How Early Can You Check Into A Hotel?

How Early Can You Check Into A Hotel?

69

Here’s a topic that I wanted to address generally, and then I wanted to share a specific situation I’m facing, that I can’t make up my mind about.

Most hotels will let you check-in early

Hotels have published check-in and check-out times. However, generally speaking there’s some flexibility there. Most hotels will let you check-in significantly earlier than the published check-in time, assuming a room is available and has been cleaned.

Now, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Hotels will generally prioritize early check-in for elite members or other important guests (like those who booked through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts)
  • I find that most hotels allow early check-in for free, though other hotels will charge a fee; in my experience fees for early check-in are most common for airport hotels, or other hotels that sell day rooms
  • It’s important to be realistic, and realize that it’s extremely common for early check-in to not be available, given that many hotels run close to capacity, have limited housekeeping staffing, assign guests specific rooms, etc.
  • If it’s essential that you to have a room before the published check-in time you’ll either want to book the hotel for the night before, contact the hotel to ask if you can pay a fee for guaranteed early check-in, or book a hotel that offers guaranteed early check-in (for example, Peninsula will guarantee 6AM check-in or 10PM check-out)
Peninsula has the best flexible check-in policy of any hotel group

How early is too early, though?

How early is too early for trying to check into your room, though? No, you generally can’t show up at 12:01AM with a reservation for that day and expect that you’ll be accommodated 15-16 hours before check-in time. So what time is it reasonable to show up and expect that you’ll receive a room, subject to availability?

  • This is generally only possible after the night audit is complete, because at most hotels the system wouldn’t even allow it before then; this often happens in the early morning hours, usually by 5AM
  • My personal take is that I wouldn’t feel sheepish asking for early check-in starting at around 6AM; that’s not to say it’ll happen or that rooms will be available, and for that matter it’s reasonable if the hotel rejects it on principle, but to me that feels much more reasonable than asking for a 2AM check-in, for example
  • If you want to be truly reasonable, I think 9AM is a less controversial cutoff for requesting early check-in, subject to availability
There are limits to how early you can check-in

My early check-in conundrum

I don’t remember the last time I’ve booked a hotel stay and have deliberated whether or not to book the night before. Usually my schedule just works out in a way where the answer is obvious. However, now I have a situation where I’m conflicted.

I’m considering a trip to the Alila Hinu Bay in Oman, which is a points hotel that has long been on my list. The nearest airport is Salalah International Airport (SLL), and the best way to get there is on Qatar Airways. Qatar Airways’ flight is scheduled to land at 4:20AM.

Presumably immigration would then take some amount of time (especially given Oman’s entry requirements), and then the resort is about a 75 minute drive from the airport. Best case scenario, I’d estimate that I’d arrive at the hotel at around 6AM. For what it’s worth, the hotel is charging around $300 per night all-in — so it’s by no means cheap, but it’s also not charging $1,000.

Here’s how I’m thinking about this:

  • On the one hand, it’ll have been a long travel day, and if I book the night before I’ll be guaranteed access to my room, and also receive breakfast on account of my Globalist status, which otherwise wouldn’t be included on the morning that I check-in (then again, breakfast likely wouldn’t cost nearly as much as the room rate)
  • On the other hand, I could easily save the $300, and maybe the room is ready, in which case that would be great, while if it’s not I can hang out at the pool, or get a spa treatment and pay for breakfast and still come out ahead; for that matter, after a very long travel day and given that I’m solar powered, I’m not even sure I’d be able to sleep at that time anyway

Like I said, I find this to be an interesting question simply because typically the choice is obvious to me one way or another. I’ve never been on the fence so much about whether to book the night before or not, so I’m curious what OMAAT readers would do. It’s hard to make these decisions without perfect knowledge:

  • Would I gladly wait a few hours for my room to be ready to save $300? Absolutely!
  • Would I pay $300 if I knew the hotel were packed and I’d only be able to otherwise access my room at 3PM, the published check-in time? Absolutely, as I don’t want to be without a room for that long…

But there’s a big difference between waiting three to four hours vs. waiting nine hours, for example.

Should I book the night before or not?

Bottom line

While most hotels have published check-in and check-out times, the reality is that peoples’ travel plans rarely match up perfectly with those. Most hotels are willing to accommodate early check-in on a space available basis (sometimes for a fee, but usually not), though there are limits to that.

