Hotel check-in after midnight

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My friends and I were out on a Saturday night. As it got later, they tried to see if they could get a last minute hotel room. It was after midnight when they looked for a reservation online, so you couldn't select Saturday night as an option, only Sunday night for $80. They booked it and successfully checked in at 5 am after a full night of raging. Sat night rates at this casino usually go for $300 (Mohegan Sun, CT) and it's very rare to get much of a discount because it's the middle of nowhere. So you get to sleep in a bit Saturday morning plus had all of Sunday night.

I'm wondering if anyone has any thoughts on this? Reserving a room for Sunday night but checking in as early as they'll let you. It's risky and I wouldn't bank on it, but might be fun for spur of the moment occasions.

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I have used the HotelTonight app and you can book a hotel from 12 noon - 2 AM. The only problem needing to check in early is that there may be no rooms available until later in the day. The hotel may be full or the empty rooms have not been cleaned.

I would think your friends got real lucky. In all my years of traveling, there have only been a handful of occasions where I was able to check-in early and that too, never at 5 AM.

I don't think this is a feasible idea.

Not something you should ever plan ahead on doing. The hotel could be full, or the check in clerk will simply not allow you to check in that early at all, even if the hotel is completely empty. Some places are sticklers for even letting one check in an hour earlier than the stated PM times.

This is a routine request when a traveler is arriving on a red-eye flight (e.g. from the US to Europe), and while I've often seen the request refused for want of available rooms, I've never seen a hotel try to charge more for it -- the hotels want to take care of their guests. When flights can plausibly arrive at 6am, showing up at a hotel at 7am is reasonable.

I've also succeeded at what the OP describes once, checking in at 7am after being out partying locally all night. The clerk was dubious as to whether or not her computer would allow it, but the limiting factor appeared to be the computer, not the clerk.

So I agree with vegetation: you should never plan on this working, but it's not impossible. Be prepared to pay for both nights and be happy if you only have to pay for one.

arla said:    the hotels want to take care of their guests.

not sure about your sample size to support this conclusion.

I've done this at a hotel in Chicago. Got in on a bus at 5:30am and checked in about 6:30am for that evening. As with all early check ins it is ymmv based on room availability and the hotel.

I've arrived at hotels early in the morning over the years a number of times. Red-eye flights, early AM flights, driving all night, etc. Sometimes you'll get a room, and sometimes you won't. Depends on the room availability. I've never been charged for the night before.

On the other hand, I've also arrived AFTER midnight a few times too (due to flight delays or other travel problems), with a guaranteed reservation for the night before. I've always been charged for the night, even though I didn't check in on that date. Better to have the room though, especially after dealing with a grueling travel day.

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