How to get an early check-in

Recently we had a somewhat disgruntled review on the dreaded TripAdvisor which stated that we were ‘less than enthusiastic’ when someone tried to check-in at 12.20pm on a Sunday. (As is the way with these things the author stated 1.20pm in his review but we remember the customer well!).

Early check-ins have become an issue in recent years for us, so much so that we have taken to putting the check-in (2pm) and check-out (midday) times in bold on all confirmations. We have always put the times but the bold is new. It’s a not too subtle attempt to remind customers that an early check-in is not a right but a favour. After all if we had not had time to clean the room properly you would not be best pleased. Yet last Sunday over 25% of our residents were here before 2pm.

Of course, we will always try to accommodate this request but, like a good many things in life, it is all about how you ask. Rocking up at reception in the middle of a busy Saturday or Sunday lunch service with all your bags in tow demanding access to your room is not the way. We are only human and may look a ‘little miffed’. After all it is the one time of day that we are not expecting you and we are supposed to be looking after our lunchtime guests. Instead, we have to run to the room in question and see if it is ready. (This is beginning to sound like a rant(!) but it is not meant to be). But come on; we all know that you are seeking a favour. We stated very clearly on the confirmation the time that the room was available. We even now tell people at the end of the telephone conversation if you book by phone. So please, why not try the one or all of the following: Ring in advance – if we can do it we will; say you know you are early but is there any chance? Don’t bring in all your luggage as if to say, ‘We’re here now you’ve got to let us in’.

As we stand, we are considering bringing the check-out time forward by an hour in order to have time to get the rooms ready which, I think, would be very sad; but I know many hotels are doing this…..

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