Most hotels, motels, hostels, vacation rentals, and bed and breakfasts have standard check-in and check-out times. Check-in is usually between 2 pm and 4 pm, while check-out is typically from 10 am to noon.
That said, there’s no reason to worry if your flight lands at night or you’re delayed along the way – some properties are flexible and can welcome travelers at any time of day.
Many hotels, especially airport locations or major chains (like Marriott, Hilton, Best Western, etc.), have no problem with guests checking in after midnight. Their front desks are open 24/7 to allow for late arrivals. However, your check-out time will remain the same even if you check in after midnight.
The following explains common hotel policies for checking in after midnight and what that means when checking out the next day.
Do Hotels Let You Check-In After Midnight?
Most hotels let guests arrive outside of standard check-in times, but it depends on the particular property and possibly the hotel manager.
If you’re staying at a chain hotel near an airport or in a major city, you’ll likely have no issues checking in at any hour, especially if you inform the front desk beforehand.
These properties are usually staffed 24/7 and are used to guests checking in at any point throughout the night.
If you already know you will arrive after midnight, confirm with the hotel before making a reservation – smaller boutique hotels or more old-fashioned establishments might not accommodate late arrivals.
Depending on these hotels’ policies, some may consider you a no-show if you don’t check in before midnight, and they may give your room away while still charging you anyways.
That said, most hotels are willing to accommodate guests in any way they can, and smaller properties without 24-hour staffing will likely ask you to just call when you arrive.
The owner or the property manager will then come and meet you and get you settled in for the night.
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How To Check Into a Hotel After Midnight
Checking into a hotel after midnight usually isn’t a problem, but you can do a few things to make the process easier.
Let the Hotel Know Ahead of Time
Whether your flight lands late or you’re stuck in traffic en route, always inform the hotel if you’re checking in after midnight.
If you know in advance that you’ll arrive late at night and decide to book your room online, you can often select a check-in time before confirming your reservation.
Otherwise, call or email the property and give them a head’s up as to when they can expect you.
If you had planned to arrive at the usual check-in time, but are delayed for any reason, contact the hotel and let them know.
If the front desk knows you’re coming, they’re more likely to be accommodating – especially if the property isn’t usually open 24 hours a day.
Prepare Essential Documents
When checking in to any hotel, you usually need at least two things: a valid, government-issued photo ID and a credit card.
Having these things ready makes the check-in process smoother, and keeping your booking number (or copy of your reservation) handy can make things even easier.
Even if your hotel has a 24-hour front desk, checking in after midnight can be rough on everyone, and being polite when speaking with the staff can go a long way.
Sometimes issues can arise with late check-ins, particularly if you haven’t informed the property beforehand.
Thankfully, patience is often enough to get things resolved quickly – and if you’re kind and considerate, the hotel may offer you late check-out for free or accommodate any requests you may have.
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When Do You Have to Check Out When Checking In After Midnight?
Regardless of when you check in to a hotel, check-out time remains the same.
You’ll have access to your room for the nights you pay for, starting from the property’s check-in time on day one.
Check-in is usually between 2 pm and 4 pm, and check-out is between 10 am and noon.
As far as the hotel is concerned, your room will be ready in the afternoon on the first day, and if you’re not there when the clock starts ticking, it’ll just be there waiting for you.
This system is almost identical worldwide because it keeps things simple and gives housekeeping enough time to clean the rooms between guests.
If you’re only staying one night and arrive after midnight, the hotel will expect you to leave at the usual time – unless you’ve requested late check-out.
How Does Late Check-Out Work?
Late check-out allows guests to extend their stay by up to a few hours on their last day.
You can request late check-out either before you arrive or when you check in; however, not every hotel offers this service, and if they’re fully booked, they may be unable to accommodate you.
Some hotels offer guests up to an additional hour for free but may charge extra for longer extensions.
If you’d like to keep your room beyond the standard check-out time, contact the hotel beforehand to see what’s available.
When late check-out isn’t possible, hotels usually offer luggage storage for guests spending a few extra hours in the area.
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You can almost always check in to a hotel after midnight, but your check-out date and time will remain the same.
If you know you’ll arrive later in the evening, inform the hotel as soon as possible.
When the front desk is open 24/7, it shouldn’t be a problem; however, if the property isn’t staffed at night, you may need to make alternative arrangements, like calling when you arrive or staying elsewhere.