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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
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
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
@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
@choster agreed. But is the number of particpants part of the terms and general conditions? I have specifically checked on two occasions and nothing was said about the number of occupants. Actually if you don't say so, you usually pay double toursits tax on booking.com booking, even if only details of one visitor is giving. So given this behavior by hotels, my behavior is just reciprocity. –  andra Dec 6 '13 at 17:35

1 Answer 1

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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The difference here is that I am actually paying the bill. –  andra Dec 6 '13 at 13:55
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
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" –  andra Dec 6 '13 at 14:06
@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
@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

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