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I booked a flight to tokyo and it was kind of a package deal, and so there were 7 days included at a hotel with our flight. So we have 7 days booked at this hotel, however since we wanted to go to Osaka on day 4 and 5, we booked two nights at Osaka at another hotel. I am just wondering if this is an issue and if I should tell the first hotel beforehand that even though we are booked for 7 days on day 4 and 5 we wont be staying there but will be back on day 7. Is it best to tell this to the hotel, or will it not matter since we paid already? Sorry if this is a dumb question, this is my first time travelling.

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    If you just go away I think the hotel staff will be quite alarmed when on day 5 housekeeping finds that the room has not been touched since they made the bed on day 4. It will look like you absconded without paying -- they may rent out the room to someone else, and/or police may become involved. So definitely let the hotel know about your plans. – Henning Makholm Apr 21 '17 at 15:22
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    @HenningMakholm I have done this before, actually more than once, and the hotel didn't mention it or worry about it. The room was paid for by someone else, and except for a few days I was staying in it for six weeks, I was planning to leave some things there, and basically I thought it would be simpler not to bring it up rather than try to explain. I can see it would be different at a very small hotel. – Calchas Apr 21 '17 at 15:45
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    I've done it in Germany in a medium sized hotel where I stayed long enough to know the staff's names. Didn't tell them I wouldn't be there for a day or two and they never mentioned it. I was afraid of housekeeping noticing and worrying, but that never happened. – simbabque Apr 21 '17 at 16:05
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    You should tell them, unless you have a very private reason for not telling them about you being away. Think it from their perspective. The amount of people and logistics investment hotel owners/administration make for their customers is variable, but its a significant number. – WedaPashi Apr 21 '17 at 16:16
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    Ill let them know, its not a problem at all, I really didnt think about it until this morning, and I wondered whether it would be an issue. Ill be on the safe side and just give them a heads up. – bill Apr 21 '17 at 17:00
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Normally I just advise the staff and tell them not to make the room. It has happened before but never in Japan, but I don't expect it to be different. I even leave all the stuff I don't need for an overnight trip the times I've done the same.

Also, they don't really know you are sleeping somewhere else, you could have been partying all night, been stuck without transport back from a day trip, etc, so there are plenty of reasons people miss a night. You have already paid the room in full, so they have nothing to be worried about. Just make sure they know, particularly if you did not leave anything in there.

  • right. this is completely normal. sure, just tell the staff "you're going away for the night" so they know what's going on. – Fattie Apr 23 '17 at 17:17
  • From Canada for example, there are often have very cheap packages with charter flights and a hotel in a single location. You can book these for 7-14 days usually and it sometimes comes almost the same price as just the airfare. So a lot of people buy those and take some nights off to go see places they can't reach in a day trip. There are also overnight excursions where you can trek for 1-4 days but you still need the hotel before and after. I have done it and know many other people who did. Of course, it depends on the deal. In Ecuador, we do not see such offers. – Itai Apr 24 '17 at 2:31
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Assuming you intend and expect to pay for all 7 nights, there is no requirement you actually stay there.

Sure, you can tell the desk you may be away. I would be stunned if they had an issue.

You could also set the "No Service/Privacy" indicator. This is not an uncommon occurrence.

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    This. I'm totally surprised by the number of comments expressing concern about the staff finding the room untouched... what you do with it while you've got it booked is entirely your concern. If you go out to a bar one night and end up going home with someone, do you call the hotel to let them know? Absurd. If you're concerned, do exactly as Johns-305 said and put the Do Not Disturb sign up. (Full disclosure: I'm one of those who always puts the DND sign up as soon as I check in) – A C Apr 22 '17 at 20:35
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    @AC: The first thing an absconder is going to do on their way out is put the DND sign up. – Lightness Races in Orbit Apr 22 '17 at 21:26
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    @BoundaryImposition How does one abscond with a hotel room?!?!? Either you paid and checked in, or you didn't. – ErikE Apr 23 '17 at 3:39
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    @ErikE: Many hotels charge at checkout, and it's quite easy to query a charge on your credit card statement. No matter how many question marks and exclamation marks you use :) – Lightness Races in Orbit Apr 23 '17 at 13:28
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    @ErikE: Whether or not you think absconding from a hotel room is common, that is what the term means. – Lightness Races in Orbit Apr 23 '17 at 17:21
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While my answer doesn't wholly apply to the asker's particular case since the nights absent are not at the beginning of the stay, in the more general case for other folks who have a similar question, it is worth noting that if one won't be present to check in at the start of the booking, one definitely should contact the hotel so they don't assume it is a case of no-show and give the reserved room to someone else.

