You will often check in to your hotel room according to your plan. But sometimes our plans are being ruined by transport companies, airlines, transfers, or road traffic. We can be late or we can even come late at night instead of checking in the early evening.
The question is what is the latest time you can check in to your hotel room. Are there any limitations and common rules that travelers should know? Although we know a lot of rules of checking in to hotel rooms, we shouldn’t deliver them to you as perfect information because every country and even every state can have their own rules.
Today we’ll discuss the following:
- What are the standard check-in time frames in hotels?
- What can you do to guarantee a late check-in?
- What can go wrong if you arrive late at night?
- Which hotels are better if you need to check in late?
- What to do if your hotel is closed at night?
Let’s get started!
So, how late is too late to check in?
If we talk about the US and about good hotels that are official and have a solid reputation, you may check in at any time. You may come at 8 a.m. the next day after your booking date, check in, stay in your room until 11 a.m. or whatever the latest check-out time is stated in the rules of your hotel, and then check out.
This will work not in all countries, though. You will need to know the rules of the hotel you are going to stay in and you will have to call them a couple of times before your arrival to let them know you are coming.
Well, here’s what can happen:
- In some countries, hotels tend to close at 23 p.m. just because no one actually needs them after that time. They will stay open in that case only if they are expecting some guests with late arrival.
- Some hotels will close as soon as every guest is in their rooms. It means if they somehow forget about your arrival, they may simply close the reception desk and go to sleep.
- Some small hotels are administered by one family or even by one person, so he or she physically can’t stay up all night. So they will close their receptions and you will be in trouble.
- Some small hotels don’t even offer late check-in because they are too small to offer 24/7 reception services. Some other hotels will want additional money from you for late check-in.
But in most cases, you will not have any problems with late check-in. You should let your hotel know that you are going to come at 2 a.m. or at 4 a.m. – you may give an approximate time. In most hotels all over the world, someone will stay up to wait for you and give you the keys to your room.
Make sure you get acquainted with the policy of the hotel you chose for your stay. Sometimes hotels in foreign countries can easily surprise you with how differently they work from the hotels in your country.
Booking problems for late arrivals
Late check-in is not the only problem you can face when you arrive late at night. Sometimes, our brain will play a trick on us when we try to book a hotel.
You may think: “OK, so I arrive in Barcelona at 2 a.m. on the 15th of February, so I need to book a room for the 15th of February.” Which is not correct. You should book a room for the 14th of February, otherwise, you will have to sleep in the hotel lobby as your best option or even spend the night outside.
The thing is that hotels have check-in time from 1 or 2 p.m. and check-out time up until 11 a.m. the next day. So if you book your room for the 15th of February, you will be allowed to check in at least at 11 a.m. on the 15th of February, but not at 2 or 4 a.m. But if you book your room for the 14th of February, you will be allowed to check in any time between 2 p.m. on the 14th of February and 11 a.m. on the 15th of February.
This is not hard to understand when you are sitting in your armchair and reading this article, but it’s quite hard to consider all of these factors when you are booking your room in a hurry. Please take note of that.
What can you do to guarantee yourself a successful late check-in?
We know some people who had to spend a night outside in a foreign city when they didn’t consider their late check-in problems. So to avoid such a situation, you will have to know some rules.
Here are the main things you should do:
- make sure you stated a needed date when you were booking your room;
- call your hotel one day before your arrival and ask if everything is OK with your booking;
- once you know the approximate time of your arrival, call your hotel once again and inform them;
- when you arrive, don’t lose your time, hurry to your hotel and check in at first;
- you may want to give some tips to the receptionist if everything was smooth with your booking.
There is nothing to worry about if you have chosen a good hotel and you keep in touch with them informing them about your actual arrival time. But things may go bad in some cases. Today we’ll tell you what factors can make your trip disastrous and stressful.
What can go wrong with your late arrival?
Many factors will influence the way you travel. Sometimes we are late because of some factors that don’t depend much on our efforts. For example, our flight was delayed for 3 or 5 hours and we arrived at night with a lot of stress. Then we can just forget to call the hotel receptionist and they can cancel our reservation.
Here are some things that can make the whole trip go wrong:
- The bad hotel decided that you don’t arrive and closed the reception desk before you actually came to the hotel.
- The small hotel closed the reception desk before they usually do so due to a limited number of employees.
- You didn’t call your hotel and didn’t warn them that you arrive late at night, so they gave your room to someone else.
- Your booking was canceled because you initially stated early arrival and then you didn’t have a chance to call them and say that you were late.
- Your booking was canceled for some reason and the security workers don’t let you in at night.
Things can go wrong and you will have to deal with it in a foreign country. For this, we always recommend learning some phrases of a local language before going to some other country. Who knows what you can face there!
But don’t worry, we have some solutions for you and we’ll tell you how to act in these situations.
What to do if you face problems with a late check-in?
If you are still reading this article, you may want to know how to act in this situation. Some of you will just give up and try to find a cozy place outside to spend a night there. Some will just go to walk around a city at night and wait until they can find some other hotel.
But here’s what we suggest:
- Find the phone number of the hotel reception on their website and call them. Call any other numbers they have there in a contact form. Even the head manager will be OK to call in such a situation.
- Find someone who works for this hotel. This may be a security worker, a room-service worker, or anyone else. Explain your situation and ask to contact some manager or receptionist.
- Call the police. It’s especially recommended if you are in a dangerous country. Walking around the city can be too dangerous for you, so you should find some protection.
- Open a local booking website and call any other hotels that are placed near your hotel. You may be lucky enough to find some hotels that work 24/7 and are ready to give you a room for one night.
Your main task is to not sleep outside. You may even ask the hotel security workers to let you sit in a lobby until the next morning when someone comes and checks you in.
This is not common for travelers to have problems with late check-in. But sometimes we can face it in some other country where we don’t know anyone and we don’t speak their language much. In this case, you should know our simple instructions.
Make sure you know what to do in this situation if you plan a late check-in. If you get into trouble, just keep calm and follow our advice given above to sort out the situation.