It seems like more hotels are adopting the airline’s business models of increasing profits through ancillary fees and charges. In particular, there are two perks that had previously been widely available for free, especially to guests with status, that hotels are now sometimes charging for.
Early check-in fees
In general, standard check-in time are usually around 2-3pm, with standard check-out times around 11am-12noon. However, I’ve always viewed those as “guidelines”, and have certainly pushed the limits on both. I’ve showed up at a hotel’s doorstep at 7AM with a tired look on my face, hoping that the front desk clerk will take pity on me and let me check into my room early. And I’ve asked for very late check-out, having pushed it until 6-8PM in some cases.
Hotels have been very accommodating in the past, especially when they aren’t at full capacity, and I’ve never been asked to pay extra. But at least in once case, according to this thread on Flyertalk, the hotel was standing firm with a policy stating that check-ins between 6AM and 2PM would incur an additional charge of half the room rate. Reading through the responses, others note this is becoming a more common occurrence.
It’s one thing if a hotel is truly at full capacity, and your room simply isn’t ready prior to the standard check-in time. But to me, this type of policy seems rather petty and a quick way to build ill-will with travelers. If there are rooms available, then this is truly a revenue-generating policy since there is no cost to the hotel to allow the guest to check-in prior to the official time.
Would I pay the half-day charge? I doubt that I would purely out of principle, but I guess it could depend on the situation. If was getting off an international flight where I didn’t sleep well, then perhaps I would begrudgingly cough up the money. But I’d much rather dump my luggage at the conierge and mull around for several hours than have to pay extra for a perk that I’m accustomed to getting for free.
Rooms with a view
All else equal, of course a room with a nicer view is better. This is probably the most common upgrade that guests receive, especially those with elite status. No extra square footage, just a room that doesn’t look out to a concrete enclosure.
Nowadays, hotels and especially those in resort-settings, have so many different room categories that if you want a really spectacular view, you’re going to have to pony up the extra $50, $100, or even $300, to get it.
So, do you? For me it also really depends on the situation. In some locations it could be worth it, if that amazing or unique view really adds to the overall experience. For example, we did pay extra in the Seychelles and Maldives to get a room that had perfect, unobstructed views of the beautiful sunsets, which we made use of every night. But on my recent trip to Barcelona, it really didn’t matter since we figured that we would be out of the room the majority of the time, and preferred to spend that money on activities and dining.
As is the case with everything, it’s all about trade-offs – everyone has different priorities for how they spend their money. What’s your your stance on paying extra for early check-in or a room with a view?