You should only expect to be able to check-in after the night audit, and personally I tend to think that early check-in is a reasonable request starting at around 6AM, on a space available basis.

What has your experience been with early hotel check-in? To those who work in the hotel industry, do you have any insights on how you view early check-in? And in my example above, would you book a room for the night before or not?

Conversations (69)
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  1. Ethan Guest

    The thing is - Even you feel like booking the night before for a guaranteed early check in, you still have to contact hotel to avoid room cancelled due to night audit. So if it’s like 8 or 9 AM, you might as well just ask nicely with hotel beforehand, forgo elite upgrade etc. I never got denied as a top elite.

  2. cynyc Guest

    I checked into M Gallery Cologne 2 days before Christmas. An Accor “Premium Tier” property and rated 4 stars. I arrived a few minutes past noon. They never said “unfortunately your room isn’t ready yet”, they immediately went to “would you like to store your luggage until check-in time”. I expressed that I was rather tired and had hoped that they might have a room ready and asked if there was one available that I...

    I checked into M Gallery Cologne 2 days before Christmas. An Accor “Premium Tier” property and rated 4 stars. I arrived a few minutes past noon. They never said “unfortunately your room isn’t ready yet”, they immediately went to “would you like to store your luggage until check-in time”. I expressed that I was rather tired and had hoped that they might have a room ready and asked if there was one available that I could check into right away. At that point I was offered a “courtesy” check in at 1:30pm. Basically saying “let’s meet in the middle”. I hesitated a second, but said that sitting masked in the lobby waiting an hour and half wasn’t sounding so great and could they please check again if no room in my booking category was ready. All done very friendly up to this point, both of us. Then a manager at the far end of reception was consulted who very loudly told her staff “check-in time is at 3pm, if there’s no room…” and then she turned around and directly addressed me (from 10 feet away) and finished her sentence “…if no room is available, then we obviously can’t do it. Check-in is at 3!” I calmly (but firmly) replied that I made no assumptions nor was I expecting an entitlement, I had merely asked if there really wasn’t a room available in the middle of a pandemic with barely a tourist in sight. She made a disapproving sound and disappeared to the back while mumbling “well, they can check.” Then the rather embarrassed front desk clerk handed me my key and without any offer of help took my luggage and proceeded to my room. Since I had a refundable reservation that could be canceled until 6pm the same day, I would have actually walked out after that ridiculous and unnecessary demonstration of “rules are rules”. I don’t get upset over little things like that, but I’ll never stay there again of course.

  3. Michael Guest

    My issue might be that they have a great upgrade put aside for you from check in time but if you roll up early you could get a lesser room because you want the early check in. If it was me I’d aim for an early check in but chill out in what seems like a nice place and wait ‘until the room is ready’ not just any room

  4. Andrew C Guest

    I have had mix experiences with booking an extra night but arriving very early in the morning.

    One time in India (a Hyatt hotel), the hotel clerk said, "I will let you check in early... oh wait... you have booked an extra night..." Everything went smoothly.

    One time in China (a Marriott hotel), I had sent a note telling them I would arrive around 6 am. When I got there, they had already canceled my...

    I have had mix experiences with booking an extra night but arriving very early in the morning.

    One time in India (a Hyatt hotel), the hotel clerk said, "I will let you check in early... oh wait... you have booked an extra night..." Everything went smoothly.

    One time in China (a Marriott hotel), I had sent a note telling them I would arrive around 6 am. When I got there, they had already canceled my reservation as a no-show. They said they would start a new reservation but let me check in early. I insisted on "reinstating" my original reservation (so that I would get the proper status night credits). Even though the manager assured me that I would get it, it took a few weeks of email exchange to get the credit showed up in my account.

  5. GK Guest

    On a separate note, I am not sure if you have been to Oman before but we were there in November and loved it. Be sure to see the Opera house & the Grand Mosque . We stayed at the Sheraton in the city, convenient & nice.

  6. Adam Guest

    In Japan they can be pretty strict about not letting you check in early.

  7. Devarsh Saraf Guest

    I would consider booking an airport hotel for the night, crashing once you land (probably cheaper than 300 quid), and then making your way to the Alila at around lunch time.

