Sleeping at Queen’s University

I’m co-hosting the Wellness Wednesday link up on September 11 with my blogger friend, Leslie. The optional prompt is Sleep Hygiene. So I thought I’d share my recent experience sleeping at Queen’s University Residence and the ten steps that I follow to sleep well. [This is not a sponsored post and there is no affiliate link].

Why University Residence?

It’s an affordable accommodation for travellers. The room charges contribute to the university’s revenue which hopefully will be used to improve student’s life on campus. The residence buildings are put to good use when students are on extended breaks such as the summer months. The seasonal jobs, although not all filled by students, are usually needed by students to gain work experience and income.

Queen’s University is located in Kingston, about 2.5 hours by train, east of Toronto. The university has several residence buildings that are available for public bookings from May to end of August. We booked a premium unit at David C. Smith House. Let me give you a quick tour with a few photos.

The David C. Smith Building

David C. Smith House is one of the 17 residence buildings at Queen’s. It opened in September 2015, and is named in honour of former Principal Dr. David C. Smith, who served as Queen’s Principal from 1984 to 1994.

David C. Smith House at Queen's Univeristy

The Reception Area

The reception area is on the main floor. Check-in and check-out activities are managed like in a hotel. The lounge is spacious with floor to ceiling windows, comfortable seating, and televisions for viewing. Complimentary hot tea or coffee available from 6 am to 11 am. Still and sparkling water fountains, vending machines, a small snack bar, two computers, and printers are available 24/7.

The Lounge

The Laundromat

The laundry room offers washers, dryers, ironing board, and iron. It even has a mounted television. Beyond the lounge area, for security purposes, guests must use their assigned cards to access the laundry room and elevator service to rooms on upper floors.

Laundry room

The Kitchen

Each floor has a full kitchen, equipped with a fridge, microwave, stove, oven, toaster, kettle, sinks, drawers, a couch, tables and chairs. It also has natural lighting and nice views of the lake and the campus.

The Guest Rooms

The Premium unit has two guest rooms that share a bathroom in the middle. Each guest room has a double bed, desk, filing cabinet, chair, wardrobe, mirror, dresser, mini-fridge, TV, window, black-out curtains, adjustable thermostat, and complimentary Wi-Fi.

The shared bathroom has a small shower stall, toilet, and sink. Linen, towels, toilet paper, and soap are provided. Housekeeping services are scheduled every other day between 9 am and 1 pm.

Bedroom with desk, chair, filing cabinet, mini-fridge, and wardrobe with mirror
Bedroom 1 in Premium unit
Bedroom 2 in Premium unit

We had an affordable and comfortable stay. The campus is right by the waterfront which has a nice park and a clean trail for cycling, walking, and running.

During my travels, I’ve stayed in various Canadian university residences and a few abroad. I’ve had very good experiences with all of them.

The Ten Steps To Sleep Well

I sleep well when I adhere to the following ten steps:

  1. Do adequate physical movements during the day.
  2. Have dinner without overeating.
  3. Stay away from food or drink that may upset my stomach.
  4. Try to have consistent sleeping and waking times.
  5. Park unresolved issue by writing them down for ‘next day’.
  6. Break from ‘screen time’ at least half an hour before bed.
  7. Do mental acknowledgment of what I’m grateful for.
  8. Relax my mind and body with deep abdominal breathing.
  9. Have clean and comfortable bed, pillow, and bedding.
  10. Keep the bedroom cool, dark, and quiet. Non-smoking room is a must when I travel.

I’d love to hear your comments. Would you consider staying in university rooms? What are your tips for sleeping well?

Click here to join in on the Wellness Wednesday fun. Our next link-up is on October 9 with the optional prompt Gratitude.

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42 thoughts on “Sleeping at Queen’s University

  1. Suzanne@PictureRetirement September 8, 2019 / 8:48 am

    Natalie, I like the concept of sleeping at a university room when traveling. It seems much nicer than most Hostels. I am curious about what it cost. I don’t think American universities participate that way, but it would make a lot of sense to utilize the space in summer.


    • Natalie September 8, 2019 / 9:04 am

      Hi Suzanne – I save 30% or more on accommodation cost when I stay at university rooms vs. at a 3-star hotel. For example, the nightly rate for a premium unit at Queen’s was CAD $105 (about US$78). An equivalent hotel or inn in the same area charged CAD$135 (about US$102) and up per night. There are some American universities participate this way (e.g. Laredo in TX). Some universities don’t advertise but they have a contact on their web site for summer accommodations.


  2. Retirement Reflections September 8, 2019 / 5:32 pm

    Hi, Natalie – I agree that staying in a university room (when they are available) is a win-win. Looks like you had a great stay in Kingston. I agree that it’s a great city!


    • Natalie September 8, 2019 / 9:24 pm

      Hi Donna – It was a great stay on a nice campus. Thank you for your comment.


  3. September 8, 2019 / 6:52 pm

    I’ve heard of these but I’ve never stayed in one. It’s a great concept, especially since colleges are often surrounded by lots of good (but not expensive) restaurants and interesting things to do.


