What do you do when guests are about to arrive and your space is not quite ready?

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  • Avatar
    Mzsingitana Tented Camp

    I am currently building a place where guests could wait, because on several occasions I have had guests arrive way before the check-in time.
    So before that i would just offer them activities whilsts their room is still being prepared.
    Furthermore, pulse has a template to send guests a text to notify them that they room is ready for check-in.

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    Stephenandrichard

    Hello there, yes this has happened to me also a few times despite the fact i have an arrival time and departure time, that i have to stick to,especially in Summer. Im fortunate enough to have a summer kitchen where i can allow guests to rest after a long journey and i always offer a wee nibble and a glass of something chilled, guests usually are aware that they have arrived early and are usually quite relaxed about it.

    Happy hosting and all the best.

    Richard.

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    wendy crews

    It is quite rude of the guests to say they have not read the check in time. Through out the world guest houses all have check in times and if you know you are going to be somewhere early you should ring and inquire if you are able to do so. We all like our places to look their best when guests arrive and this takes time

  • Dear Liz,

    What I get from your post is that the room was not ready to be booked and not because of cleaning, but rather missing things or unfinished work.

    If you normally receive a guest into an unfinished space, that can end up being very bad afterwards.

    However, as most of us have a place that is fully functional, the only thing that would be a "ready" issue would be the room cleaning and preparation for another guest. 

    This is why you have the check-in time, to be sure that you have those rooms ready, regardless of the situation and if the guest arrives earlier, you simply tell them to wait until the check-in time as the room is not ready. 

    After the check-in time, the guest will really see it as an issue and in most cases it will be unacceptable for them.

    That's what I believe is the case for such things.

    Zsolt - www.thuild.com 

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    fluff

    For us this is only a problem when we are full. Otherwise we just allocate the guest another room.
    When we have no other availability, this has only occurred when the guest who checked out the same day had damaged something in the room, we will offer the guests chill out by the pool with complimentary drinks and/or suggest we store their luggage so that they can go out and start their holiday. Obviously after the usual apologies and explanation.
    Only once we had to relocate the guest for one night while we arranged a new window! We also gave this particular couple a free slap-up meal. They were really stoked and couldn't thank us enough.

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    k2u

    For us the only problem would be if we had no vacancies. Otherwise we could just allocate the guest to another room. However, if there are no rooms available due to other guests that had occupied the other rooms the night before and are staying, then we otherwise allow the guest to check in. And explain to them this is why we have check in times and check out times. Example, The guest arriving that day came at 9am way before check in time and before check out time for the previous guest.. our check in times are from 1-9:30pm (we do however make special arrangements for guests unable to check in by 9:30pm). With that being said, we did not have anywhere for the guest to go. So I suggested they leave their luggage with us here in the office, go to breakfast at the diner just up about a mile. However they were not happy. In a case like this, it is on the guest that did not abide by check in times and assumed they could just check in. She had stated she did not see where it stated check in times (I do know as we all do there is a portion on the where the guest sees "Important info you should read") and to it to be known that she was leaving a nasty review... oh she did and lied about the room. She was here for a 2 day stay. So, point is, maybe these check in/check out times should be listed somewhere the guest must check off a box stating they read this

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    Sara Jarvis

    I have persuaded my local cafe to create gift cards so that I can send early guest there they can have coffee and cake or pay more and have a meal

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    Liz M Lockwood

    Thanks all. It definitely was all ready but I haven't yet installed the power switches that made sense. The electrician is coming next Monday so I did some fancy lighting and which worked out beautifully. The guests left this morning and said it was all perfect. Sensor lights are amazing

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    wendy crews

    Hi Liz

    I had trouble with my light switches and the electrician couldn't come until the next day so like you I put some lamps around the room and everyone was happy. We have a big communal lounge where people can relax if they check in early. They usually choose to drop of their luggage and go site seeing

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    M Adamopoulou

    I have only one Studio so the day before the Studio is cleaned and ready to have my guests. Only once I had a last minute booking from guests on the road and I had just one hour to prepare the Studio. That was a run out procedure but everything was in order when the guests arrived.

