Most hotels have backup generators in the event of a power outage. Some hotels do not have backup generators and they rely on their usual electricity supply. Please consult our staff before making a final booking decision to avoid any inconvenience during your stay if this is the case.
Backups generally tend to be diesel-powered but can run off gasoline or kerosene depending upon the needs of the hotel’s engines and generators. Generally, new builds use natural gas as it’s cheaper than oil, while older buildings usually stick with diesel as they’ve invested in the infrastructure that runs on it.
Freshwater is stored onsite and during a power outage, you’ll still have running water from your sink, shower, toilet and taps, but do be prepared for power outages as they can last for some time. If you don’t have access to your car, I suggest keeping extra water if something happens while you’re overseas. But this is only feasible if you’re staying at a hostel or apartment.
Summary of Contents
Do hotels have backup generators?
The best idea for you is to find out if the hotel has a generator before you book and make sure it covers everything in your room, like food that needs refrigerating or other important things. If the generator can’t keep the fridge going or it has a refrigerator that runs on gas, then you could be in trouble…so investigate.
This is one of those things I’ve never had to deal with because I have learned from my past mistakes, so if you’re worried about this, then be sure to do some research before you book somewhere.
What kind of generators do hotels use?
A commercial or diesel generator is usually about 50-70Kva and the output of most generators is a Redundant Frequency Generator System (RFG). These RFG’s are tied into the hotel’s electrical system as a backup in case of a power outage. A smaller, cheaper, but possibly noisier alternative may be a petrol-powered inverter generator which doesn’t tie into the main grid but runs off its engine as a car does.
This frequency RFG extends the AC voltage range from 110V to 220v by varying it to suit different countries’ electricity supply systems. This means you can use your electric razor without worrying about blowing a fuse or charge your laptop just the same way you would do at home…as long as the hotel’s generators have enough power to run them.
The backup generator is usually situated outside and away from any guest rooms as it can get pretty noisy, depending on how close you are to it, of course. This means you should not be able to hear any noise while you’re laying in bed enjoying a good nights sleep unless they turn the thing off or something really bad happens…but if they’d turned the main power off because there was an emergency, then guests would be woken up by alarms anyway. The only time I can recall this happening was when we had a major storm with very high winds, so there was literally no electricity in the area for 3 days straight. After that, we had our own personal generator installed, which ran all the time and could keep the lights on while we were there, but we had to pay for it ourselves.
The generator is usually started by a hand crank or some sort of automatic system so expect an exercise if you get called upon during one of these outages as most guests don’t want to be bothered…but you may just be that person who likes to help out.
How likely are you to lose power?
This all depends on where your hotel is and what the rules are for their area. I’ve been in hotels that have gone 3-4 years without a power outage because they’re tied into the grid in some way or another, but sometimes it’s just not enough, especially if there is a storm or power outage in another area that draws power from the main grid.
So what happens if we lose electricity?
There could be several problems and it’s up to you to decide whether you want to risk it or not, however losing electricity can lead to losing heat so your room may become cold and if you have food in the fridge it could go bad. There is also a risk of no water and toilets not flushing, which obviously isn’t great either.
The biggest thing I’ve come across that can happen is certain appliances will short out because they aren’t meant to be plugged into voltages other than what’s provided by your country…it doesn’t happen often. Still, your hotel’s generators are there to provide backup power only…not everything.
Do most hotels have backup generators? The answer, of course, depends on where you are and what type of hotel you’re staying at, but if there’s a serious backup, don’t expect the staff to be able to help you with anything other than getting some candles or flashlights.
Some hotels have their generators, but this means they have to pay for them, which can get expensive, so it’s really up to the hotel owner whether or not he wants to go through with that unless, of course, it’s required by law or he has a personal vendetta against the area surrounding him.