    • Natalie September 8, 2019 / 9:28 pm

      Yes, Janis, many campuses are in central locations with budget-friendly eateries. I always consider university rooms among other options when I look for a place to stay out-of-town outside of the local school year. In Europe, the school breaks are slightly different and that give me more available dates. Thank you for your comment.


  4. mommyhon333 September 8, 2019 / 11:34 pm

    Your idea of ‘parking’ concerns, left-over to-dos til morning is such a good idea. One I need to follow. I am going to take a note pad up tonight to park on my nightstand for that purpose. This lodging reminds me of the dorms where I lived only kicked up a notch or two. Very nice!! Dorms have come a long way. What a win-win for the university and for the traveller.

    Worked on my post today. Will have it ready to go on Wednesday. So glad to continue this journey with you.


    • Natalie September 9, 2019 / 7:59 am

      Hi Leslie – I’m glad you found one of my sleep hygiene ideas useful. When I empty any worry out of my head by parking them on a piece of paper, I sleep better. Dorms have come a long way for sure. The ones I stayed in are way nicer than motels and inch towards 2.5 to 3-star hotel with lower cost. I look forward to your post on Wednesday. Thanks for joining me on this journey.


  5. gizzylaw September 9, 2019 / 8:43 am

    What a great idea! I will do my research for my next trip! Thank you.


    • Natalie September 9, 2019 / 9:35 am

      Thank you, GizzyLaw, for your visit and comment. It’s worth considering university rooms and doing cost comparison to stretch our travel budget for more travel experiences.


  6. Joanne Sisco September 9, 2019 / 12:59 pm

    Although I’ve stayed at the Queen’s University residence as part of the annual Bike Rally, it would never have occurred to me that these rooms are routinely offered to travellers looking for an alternate experience to a hotel. This is good to know for future reference!!


    • Natalie September 9, 2019 / 1:25 pm

      So we both have stayed at Queen’s. I’ve stayed at a few other Canadian universities and some abroad. All offered affordable rates, some even included meals.


      • Joanne Sisco September 10, 2019 / 6:14 am

        When we stayed at Queens for the Bike Rally, they did open the cafeteria for us for breakfast. We were about 400 people so I’m guessing it was worth the effort for them. If I remember correctly, the food was decent.


        • Natalie September 10, 2019 / 7:46 am

          When we were at Queens, the cafeteria was open for breakfast and lunch. It was full of participants from rugby teams and some other events. Before we left, they had another big group arrival for Math Quest. I overheard the front desk staff advised people who wanted a room that they were fully booked.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Laurie September 9, 2019 / 8:53 pm

    Thank you for sharing your 10 steps with us. I sometimes have trouble sleeping as I get older. I love your #7. What a wonderful, peaceful thing to do as you are falling to sleep! 🙂


    • Natalie September 9, 2019 / 9:03 pm

      Thank you, Laurie, for your comment. I love doing #7 as I have a lot to be grateful for.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Erica/Erika September 10, 2019 / 12:15 am

    An interesting post, Natalie:) I have often heard about sleeping at University Residences. A friend and I stayed in the Y downtown Vancouver near Roger’s Arena a number of years ago. A few pros and cons in that situation. Good to have economical options.

    Sleeping is often a challenge for me all of my life. Great ten steps and a formula that is successful for you. Especially with all the travelling you do, Natalie. Thanks for sharing:)


    • Natalie September 10, 2019 / 7:39 am

      Hi Erica: Yes, the Y is another option. I stayed at the Y in a few cities in the US and Asia. You also raised a good point about sleeping and traveling (jet lag anyone?). A good night’s sleep is essential to enjoy exploring the sights. Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Michele September 10, 2019 / 6:14 pm

    I love the idea of sleeping in University housing. It seems like a win for them and a win for you! I don’t often require fancy, just safe and comfortable. The washers and dryers would be awesome on a longer trip!


    • Natalie September 10, 2019 / 9:31 pm

      Hi Michele – It was a win-win for sure. I’ve stayed at different university residences and have felt safe and comfortable in all of them. I also agree with you about the laundry facility. They’re awesome for a longer trip. Thank you for stopping by.


  10. csuhpat1 September 10, 2019 / 9:09 pm

    Looks like a wonderful place to stay. Thanks for sharing it with us. #MLSTL


    • Natalie September 10, 2019 / 9:31 pm

      Thank you, Patrick, for your comment. I greatly appreciate it.


  11. leannelc September 10, 2019 / 9:45 pm

    It looks great Natalie – very clean and practical and I imagine it would be central to everywhere you needed to go. I’ve never stayed in that type of pseud-student accommodation but I’d definitely consider it after seeing your photos.
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂


    • Natalie September 10, 2019 / 9:54 pm

      Hi Leanne – This university residence is within walking distance to downtown and there is a bus service to/ from the campus. I usually choose to stay near the sights I want to visit. Many universities have their main campus in central location. Thank you for hosting and sharing.


