7

I am booking a hotel in New York City at the following hotel.

When I change the number of adult occupants from 1 to 2, the price goes up $15.

Why is this? Is there anything stopping me from reserving the room with only 1 adult, and then having 2 adults stay in the room?

10

First, this is just business. Some places do charge per room, others per person, others have a base price plus an add-on cost for each additional guest.

It is their policy and going against can land you in trouble. Usually, they will simply make you pay for the extra guest when you check-in. The same often happens when you take someone to your room for a one night stand, you can get charged for an additional person just for one night. In some places, I even got charged an impromptu guest fee for a hotel where rooms for one and two were the same price but they insisted that this fee was needed because the guest was not originally on the reservation. Another place even made the girl check-in which is definitely unromantic!

While I understand it seems unfair to charge different prices for the same thing but this happens all the time in other industries, most famously the airline industry. Sometimes though, you are not getting the same thing because the hotel may incur costs per guest. The most obvious would be included meals but this can include complimentary tours, welcome drinks, etc.

  • Can you tell me which hotels charged you for bringing one night stands? How do they track it? – verve Mar 25 '17 at 22:32
  • Can't name hotels but hotel staff usually knows who is alone and not. They seem to do it from memory, not check a registry each time you go in, so I suppose you can get lucky (in more ways than one ;) Anecdotally, the bigger the hotel entrance, the less likely they are of noticing. Of course, motels are better setup for this, if you feel particularly lucky! – Itai Mar 27 '17 at 5:08
  • Why can't you name them? – verve Mar 27 '17 at 5:14
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It looks like the hotel includes a complementary breakfast included in the rate. Many hotels will charge per-guest if food is involved, since there's a cost involved in providing that service.

You can certainly try to book for just one guest, but then you might only receive one breakfast voucher or be charged extra when you check in.

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Like any business, the hotel calculates their expenses per guest and then adjusts the room price accordingly. An extra guest will mean additional expenses for the hotel:

  • laundry fees for additional towels, bathrobes, and sheets (if it's a twin room)
  • more water and electricity used
  • additional complimentary items like slippers, shampoos, shower gels, etc.
  • breakfast

Plus, bringing an unlisted overnight guest can be viewed as a security issue (suppose your guest breaks the law, the hotel won't even know who they were), so most hotels don't approve of that. The housekeeping can usually tell how many people are staying, and the reception staff can be quite observant :)

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