A while back I booked a hostel in Madrid and accidentally got my travel dates mixed up - I ended up booking for 8 nights instead of 7 because when I booked the hostel I thought I was arriving one day earlier than I was actually going to arrive. It was only when I arrived in Madrid that I realized my mistake, and that the hostel declared me as a no-show. When I arrived at the hostel, I was not granted my reservation, despite pre-paying ~1300€. I had to go find some place else to stay for my time in Madrid.

The hostel's policy is to charge the entire reservation in case of no-show. Was I not entitled to the rest of my stay, even though I arrived a day late? Is the hostel allowed to both take my payment of the entire reservation and then make the room available when I do not show up on the first day?

  • 5
    This is usually documented in the rules of the hostel site or booking site when you booked. Many hostels make allowances, depending on whether it's high or low season and how much demand they have for rooms, but they're not obliged to. You should always read these rules when you're booking, and read reviews too to see if other people are complaining about such things. Commented Jan 28, 2018 at 0:57
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    It seems wrong to charge the full stay and not give you the room. Either one alone is understandable (and quite usual), but both is double-dipping. However, I don’t know the spanish laws. In Germany, I would not accept this, and raise a stink.
    – Aganju
    Commented Jan 28, 2018 at 1:39
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    Did you book this with a credit card? If so, dispute the transaction. Ideally you should have proof of them denying you your hotel bed.
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Jan 28, 2018 at 4:49
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    @Roddy of the Frozen Peas: According to the question, the OP only noticed after arriving (i.e. on the second day of booking), so it would have been too late for any ahead-of-time contact.
    – chirlu
    Commented Jan 28, 2018 at 10:36
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    It looks like a scam, I'd look for legal advice if I were you. Even if Spain has low customer protection standards, they are a member of EU and as those, they are oblidged to follow higher standards they'd otherwise like.
    – user45851
    Commented Jan 29, 2018 at 8:32

1 Answer 1


Note: This is not what I want to be the situation, it is what I see as the actual situation that the OP has to live with.

The hostel did follow the rules, you did not. So the hostel is due the money though it feels very unfair to you.

They have this rule in hostel and hotel contracts as they often have to reject people who would stay the week for your reservation and may not fill up the room when you do not show up. I have seen it in the fine print but also stated clearly on the booking confirmation, if you do not cancel before (date) you will be charged (x amount) which is often the full amount for the whole booking.

If you had contacted the hostel they would likely have adjusted the reservation to the time you would actually be there, or at least kept the bed for you arriving when you did.

We now suffer for many people who made and ignored reservations in the past, hostels have learned to charge, to teach people to cancel properly.
You can of course ask nicely, explaining you are a (poor) traveler who now has to pay more for a new booking.

This shows again that you always have to check your bookings against your travel information, when you make the booking and shortly before traveling, (and it does not hurt to do it a few times in between.)

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    I think you miss the point. Yes, the hotel gets the full amount, because he booked, period. But then he should get the room, even if he is a day late. If the hotel rents the room to someone else, they will get the room paid by that someone else. They shouldn’t have it both ways - they get double money, and there is no argument why they should get double money for it.
    – Aganju
    Commented Jan 28, 2018 at 13:56
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    They often can rent out the room/bed again but that is no way a given and when it does it is often at a lower rate. The point is not that the hostel do not lose by giving him the money, the point is that the hostel kept to the rules in the conditions, and while that feels unfair, it is following the rules. OP can ask and hope for the money, but there is no ground for demanding it. (Read the conditions before you book and double check the dates to avoid the problem.)
    – Willeke
    Commented Jan 28, 2018 at 13:59
  • Downvoters, can you please tell (or put in your own answer) why my answer is wrong or not to your liking? What I wrote is what I see as right, not as how it should be. If you know better, please tell us how and what.
    – Willeke
    Commented Jan 29, 2018 at 18:41
  • +1 I agree with this answer. What hostel did may be wrong or unfair or whatever. But it was mentioned in the fine print and the OP agreed to it all (probably without reading and understanding it all) then the hostel is just exercising its rights as stated in the contract. They don't have to do anything and cannot be legally compelled to do anything. They may be convinced to show good customer service and give up their rights deliberately but they don't have to. Commented Jan 29, 2018 at 21:53
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    You cannot contract away statutory rights, looking here cecluxembourg.lu/2020/03/31/… if the hotel did cancel they would still owe OP something, if they didn't cancel the room should still be available.
    – Clumsy cat
    Commented Oct 20, 2022 at 10:36

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