Visiting a upscale hotel in New York is often an exciting experience, although sometimes the rules can really dampen your weekend plans and throw your itinerary off. However, many people don’t realize that hotels can, and often do, give out extra benefits to customers who simply request them politely. One such service is the late check-out, in which you can enjoy an extra hour or two in a luxurious room rather than waiting in a coffee shop or uncomfortable reception area. However, these benefits are seldom offered to rude customers, which is why we would like to offer some tips on how you can courteously get extra benefits when staying at a hotel in New York.
A Few Tips to Score some Extra R&R
The following are some tips offered by Megan Wood, who works for a company that reviews and rates hotels and has more experience than most with hotels and staff. These will help you enjoy the late check-out time you need without causing a hassle for any members of staff.
- Always be polite: Staff and managers are more eager to go out of their way for customers who treat them with respect and dignity. While it’s understandable that long trips can be draining and even small irritations can get on your nerves after a long drive or flight, they are still human and not simply staff at a hotel.
- Choose your days wisely: You are far more likely to be allowed Late Check-Out at a Hotel with HotelsByDay in New York if you are staying during off-peak times. This is because, during NYC’s off-peak times, the staff don’t have to rush around to ensure each room is clean for the next guests who might already be waiting. They can rather plan to clean your room last and afford you an extra hour or two to snuggle in some high thread-count linen.
- If you have a loyalty card or visit often, make sure to let the staff know: Although this doesn’t guarantee you a late check-out, it will certainly help. Hotels don’t want to lose loyal members, so they often tend to accommodate them more. If you aren’t a member, see if you can sign up for it. Many hotels offer free memberships, which are ultimately mutually beneficial.
Always Remember – the Desk Agent is King
Because keeping the customer happy is a top priority in the hotel industry, you will almost never find front desk agents who are rude, snotty or seemingly against you. However, this is because they have far more control than most customers think, and don’t have to be rude to you to make your stay uncomfortable. So remember this before you raise your voice or demand more than you actually deserve, as the agent giving you your room knows precisely which rooms have cold drafts, broken curtains rails and television remotes with low batteries.
In an interview with a true veteran in hotels and hospitality, Jacob Tomsky shares some real insights on the matter: “At the front desk, I am a god of instant karma.” He explains that he has many “weapons” at his disposal, such as replacing rooms that include beautiful views with less exciting rooms, placing customers in room 1212 – the dialing code for New York – or the more complicated key bomb: dual initialized keys that ultimately get you locked out of your room.
So remember next time, the desk agent you are speaking to is just as human as you are and deserves some respect and courtesy – especially if you are thinking of asking for favors such as a late check-out.
Two Sides to Every Coin
While it’s always fantastic to receive more than you bargained for, you need to also remember that there are two sides to every coin. A benefit that you enjoy may lead to a drawback endured by someone else. Therefore, it’s courteous to never push the limits of a late check-out, as you may be simply causing other people to lose out on their fair share.
However, there are times when a reasonable request on a late check-out is fair, as featured in an article on Forbes with Michael Forrest Jones: “If you overstay your check-out, and we don’t know ahead of time, you drive everyone nuts.” Nevertheless, further down the article he goes on to state “If you call first and ask for the extra time, we can accommodate you if your request, the extra time you need, is reasonable; the housekeepers can plan around that contingency, and everyone is happy.”
So don’t hesitate to politely request extra time if you need it. Perhaps you didn’t notice the time while enjoying the high thread-count sheets in your king-sized bed overlooking Central Park, or perhaps your next meeting only starts at 3 p.m. and you aren’t overjoyed by the thought of having to spend a few hours waiting in a coffee shop. Regardless of your reason though, hotels in New York can be very accommodating at most times and all it takes is a small amount of courtesy and planning to make your travels so much more enjoyable.
Hey Mike and Luci,
Thanks for this post. I opened it because I was thinking there would be some secret about getting a late check out but there really isn’t one. The things you outlined are great and being courtesy is your number one go to. This should be the case in most things anyways.
We’ve always gotten late check out for the reasons you mentioned, booking during off-season or during the week, being part of loyalty programs (thank God for travel hacking), and simply being polite. When asking we usually give them the reason of our travel plans like we’re leaving for the airport at 2pm just a couple hours after check out and have tons of stuff we don’t want to haul around. That’s usually enough to give us some extra time.
Thanks again for the reminders on checking out.
Love from the Philippines,
Great tips guys. Late checkout is something that we are often trying to get because of bus or flight times so we’ll definitely take these tips with us moving forward. Cheers
We are always polite with the folks at the hotels, thus always ensuring great service. You are right, you get what you give.
This is a great post on karma. I truly believe that if you are courteous to other people they will be courteous to you. Getting over on anything ultimately will effect someone else. So always think about that before requesting extra services. In my experience, many of the places will allow late checkout if the room is not already booked for that day and the cleaning crew can have some extra time. Otherwise, they will charge a late checkout fee.
Being polite always does the trick! I even had the Venetian in Vegas extend mine to 6pm!