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    Sara Jarvis

    Wendy you are so right but like my current guests ......a mature couple ....all the booking had been done by their children as they were not able to use the internet.It never pays to let a guest see the room before it’s ready, Just politely explain that as hotels do they can not go in until check in and send them away.....my couple had read no rules ...didn’t know there were any.

     

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    M Adamopoulou

    Sara always very creative. Very nice and hospitable idea.

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    Katerinka12

    Very good idea, Sara. Do you have to pay for these cards? Or it's a discount card?

    I didn't do that intentionally, but that what happened. My guest was a student of architecture. She saw my paintings and we started to talk about art. I gave her my advices where to go to art exhibits for free. I had discount cards for 20% from top art gallery (they give just few to chosen people). I am not sure, if she actually went there, but I could see that she was really happy to see the discount!

    That's it! It's woman nature. Women Love discounts! It works like magic.

    I am planning to make a tour on local establishments and ask for more discounts cards. It's the easiest thing for me to negotiate good deals, normally people give me discounts without even printing the card ("just mention my name" scheme)

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    Chameleonhotel

    if the room is not ready ,  I offer them  to have a coffee  or even a beer in the restaurant on our expense. Most of the guest are taking the offer , ones in a while we get one who can not be pleased with anything. I am offering to this one to leave at no charge . :) Don't like negative in the house. Chance to sell the room is quite high. But even I don't sell it, still    happy to get rid of the trouble/:)

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    wendy crews

    Hi K2u

    We have a late checkout fee of $10. If guests are stuck here for some reason we accommodate them but when we say we will have to charge them they usually pack up and leave quite happily. If we do not do this we will have guests cooking lunch at 1pm when they should not be here. People can pay $32 a night and that covers a lot but they can not carry on using electricity when they should of checked out. As for the guests who come back in the evening to use the facilities we  do not allow it, would they do that at a motel where they are paying three times the price as here? I do whatever I can to keep guests happy which is generally easy as I love people and I really want them to feel at home, it is only a few guests that want more and more and you can not make them happy

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    M Adamopoulou

    When my guests check out I always give them a small gift.

    A day before checking out I usually ask politely my guests whtat time they are planning to leave so I could give them a small present.  That way I am informed about their checking out time.

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    Jonathan

    We are very lucky to be located a few minutes walk away from Montville Village. Fortunately, this has never happened to us, but if it did, I would recommend a little stroll to the village. 

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    Moira

    Only happened to me once thank goodness!!! Guest arrived at 12H00 and my check-in time is 14H00.

    I was very polite and told them to go and have a coffee and give me an hour. They had no problem and at the end, I even received a 10/10 review.........its all about reading your client and treating them special......but yes you will get the ones that will just give you hell no matter what you do. I believe in killing them with kindness and respect and being genuine about it.

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    Leandri Klopper

    Hey everyone,

    Much like Stephenandrichard , we have have check in times but should the guest arrive sooner than they should we normally send them to the restaurant on-site. We find Food/Drinks normally make people happy. 

    We have had a pipe burst in a unit right before check-in time... but luckily we had another unit open. This is where I admire those with smaller properties such you as, Liz M Lockwood . Thinking of a quick lighting fix in a jiffy! Really brings out the creativity in a person, doesn't it? 

    Well done all! 

    I really think I'm missing out sometimes because we have very large properties. 

  • Avatar
    Lennfaith

    Hello to you all. Thinking outside the box helps if the challenge is not a very big issue. And like someone has commented above, having the visitor enjoy a light snack, drink or coffee as you tidy up is helpful. Thanks for the discussion and highlights. Immaculate

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    Katerinka12

    I am not sure if it will improve your performance during low season. May be can just improve the score.

    I see the problem with advertising
    First, it creates confusion if one establishment promotes other establishments. Second, people might think that your place is doing very well so bad that you have to attract people with those discounts.

