You’re running behind schedule and won’t make it to the hotel by the designated check-in time. Will they still hold your room? Here’s a quick answer: You can usually check into a hotel later than the stated check-in time, but policies vary.

Many hotels will hold reserved rooms until midnight or 24 hours after the scheduled arrival.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about late hotel check-in. We’ll cover typical check-in times, hotel hold policies, contacting the front desk, late arrival fees, getting a refund if your room is unavailable, and tips for minimizing issues when checking in late.

Standard Hotel Check-In/Check-Out Times

When it comes to checking into a hotel, it’s important to know the standard check-in and check-out times. This ensures a smooth and hassle-free experience during your stay. Most hotels have set times for check-in and check-out to ensure that rooms are properly cleaned and prepared for the next guest.

Typical check-in is 3pm-4pm at most hotels

The typical check-in time at most hotels is between 3pm and 4pm. This allows the hotel staff enough time to clean and prepare the rooms after the previous guests have checked out. It also ensures that you have a clean and ready room to settle into upon your arrival.

However, it’s important to note that check-in times can vary depending on the hotel’s policies and availability.

Check-out is usually 11am or 12pm

Check-out times at hotels are typically around 11am or 12pm. This gives you enough time to pack up your belongings and vacate the room before the next guest arrives. It’s important to adhere to the check-out time to avoid any additional charges or inconveniences.

If you need a little extra time, it’s always a good idea to check with the hotel to see if a late check-out is possible.

Early check-in or late check-out may be available for a fee

If you arrive at the hotel before the standard check-in time or need to check out later than the designated check-out time, some hotels offer the option for early check-in or late check-out for an additional fee.

This can be convenient if you have a tight travel schedule or simply want to have more time to relax before your departure. It’s best to inquire about these options with the hotel directly to see if they are available and what the associated costs may be.

It’s important to remember that hotel policies can vary, so it’s always a good idea to check with the specific hotel you plan to stay at for their check-in and check-out times. Additionally, if you have any special requests or require flexibility with your check-in or check-out times, it’s always worth reaching out to the hotel in advance to see if accommodations can be made.

Do Hotels Hold Rooms If You Check In Late?

When it comes to checking in late at a hotel, most establishments understand that travel plans can change unexpectedly. Therefore, many hotels are willing to hold reserved rooms for several hours past the standard check-in time.

This is done to accommodate guests who may be delayed due to flight delays, traffic, or other unforeseen circumstances. Holding rooms for late check-ins is a common practice in the hotel industry, and it allows guests to have peace of mind knowing that their room will be available even if they arrive later than anticipated.

Most hotels will hold reserved rooms several hours past check-in time

The exact policy for holding rooms varies from one hotel to another. However, in general, most hotels will hold a reserved room for several hours past the designated check-in time. This allows guests to arrive later in the evening without worrying about their room being given away.

For example, if the check-in time is 3pm, the hotel may hold the room until 6pm to give guests ample time to arrive. This flexibility is especially appreciated by travelers who have long journeys or unpredictable schedules.

Policies vary – midrange hotels may hold until 6pm, luxury hotels until midnight

The specific duration for which hotels hold rooms can vary based on their category. Midrange hotels typically hold rooms until around 6pm, giving guests a few extra hours to arrive. On the other hand, luxury hotels often offer even more flexibility and may hold rooms until midnight or even later.

These extended hold times cater to guests who may be attending late-night events or arriving on red-eye flights. It’s always a good idea to check with the hotel directly to confirm their policy on late check-ins to avoid any misunderstandings.

Reservations are usually held 24 hours from the scheduled arrival date

In addition to holding rooms for late check-ins, hotels typically hold reservations for a certain period of time before canceling them. This period is usually 24 hours from the scheduled arrival date. This means that if you have a reservation for a specific date, the hotel will hold the room until the following day, allowing for any delays in travel plans.

However, it is still advisable to inform the hotel if you will be arriving late to ensure that your reservation is not canceled.

Contacting the Hotel If You’ll Be Late

Call ahead to confirm your late arrival

If you anticipate that you will be arriving late to a hotel, it is always a good idea to contact the hotel directly to inform them of your situation. By calling ahead, you can let the hotel staff know about your late arrival and ensure that they are aware of your expected time of arrival.

This will help the hotel in making necessary arrangements to accommodate your late check-in.

Ask when the hold expires and if your room will still be available

When you call the hotel to inform them about your late arrival, it is important to ask about the expiration time of their hold on your reservation. Hotels often have a specific time frame during which they hold the room for guests who have not checked in yet.

By asking about the hold expiration, you can ensure that your room will still be available when you arrive. If the hold is about to expire, the hotel may be able to extend it for you.

Additionally, it is a good idea to inquire about the hotel’s policy regarding late check-ins. Some hotels have specific guidelines and procedures for guests who arrive after certain hours. By asking about these policies, you can better understand what to expect upon your arrival.

Provide updated ETA and request room not be released

When you contact the hotel, make sure to provide them with your updated estimated time of arrival (ETA). This will help the hotel staff in planning their operations and ensuring that someone is available to assist you when you arrive.

Additionally, if your ETA changes during your journey, it is a good practice to inform the hotel about the new arrival time.

Furthermore, it is advisable to request the hotel not to release your room in case of a late arrival. By making this request, you can minimize the risk of your room being given away to another guest due to your delayed check-in.