  8. Tatyana Guest

    If you book a night before, but arrive after midnight next day, would it be a no-show case? Do you need to notify a hotel about late arrival to make sure your entire reservation will not be canceled?

  9. Morgan Diamond

    Risk it and don't book the night before and just rock up and see what happens that way your not wondering what would have happened if you hadn't booked the prior night and potentially wasted $300, most likely at a nice hotel they will let you and if not just chill at the pool.

    1. Edgar Guest

      I have experienced this in some hotels where the staff was just not keen to release the room even though it was ready and give a lecture regarding check in times. I just had to slip out and come back and speak with another agent, and the key was handed to me.

  10. Franklin Guest

    The next article could be: How LATE can you check in for a hotel?

    I once had a prepaid hotel booking. I expected to arrive around midnight. Due to a flight delay, I got in at four. The hotel refused to give me the room, unless I paid for a new one. The night audit had been run, they said. Nothing could be done. In their system, it was a new day, and I was a now show cancelation. Absolutely nothing would move them. At 4am, I was a no show.

  11. John Guest

    I don’t know how much this matters but I’ve always had luck with saying, “I know it super early but is there any chance there is a room available? If not I totally understand.” They always say, “Sure, let me check.”

    And it Europe it’s so common for Americans to arrive in the early AM they are good about it. I’ve arrived at the Andaz in London at 8am and they said - “Your upgraded...

    I don’t know how much this matters but I’ve always had luck with saying, “I know it super early but is there any chance there is a room available? If not I totally understand.” They always say, “Sure, let me check.”

    And it Europe it’s so common for Americans to arrive in the early AM they are good about it. I’ve arrived at the Andaz in London at 8am and they said - “Your upgraded room isn’t ready but we have a regular room you can use until it’s ready.” I arrived at the Andaz in Munich at 8ish and they said, “Your suite is ready and while you’re Globalist breakfast benefit doesn’t start until tomorrow I can add it for you today as well.”

  12. Ted Guest

    My $0.02 Lucky - after once sitting bleary eyed in the lobby of the LAX Hyatt from 7am-9:30am with my luggage after a redeye once as a Globalist, I would pay the $300 and have a guaranteed bed to crash in

  13. Rob Guest

    I recently arrived in Paris in the early morning, sped through immigration much faster than expected, and arrived at my Marriott at 8:00 am. I simply asked if I could store my luggage until my room was ready, and they said my room was ready.

  14. NYGuy24 Gold

    I find early check in to be hit or miss. In my experience it really comes down to if the room is ready or not. Often what I will say is I want to check in but if there is going to be a better room opening up later in the morning that I will be upgraded to I'd rather wait for that. A number of times when I checked in early if my room...

    I find early check in to be hit or miss. In my experience it really comes down to if the room is ready or not. Often what I will say is I want to check in but if there is going to be a better room opening up later in the morning that I will be upgraded to I'd rather wait for that. A number of times when I checked in early if my room was not ready they offered to provide me with a room to freshen up in. I rarely bother with this because most times when I am arriving earlier in the morning it is simply because I have already been in the area and I am just switching hotels to use an award or check out another property etc. Coming off long flights I prefer to arrive in late afternoon or early evening so I can get a good night's sleep.

    My worst experience was Grand Hyatt Hong Kong though. I arrived on a flight in the early morning after flying for 16 hours and they just had me sitting there in the lobby for hours. Always felt that hotel was pretty disappointing.

  15. Luke Guest

    I remember some article on TPG some years ago where he mentioned about paying for the previous night on a hotel costing over $1200 a night with his arrival time at hotel after 8am. High roller!

  16. iamhere Guest

    Agree with the comment from Wlltravbrit. The hotel probably has everything done around this. I mean to say that they probably expect people to come in at that hour from that flight and as some people will be leaving for that flight they probably have quite a few checkouts that are early. Further this is still the time of the pandemic so I would bet that the hotel is not full. I have been more...

    Agree with the comment from Wlltravbrit. The hotel probably has everything done around this. I mean to say that they probably expect people to come in at that hour from that flight and as some people will be leaving for that flight they probably have quite a few checkouts that are early. Further this is still the time of the pandemic so I would bet that the hotel is not full. I have been more lucky than not to get an a room early. However, mostly if it does not happen then they offer something in the meantime. It is important to remember if you are early that it is not your right to get some compensation or a drink or whatever because you were early.

