Long-distance international travel and the rise in popularity of distant, far-flung locations have resulted in an increase in the number of visitors shambling into hotels at any hour, some early and others late.
Although there is no set rule dictating what constitutes a late check-in and what does not, you can tell when you arrive at the hotel reception beyond the scheduled time because they expected you to be there earlier.
If you’ve ever arrived at a location much beyond the hour when hotels there typically open for check-in, you’ve probably found yourself asking a lot of questions, the first of which is “What if I check in late into a hotel?”
What is Considered a Late-Night Check-In?
You must be aware of the hotel’s customary check-in time in order to comprehend what is meant by a late-night check-in. The typical check-in hours for most hotels are from 2 to 4 p.m.
Let’s assume a hotel’s standard check-in time is 2 p.m. and you arrive any time between 10 p.m. and well past midnight; the hotel will undoubtedly view it as a late check-in.
As we’ve previously indicated, few hotels have a rulebook that categorizes check-ins based on time; but, a few hotels prohibit customers from checking in after a certain time.
There are several inns and guesthouses in Taiwan that shut down their welcome after a specific time, though this is not true of all tourist destinations. In conclusion, you might think of checking in between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. as a late check-in.
How Late Can You Check into a Hotel?
The majority of big hotel chains let guests book a room whenever they want. The lobby of tiny independent hotels that are not part of a chain, however, is often closed between 10:00 p.m. and midnight.
You won’t have any luck getting checked in if there is no one in the lobby. Most hotels require guests to check in by 3:00 p.m.
In most cases, checking in after 3:00 p.m. is not too difficult. However, if you won’t be there until 4:30 in the morning, things can be different. If you know you’ll be arriving late into the night, call ahead to let the personnel know.
Are there Flexible Check-In Hotels?
Many hotels, ranging from budget motels to five-star establishments, have enforced a 3 p.m. check-in and an 11 p.m. check-out policy. These days, people who arrive at their destinations at unusual times that are far earlier than or later than this set-up check-in and check-out timings find this long-standing operational strategy to be extremely inconvenient.
Because of this, several hotels have discovered a method to use flexible check-in and check-out times to capitalize on this irritation. Hotels with flexible check-in times allow visitors to arrive early or stay late for an additional fee.
Since travelers may now travel with the flexibility they desire and hotels can earn extra money from their unsold rooms, everyone benefits from this.
More and more creative hotels are beginning to capitalize on this trend as flexible check-in draws more B&B guests to any hotel’s listing, all the while garnering more acceptability from prospective guests.
To increase auxiliary revenue and give customers one less thing to worry about while arranging a trip, a number of hotels, including well-known hotel brands like Marriott and Hilton, offer Flexi-check-ins to their visitors.
How Do Flexible Check-In Hotels Work?
A guest who wants to check in before the strict check-in time of 2 p.m.–4 p.m. can purchase an unsold room from the previous night at a flexible check-in hotel under one easy rule.
Imagine arriving at a hotel that reads “Check-in isn’t allowed anytime until 5 hours from now” after a 12-hour, restless flight. Flexible check-in hotels frequently have unsold rooms from the previous night or rooms that are still unsold after the regular check-in time has gone. They offer these rooms for sale to visitors who want to check in earlier or later than usual.
This has no negative effects on present operations or the burden on the hotel employees, resulting in both income generation and a positive first impression for visitors.
What is Considered Late Check in at a Hotel?
If you’re going to be arriving late to check in, the majority of hotels ask that you let them know. But what time is “late”?
Sadly, there is no clear definition of what counts as a late check-in. The size and policies of the hotel where you are staying will determine this.
Late Arrival at Small Hotels
In a tiny boutique hotel with a limited number of rooms, anything beyond 7 o’clock can be seen as a late check-in. When there are only a few rooms available at the hotel, someone must wait outside to welcome you. It makes sense to let others know when you plan to arrive.
If you arrive at a really tiny, individually owned hotel at 4 a.m., they can flatly decline to get up and check you in.
Late Arrivals at Medium Sized Hotels
In most moderately sized hotels, you can still check in after midnight. They might not, however, spend the entire night at the front desk. Throughout the night shift, the night manager could have various responsibilities.
Additionally, if it’s nighttime, you might need a key to go beyond the hotel’s front entrance. You will need to use an intercom system to let someone know that you have arrived because you haven’t checked in yet.
In the end, calling someone to let them know when you will come is your best option. Even if you arrive extremely late after midnight, they can still check you in by making sure they are within hearing distance of the intercom when they are expecting you.
Large Hotel Chains
If you are staying at a large hotel chain, the front desk is generally staffed around the clock. Therefore, you should be able to arrive whenever you choose, even well after midnight, without any problem. In such a situation, your worry shouldn’t be that there won’t be anyone around to talk to.
If you don’t let them know ahead of time that you’ll be arriving late, they might sell your room to someone else. If you arrive late and don’t let the hotel know what’s going on, rooms reserved through third-party websites are considerably more likely to be canceled, according to this former hotel employee.
Sometimes visitors simply fail to arrive. If the hotel believes you won’t show up for your reservation and you haven’t paid, they may decide to sell the room.
Your hotel will keep the room for you if you let them know you’re going to be late. The late check-in policy, therefore, varies depending on the specific hotel you are staying at. You can check into a hotel after midnight, although the exact time will depend on the size of the establishment.
Just because you won’t be there for a few hours after 3 pm doesn’t mean you have to let big hotels know. Even after midnight, you may enter a sizable hotel, make a reservation, and check in right away. If there are rooms available, they will be grateful for the business.
If it is after midnight when you try to make a reservation online, you might not always be able to. But in that circumstance, the good old telephone might come in handy.
However, keep in mind that if you arrive late for a one-night stay, you’ll still need to be alert for an early check-out at 11 am the following morning.
Frequently Asked Questions
We travel in unexpected directions in life. Sometimes we arrive at these locations very late at night. Fortunately, most hotels allow check-ins at any hour of the night.
The rules, however, differ depending on the hotel you choose and from one hotel to the next.
In order to avoid being charged more than you intended to, you should make it a point to pay attention to the policies of the place when you check-in.