I was out of town recently and stayed in an old army barracks that had been converted into a hotel. The old building was gorgeous and my room had lovely, big windows. However, when I went to open one for some fresh air (which is nice for many reasons, including lowering COVID risk), none of them budged. I tried all six windows and even called the front desk to make sure I wasn't doing something wrong—nope, they weren't supposed to (and didn't) open.
In the future, when planning hotel stays, I'm going to try to find places that have functioning windows. To make this task easier, I found a website to help—"Open My Hotel Window." There, you can search for specific hotels to see if they have rooms with balconies or functional windows, or you can browse hotels by city. So far, the service is limited to the United States.
On their website, they explain why they've created this directory:
Waves of new hotels are installing non operable windows and older hotels are sealing their once operable windows shut for the sake of energy conservation.
While we do care about the environment, we believe it's essential for travelers to be able to crack open a window and get some natural fresh air in their hotel room.
Simply opening a window for a few minutes can get rid of stale air, airborne Coronavirus, bad odors and indoor air pollution (chemicals, dust, common cleaning products) which create symptoms such as headaches, dryness of throat/mouth, sneezing and allergies. In addition, many times a hotel's A/C system is just not working properly and opening a window can help regulate the indoor temperature.
We therefore created OPEN MY HOTEL WINDOW, a directory that includes only hotels with operable windows and/or balconies that can be used by travelers that are fed up with this problem.
Please note while using this directory that hotels that do not have any rooms with opening windows/balconies will not be included. If however, you would like to see the list of hotels we checked in each city that do not provide fresh air, click on the cities tab and then select the city you are inquiring about. We avoid including Motels, B&B, Hostels and Apartments/ Condominiums without a full-time working staff and establishments that we feel do not meet certain standards.