  17. Tommy F Guest

    have you tried emailing the hotel? pre-covid I planned on arriving very early in Phnom Penh after Angkot Wat, and after I emailed the hotel, they said early check in at 5 or 6 am is possible for the half of what I paid for one night in that hotel. for me, it was reasonable enough as I knew I'd be exhausted after Angkor and the early check in is kinda guaranteed and it gave...

    have you tried emailing the hotel? pre-covid I planned on arriving very early in Phnom Penh after Angkot Wat, and after I emailed the hotel, they said early check in at 5 or 6 am is possible for the half of what I paid for one night in that hotel. for me, it was reasonable enough as I knew I'd be exhausted after Angkor and the early check in is kinda guaranteed and it gave me a peace of mind. it wasn't a fancy hotel, but I imagined the hotel you wanna stay in would be happy to offer the same thing, or even guarantee the early check in with no extra fee. you'll never know if you don't ask, I guess :)

  18. Rsa127 Guest

    I checked in to Novotel Natham Road at around 7am after a overnight flight. They had no issue and it was greatly appreciated.

  19. John Guest

    I wouldn’t pay as long as the hotel is showing availability for rooms the previous night. There is a chance of an early check in versus the certainty of paying $300

    1. John Guest

      When I’m in this position and the room won’t be ready until late in the day im normally able to pay for an upgrade to a room that is available (and the upgrade is typically less than a full night’s rate)

  20. Ted Kalota Guest

    I travel to Asia frequently and have never been denied early check-in no matter the time often without notifying the hotel. I think they just understand people traveling from USA will need to get into their rooms after such a long journey.

  21. shoeguy Guest

    This is something the industry has to solve for, somehow. I travel a lot for my job and have for years. Some employers deliberately paid for a hotel for the night before so the room was ready on arrival, for overnight flights to Asia, Australia, and Europe. Others, obviously did not. The industry needs to solve for this. A standard 3PM check in, is insane. Obviously, late check outs compound the problem, but it is...

    This is something the industry has to solve for, somehow. I travel a lot for my job and have for years. Some employers deliberately paid for a hotel for the night before so the room was ready on arrival, for overnight flights to Asia, Australia, and Europe. Others, obviously did not. The industry needs to solve for this. A standard 3PM check in, is insane. Obviously, late check outs compound the problem, but it is up to the hotel industry to figure this out and update the experience which, for this, remains stuck in an old style of doing things that just doesn't work any longer.

    1. pstm91 Diamond

      The industry cannot create a solution because there is no one-size-fits-all answer. There are endless scenarios that require guests to be there early or need to leave late, so a set published time for check in/out and then doing their best to work around those times is what works best. The easiest solution for any traveler is just to reach out to the hotel directly (by email so it's in writing). I always do this...

      The industry cannot create a solution because there is no one-size-fits-all answer. There are endless scenarios that require guests to be there early or need to leave late, so a set published time for check in/out and then doing their best to work around those times is what works best. The easiest solution for any traveler is just to reach out to the hotel directly (by email so it's in writing). I always do this if I need an early check in or late check out and it's worked great.

  22. Mohammed Guest

    Booking the hotel car from the airport almost always guarantee you an early check in

  23. Bertie Guest

    Hotels should charge by 24 hours, so no matter what time you check in or check out, that's how you should be billed.The hotel management then also should empower their front desk staff to make the decision on whether to charge half day or full day depending on the status of the guest if the checkout outside the 12 hour limit. I found however that business oriented hotel groups ( like the Pen) are already...

    Hotels should charge by 24 hours, so no matter what time you check in or check out, that's how you should be billed.The hotel management then also should empower their front desk staff to make the decision on whether to charge half day or full day depending on the status of the guest if the checkout outside the 12 hour limit. I found however that business oriented hotel groups ( like the Pen) are already very flexible in their early check-ins, especially in Asia/ME where early morning arrivals ( 00:00-07:00 ) and early morning departures ( 00:00-0400) are common.

  24. Lenneal Guest

    Very straightforward for me. If I am in-transit, then the airline has rooms set aside at a hotel where they will be accommodating you. Otherwise, I just book for arrival the day/night before and there will be no hassle of waiting, negotiating, debating or any of that when the objective is to quickly get to a room. It's worth the extra cost.