However, keep in mind that some hotels may have policies that require them to release the room after a certain time if they have not been informed of a late arrival.

If you have any concerns or questions about your late check-in, it is always best to reach out to the hotel directly. They will be able to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding their policies and procedures.

Fees and Policies for Late Hotel Check-In

When it comes to checking into a hotel, it’s important to be aware of the fees and policies for late check-ins. While each hotel may have its own specific rules, there are some common practices that you should know about.

A late check-in fee may apply, usually after 6pm

Many hotels have a designated check-in time, typically in the afternoon. However, if you arrive after a certain hour, usually around 6pm, you may be subject to a late check-in fee. This fee is often in place to cover the additional costs associated with accommodating your arrival outside of the regular check-in hours.

It’s always a good idea to call the hotel ahead of time if you know you’ll be arriving late to inquire about any potential fees.

After the hold expires, remaining rooms are released to walk-ins

Hotels often hold rooms for guests who have made a reservation, especially if they have provided their credit card information. However, if you don’t arrive by a certain time specified by the hotel, usually in the evening, the hold on your room may expire.

When this happens, the hotel may release the room to walk-in guests or other individuals who are in need of a room. It’s important to keep this in mind if you anticipate arriving late, as there may not be a guarantee that your room will still be available.

Your credit card may be charged for a no-show if you don’t arrive

If you fail to show up for your reservation without notifying the hotel in advance, you may be charged a no-show fee. This fee is typically the cost of one night’s stay and is charged to the credit card used to hold the reservation.

It’s important to remember that hotels often have a cancellation policy, which means you should notify them if you won’t be able to make it. This not only helps the hotel manage their inventory but also prevents you from being charged for a room you didn’t use.

Getting a Refund if Your Room is Unavailable

If your reserved room was given away, ask for a comparable room

If you arrive at a hotel and find out that your reserved room has been given away, don’t panic! Most hotels will try to accommodate you by offering a comparable room. This means that even if the specific room you reserved is not available, they will provide you with a room of similar quality and amenities.

It’s important to communicate your dissatisfaction calmly and politely to the hotel staff, and they will usually do their best to find a suitable alternative for you.

Refunds are usually provided if the hotel is full and can’t accommodate you

In cases where the hotel is fully booked and unable to provide you with a room, you are entitled to a refund. It is important to note that hotels have different policies when it comes to refunds, so it’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the hotel’s cancellation and refund policy before making a reservation.

In most cases, if the hotel is unable to accommodate you due to overbooking or any other reason, they should provide you with a full refund for your reservation.

Make sure you aren’t charged a no-show fee if this occurs

When your reserved room is not available and the hotel cannot provide you with a comparable room, it’s crucial to ensure that you are not charged a no-show fee. A no-show fee is typically charged when a guest fails to show up for their reservation without canceling it in advance.

However, if the hotel is unable to fulfill your reservation, they should not charge you a no-show fee. It’s always a good idea to double-check with the hotel staff and request a written confirmation that you will not be charged any fees for the inconvenience caused.

Remember, communication is key when it comes to resolving issues with hotel reservations. By staying calm and polite, you increase your chances of reaching a satisfactory solution with the hotel staff.

If you encounter any difficulties or have concerns about your reservation, don’t hesitate to reach out to the hotel’s customer service or management for further assistance.

Tips for Checking In Late with Minimal Issues

Notify the hotel of your late arrival in advance

If you know you will be arriving at the hotel late, it’s always a good idea to notify the hotel in advance. This will give them a heads up and ensure that they are prepared for your arrival. Most hotels have a 24-hour front desk, so even if you are arriving in the middle of the night, there should still be staff available to check you in.

By letting them know ahead of time, you can avoid any confusion or delays upon your arrival.

Prioritize high-end hotels, which typically have later hold times

When it comes to checking in late, opting for a high-end hotel can often work in your favor. These types of hotels typically have later hold times, meaning they will hold your reservation for a longer period of time before considering it a no-show.

This can be especially helpful if you are delayed due to unforeseen circumstances, such as a flight delay or traffic congestion. Keep in mind that each hotel may have different policies, so it’s always a good idea to check with them directly to confirm their hold times.

Book a 24-hour cancellation policy for flexibility

Another tip for checking in late with minimal issues is to book a hotel with a 24-hour cancellation policy. This will give you more flexibility in case your travel plans change unexpectedly. Sometimes, unforeseen circumstances can lead to last-minute changes in your itinerary, and having a flexible cancellation policy can save you from any financial penalties.

It’s always a good idea to read the cancellation policy carefully before making your reservation to ensure that it aligns with your needs.

Aim to check in before 6pm to avoid late check-in fees

If possible, it’s best to aim to check in before 6pm to avoid any potential late check-in fees. Many hotels have a designated time after which they consider check-ins to be “late,” and they may charge an additional fee for this.

By arriving before this time, you can avoid any extra charges and ensure a smooth check-in process. However, if you anticipate that you will be arriving later than 6pm, it’s always a good idea to call the hotel in advance and inquire about their late check-in policies.


Checking in late to a hotel can be nerve-wracking, but is often feasible if handled properly. Most hotels will accommodate late arrivals by holding rooms 6-24 hours past the check-in time. Notify the front desk of your late ETA, clarify the hold policy, and book a room with a flexible cancellation policy.

While you may have to pay a late fee or switch rooms, hotels will generally work to get you checked in even if you arrive outside standard afternoon hours.

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