    As for me, it's just a sweet add on. Except for massage. Maybe its a good idea to get into contact with local masseuse and make massage services available on call. As for me I would like to stay in such villa, that offers professional massage

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    Jessie & Jay (B&B in Canada)

    This being our first year of operation we only had one guest show up early.  Our check-in time is from 3 PM to 10 PM unless arranged otherwise ahead of time.  They arrived at 11:30 AM.  Thankfully the room was ready as we had just finished it.  Guests, if they book the room on BDC themselves the check-in time is clearly stated.  After they have booked their room we email them our Guest Policies which states the check-in time.  The day they are due to arrive I typically send a text message re-iterating the check-in time but stating the room is ready and they can check in any time.  Another guest really appreciated it is they had flown into town really early and had not had much sleep.  So they checked in and were able to catch a few hours of sleep before starting their vacation.  They mentioned it in their 10/10 review.

    When we recommend restaurants we ask our guests to say we recommended them just to get our name out there.  We have not yet set up any formal agreements with any other businesses.  

  • Avatar
    M Adamopoulou

    Jessie & Jay guests really appreciate early check-in. When travelling myself I really appreciate it when check-in is flexible if needed. Μy place is always ready early in the morning of the day my guests are expected. Sometimes recommending restaurants might be tricky. Guests might not like the recommendations thus making them unhappy.

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    wendy crews

    Early check in can also be difficult if guests want to checkout late. We only have a small lodge, 30 beds, but I need the hours between 10am and 2pm to get the cleaning done to the standard that I want.

    The bathrooms and kitchen are communal so I can not do anything until the guests check out. If they want to stay until 11am and the next lot want to check in at 1pm that does not leave a lot of time.

    We also have guests check out and go and do their activities for the day. Then they come back to use the toilets and showers before going to their next destination. Really that is going too far.

  • Avatar
    Sara Jarvis

    So agree with Wendy, a couple with a car (we don’t have free parking it’s pay and display by the city) checked out last week , left their car and went all over London sightseeing then marked me down on location, a location They chose!!!!!!!!!They did not mention I had to go and buy diabetic jam etc as he never told me in advance medical needs.

    Another guest packed up to leave Sunday by 11 am but wanted to lie in his room till 1...using my electricity and WiFi data playing games on his new computer.And a new guest was expected.

    No hotel would allow that then we get lousy reviews.

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    Sara Jarvis

    Forgot to add car couple had been told in 6 emails the listing was unsuitable for cars.

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    Sara Jarvis

    K2U no ;mine is a small London apartment and the other bedroom is mine, the French couple who left their car here after check out then went around town all day unhappy they had to pay parking and he also was the same diabetic who didn’t thank me for the trouble I went to are the ones that gave me 7.5 on location and facilities, and refused to answer any email prior to arrival ;when they demanded free parking and were big trouble makers....the guy said he can only eat omelettes for breakfast but I clearly advertise no cooked breakfast......there are 3 cafes in my street that do hot breakfast.

    The biggest error is that I forsaw all these problems and offered a free cancellation from their side but they did not read my emails or answer their phone......so we do not on BDC have the right to cancel them without penalties. I find ABB far easier to deal with when these problems arise.

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    Homestay in Cairns

    My checkout time is 10am. If I can see the guest isn't making an effort to be out on time I ask if it's OK to take the towels and sheets for washing so I can start to prepare for the arriving guest at 1pm. I offer the guest space to leave their luggage and/or wait in the garden area if they need more time but I must start to clean the room in a few minutes. This usually gets them moving. I have found you can't be too lenient as  the guest will take advantage of your kind nature and leave you in a desperate situation. Charging a late fee might work for some but when you don't have a room to spare that's not going to help the situation.

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    Homestay in Cairns

    I don't offer a gift but I do ask what time their flight is tomorrow and do they need my Airport drop off service or would they like me to book them a taxi. That way I know exactly what time they will depart and the check out time can be mentioned if need be.

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    Post

    I agree with Sara Jarvis that one should stick to a clear rule about check In time ..we get young Americans and adult Indians who turn up at 10:30 knowing full well that Check In is from 14:00        ..we take care of their luggage and send them off with a smile and a hiking map.

    We do give "early morning " incoming guests access to a toilet and to the garden of course, but never to unfinished rooms or to our breakfast dining areas .. that is just a hassle..

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