  25. Al Guest

    Our recent 3 night stay at The Ritz in Paris included a guaranteed early checkin and guaranteed late check out. The policy intentionally does not give specific hours. The deal (which they still have, I believe), also included an airport pickup - at the gate!
    So, upon our arrival at CDG, we were greeted at the gate, breezed through customs, driven in a Mercedes SL, checked in at 6:30 AM, with a double room...

    Our recent 3 night stay at The Ritz in Paris included a guaranteed early checkin and guaranteed late check out. The policy intentionally does not give specific hours. The deal (which they still have, I believe), also included an airport pickup - at the gate!
    So, upon our arrival at CDG, we were greeted at the gate, breezed through customs, driven in a Mercedes SL, checked in at 6:30 AM, with a double room upgrade (FHR). On our last day, we checked out at 6:00 PM for an 8:00 PM train to Zurich.
    It's expensive, of course, but sometimes you have to live a little.

  26. Tom Guest

    If you are eligible for an upgrade then checking in early can reduce the chance of getting that upgrade, because fewer rooms in that category will have been cleaned and be ready.

    So if you have two hotel perks - early check-in and upgrades-where-possible, then going for the former can reduce your chance of the latter.

    I would not normally try for an early check-in prior to noon or so, especially on a weekend

  27. Ben Guest

    Agree with another comment that Middle East tends to be very flexible on check-in. Was in Dubai for New Year and could always get straight into rooms, while on a previous Doha trip the Mondrian gave me breakfast at 7am and had the room ready for 9am.

    1. Tatyana Guest

      Ben, where did you have Covid test in Dubai before arriving to US?

  28. picky Guest

    I have had some luck sending an email to the hotel about 24 hours prior to my anticipated arrival time politely asking if they could please have my room ready when I arrive. This works about 50% of the time.

  29. Hotelie2016 Guest

    Considering most hotels start their housekeeping shifts at 7am (although housekeepers will arrive on property between 6am and 630am) and it takes around ~20 minutes to clean a standard-sized room and would subsequently need to be inspected by the housekeeping manager -- with any check-in time prior to 9am, you're really asking for your room to be at the very tippy top of their list to get through.

  30. dander Guest

    Never had a problem in Europe with an early check-in. Had a couple in the states mostly because they gave us an upgrade and had to prepare the room. Again anyplace I go and they don't have a room, I will just have them hold the bags.

  31. SeeSharp Member

    My best experience: being able to check in at 8AM at the Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach (even with a Suite Upgrade Award applied to the res).
    My worst experience: having booked the night before arrival at the Hampton Inn Amsterdam Arena and finding out upon arrival that I had been flagged as a no-show the night before (despite phoning ahead at around 10PM) and the reservation had been cancelled, so that I was not able to check in early after all.

  32. alpinetrout Guest

    Funny enough, I was just in almost exactly the same scenario; I'll be flying into Salalah early in the morning on Tuesday and wasn't sure if I should book an extra night to guarantee a room. I chose to book it to be safe, especially since the rate was considerably less than $300 at the resort I chose for my one night stopover. But then it became moot when FlyDubai changed the flight schedule on...

    Funny enough, I was just in almost exactly the same scenario; I'll be flying into Salalah early in the morning on Tuesday and wasn't sure if I should book an extra night to guarantee a room. I chose to book it to be safe, especially since the rate was considerably less than $300 at the resort I chose for my one night stopover. But then it became moot when FlyDubai changed the flight schedule on me and instead of arriving at 4AM, I'll now be arriving at 6PM.

    On more than one occasion in South America, I have checked in in the very early morning and been given a room with no questions asked only to find an extra night's charge on my final bill. In each case, I was totally fine with it, but found it odd that there was no mention of it up front. I'm not sure if that's a regional thing or if I'm just lucky.

  33. Divyesh New Member

    Something interesting to note under the WoH Terms and Conditions under Globalist Status benefits is their policy regarding this. Specifically, they state --

    "Should a Globalist attempt to check-in to a Hyatt hotel or resort at which (s)he has a reservation and should no rooms of the category reserved by the Member be immediately available, the Member will be offered the first room of that category that becomes available. The Member may alternatively be...

