All hotels work diligently to ensure their rooms are ready for arriving guests. Typically, check-ins happen early afternoon between 1pm and 3pm; however, some hotels operate on different schedules. Nevertheless, hotels occasionally fail to prepare their rooms on time because of unexpected delays. For instance, if too many guests request extended checkouts or depart late.
If the hotel informs you that you cannot yet check in, this can be a major inconvenience and, unfortunately, there is little that you can do. Sometimes, you can ask for another room either as an upgrade or downgrade to expedite the process, but this depends on vacancies.
For early check-ins, it’s quite common for the clerk to tell you to wait. If you give notice of an early or time-sensitive arrival, then you might be greeted with better news. Calling ahead allows the staff to make changes to their schedules and prioritize your room.
In the worst case, you may have some time to kill in the hotel. Thankfully, there are ways to spend this time productively.
Ask the Front Desk to Hold Your Luggage
The concierge can keep your bags behind the counter if you’d prefer to get them off your shoulders and explore the nearby area. Depending on the hotel’s amenities, you might even be able to pull out your workout or swimming gear and use the recreational facilities. Likewise, there are bathrooms in the lobby that you can use to get ready for an upcoming event.
Get Familiar with the Hotel’s Surroundings
If you’d rather not wait in the hotel, you can use your spare time to situate yourself in the new city. This could mean walking around the neighbourhood and scoping places to visit or researching the local transit maps. If you have errands to run, now might be the time to complete them too.
Some hotels have direct shuttles into the city while others partner with local tourist groups—inquire about either program when speaking with the front desk.
Order a Drink or Eat at the Restaurant
If you’ve just come from a rushed commute, then you might welcome a drink or meal. Head over to the lobby or restaurant and wait leisurely for your room to become available.