By Ilona Kauremszky

Q: "Why is it the practice of some hotels and motels to have a check-in time of 4:00 p.m. & a check-out time of 11:00 a.m. Just how do these establishments expect you to do anything besides dine & sleep on the first day?"

A: It's the old Catch-22. Hotel & motel operators would love you to stay anytime. However, there is the reality that beds and rooms need to be made up. My contact at the Hotel Association of Canada which is the national organization representing the accommodation industry in Canada indicated that check-in and check-out times have been put in place because all accommodations require this time to clean rooms.

So, if you can only check-out from the hotel at 6:00 p.m. because the afternoon matinee you booked three months ago finishes at 5:30 p.m., alert the hotel in advance. In most cases, they'll be able to accommodate you. It's known as a "late check-out" and should be free of charge. If a visitor is interested in an earlier reservation, the hotel needs to be advised at the time of the reservation. The request can be met quite frequently.

Or, there is the case when the check-in time of 4:00 p.m. can't be met because your plane arrives in the late evening. In this case, the hotel will gladly reserve the room provided you give them a credit card number at the time you made your reservation. Typically, the room will be held for you until the next day. This is why hotels frequently ask, "What time will you be checking in?"


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