Guaranteed Early Check-In and late Check-Out are some of the top requests clients have, especially if arriving in the morning after a red eye flight, or departing on a late night flight. In general most hotels have a 3pm (or sometimes a 2pm or 4pm) check-in time, and a 12noon or 11am check-out time. Sure, they'll provide early check-in "if available," but just because you advise them that you're arriving at 6am doesn't mean your room will be ready--there could be another guest in it, such that it won't be ready until regular check-in time of 3pm.
If that's the case, and guaranteed early check-in is a must, I recommend booking the night prior to arrival, to guarantee that the guest can go straight to the room. More expensive? Yes. But there's usually a price to pay if you want your room or suite much earlier or later than normal check-in or check-out. Except for these hotels, which either offer flexible check-in and check-out for no cost, or for a nominal one.
1. The Peninsula Hotels: PenClub PenTime Flexible Check-In and Check-Out
The Peninsula is the only major luxury hotel brand that offers this flexible check-in and check-out for all its properties, in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Tokyo, New York, Chicago, Beverly Hills, Paris, Bangkok and Manila. We've especially enjoyed our stays at The Peninsula Paris, The Peninsula Tokyo, and The Peninsula New York. So if you have a scheduled arrival at 3am in the morning on your arrival day, and scheduled departure at 11pm on your departure day, no problem: you'll either have access to your booked room or suite or to another room.
How it Works: Simply reserve as a TravelSort Client or with your PenClub advisor, and advise your expected time of arrival and departure. If your booked room or suite isn't ready to check into for your early arrival time, you'll be provided another room to use until your room/suite is ready. So go ahead and take a nap, shower, or get work done in the privacy of your room.
Similarly, if on your day of departure the hotel needs your reserved room or suite back before you're ready to depart, you will be given another room to use until your departure time.
2. Starwood Preferred Guest Your24
If you're a top tier SPG elite member, you likely are familiar with the Your24 benefit. It's not as generous as The Peninsula PenClub PenTime, but it does allow you to decide your check-in time (if your request is confirmed), although keep in mind your check-out on your last day will also be at that time.
How it Works: After achieving 75 eligible room nights during a calendar year, you'll qualify for the Your24 benefit through the subsequent calendar year. You must submit your request for your chosen check-in time (which also becomes your check-out time on the final day) before 3pm hotel time, at least 48 hours before arrival. You can use the link in your reservation email to make the request, or call SPG. Only if you receive a confirmation email approving your request will your requested check-in time be applied to your reservation.
Keep in mind that if you change your reservation, including a change in dates, rates or room type, you'll invalidate your previous Your24 request, and will have to submit a new one.
An approved Your24 request does not guarantee that the room or suite you booked will be available upon arrival, but, as with The Peninsula Hotels, you are guaranteed a room, and then will be moved to your booked room or suite as soon as it becomes available.
3. Capella Hotels and Resorts
Capella's Breidenbacher Hof in Dusseldorf and Capella Ixtapa in Mexico offer personalized flexible check-in and check-out times, although check-in and late check-out based on availability for Capella Singapore and Capella Marigot Bay in St. Lucia. The first three properties are Virtuoso; only Capella Marigo Bay is not.
The former Setai Fifth Avenue was managed by Capella, before it reflagged as Langham Place Fifth Avenue, and for awhile offered the same flexible check-in and check-out that Capella did, although more recently there's been less flexibility with the 3pm check-in and 12noon check-out times.
How it Works: Advise (or have TravelSort or your Virtuoso advisor advise) the Capella hotel or resort of your preferred check-in and check-out times at the time you make your reservation, or as far as possible in advance of your stay.
4. The Standard Hotels Standard Time
The Standard Hotel isn't a luxury hotel, but it aims to attract a young, hip demographic to its 5 locations, two in NYC (the High Line and the East Village), Miami Beach, Hollywood, and Downtown LA. Standard Time is a natural fit, and was introduced in July 2016.
How it Works: Unlike the above programs, which are free, there is a charge for Standard Time, usually about 5% of the total room rate in order to check-in any time. The option to select this is only available for a certain number of rooms, and you're only given this option via a drop-down menu if one of those rooms is still available for your dates--so you'll want to book early if this is important to you.
Know other hotels that offer flexible check-in and check-out? Please let us know in the comments!
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