    Something interesting to note under the WoH Terms and Conditions under Globalist Status benefits is their policy regarding this. Specifically, they state --

    "Should a Globalist attempt to check-in to a Hyatt hotel or resort at which (s)he has a reservation and should no rooms of the category reserved by the Member be immediately available, the Member will be offered the first room of that category that becomes available. The Member may alternatively be offered the option to exercise his or her Best Room Available benefit, should an eligible room above the category reserved by the Member be available. (In the event that a hotel or resort finds it necessary to apply this benefit to more than one (1) Globalist for the same room category on the same day, the Globalists will be prioritized based on when each Globalist requests to check-in.) This benefit is not available and may not be exercised before 9:00 a.m. local time at the applicable Hyatt hotel or resort."

    While most hotels usually are flexible with this policy, it looks like officially they don't allow checking in before 9A even if they have rooms available.

  34. echino Gold

    No, don't pay for the night before.

    I once arrived at a hotel in Brussels at about 6AM, fully expecting that room will only be available at 2PM, and told the front desk that I'll be checking in later today and if they could store my bags until then. I didn't even think about asking for early check in. To my surprise, they told me that my room was actually ready and proactively offered me to check in right away.

  35. Nico Guest

    Can you make 300 USD in 9 hours? That would be my decision. If yes, pay, if not, stay by the pool and hope for it to be ready at 10-11am....

  36. D3kingg Guest

    Assume the early check in. Don’t demand it. You usually get it. If I was arriving at 5AM or so in Bens case not the end of the world. I wouldn’t contact the hotel ahead of time and would just show up. “Hi checking in Mr Shlappig” see what they say. I think they will check you in. Versus camping out in the hotel lobby ? Just not a big deal.

  37. Frog Guest

    I've checked into hotels early in the morning many times. Call or email ahead and request it, to which you will probably get a tentative response. Turn up at 6am and if they dont have a room then spend 2-3 hours in the restaurant having coffee and (paid) breakfast. They will most likely make a room available by 9am.

    Sometimes I offer to pay extra but this usually works better for a late check-out as opposed to an early check-on.

    1. D3kingg Guest

      I wouldn’t make a big deal out of it or call before hand. Bens flight is arriving early. Understandable. Offer to pay extra ? Not a millionaire on this planet would make that offer .

  38. Ed Guest

    Several years ago a relative had an emergency in Seattle which required me to fly last minute to help them. I arrived around midnight, and I left the hospital around 2AM to find a hotel. I ended up at a Homewood Suites and they said since they had already done the audit, they would check me in for the next day, so essentially, two nights of sleep for the price of one.

  39. Steven E Guest

    I would email them and simply ask - perhaps it will be the standard policy answer of booking the night before for a guarantee or just take the chance and rock up and be polite etc etc and I’m sure if they have availability they would be happy to accommodate you

  40. Mark F. Guest

    Conrad Hong Kong had the option to buy up early checkin if available (like those chances to bid on a room upgrade). I chose the option and I think it was $70 for an 8AM check in. It was a point stay. I was Hilton Gold at the time.

    I checked in at 8 AM and asked if my early checkin bid was accepted and he said it was, but they will just upgrade...

    Conrad Hong Kong had the option to buy up early checkin if available (like those chances to bid on a room upgrade). I chose the option and I think it was $70 for an 8AM check in. It was a point stay. I was Hilton Gold at the time.

    I checked in at 8 AM and asked if my early checkin bid was accepted and he said it was, but they will just upgrade me to a ready harbor view room on the executive floor and not charge me the fee. I thought that was awesome.

    I have had a couple of stays where they wouldn't even look if a room was available. One was the (now demolished) Paris Orly Hilton. They were adamant that no one check in before 3. The other was a Japanese hotel (Royal Park) in Yokohama. It didn't matter if they had a room or not, check in was 3. I was there at 1:30. Please come back at 3. They were very rigid with that. But it was a wonderful stay in the tallest hotel in Japan.

    1. Jan Guest

      In NYC I was able to secure a 10:30AM check-in; in Zurich was able to do a 12:00 noon check-in, simply by calling in and letting the hotel know.
      I think about this because when I plan some TATL itineraries, they have some really early landings (think 8AM arrivals). Worst case you can leave your bags with them and explore around the area a bit before coming back after lunch

  41. Omar Guest

    I find in the US it's much easier to get earlier check in granted than in Europe (contrary to some of the comments here), but I don't have enough data points in the Middle East to comment.

