How To Get Your Hotel To Say Yes To A Late Check-Out

In some instances, a late hotel check-out can be an early morning dream come true. Maybe you want to avoid schlepping around town until your evening flight or (really) want to hit the snooze button after a late night with friends. Whatever the case may be, a late check-out can provide you with a few additional hours of sleep, privacy, luggage storage, and sheer relaxation before hitting the road. However, knowing how to ask for a late check-out may be the difference between cozy sheets and early streets.

While some luxury hotels offer loyalty programs that help ensure top-tier guests receive a late check-out upon request, the availability of a late check-out is typically unpredictable and left to the discretion of the staff. To help your chances, you'll need to know when to ask, who to ask, and how to ask. While these tips may not always guarantee slow-moving morning bliss, they're worth keeping in mind when asking for a late check-out.

When to ask for a late check-out

Typically, you can't be assured a late check-out when make your hotel reservation. The reasoning is pretty simple. If you book your hotel weeks or months in advance, the hotel doesn't know if your room will be vacant to accommodate the request. But this doesn't mean you shouldn't ask. If you know you'd benefit from late-check in advance, go ahead and make the request via phone or email. They probably can't promise you a late check-out, but they should make a note of the request.

Once you arrive for check-in, remind the front desk of your request for late check-out. Depending on the length of your stay, the front desk may be able to accommodate your request. The shorter your stay, the more likely the front desk is apprised of room vacancies. 

However, waiting until five minutes before check-out time is probably not the best time to ask, either. Housekeeping may already have a cleaning schedule that's hard to adjust. If there was a Goldilocks time to ask, it's probably the late afternoon or evening on the day before check-out. By this point, the front desk will have a good idea of the next day's vacancies, and you won't be interfering with the housekeeping's next morning schedule.

How to (properly) request a late check-out

Politeness goes a long way in the hospitality industry. Hotel staff members interact with all types of people each day, and the front desk is typically given a lot of leeway regarding fulfilling guest requests. If a late check-out is possible, your polite and respectful attitude may prove pivotal for enjoying a few more hours of relaxation. Asking in person may also make your request seem, well, more personable. 

If the front desk seems reluctant, you could offer to pay for the extended time. While they may indeed charge you, hotels are known to grant an hour or two, if possible, at no additional charge (to polite guests, of course).

However, when a late check-out is just not possible, there's no reason to argue. Ultimately, your ability to get a late check-out is largely (or completely) dictated by availability. Arguing with the front desk won't do you any favors, and if you need to check-out soon, then favors may still help you. For instance, the front desk may agree to store your luggage or allow you to use the hotel spa. Similar to requesting a late check-out, it never hurts to ask. Just do so politely.