Those of us looking to save up on our vacation might consider bringing an extra person to your hotel room. Or reporting a lower number of guests per room than reality when booking. More people in one room means a higher room rate, right? Well, you might not be entirely correct there. And you could be putting yourself and your guests at risk.
Read more to find out how hotels decide the maximum occupancy in a hotel room. If hotels can find out you have an extra person in your room. And do hotels care if you have an extra person in your room?
How do hotels decide how many people are allowed in a room?
The standard maximum occupancy for a hotel guest room is usually two to four people. But this could vary across different hotels. Some may allow for four adults to be in the same room. You may find these rooms in hostels and motels. Larger, more luxurious hotels may also have rooms suitable for this, but they are harder to come by.
Usually, the maximum of four is two adults and two children. Or three adults with one child. Or one adult with four children. Why do hotels have this arrangement? You may ask. There are several reasons for this.
Believe it or not, this arrangement comes from the hotels’ concern for your comfort. And not them trying to get more money off guests. When you’re on vacation, you’re often looking to relax and enjoy luxuries you don’t encounter on a day-to-day basis. This can be several things. Incredibly soft beds. Room service, whether it be cleaning or in-room dining. Designer amenities. Watching TV in bed. Or simply staying in a bigger room.
Vacation is all about relaxation. Time to yourself for you to unwind from the stress of life. Why would you want to cram yourself in a small room with over four people? Hotels put the comfort of guests first. And usually, fewer people staying in a room means guests can better enjoy top-quality amenities and facilities in the guest room. Better experiences for you. Better reviews for the hotel.
The other, very important reason why most hotels have a maximum of four is safety. This is to make sure that in the case of emergencies, every guest has a fair chance of getting to safety. Say you’re vacationing on your own. But each room on your floor is housing ten people. In the case of a fire, you will be put at higher risk by the other guests trying to reach the fire escape. Pretty unfair, right?
Fewer guests also mean hotels can be sure their facilities won’t be overloaded. This can be as simple as not overloading sockets in a hotel room. Or not overwhelming facilities in the hotel. Think restaurants, spas, gyms, and pools.
Traveling with a group
So, what happens if you’re traveling with a group? Especially if you have young children in the mix, what should you do?
If your group consists of adults only, it’s best to stick to the maximum occupancy of your hotel of choice. To avoid spending more than you need on room rates, call ahead to ask for the maximum occupancy of each room. Hotel staff would be more than happy to inform you of this. As they would also like to keep their guests as safe and satisfied as possible.
If you’re two parents traveling with three kids, don’t worry. There are family-friendly hotels out there offering big families rooms with higher maximum occupancy. If your children are under 17, they are usually allowed to stay with you without additional charge. Whether you book by yourself for a single room. Or with your partner for a double. If your children are infants, most hotels will offer you a cot for the little one to sleep in.
Some hotels may charge you for having an extra guest in the room. Say you made the booking for two adults in a room and the hotel finds three adults staying in the room. Then you might have a chance of being charged extra.
This doesn’t mean you can’t have visitors staying over for a night during your stay. Hotel staff usually won’t care if they see someone entering your room with you at night. Or leaving your room early in the morning. So, you can have fun on vacation without worrying about extra charges. It’s only if this visitor becomes a “guest” that hotels will start bothering you with charges.
What are the extra charges for?
With more people staying in the room, this means more amenities and facilities are being used. Think electricity. Water. Complimentary food and drink in the room. Extra linens and bedding. And so on. This is why hotels might add extra charges for an additional guest to a double room.
How to avoid being charged extra?
Make sure to do your research beforehand. See if your hotel of choice has a rigid maximum occupancy. Some hotels will state in their policies that only so and so the number of adults are allowed per room. Or this number of adults plus this number of children are allowed per room. If these policies are stated in black and white, hotels are more inclined to penalize any guest that doesn’t follow these policies.
Nobody wants to face extra charges at the end of their vacation. Avoid any disappointments by doing your homework before your trip!
Having an extra person in your room
Do hotels care if you have an extra person in your room?
Hotels don’t usually care if you have an extra person in your room. But only if it’s for a night. Or an insignificant portion of your stay. Say you’re booked in for the week, and you bring a guest to stay for a night. Even if hotel staff see you, they are unlikely to care.
It is only when you and your extra guests cause a lot of trouble for the hotel that the staff will start to care. Say you’ve invited ten people over for a party in your room. And the hotel received complaints about loud music, rowdiness, and drug and/or excessive alcohol use from your neighbors. Then you’re in trouble. But if you’re simply bringing a friend back to your room, and you behave yourselves, it is unlikely that the hotel will know, or even care.
What are the benefits of having an extra person?
If you’re booked in for a double room but decided to bring another friend along on your vacation, you can save up on room rates. Some people may find hotel rooms quite lonely, as they are less likely to be decorated to feel at home. So, having more people in the room than two might improve your vacation experience.
What are the cons of having an extra person?
- Time to yourself
Sometimes you might want peace of mind on your vacation. If you have more people in your hotel room, you’re less likely to get that. Make sure the savings you will make on room rates with having an extra person is worth the crowdedness. Not to mention you would get less privacy. And expect the en-suite bathroom to get crowded in the mornings and evenings.
- Hotel keys
Hotels will usually issue an equal number of room keys for guests staying in the same room. This means you would have to share the room keys with your group. This might lead to reduced private outings. Or worst, you being locked out of the room!
- Risks to safety
We’ve already mentioned that the maximum occupancy in a hotel room relates a lot to guests’ safety. Say there is a fire or earthquake, and guests need to evacuate the hotel, the hotel must know how many people are in each room. This way, first responders can rescue whoever is missing from the headcount. If your extra guest is not included in the count, they might be left behind in danger.
- Not everyone can enjoy all the amenities and perks
If your room comes with access to amenities and perks, these will only apply to the number of guests reported to the hotel. Say you’re booked in for a double room for two and you’ve got an extra guest in the room. And a complimentary breakfast comes with the room. Then only two guests will be offered this breakfast.
Can you hide an extra person from the hotel?
There are many cases where travelers have successfully hidden more people in their hotel rooms than originally stated. Say your hotel is rather crowded, then the staff is unlikely to notice an extra person coming in with you. Or they’re simply too busy to notice. If the lifts in the hotel are located away from the reception area, hotel staff are also less likely to know you’ve brought in an extra person.
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