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
    Commented Dec 6, 2013 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
    Commented Dec 6, 2013 at 12:06
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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
    Commented Dec 6, 2013 at 14:39
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    I've seen contracts that forbid unregistered guests after a certain time of night. Since you've done this before on the sly, you are probably aware that you are breaching the contract. If you don't invite them down to the free breakfast you'll probably get away with it, especially if you leave a good tip for the cleaners. The guest will consume more hot water, more toiletries etc. so you can't say what you are doing is completely honest. Commented May 13, 2015 at 19:57
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    Your post implies that you can EITHER sneak them into a room OR let them sleep rough. If you do not want your friend sleeping on a bench in the park, you can get them a room in another hotel. Or tell them not to come. Nobody is FORCING you to act fraudulently! It's a contrived rationalisation.
    – Gayot Fow
    Commented May 13, 2015 at 20:17

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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    A) Assuming they pay in accordance with the contract (and don't give false statements), that law doesn't apply. B) "in the USA" is misrepresenting the extent of the jurisdiction in which that law applies. This law is only in Wyoming. Saying "in the USA" for that law is roughly equivalent to saying "in the EU" for a law that only exists in Greece. C) OTOH, what's defined in the law you quote is covered under general fraud laws in most/all US states, and most countries (assumed). Other jurisdiction just don't explicitly define special conditions for types of fraud involving innkeepers.
    – Makyen
    Commented Jul 2, 2018 at 5:17

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
    Commented May 13, 2015 at 20:09
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    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. Commented May 14, 2015 at 20:45
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    @user3712539, you are saying that they let unmarried couples share a hotel room in Texas? O tempora o mores!
    – Carsten S
    Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 19:12
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    As a rule of thumb, if a hotel has different prices depending on how many people book the same room, they almost certainly do care how many people turn up. If they don't, they probably don't, a room is a room. It also varies a lot from country to country - Japanese 'love hotels' have specially designed discreet entrances so the neighbours can't see who your secret guest is (or how many secret guests you bring!), while in various strict theocracies (e.g. UAE), if you and your romantic guest aren't married, it might be a criminal offence. Commented Jun 20, 2016 at 11:38
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    @user3712539 The thing is, no one at a Super 8 is paid enough to care. Commented Jul 3, 2018 at 16:14

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