Feb. 7, 2014 -- A hotel room that smells of smoke is usually a reason to call the front desk and demand a new room.
But for smokers, landing a smoking room in an increasingly no-smoking-allowed world is a victory. While most hotels and hotel booking websites list "non-smoking room" under amenities, one site is taking the opposite approach, as evidenced by its tag line "Where All Our Rooms Are Smoking."
Smoketels.com launched earlier this week and claims to be the "first smoking hotel rooms only" website. It has more than 250,000 hotel rooms worldwide. "Stop spending countless hours searching numerous travel sites for hotels that offer smoking rooms," the site reads. "Do it here in under 1 minute!"
The site was designed, the site said in a press release, to save travelers hours of surfing the Internet in their search for a smoker-friendly hotel. "With this underserved demographic in mind, Smoketels.com provides immediate access to hundreds of rooms in many cities. It is becoming increasingly harder to find hotels that offer smoking rooms, and the majority of other online travel reservation sites make it difficult for users to even identify if a hotel offers smoking rooms."
So we gave it a try in some of the nation's most popular vacation destinations. A search for smoking rooms in New York City on Feb. 7 turned up three options: Comfort Inn Chelsea, Holiday Inn Manhattan 6th Avenue and Clarion Hotel Park Avenue. Comfort Inn and Clarion each offered one room available to book while the Holiday Inn offered six different room types.
But the site turned up zero hotels in Boston, a popular travel destination. It did turn up six hotels in Los Angeles with smoking rooms. It turned up just one property in Orlando, but 21 in Las Vegas.
None of the properties in any of the five test cities had a star rating of more than three, and the majority were two-star hotels. It is unclear, however, how the properties are rated. The site states that hotel reviews are "coming soon."
Like most hotel booking web sites, Smoketels allows the user to book several rooms at the same time. Its cancellation policy varies by hotel and is put forth by individual properties.