  12. Jo September 10, 2019 / 9:53 pm

    I’ve never contemplated staying in a university room or a hostel so was fascinated by this story. As for sleeping? My husband jokes that I could hear a frog fart in a car on the highway 5 miles away. It’s not exactly a joke. I’m an absolute shocker at the whole sleeping caper. All your tips I do – where possible – and still…anyways, that’s a story for another day!


    • Natalie September 10, 2019 / 10:07 pm

      Hi Jo – When I want to stretch my travel dollars, especially in expensive destinations, I always look into university rooms and hostels and do cost comparison vs. other accommodation types. It sounds like you’re a super light sleeper. I guess as long as you feel well rested in the morning, that’s what matters.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jo September 11, 2019 / 12:59 am

        I rarely feel rested in the morning lol, but I have gotten used to it over the years. My husband, on the other hand, can sleep well under any circumstance. Isn’t that always the way?


        • Natalie September 11, 2019 / 8:46 pm

          Yin and yang. He’s probably sleeping well knowing that you’ll be awake quickly if something unexpected happens.

          Liked by 1 person

  13. Denyse Whelan September 11, 2019 / 7:07 am

    So many rooms are left unused in Halls of Residence in Australian universities over the long breaks that they too are let for groups and individuals.

    Decades ago, as a full time teacher doing her degree by distance education, we had to attend our Uni and stay for residential school. It was quite a shock for me…a mum who was used to her privacy to share a bathroom with a group of males/females and have a single room. Neverthless it “was” an experience!

    Great to read of yours.

    Thank you for linking up for Life This Week. Next week’s optional prompt is 37/51 What Is Love? 16/9/19. Do hope you join in. Denyse.


    • Natalie September 11, 2019 / 9:59 am

      Thank you, Denyse, for hosting. I’d consider university rooms when I plan for my trip to Australia. Looking forward to next week’s link up.


  14. PamelaPerraultPhotographyP September 11, 2019 / 8:24 am

    Good morning Natalie. This is a great and very informative post. I have, only once, stayed in a university residence, at Cornell in the Finger Lakes region of NY State. I went to shoot waterfalls and Cornell seemed central to those so I tried it and loved it. I wonder, do you take your own pillow with you when you travel? I’m a good sleeper (I’m told it’s my only forté) and the only thing that is sure to disrupt that is a strange pillow. 🙂 Thanks for posting this one, I loved it!


    • Natalie September 11, 2019 / 10:04 am

      Good morning Pamela – Your stay in Cornell sounds great. Finger Lakes region is known for its natural beauty. I usually travel light and don’t bring my own pillow with me. If bringing your own pillow has worked wonder for you, I’d say keep doing it because a good night’s sleep is so important for our brain and body to function well. Thank you for your comment.


  15. DB McNicol September 11, 2019 / 1:46 pm

    I’d never heard of university rooms but what a great idea. The facilities look wonderful. And thanks for the tips on sleeping. #MLSTL


    • Natalie September 11, 2019 / 4:56 pm

      Thank you, Donna, for your comment. I’ve used university rooms several times during my travels and have had good experiences with all of them..

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Sydney Shop Girl September 11, 2019 / 6:16 pm

    What a unique way to explore a new place! I do love the idea of staying in residence at a university. The energy would be so different to staying in tourist or financial hubs of a city.

    SSG xxx


    • Natalie September 11, 2019 / 6:26 pm

      You’re right on about the energy on a campus. That’s part of what attract me to stay in univeristy residence. Thanks, SSG, for stopping by.


  17. Deborah September 11, 2019 / 7:18 pm

    It’s a great idea Natalie. When I was at Uni (3 decades ago) the residential college I lived at rented out the better rooms (suites) during university holidays – mostly for those visiting the university for some reason. It was a good idea as – particularly at Xmas (our long break) people have completely packed up and left their rooms so they’re wasted otherwise.


    • Natalie September 11, 2019 / 7:50 pm

      It’s a good use of the existing space and facilities. I’d certainly check out the university rooms when I plan my trip to Australia. I know several of them are listed available for bookings in June-July and Dec-Feb.


  18. Min Write of the Middle September 11, 2019 / 7:47 pm

    I’ve never heard of ‘university rooms’ as an accommodation option before! Your pics look like it was a lovely, clean, modern and well appointed stay! Bonus that it was near the waterfront and parks. Love your sleep tips too – I try to do those also, #TeamLovinLife


    • Natalie September 11, 2019 / 7:57 pm

      Hi Min – I started booking university rooms a few years ago and have included them in my research whenever I plan a trip. I know several of Australian universities let their rooms to travelers during June-July and Dec-Feb.


  19. Dr Sock October 7, 2019 / 2:49 pm

    Natalie, I have stayed in university residences many times when attending conferences or meetings. I’ve even stayed in the residence at Queen’s, perhaps even in that building.



    • Natalie October 7, 2019 / 4:50 pm

      That’s great, Jude. We have one more thing in common. I find university residences good options for travelers.


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