I’m sure we’ve all been in a situation where we have a late night flight to somewhere, getting in around midnight, and then return the following night on a redeye. I’ve been in the situation a countless number of times, and like many, have always been frustrated by still having to check out of a hotel at 11AM or 12PM (or even 2PM or 4PM) because of the rigid structure of hotel check-in/check-out times.
Well, the Four Points by Sheraton LAX is trying something innovative. If you book a rate of at least $99 and notify the hotel at least 48 hours in advance of your arrival time, you can use your room for 24 hours. In other words, if you check-in at 11PM, the room would be your’s until 11PM the following evening. How awesome is that?
Now, there are some logistical challenges I can see with this. First of all, one of my biggest hotel pet peeves is lack of proper communication between the front desk and housekeeping. Nothing annoys me more than them knocking on my door because it’s after check-out time while I’m trying to sleep, when I’ve been granted late check-out but it just hasn’t been communicated to housekeeping. I see that being an even bigger issue here. Also, I can see there being a challenge from the hotel’s perspective, because unless this catches on to almost all guests, those checking in late and checking out late may really be causing the hotel to not be able to sell the room the second night, especially if they don’t properly schedule housekeeping, since they often don’t work overnight (though hopefully that will change).
I suppose the other big question is what this means for those with elite status. If you check in at 12PM, do you have to check out by 12PM the following day, or do you still get late check-out? If so, to what degree will they allow that? In other words, if you check-in at 6AM, at what time could you check out as a Starwood Platinum?
I think this is a great initiative, especially for an airport hotel where flights are arriving and departing at all hours of the day. Hopefully the concept will be expanded to more hotels.