When traveling and staying in hotels, one amenity that can make life easier is access to a microwave. Heating up leftovers, making simple meals, or preparing snacks in a microwave can provide convenience and save money compared to eating out for every meal. But can you expect to find a microwave when booking hotel accommodations?
The availability of microwaves in hotels can vary based on the size, rating, location, and amenities of the property. While some hotels provide microwaves as standard features in rooms, others offer shared microwaves in common areas. To ensure your needs are met, it’s important to check ahead of time and ask questions when booking your hotel.
Types of Hotels More Likely to Have In-Room Microwaves
Certain hotel types are more likely to provide in-room microwaves as part of their regular amenities.
Extended Stay Hotels
Extended stay hotels cater to travelers staying for a week or longer. They often include kitchenettes or full kitchens as standard, featuring microwaves, mini-fridges, and sometimes stoves and ovens. Some examples are:
- Staybridge Suites
- Candlewood Suites
- Homewood Suites
- TownePlace Suites
- MainStay Suites
- Extended Stay America
Having cooking facilities allows guests staying for an extended period to prepare their own meals and save on costs. Microwaves enable easy reheating and cooking in the room for convenience.
Suite hotels provide more space and separate areas for sleeping, living, eating, and sometimes cooking. Many suite hotels include kitchenettes as standard amenities. They generally have microwaves, fridges, a sink, counter space, and cabinets at a minimum. Examples include:
- Embassy Suites
- Home2 Suites
- Hyatt House
- Residence Inn
- SpringHill Suites
- TownePlace Suites
- Marriott Executive Apartments
Suites allow travelers room to spread out. Having a microwave enables guests to heat up home-cooked meals, leftovers, or prepared foods.
Hotels with Kitchenettes
Some hotel room types are designed with kitchenettes for extended and comfortable stays. Kitchenettes feature basic cooking equipment like a microwave, mini-fridge, sink, and sometimes a compact stove. Hotels that commonly offer kitchenette rooms include:
- Holiday Inn Express
- Hyatt Place
- Hyatt House
- Hilton Garden Inn
- Homewood Suites
- Hampton Inn
- SpringHill Suites
- Residence Inn
- Candlewood Suites
For guests who plan to prepare a number of meals in the room, having a kitchenette with a microwave can maximize convenience and control over dining options.
Hotels with Shared Microwaves in Common Areas
If in-room microwaves are not available, many hotels provide shared guest microwaves in common areas. Possible locations include:
- Breakfast or lounge areas
- Business centers
- Fitness rooms
- Laundry facilities
- Shared kitchens
- Vending machine areas
Some lower budget hotels like Motel 6, Rodeway Inn, and Super 8 are likely to offer communal microwaves when in-room appliances are not an option.
Shared microwaves allow guests to quickly heat up items even if they can’t cook in their room. This is a nice perk for budget-conscious travelers. However, accessibility may be limited based on location and demand.
Availability Can Vary by Hotel Size, Rating, and Location
Beyond the hotel type, the availability of in-room microwaves can depend on other factors like:
- Size – Smaller hotels and motels with limited rooms may not have capacity for in-room microwaves across properties. Larger hotels can more easily provide appliances in each room or shared kitchens.
- Rating – High-end luxury hotels (4 or 5 star) tend to not include microwaves in standard rooms. However, extended stay hotel brands often will, even if rated luxury class.
- Location – Hotels in major urban cities may be less likely to have in-room cooking appliances due to smaller room sizes. Extended stay hotels in suburbs or along highways are more likely to provide in-room kitchen amenities.
- Target market – Hotels catering to extended stay travelers, families, and budget-conscious guests tend to offer in-room microwaves or shared communal microwaves more frequently.
Considering the target market, location, size, and rating can provide clues as to availability. But it’s always smart to check directly with the hotel if having a microwave is a priority.
Benefits of Microwaves in Hotel Rooms
Having access to a microwave during hotel stays provides some nice benefits:
- Convenience – Quickly reheat leftovers and ready-to-eat items in your room without going out.
- Privacy – Prepare simple meals in the privacy of your room rather than in a public shared space.
- Flexibility – Cook on your own schedule instead of hotel restaurant hours.
- Health – Microwave healthy items like oatmeal, vegetables, baked potatoes, or fish.
- Savings – Significantly reduce food costs by cooking some meals yourself.
- Control – Microwave safe foods if you have dietary restrictions or allergies.
For extended hotel stays, having an in-room microwave can make life much simpler and affordable. But even for short overnights, quick access delivers convenience.
Tips for Using Hotel Room Microwaves
When preparing to use a hotel microwave, keep these tips in mind:
- Review any instructions provided. Hotels may restrict certain items not safe for microwaving.
- Give the interior a quick wipe down before using to clean any spills or splatters.
- Don’t microwave very pungent or odorous foods which could impact other guests.
- Avoid overcrowding the microwave which can lead to uneven cooking.
- Use microwave-safe cookware. Avoid plastics not designed for microwave use.
- Check food temperatures and let sit a minute after cooking to avoid burns.
- Be careful not to overheat liquids which can erupt out of containers.
- When sharing a common microwave, limit use during busy times and wipe up spills.
