Are you contemplating a hotel reservation but curious about the availability of a microwave?
Maybe you’re picturing enjoying some restaurant leftovers in your room or simply need to heat up a quick meal like soup while on the move. In any case, it’s handy to know what to anticipate in terms of in-room microwaves at hotels.
Here, I’ll provide you with insights based on my own experiences and research to give you a clear understanding of what you can expect. I’ll also give you some tips on how to get one in your room if you don’t have one.
Do hotels have microwaves?
The availability of microwaves in hotels can differ significantly depending on the hotel’s category, location, and the room type booked.
In a nutshell, you’ll typically encounter microwaves in extended stay hotels and certain mid-range options. However, they may be less common in budget hotels and upscale luxury establishments.
If your room doesn’t come equipped with a microwave, you can often make a request for one or check if there’s a communal microwave in areas like the breakfast nook.
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Different types of hotels and what to expect when it comes to microwaves
When you opt for a budget hotel, like the more affordable motels, it’s wise to set your expectations at the minimalist end of the amenities spectrum.
In these cases, scoring a microwave in your room may be unlikely, although a mini fridge might still be provided.
However, you might discover a shared microwave in common areas, like near the front desk or the breakfast area. Additionally, some budget properties offer rooms with microwaves for a slight bump in the room rate, so that’s another avenue worth exploring if microwave access is essential for your stay.
If the hotel features a pantry area where they offer frozen meals, soups, and similar items for purchase, it’s an excellent spot to explore if you’re in need of microwave facilities, although many budget hotels won’t have these.
Mid-range hotels, such as the Marriott Courtyard, Holiday Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn, and Hyatt Place, can be a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to in-room microwaves.
Some brands make it a part of their brand to have a microwave but this guarantee may only apply in certain regions. For example, in my experience it’s very common to have a microwave when staying at the Hilton Garden Inn or Embassy Suites in the US.
Whether your mid-range hotel room comes with one or not often hinges on the specific property and sometimes even the room category you’ve booked.
Sometimes a microwave will be found in most standard rooms but other times you have to book a suite in order to have access to a microwave.
Other times the microwave will be in both basic rooms and in the top suites. We recently had a stay at the Doubletree in Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii and it was basically a junior suite that came with a microwave as well as other kitchen features but the cheaper rooms also had microwaves.
I’ve also stayed at a Sheraton where the rooms did not have microwaves but you could make a special request at booking and if they had it available they would send a microwave to your room. This tends to really work out if you express that you are a long-term guest as they want to make your stay as comfortable as possible.
In some mid-range hotels, you might be lucky enough to have access to a lounge, where you can often find microwaves at your disposal. So, if you’re keen on microwaving some snacks or meals during your stay, exploring the lounge can be a valuable option in these hotels.
And as mentioned above, you can also check out the pantry areas.
Extended stay hotels
If having a microwave is a top priority for you, seriously consider checking into an extended-stay hotel. These accommodations are tailor-made for guests who might be in town for weeks or even months and crave kitchen facilities.
While they can range from fully equipped kitchens to smaller kitchenettes, the chances of having a microwave on hand are quite high, even if you’re not booking a full suite.
Some examples of extended stay hotel brands include:
- MainStay Suites (Choice Hotels)
- WoodSpring Suites (Choice Hotels)
- Extended Stay America
- Hilton Home2 Suites
- Hilton Homewood Suites
- Hyatt House
- IHG Candlewood Suites
- IHG Staybridge Suites
- Marriott Residence Inn
- Marriott TownePlace Suites
- Marriott Element
- Motel 6 Studio Six
- Wyndham Hawthorn Suites
Lodges can take on various shapes and sizes. From my own encounters, they tend to lean toward the simpler side of amenities. This often translates to having a coffee maker and perhaps a mini-fridge at best, but don’t bank on finding a microwave in your room.
Still, it’s always wise to touch base with the property directly, as lodge offerings can fluctuate significantly from one place to another.
Higher-end luxury properties
In the realm of higher-end luxury properties like Conrad, Waldorf Astoria, and Park Hyatt, it’s typical not to find a microwave in the standard guest rooms.
However, some of their suites may offer this amenity. Additionally, guests at these luxury establishments can often make special requests for a microwave if needed, or they might explore the options available in the hotel’s lounge or communal areas.
These high-end hotels prioritize personalized service, so they’re generally willing to accommodate specific guest preferences whenever possible.
Why don’t hotels have microwaves?
Hotels often opt out of providing microwaves for a variety of reasons.
First and foremost, microwaves can be messy appliances, necessitating thorough cleaning after each use. If you have ever had a microwave disaster you know exactly what I’m talking about!
Additionally, they add to the electronic devices in a room, increasing the likelihood of malfunctions and requiring more maintenance for the hotel staff.
Moreover, guests occasionally bring aromatic foods back to their rooms, and these scents can permeate the surroundings, even seeping into the hallways. Hotels aim to maintain a neutral and pleasant environment for all guests, which strong food odors might disrupt.
This is especially true at luxury properties that have signature scents pumping through the hallway. Imagine mashing up that scent with a strong curry — it just would not work.
Furthermore, there’s a potential fire hazard associated with microwaves and other heat-producing devices, which is why some hotels have strict policies against items like hot plates. In essence, hotels balance guest convenience with the need to uphold a safe, clean, and pleasant atmosphere for everyone.
Another important aspect to consider is the hotel’s desire to encourage guests to dine at their on-site restaurants. This is particularly relevant in mid-range or upscale hotels that boast one or more dining establishments within the premises or offer room service.
By not providing microwaves in the rooms, hotels may aim to entice guests to explore their culinary offerings, enjoy a meal at the restaurant, or take advantage of the convenience of room service. It’s a strategic move to enhance the overall dining experience and potentially boost revenue for the hotel.
In summary, it’s important to note that having a microwave in your hotel room isn’t a sure thing. This holds true for both budget-friendly and upscale accommodations. The situation tends to vary considerably in mid-range hotels, with some brands consistently providing microwaves and others not including them.
If you find yourself without a microwave in your hotel room, don’t lose all hope, as there are still viable alternatives. You can always request one to be brought to your room, explore the lounge or common areas, or check out the breakfast or pantry area for microwave access.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned travel expert covering destinations along with TSA, airline, and hotel policies. Since 2014, his content has been featured in publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, and CNBC.