Can You Just Sit In A Hotel Lobby If You Don’t Stay There?

When it comes to hotels, you should always distinguish written rules from common behavior expectations. Something that we consider rude and inappropriate is often allowed (or better say not banned) by hotel rules and restrictions. So, can you just sit in a hotel lobby if you aren’t their guest and you haven’t booked a room there? The answer may vary depending on the hotel and your understanding of what’s good and what’s bad.

Today we are going to give you some tips that are checked and supported by some hotel staff that has been working for years in hotels and have quite a lot of experience in sending the freeloaders away from the lobbies as well as of allowing them to sit there and to use Wi-Fi for free. So, what’s the life hack you should know?

Today we’ll tell you about such things:

  1. Bad and rude habits in a hotel lobby you should never do.
  2. Is it appropriate to sit in a lobby without buying anything from the hotel?
  3. Should you ask for permission to use a hotel’s lobby.
  4. Tricks to use more services in a hotel.
  5. So, let’s get started!

What is considered rude in a hotel?

You will need to know the regulations to not offend them. Unfortunately, not many people actually know the rules and regulations in hotels even if they book rooms there. But if you are going to act as a freeloader, you should know some rules and be ready for some consequences. Well, we should say right here that the consequences can’t be very bad for you. You may only be a little shy because someone will ask you to go away.

But here are some things that are considered rude and inappropriate when you are using a hotel’s lobby:

  • talking on the phone or with your friend very loudly so that other guests could hear you – one of the workers will eventually come to you and ask you to leave the lobby;
  • sleeping – it’s not appropriate to use all those wonderful couches and armchairs that are usually placed in a lobby to sleep, workers will ask you to leave immediately;
  • swearing – using bad language will result in immediate actions from staff, you will be sent away from the lobby even if you are the hotel’s guest;
  • eating your food – if you are hungry and you are kind of freeloading in a hotel, better go to the bar and ask if they have some snacks, but eating the food from your bag is a very bad idea;
  • working for some hours – you may have seen people in lobbies working on their laptops, but if you sit there for hours, you should be the guest of this hotel, otherwise, workers will ask you to leave.

So, we presume that the best idea to use a hotel’s lobby is to just spend some time drinking coffee or tea from their bar. This will be a good idea if you need to wait for a friend or to spend some time until your bus arrives. If you don’t break these simple rules, the chances are that you can easily use the hotel’s lobby. But still, some important things should be considered before.

Small and big hotels – any difference?

Of course, if you choose a small hotel for hanging out in a lobby, you will be noticed. Workers in small hotels of up to 50 or 70 rooms will know their clients pretty well and they will easily see that you aren’t their guest. You have to know that the majority of hotels will have it written in their rules that only people who book the rooms can use their lobby. So, the hotel workers are likely to ask you to leave the hotel once you try to sit there for more than five minutes.

In big hotels with hundreds of rooms, things are different. Workers usually don’t remember every guest, so they won’t be sure if you are their client or not. So chances are that they will not even come to you to ask something. In big hotels, you will still have these rules that only clients may use lobby facilities. Sometimes they even close bathrooms so that people from the street couldn’t use them. But it’s extremely hard for them to control the things in the lobby, so usually, they will just leave you alone with your smartphone.

Yes, the majority of the hotels are likely to hide their Wi-Fi under some passwords. But in most cases, the passwords are easy to find out just by asking other people in the lobby.

What facilities can you use in a hotel without being their client?

The law usually doesn’t specify that a person can or can’t use any facilities of the hotel and that this person has to or doesn’t have to book a room in this hotel. So it’s all up to the rules of a certain hotel to decide whether you can or can’t do anything.

Usually, you can visit the website of the hotel and check the information. But to read this, you will need to dig into a huge text of rules. So we’ll tell you some basic rules that you should remember and they usually work for all hotels:

  • you can sit in a bar or just on any couch and armchair that is situated in the lobby;
  • you can use public bathrooms if they are accessible without going into any restricted areas;
  • you can use a bar or café if the hotel has these facilities in the lobby;
  • you can use any urgent services like phone calls and medical help if you need them.

Also, we wouldn’t recommend using the same hotel’s lobby on a regular basis. If you do it, workers will eventually understand it and will ask you to leave the hotel once you sit on one of the couches.

Usually, the main facility you will want to use is the bar where you can get some tea or coffee. But this should also be investigated. In some expensive hotels bars and cafes only sell drinks or snacks to hotel clients. Learn about this before you come to a bar stand and try to order a drink.

Some tips to hang out easily in a hotel lobby

  1. Don’t speak to hotel staff. They are likely to send you away because no one will want to lose their job for offending the rules of the hotel.
  2. Don’t talk loudly on your phone and don’t make other people pay attention to you. If some clients of the hotel complain about your behavior, you’ll be asked to leave the hotel immediately.
  3. Buy some drinks like coffee or tea in a bar if it’s possible in that hotel. This may make staff be more loyal with you.
  4. Don’t ask for a Wi-Fi password on a reception. This will be the reason for a reception worker to ask you to leave the hotel because all clients know the password.
  5. Be relaxed but don’t talk to other people much. If they know you aren’t the hotel client, they may think you are suspicious and may report to a reception worker.

What can go wrong?

So if you are standing in front of a big hotel and considering whether you are allowed to enter a lobby, you may give it a try. The worst thing that may happen to you – you’ll be asked to leave the hotel after some worker speaks to you. Chances are no one will even notice you.

Here are some bad things that may happen to you:

  • hotel staff can ask you to leave;
  • you may seem suspicious for other guests;
  • you may not get access to Wi-Fi;
  • you may not be allowed to buy anything from a bar;
  • they may call the police if you break some rules.

But in most cases, you will be just fine and you may spend an hour or two using the hotel’s facilities like furniture, free internet access, and bathroom. If you still experience some problems thinking that it may be rude, you may just come to reception and kindly ask if you can wait for your friend in the lobby. This trick works fifty-fifty because according to the rules of most hotels, you aren’t allowed to hang out in the lobby if you haven’t booked a room.

Final words

We are pretty sure that any big hotel will be a good place to hang out there for a while. Just check that they don’t have any system of security in the front door. Also, don’t choose the most luxurious hotels or the small hotels. They are not appropriate for what you need to do. Just big chain hotels are the best options for this.

If you are OK with telling a little lie, you can ask a receptionist if you can wait for your friend who stays in this hotel. In most cases, they will allow you to enter their lobbies without even asking you the name of your friend. But never tell them you read about this tip at our blog!