit for a couple hours on Tuesday night being detectable at check-in time on Wednesday. I suppose someone will always object to my cologne, scented underarm antiperspirant, fragranced haircare products, pizza and wings, beer, fabric softener and other incidental smells I may introduce to a hotel room on a typical stay but my position is that these, candles too, are reasonable.
Yeah, I’m skeptical that scented candles, once extinguished and removed, cause any more of a lingering, lasting odor than food or perfume or other things that people legitimately have in hotel rooms.
I’m also skeptical of how much danger a few candles, say of the glass jar variety, actually pose. But now I’m curious to know if any hotels have explicit policies about them; and I’m also curious to know if anyone has any statistics on the actual causes of hotel fires.
If you ask the front desk, I’m 90% sure they’ll say “no.” If you just go ahead and light a few candles, i’m 99.9% sure you’ll get away with it, especially if you pinch the wicks to extinguish them (to avoid smoke from a smoldering wick). The cleaning staff isn’t there to police you, and probably won’t give two shits if they see candles out as long as you don’t leave puke or feces strewn about the place.
The issue with smoking is the smell. Cigarette smoke is acrid and lingering, while the tiny amount of smoke candles produce is rather inoffensive and quickly dissipates.