  42. Brodie Gold

    My guess as a Globalist you will have no problem getting a room. If not, throw on a hideous speedo and go hang by the pool. They'll likely speed things up and get you in a room in no time.

  43. nate nate Guest

    If you think about that Qatar Airways’ flight scheduled to land at 4:20AM, there is also a flight returning to Doha at 6am. Guests on that flight will be checking out early in the morning (if they get a room), so rooms may turn over early. I find this to be common in the European gateway cities, where the flights from the US arrive in the morning, and the flights to the US depart in the morning, so there is decent turnover in the business hotels in the morning.

  44. Alvin Guest

    You could use this as an excuse to fly FlyDubai's 737 MAX 8 instead, since you'd be spending an extra $300 anyway?

  45. Welltravbrit Guest

    I think it’s all about what they’re used to and how far you’ve travelled. I’m sure they’re accustomed to foreign guest arriving on exactly that flight and I’d be very surprised if as a Globalist they wouldn’t try to accommodate you. I’d book a room if I had a 1am or 2am arrival but I always take my chances if I’m traveling a long distance and getting in around breakfast time. In general I’ve found...

    I think it’s all about what they’re used to and how far you’ve travelled. I’m sure they’re accustomed to foreign guest arriving on exactly that flight and I’d be very surprised if as a Globalist they wouldn’t try to accommodate you. I’d book a room if I had a 1am or 2am arrival but I always take my chances if I’m traveling a long distance and getting in around breakfast time. In general I’ve found hotels very understanding particularly when you’re jet lagged, are checking in for a multi day stay and you have status.

  46. Reno Joe Guest

    Leave your bags with the bellman, go run some errands, and have them call you when your room is ready. Often, the front desk will give you the first room (in your category) that becomes check-in ready. It's no difference to them. You might find a room becomes available at 10am. Easy peasy.

    1. Reno Joe Guest

      And, if you become a regular at a particular property, such as the Fairfield Inn across the street from Disneyland, they'll ask, "When would you like to check in?"

  47. Jimmy’s Travel Report Gold

    As a 30 year old I would have saved the cash, but not as a fifty something. If you’re traveling with Ford I’d certainly pick up the extra night. If it’s a legitimate business expense I’d also pick it up. If not to either of those conditions , have breakfast and hang by the pool until the room is ready.

  48. Raksiam Guest

    For me it sort of depends on the location. I find that generally European hotels are used to N. American guests arriving very early given how flight schedules are. My last trip to Europe was a few years ago now, but I arrived in Hamburg around 10:00 and had no trouble checking in at that time. I've checked in even earlier as well. I typically contact the hotel in advance if I know I will...

    For me it sort of depends on the location. I find that generally European hotels are used to N. American guests arriving very early given how flight schedules are. My last trip to Europe was a few years ago now, but I arrived in Hamburg around 10:00 and had no trouble checking in at that time. I've checked in even earlier as well. I typically contact the hotel in advance if I know I will arrive early or will require a late check out time to see what their options and policies are.

  49. Justin Guest

    It never hurts to ask and I wouldn't have a problem asking at anytime that could be classified as "morning". Ben's cutoff of 6am seems OK to me. Given that I often checkout of my room well before the designated check-out times, it balances out in the end so I don't feel at all that I'm somehow taking any advantage if I am able to check-in in the early morning and the hotel has a...

    It never hurts to ask and I wouldn't have a problem asking at anytime that could be classified as "morning". Ben's cutoff of 6am seems OK to me. Given that I often checkout of my room well before the designated check-out times, it balances out in the end so I don't feel at all that I'm somehow taking any advantage if I am able to check-in in the early morning and the hotel has a room available that would otherwise sit empty. If they say no, then I don't make a fuss about it and just check my bags and get on.

  50. DFWFlyer Guest

    I have had great success, especially in Asia, with arriving early in the morning and them giving me a 'dirty' (clean but not check-in ready) room with some towels to shower and get cleaned up, then check into my actual room later in the day if they didn't have one available.

    Did this a few times at the Renaissance in Hong Kong and they were extremely willing to do that, showered up real quick, checked my bag at the front desk and went about my day in Admiralty.

  51. Endre Guest

    The Novotel Suvarnabhum in Bangkok has a flexible 24hrs checkin policy. You can check in at any time and stay for no more than 24hrs. I find that quite convenient.

