Friday, April 8, 2011

No More Check-Out

Do you ever find yourself stuck in-between check-in and out times? Perhaps this doesn’t have to be the case anymore. Some hotels are looking into relaxing their rigid policies. Properties, such as Hilton and Hyatt, allow their guests a few more hours after check-out to stick around. Starwood Preferred Guests receive a guaranteed 4PM check-out at nearly 75% of their properties. Even some American Express card holders have the luxury of a 4PM check-out time in AmEx’s Fine Hotels & Resorts program.

Hotels began to notice the inconvenience these inflexible times were causing business travelers. After doing some research, Horst H. Schulze, chief executive and chairman for Capella Hotels & Resorts, and former president of Ritz-Carlton, found that the check-in/out times were travelers’ biggest pet peeve. "Business travelers are very annoyed when they come in the morning and have to go to a meeting and want to put their stuff down and are told check-in time is 3 p.m.," says Schulze.
As a result, Capella Hotels & Resorts have completely gotten rid of set check-in and check-out times. In order to keep track of check-in/ out times, a staff member calls each guest to get their approximate arrival/departure times. With this estimation, the hotel can still plan other guest rooms accordingly.

With this new policy; however, troubles may arise. With a completely booked hotel, the wiggle room minimizes. However, Guenter Richter, the Setai's managing director, says that at his “214-room hotel [they are] able to fulfill guests' desired schedules 95% of the time”.

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