JULY 26, 2016
Last week Standard Hotels, a collection of five hip properties in New York, Miami, and Los Angeles, announced that guests will be allowed to check in and check out whenever they like for a small added fee. “Standard Time,” as the new service is called, can be selected during the booking process. Simply put in estimated check-in and checkout times, and for an additional 5% of the booked room rate you can arrive and depart as you wish instead of at the usual times of 3pm for check-in and 11am for checkout.
While this is a new offering for Standard Hotels, the practice of charging for early check-in and late checkout has quietly been in play at hotels around the world. There are already several places where you can come and go as you like without having to pay extra.
At The Asbury Hotel in Asbury Park, New Jersey, there is no set check-in time. Instead, the hotel emails guests after they make a reservation to learn their exact arrival time. A special department within housekeeping then keeps track of the arrival times for the day and makes sure rooms are ready for guests at the times they requested.
The Asbury’s hotelier David Bowd, who served as COO of Standard Hotels before starting his own brand, Salt Hotels, in 2013, said eliminating the check-in time gives guests a positive experience. “No one wants to arrive and be told their room is not ready,” he said. “This way, you can come in and go right to your room.”
At citizenM Hotels, an energetic brand where rooms are small on space but big on tech and where guests are encouraged to hang out in the lobbies, early check-in is possible at no charge—though based on room availability—at locations in New York, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Glasgow, and London. Even better, check-in can be done from a kiosk in the lobby, meaning no long waits at a traditional front desk.
When it comes to late checkout, Radisson Blu Hotels, the savvier sister brand of the normcore Radisson Hotels, offers late checkout up to 6pm at no extra cost, so long as there are no other guests who might need the room.
InterContinental Hotels Group, whose brands include Holiday Inn, Hotel Indigo, Kimpton, and the new wellness-oriented EVEN Hotels, offers guests early check-in or late checkout options via the “Stay Preferences” on the IHG website and mobile app (again, based on availability).
Four Points by Sheraton at Los Angeles International Airport offers a 24-hour check-in/checkout policy, meaning if you arrive at 10pm, you don’t have to check out until 10pm the following day. The only caveats are that you must pay a room rate of at least $189 a night and you must book directly with the hotel website.
Similarly, Platinum members of the Starwood Preferred Guest program, with 50 or more annual stays under their belts, can book 24-hour hotel stays with the Your24 service.
The Novotel Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport also has a 24-hour “flexi” rate which lets guests spend a full 24 hours in hotel rooms.
But the ability to make your own schedule isn’t limited to micro-hotels and airport hotels. Elegant luxury joints like the Peninsula Beverly Hills, Capella Hotels, and the Corinthia Hotel in London allow guests a flexible check-in and checkout. Indeed, you'll find that most luxury hotels are willing to accommodate early arrivals simply because guests are paying top dollar for the stay.
Another trick to try if you’ve arrived early at your hotel: Simply ask for whatever room is available now, even if it's not the category of room you booked. Then ask to make the move to your intended room when you’ve rested up.