This is a very generic question regarding hotel checkout times and rent payment. Hotel websites usually list their rooms' price range based on how many nights the guest will be staying there. So if I were to check-in at about 5'o clock in the morning and vacate at 4 in the afternoon on the very next day, for how many days do I have to pay the rent for?

I am currently assuming this counts as 2 days, but I am not sure. Since I have to book it online, I must choose the number of days before paying (1 day is expensive enough). Is there a commonly expected check-out time for hotels? Please don't ask me where I will be staying - like I mentioned, this is a very generic question.

I called the reception, but I didn't get what they said (tough accent). There is no time for email either.

December 01, 05:00 AM
December 02, 04:00 PM

  • 2
    When you say 4 pm the "very next day" do you mean the same calendar day (eg. 5AM on Dec 1 and leave Dec 1 at 4PM) or do you mean Dec 2, which, strictly, is exactly what you wrote. You have two answers with two different interpretations of what you wrote, otherwise they agree. Nov 30, 2014 at 21:41
  • @SpehroPefhany I've added a more clear and simple schedule to the question. Nov 30, 2014 at 21:59

2 Answers 2


As far as I know, all hotels provide a check-in and check-out time (i.e. the earliest time you can come in and the latest time you can come out). It is specific to every hotel/accommodation so you should be able, at the time you book the room, to know which apply.

While your question is very broad and cannot be answered with certainty (you should check the rules of the accommodation you'll stay at), most places I've stayed at had a checkout time between 10 AM and 12PM and a check-in time after 1PM. So in your case, for a stay starting in the early morning and ending in the late afternoon, you will most likely pay for two nights.

In some hotels, in North America, I've seen some offering a "sleep-in" rate where you stay later than the normal check-out time, for a couple more hours (e.g. until 4PM) and pay for a fraction of the price of the next night. I cannot remember which chain offered that though. For example, Motel 6 policies vaguely state that you can check out late, if you ask and the personnel agrees before check-out time:

12 noon (Time vary by location). Late check-outs must be approved and arranged with front desk personnel prior to check-out time.

But if you know where you want to go, you can still call the hotel and explain your situation and the hotel might allow you, it is up to the hotel manager/owner to decide their policies. You might get a favorable rate.

Bottom line: either you book one more night through a booking website (i.e. you book the nights of Nov 30 evening, Dec 1 evening, Dec 2 evening), or you contact the hotel directly explaining your situation and ask for a specific rate with your specific check-in/check-out times.

  • Thank you for the answer. Since I am checking in very early, do I have to book the day before that too (30th Nov)? Nov 30, 2014 at 22:00
  • @RenaeLider The bottom line of my answer is that either you book more nights through a booking website, or you call/email the hotel explaining your situation and ask for a specific reservation with your specific check-in/check-out times. I update the answer
    – Vince
    Nov 30, 2014 at 22:06

Booking Nights

Hotels count the nights you spend rather than the days. A night is defined as the time period between hotel check-in and check-out times and, whilst this is often less than 24 hours, it will inevitably span over a calendar-night.

Check-in Times

In general each hotel decides its own check-in and check-out times. There is no unique rule. However you can safely assume that check-in will be in the afternoon, and check-out will be in the morning before 12. This is to allow for the room to be cleaned between two occupancies.

You can however ask the hotel for early check-in and late check-out should you need it. This will most certainly come at a cost which should be less or equal to paying one extra night. On the other hand, if all you need is a place to store your luggage, you can vacate the room on time and ask the hotel to store your bags. This is usually free. Luggage storage facilities can also be used should you arrive before check-in time.

Your Reservation

In your case, a reservation with an arrival time of 05:00 and departure at 16:00 the next day will span 2 calendar-nights, but three hotel-nights because 16:00 is after standard hotel check-out times. Hence, assuming you need the room until 16:00, you would be paying for three nights, unless you negotiate a better deal with the hotel. You mention that you have no time to negotiate this over email, hence I would advise you to book for two night, and ask about late check-out once you are there.

Inform the Hotel about your Late Check-In

On a different note, because you are arriving very late I would suggest to inform the hotel to avoid your reservation being cancelled due to a no-show.

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