  52. Tom Guest

    I think it's a no-brainer. You arrive, ask for an early check-in. If it works, great - you've just saved 300 USD. If it doesn't and they tell you you have to wait until 3 p.m., then pay for an additional night.

    1. Chris Gold

      I think it only doesn’t work if it’s sold out and you don’t get the second option at that point.

  53. Creditcrunch Diamond

    I have always found hotels in the Middle East especially those around the UAE etc have been extremely generous in providing early access to rooms without fees or fuss. I find an email advising of my intended arrival time to the concierge go’s along way in ensuring there is no disappointment.

  54. Up Up & Away Member

    I find that, as a Globalist (granted that early check-in is not a benefit), if I write to a Hyatt group hotel to ask if I could check in early, they will usually go out of their way to accommodate me.

  55. GoAmtrak Gold

    I always take a non-presumptuous approach. "I know I'm early, just wanted to let you know I'm here. Happy to store my bags and wait or come back later if you need me to?" But watch out on the offer to wait - some FD agents will overpromise and underdeliver with good intentions, thinking housekeeping will have your room ready long before they actually do.

  56. Jason Guest

    When I flew to Johannesburg a few years ago I was on the Virgin flight from London that arrived around 4 or 5AM. Without question I paid at the Four Season for the night before arrival so that we could check in at 6:30AM or so with no issues. Not cheap, but in the grand scheme of the whole vacation, it was worth that little bit more to have the room ready after a very long journey.

  57. VITOR SILVA Guest

    It's all a matter of management, how one ask for it, whether the hotel was informed in advance and whether one's a preferred member.
    I've been allowed in a room at 6am at the earliest and was once granted a late check-out at 23:30h; I have also had to wait 4 hours for a room, having arrived at the hotel around noon.
    Sending an e-mail shortly after the reservation, calling the hotel a...

    It's all a matter of management, how one ask for it, whether the hotel was informed in advance and whether one's a preferred member.
    I've been allowed in a room at 6am at the earliest and was once granted a late check-out at 23:30h; I have also had to wait 4 hours for a room, having arrived at the hotel around noon.
    Sending an e-mail shortly after the reservation, calling the hotel a week or so before arrival and placing the request with the Reservations' Department and showing gratitude if the very early check-in gets granted are good steps. No guarantee but it helps.

  58. CSR 2.0 Guest

    Wow, you think 6 AM is fine? lol

    I feel sheepish showing up anytime before Noon, although I do frequently arrive at hotels in NYC around 9 AM after a redeye from LA. The room is rarely ready but they are always willing to check bags.

    In this case, I'd just book for the night before given how long the travel will be and the rate isn't crazy. You could also email the hotel and ask if there's a day rate they could give you to guarantee 6 AM availability.

    1. Stan P Guest

      Nothing sheepish to check-in at 6am outside of USA.

      A month ago we showed up at 6.05am after redeye from Seychelles and we were checked in right away to 6 classes above our booked room , as seamlessly as it gets , V Hotel , Dubai. Granted our Diamond status likely helped.

    2. CSR 2.0 Guest

      That’s a great point on the international front, that’s a whole different ball game.

    3. Timo Gold

      I vote take your chances. Don't pay for the prior night. You sound as if you will be awake anyway. Me? I'd go straight to sleep!

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Welltravbrit Guest

I think it’s all about what they’re used to and how far you’ve travelled. I’m sure they’re accustomed to foreign guest arriving on exactly that flight and I’d be very surprised if as a Globalist they wouldn’t try to accommodate you. I’d book a room if I had a 1am or 2am arrival but I always take my chances if I’m traveling a long distance and getting in around breakfast time. In general I’ve found hotels very understanding particularly when you’re jet lagged, are checking in for a multi day stay and you have status.

3
pstm91 Diamond

The industry cannot create a solution because there is no one-size-fits-all answer. There are endless scenarios that require guests to be there early or need to leave late, so a set published time for check in/out and then doing their best to work around those times is what works best. The easiest solution for any traveler is just to reach out to the hotel directly (by email so it's in writing). I always do this if I need an early check in or late check out and it's worked great.

2
Devarsh Saraf Guest

I would consider booking an airport hotel for the night, crashing once you land (probably cheaper than 300 quid), and then making your way to the Alila at around lunch time.

1
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