The logical arrangement of a place is a helpful guide for most visitors. Some hotels in the world, such as the Danish FOX Hotel in Copenhagen or Berlin’s boutique-hotel City Lodge, have made an attempt at unique numbering and designs for their rooms. Most standard hotels follow the principle that “the simplest solution is usually the best one” when thinking about how to arrange room numbers.

Review the hotel floor plan to determine the total number of hotel rooms and how the hotel is divided into wings, corners or suites. For a straight-corridor hotel, this is simple. More-complex designs have added challenges. Note where entry points to each floor are located, either by stairs, elevators or doors.

Determine which floor entry point is the most centrally located and used most. Typically, the busiest entrance will be near a main staircase or the elevator openings. Use this as your starting point for numbering rooms on the floor.

Choose one of two main systems for ordering room numbers on a floor. The first choice is the “direct succession” system. Start from the central point, and number each room in immediate succession around the outer edge of the floor. For example, guest A steps off the elevator and turns left into the room corridor. All the room doors along her left read in order: 100, 101, 102, 103, 104 and so forth. She can make a complete loop around the corridor in either direction, and the rooms to one side will be in direct numeric order, either increasing or decreasing.

Alternatively, choose the “zig-zag” system, in which rooms alternate numbers across a hallway so all the odd-numbered rooms are on one side and all the even rooms are across from them. Guest A leaving the elevator and walking to the left would find the rooms on her left side read 101, 103, 105, 107, 109 and so forth, and the rooms on her right side would read 102, 104, 106, 108 and up.

Repeat the same numbering pattern on each floor of the hotel. If you decide to use the direct system, use it on every floor in the same manner. For hotels with symmetrically designed wings, you can add compass directions and a letter to the room numbers--W150, E150, C150 for West Wing room 150, East Wing room 150 and Center Wing room 150, respectively--if this fits your hotel design.

Post the room number clearly on each room door.


Every room on the same floor should have the same starting number corresponding to the floor of the hotel. For example, all sixth-floor rooms, in whatever numeric pattern, begin with a 6, whether they are three- or four-digit numbers (602, 6350).

Post signs at key junctions on every floor directing guests to room numbers down each section of the hallway.


Do not arbitrarily number rooms on a floor just to be “interesting.” You’ll get more guest complaints