Now, you almost certainly can only expect to keep a room available for your arrival that the hotel has been paid for or where they can ensure payment. No hotel I know of will maintain a reservation past the check-in time without receiving money or holding a credit card number for security, and if you show up for the first time on day two and all the rooms are gone, tough luck. Even a credit card almost certainly can't keep the room available to the second night without some form of check-in.

If you've paid in advance, being a no-show is acceptable and as long as you have notified them you can probably expect to keep the room. Don't do it too early as this puts a burden on them to remember for an extended period. Call on the day of the expected check-in.

If your payment is not in advance and you expect to pay at the end of your stay, there are a few additional considerations. First, you'll almost certainly be expected to provide a credit card for security, often at booking time and certainly no later than check-in time. Second, if you don't check in on the expected day by the expected time, everything I said above about check-in comes into play and you should no longer expect a room to be reserved for you, plus you may additionally be charged one night's stay even if you never showed.

Finally, if you do plan to be away from the room for an extended period (more than a day or two, though you theoretically could be risking problems even then), do inform the hotel. Even with a Do Not Disturb sign placed on your door, they may check rooms periodically, and if a room is completely empty with no belongings they may reasonably assume you have left without notice and check you out, so that when you return you find you have no room. Even belongings may be collected and the room retaken if it goes on for too long.

None of this should be surprising. Hotels make money by getting paid for rooms. Anything that could jeopardize their ability to be paid for any room is something they will take action to prevent. Failure to check in, abandonment of a room where they may not be able to charge the full amount of the stay to a held credit card, fear of a room being damaged so that it requires repair or can't be occupied for a period, and so in.

My answer is not specific to Japan so I'd be interested in any comments or improvement that can be made to this answer, but I think it extremely likely that no matter where you are, not showing up at the expected time to check in could put your reserved room at risk.

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    Even if you haven't paid up front, if the room is reserved for you then the hotel has agreed to hold the room for you, and you have agreed to pay the hotel for it. You owe them regardless of whether you actually use the room. The bit about checking in is quite important, though, as you've likely agreed that if you don't check in then the hotel can give your room away. Sometimes the agreement states that you don't owe them in that case, but more frequently in my (mostly US/Euro) experience you're still obligated to pay for the room since they might not find a last minute replacement. – A C Apr 22 '17 at 20:41
  • What you've said seems consistent with what I wrote, with the addition that you may or may not be expected to pay for a no-show reservation if you haven't already. Does that seem accurate? I'm having trouble figuring out what the main thrust of your comment is. – ErikE Apr 22 '17 at 21:38
  • @ErikE: The disagreement between your answer and A C's comment -- if I'm understanding you both correctly -- is in the case of { absence at beginning of stay, didn't prepay, did check in }. Your answer seems to be saying that you "almost certainly" can't expect the hotel to hold the room vacant for you, since you haven't paid for it, whereas A C is saying that the hotel has committed to hold it for you, as long as you do check in. – ruakh Apr 23 '17 at 0:37
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    The main thrust was primarily my (mis?)interpretation of your second paragraph -- I read it as implying that if the hotel finds your room to be vacant on day 2 after you've checked in but still have not yet paid, they are likely to rent it to someone else. Re-reading it now, you may have still been talking about failure to check in. – A C Apr 23 '17 at 2:30
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    @AC Yes, I only address the failure to check in scenario. Is my edit sufficient to clarify the answer? – ErikE Apr 23 '17 at 3:38

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