Following basic safety tips and being considerate of others will ensure a positive experience.
|Pros of In-Room Microwaves||Cons of Shared Microwaves|
|Convenience of cooking in room||Limited accessibility at times|
|Privacy||Cleanliness depends on users|
|Flexible meal times||Noisiness can disturb others|
|Healthier reheated food||Busier communal areas|
|Saves money on dining out||Odors spread to public spaces|
|Better control over ingredients||Tied to common area hours|
Questions to Ask Hotels About Microwave Availability
If having a microwave is a priority during your hotel stay, ask the right questions before you book:
- Do you have microwaves available for guest use?
- Are microwaves provided in every room or just some room types?
- If not in rooms, do you have a communal guest microwave location? Where?
- Is there an extra charge to request a microwave for my room?
- Are there any restrictions on use, such as prohibited foods?
- Is the communal microwave accessible 24/7 or only during certain hours?
- How is use of the communal microwave monitored or enforced?
- How often are communal microwaves cleaned?
By getting answers to these questions upfront, you can ensure the hotel accommodates your needs or select an alternative with confirmed microwave availability.
Calling Ahead About Microwaves
Rather than assuming a hotel has easily accessible microwaves, the best practice is to inquire by phone before you book. Here are some tips for calling:
- Have your dates and desired room type available. Ask if those rooms include microwaves.
- If rooms don’t have microwaves, ask about price and process for requesting one.
- Ask where communal microwaves are located and if they are available 24/7.
- If reserving online, still call after booking to confirm microwave details.
- Get the name of the employee who confirms microwave availability.
- Request they note your room reservation with microwave details discussed.
Taking these steps will eliminate surprises and give you recourse if information provided is inaccurate upon arrival.
Packing Recommendations When Using a Hotel Microwave
To take full advantage of microwaves in your hotel room or communal space, pack foods and supplies suited for microwave cooking:
- Individual frozen meals or entrees requiring only microwave heating.
- Pre-cooked rice, quinoa, oatmeal or other grains for quick sides.
- Frozen vegetables that can be steam-heated.
- Canned tuna, salmon, chicken or other proteins.
- Pre-washed and chopped produce for easy salads.
- Microwave-safe mugs, bowls and plates.
- Microwave steamer bags or vegetable steamers.
- Microwave-safe food covers and splash guards.
- Resealable storage bags for leftovers.
With the right foods and tools, you can easily prepare convenient, healthier meals and snacks using a hotel microwave.
Safe Microwaving Tips
When using any microwave, food safety is important. Follow these tips:
- Allow pre-cooked frozen foods to fully thaw and heat through.
- Heat leftovers to at least 165°F internal temperature.
- Stir foods frequently during heating for even cooking.
- Check different parts of food for safe temperature after cooking.
- Keep the microwave interior and door clean.
- Avoid heating cans or aluminum take-out containers; only use microwave-safe dishware.
Following food safety recommendations when reheating items will help prevent any risk of foodborne illness.
Alternatives If No Microwave is Available
If you find your hotel room or common areas don’t have microwaves, all is not lost. You have some alternative options:
- Request an in-room microwave at check-in for a daily fee. Hotels often try to accommodate requests.
- Ask if any nearby restaurants allow public use of their microwave if you purchase food there.
- Purchase a small plug-in electric travel microwave that can sit on a counter.
- Bring an electric kettle to boil water for oatmeal, instant rice, or heating canned goods.
- Use the in-room coffee maker for heating water and simple cooking.
- Buy ready-to-eat grocery items not requiring reheating like salads, sandwiches, or cold pizza.
With some adaption and creativity, you can still eat affordably without an in-room or communal microwave available.
FAQs About Hotel Microwaves
Are microwaves standard in all hotel rooms?
No, in-room microwaves are standard primarily at extended stay and suite hotels. Budget hotels may instead have communal microwaves available. High-end luxury hotels often do not have microwaves in rooms or common areas.
How can I reserve a hotel room with a microwave?
Book an extended stay hotel or confirm microwave availability when making reservations. Specify the need for an in-room microwave when reserving a standard room, which may incur an additional daily fee.
What can I cook in a hotel room microwave?
You can cook or reheat small frozen meals, canned soups and vegetables, oatmeal, refrigerated entrees, leftovers, baked potatoes, popcorn, and more. Avoid extensive cooking which could produce odors affecting other guests.
Can I microwave food in the lobby?
You may be able to use a lobby microwave briefly if one is provided for guest use. Avoid very smelly foods or taking up the microwave for long periods during busy times out of courtesy to others.
What should I not microwave in a hotel?
Avoid pungent foods, major cooking that produces odors, unsafe cookware like plastic bags or foil, extremely large servings that overcrowd, and prohibited items like popcorn specified by the hotel.
Can I request a communal microwave be cleaned?
Yes, you can politely request that hotel housekeeping sanitize and clean a shared guest microwave if it appears dirty. More frequent cleaning is reasonable to expect with communal appliances.
Having access to a microwave in your hotel can provide significant convenience and cost savings on dining options while traveling. Certain types of hotels like extended stay and suites are more likely to provide in-room microwaves as standard amenities. However, availability ultimately depends on the individual hotel, its location, size, rating, and target market.
To avoid surprises, always check with hotels directly about microwave access when booking accommodations. Ask detailed questions on location, restrictions, and accessibility of in-room or communal microwaves provided. Calling ahead to confirm details is wise. With the right foods and microwave-safe supplies, you can enjoy quick reheating and cooking flexibility even when away from home. Just be sure to use proper food safety practices. With some preparation and initiative, finding a hotel with microwave access can make your travels more enjoyable and budget-friendly.