Why should we have to put up with a 10am check out in most Australian and New Zealand Hotels?
Warning – this is one of my pet hates – so I won’t hold back.
Many of you reading this are very well travelled overseas, and know that in most of the countries that you have visited, the check out time is normally 11 am and often 12 noon – very civilised. 30 years ago in this country, I believe that an 11 am checkout was the norm but then it was whittled down to 1030, and now 10 am is common across the board with a few exceptions.
I can now hear the hotel/motel managers screaming “We need to get in and clean the rooms for the next guests, ” to which I reply, “Are you running your establishment for the benefit of the guests or yourself and the cleaning staff? “
And yes I know that you have guests wanting to get access to their room at 2pm rather than 3pm but cope with that – other countries do. You have some guests checking out early so clean those first.
In Australia and New Zealand our hotel prices are some of the most expensive in the world so we deserve better. Now hoteliers you can scream at me!
I can also hear lots of guests also asking , “Why on earth would you want to occupy a hotel room past 10am anyway? “
I agree that if it’s a motel on a major highway which is used basically by travellers, truckies etc as a bed for the night then yes by 10 am everyone is well and truly gone. In fact, those keen to get on the road early often start at 5 am with loud talk, radios, banging of doors and revving of engines whilst some of us are trying to get that last hour of sleep. However, there are lots of accommodation establishments and particular occasions when the guests have good reasons for not wanting to have to pack and get out by 10 am, and I will go into those shortly.
There were two events which sent me over the edge and clearly indicated to me that as guests we should actually feel privileged to be allowed to stay in some accommodation houses. We are tolerated at best, and an annoyance to the management and cleaning staff. We make a mess in the bathrooms, sleep in the beds, expect room service, steal the amenities and have the habit of overstaying till 1015 or 1020 am against all the rules laid down it the hotel/motel instruction book.
These two events that sent me right over the edge are true stories…every word.
Number 1. Akaroa New Zealand. We were staying at a pleasant motel in this lovely historic town for two nights – Friday and Saturday. Sunday morning was 10 am checkout ( yes on a Sunday) and we were moving a little slowly. It had been a busy week, Saturday was very relaxing, so we slept in till 9. Wrong!
At exactly 10 am I had the bags ready to go and we were 5 mins away from leaving when there was a bang on the door. I opened the door and there was a lady with a vacuum cleaner. “Check out is at 10 am”, she said and pointed at her watch. I mumbled my apologies and swore to her that we would be out in 5 mins. “I’ll wait out here,” she said and so when we left there she still was with vacuum in hand.
The following year we were back in Akaroa for 2 nights on a weekend and this time I approached the receptionist at some lovely apartments right on the waterfront. I explained what had happened the previous year and asked if we could please have an 11 am check out. “By all means – make it 12 noon. We are quiet on a Sunday night so the room cleaning can wait till Monday. ” Hear that hoteliers!
Number 2. Mt Maunganui, New Zealand. ( Sorry NZ – not picking on you – could be Australia). I was overnighting at this popular beach resort with my business partner for meetings with local travel agents.
I booked a 2 bedroom apartment online that had good reviews, was well priced at $220 for the night, and it was located opposite the beach with great views – not that we had time to look at them. We were in at 5pm and out at 830am next day.
To my surprise, when I looked at the sign on the wall I noticed the check out rules that you see here. Apart from the appalling English and the rudeness of the wording, the charges that are threatened make me gasp.
I understand that some guests can be a bit slow checking out and delay things for cleaning staff, but $100 for going past 10 am and full extra night charge after 11 am? Good luck enforcing that one!
By the way, if you want to check out before 7:30am then you must “check out” the night before. So where do you sleep? Do they mean “settle up account”?
As a final note on this hotel, I see on TripAdvisor several comments about the rude manager – no doubt he who wrote the sign! And he is in the “hospitality” industry….
So why might you want the “luxury” of at least an 11am check out?
Perhaps you had a few very busy days and wanted a lie in. Perhaps you had some considerable number of emails to send to business colleagues. Perhaps you needed to make lots of phone calls before checking out. Perhaps – who cares – you want the room.
But let’s suppose you have gone away for the weekend Friday to Sunday with someone special for some time together and enjoying one another’s company. It’s Sunday morning and you are relaxed and chatting, looking forward to …. you get the picture.
You look at your watch and bugger it’s 9am and you have to shower, eat, pack all by 10 am or at some places cop a $100 charge. Romance out the window.
The really smart hoteliers in popular weekend locations offer a 12-noon checkout on Sunday as a selling feature, and breakfast till 11 am. After all, you’re empty on Sunday night so what’s the hurry to clean the room?
I rest my case, Your Honour.
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