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We are going to an event and because of this event all hotels are fully booked. Now a friend wants to join us, but can't find accommodation. We are okay with him crashing in our hotel room, either on the couch or on a self-inflatable mattress. We have done this in the past where we secretly sneaked the "guest" in.

It is not that we don't want to pay the tourist tax, it is that when ask and the hotel says no, we can't sneak him in, because we drew attention to ourself. In many hotels you can just order another bed, but there are also a lot that don't have that service.

I don't have any ethical problems with my behavior of secretly hosting a guest. I did pay for the room. I don't like being sneaky about it, since again I do pay for the hotel room. Also if I have to choose between sneaking someone in the room to crash on the couch or let him/her sleep on bench in the park. I opt for the first.

Am I just worrying to much and will being honest about it in the end be acceptable to most if not all hotels?

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I think it can vary a lot by country (rules, fire codes, average room size, taxes etc) - are you hoping for a general answer, or one specific to a particular country? –  Gagravarr Dec 6 '13 at 11:18
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You could also just call to ask if it's at all possible without mentioning your current booking, possibly pretending to plan another trip. Nobody is going to cross-check your name or phone number. Or have your friend call and explain the situation, in the unlikely event the conversation somehow goes badly and you want to take your chances, the hotel wouldn't know who to watch and you can still try it. –  Relaxed Dec 6 '13 at 12:06
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I think you could simply focus on a specific country, it will not be too broad any more. –  Vince Dec 6 '13 at 13:32
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@andra When you book a room in a hotel, you are agreeing to a contract with certain terms and expectations on both parties. If you violate the terms of the contract, then the hotel is free to withdraw the services it agreed to provide you as stipulated in the contract and in applicable law. –  choster Dec 6 '13 at 14:39
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@choster The hotel might be free to withdraw the services it agreed to provide… or not, indeed as stipulated in the contract (which we don't know) and in applicable law (which we don't know either as the OP did not even specify a country). As a rule, if you violate the terms of a contract, you are still bound by it. You might be liable for damages and there might be any number of other consequences specified in the contract itself but it is certainly not automatically voided. –  Relaxed Dec 7 '13 at 0:27

2 Answers 2

The answer will vary from country to country and from hotel to hotel, but in general you're not allowed to do this and if the hotel finds it out, they can kick you out or charge you a fine.

In some countries they can even throw you in prison (worst case). For example in the USA there is the Defrauding an innkeeper law:

A person who, with intent to defraud, procures food, drink or accommodations at a public establishment without paying in accordance with his agreement with the public establishment is guilty of:

  • A felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than ten (10) years, a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00), or both, if the value of the food, drink or accommodations is one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) or more; or

  • Repealed by Laws 1984, ch. 44, 3.

  • A misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than six (6) months, a fine of not more than seven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00), or both, if the value of the food, drink or accommodations is less than one thousand dollars ($1,000.00).

I think in the most cases you will have to pay an extra fee.

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IMO not the whole bill if you let another person to sleep in the room and not pay the fee for extra person –  Dirty-flow Dec 6 '13 at 13:59
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That really depends on the fees. Usually I pay the same fee for single versus double occupancy. I would consider it stealing if my guest would go for "christmas" –  user141 Dec 6 '13 at 14:06
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@Karlson This is not true. This varies greatly by state, Hotel and even room. At least half of the rooms that I have stayed in the U.S. (and that's in the hundreds) have had different fees based on occupancy. –  RBarryYoung Dec 6 '13 at 16:42
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@RBarryYoung Care to post links for such policies? The only time I've been charged different fees at hotels was to add a bed to the room. –  Karlson Dec 6 '13 at 16:44
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@Dirty-flow Still, that law seems intended to cover people don't pay at all. Would be interesting to know about practice and interpretation for the specific situation described in the question. –  Relaxed Dec 7 '13 at 0:05

As far as my experience is concerned, it is the registered guest's prerogative as to whether to entertain guests in their room. If this were not the case then romantic rendezvous in hotels would not be permissible. I've never had a hotel decline this privilege and in many cases I have requested additional room keys for my guests. Of course, the maximum occupancy of the room must be observed.

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Some hotels do frown upon romantic rendezvous (not sure how far they can or would go to fight it though). –  Relaxed May 13 at 20:09
    
I'm sure the class of hotel makes a difference. The Four Seasons in San Francisco and Denver were always accommodating. The Super 8 may not be so much. –  user3712539 May 14 at 20:45

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