What to do when you arrive and your hotel room isn't ready

April 17, 2015

It's happened to us all, usually right after a long, tiring trip: you arrive and your hotel room isn't ready. What should you do to make the best of a frustrating situation?
One of the most frustrating experiences in travel is arriving at your hotel only to be told the room is still being prepared for you.

  • Whether travelling with family in tow, or solo for business, chances are getting to your destination was exhausting: packing, driving, busy airports, busier customs and security checks, fitting a meal in, hailing a cab. All you want is to get into your hotel room and unwind.

Sowhat can you do when you arrive and your room isn't ready? Here's advice to deal with the disappointment.

Know the hotel’s check-in policy and call ahead to confirm

Although most hotels offer a check-in time that ranges between one and three pm, it's worth calling ahead to confirm the official check-in policy, and see whether they can make an exception for an early arrival.

  • Depending on the season and day of the week, a hotel’s vacancy rate will vary considerably. The less busy the hotel, the better your chances at scoring an early check-in, especially if you call ahead.

Keep busy for a few hours

If the hotel is busy and cannot accommodate an early check-in, you may be left with no choice but to keep yourself (and your travel companions) busy for an hour or two.

  • The first thing you will want to do is drop off your luggage. Let the bellhop know your room is not ready and you wish to store your luggage while you head out for a bit.
  • Most hotels have a guest lounge and/or bathroom on the ground floor for you to freshen up.
  • With bags dropped off and a quick restroom stop, your best bet is to take in any nearby sites or attractions.
  • If food is on your mind, take the opportunity to sit down for a meal and recharge at the hotel restaurant or a nearby establishment.

If your room still isn't ready after check-in time

If you return at your designated time to find your hotel room still not ready for occupancy, you may want to voice a complaint at the front desk.

  • For your troubles, most hotels will offer some sort of upgrade, such as a discount at a restaurant, spa service or complimentary room service.
  • Consider speaking with the hotel manager to file a more formal complaint if nothing is offered—you are well within your right to ask for a room discount or a substitute perk for your inconvenience.

Always make sure you plan ahead to ensure your hotel room is ready upon your arrival forthe most pleasant stay possible!

What to do when you arrive and your hotel room isn't ready
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