Feng Shui on the Road

Why is it people say, "Oh, I was on the road, you know hotel rooms. So I didn't sleep very well." It may be that the bed isn't like the one you have at home, but chances are there are a whole host of factors that play into whether you feel comfortable in your "home away from home" or not.

For those who travel for business or pleasure here are a few Feng Shui tips to help you feel more relaxed and refreshed while you are on the road.

Let's talk first about hotels. Many hotels have long, narrow corridors that seem to go on in a maze-like fashion. Long hallways are a big problem. With long hallways, each guest has to trek a long way to get to their room or to an elevator or stairs, thus creating a sense of being channeled as you walk. It can also create a sense of being disconnected from the common areas of the hotel.

Long hallways indicate poor circulation and poor layout. Poor air circulation can make rooms have a stalt smell, which can make you feel uncomfortable.

But not all hotels are this way. Hotel layout can be designed in such a way that each room is placed in a location that feels both easy to get to and comfortable. Rooms can be located next to each other without having to feel uncomfortable to the guest.

Look for hotels which have options: several stairwells or elevators placed in strategic locations, a sense of openness, and more than one way to get to your room or the hotel restaurant. Some of the older 19th century hotels are particularly good in this regard. They feature grand staircases, spacious lobbies, libraries, window seats, ballrooms, porticoes, and high ceilings. Some of the newer hotels are also very good. Look for hotels with a central courtyard; the natural setting and openness to the sky will give a sense of stillness to the hotel which in turn will give you a more relaxing stay.

One of my clients who travels on business regularly told me of a wonderful hotel she stayed at in Tucson, AZ. The hotel, which had at least ten stories, was open in the interior. The rooms were situated around a central open space that was designed to look, sound, and feel like a desert canyon. On the ground floor was a man-made stream that rushed and gurgled so as soon as you entered the hotel or exited your room that was what you heard and saw. She said it was very effective.

Also, look for hotels that have windows which you can open. Stagnant air is not healthy for the body and does not allow the building to circulate properly. Many high-rises, for safety reasons, are built with non-opening windows; allowing fresh air to pass through a building is as essential as new ideas to your mind.

Inns and Bed & Breakfasts have a different approach. Their mission usually to help you feel like you have gone to a place that is even more leisurely than what you have at home. The cozy individual feeling of each room extends to how you feel when you stay in them. Most often the bedding, soft lighting, harmonious color schemes, fresh air and outdoor landscaping all contribute to your sense of peace and well-being and a good night's sleep.

If you do stay in a hotel, call ahead and ask questions. Many resorts try to keep groups of guests separated so the noise factor is taken into account. Ask a few questions and find out whether there are major events planned, such as large weddings, conferences, or if your stay coincides with spring break or graduation for area colleges. If so, ask to be put in a room far from these events or perhaps stay elsewhere.

Hotels that have good Feng Shui have considered where to put the conference and event room so as to allow the guests a restful night's sleep.

Sally Fretwell

Sally Fretwell is a Feng Shui consultant residing in Charlottesville, VA. She works extensively throughout the USA, teaching classes, writing and consulting with individuals and businesses. She has a Psychology degree and an extensive background in Chinese philosophy, the I-Ching and the Five-Element Theory. She authors the book, "Feng Shui: Back to Balance." Website: Feng Shui