Booking a hotel room often comes with the temptation to squeeze in more people than you declared during reservation. While it may seem harmless to fudge the occupancy numbers and save some money, this fib can lead to major consequences. When staying at a hotel, providing accurate information is essential for your own experience and for the property’s operations.
In this article, we’ll explore the reasons not to lie about hotel guests, whether you can get away with it, policies around occupancy, tips for handling visitors, and how to build an honest guest-hotel relationship. Read on to learn why honesty is always the best policy when it comes to divulging room occupancy.
Be Truthful About the Number of Guests
When reserving a hotel room, the number of guests is crucial information. Here’s why it’s important to disclose accurate occupancy numbers upfront:
Consequences of Exceeding Occupancy
Lying about how many people will stay in the room can lead to:
- Additional charges – Most hotels charge extra per person beyond standard occupancy. Fess typically range from $20-$50 per extra guest per night.
- Eviction – Properties can immediately remove or ban guests who exceed stated occupancy. This is grounds for eviction.
- Safety hazards – Stuffing too many people into a room can violate fire codes and create dangerous overcrowding.
- Inadequate supplies – Rooms are stocked with amenities like towels, shampoo, and hangers based on the reservation. Exceeding occupancy leaves fewer supplies per guest.
- Improper room type – Suites or rooms with more beds cost more. Lying results in improper room assignments.
Fibbing on occupancy numbers has real detriments for both the guests and hotel. It’s simply not worth the consequences.
Hotel Policies Based on Occupancy
Hotels structure pricing and policies around expected occupancy:
- Room rates – More guests means higher rates. Accurate counts let hotels charge fair rates.
- Room type – A couple wouldn’t book a 4-person suite. Guest counts determine appropriate rooms.
- Amenities and supplies – From minibar items to hangers, the hotel allocates based on guests.
- Staffing – More guests may require more housekeeping services.
- Utilities – Occupancy affects costs like air conditioning and water.
Without truthful occupancy numbers, the hotel can’t provide the best experience.
Safety Risks of Overcrowding
Exceeding room capacity strains resources and jeopardizes safety:
- Fire hazard – Overcapacity violates safety codes and poses a fire risk.
- Insufficient bedding – Attempting to sleep on floors or unsuitable furniture poses hazards.
- Increased wear – Too many people can damage furniture not designed for weight/use.
- Security risks – Strangers without background checks could compromise safety.
Accurate occupancy numbers help hotels prevent dangerous overcrowding scenarios.
The bottom line – being dishonest about the number of guests can ruin your stay and hurt hotel operations. It simply creates too many risks and headaches.
Can You Get Away With Lying?
While it may seem easy to sneak extra people in under the radar, hotels have ways of identifying occupancy deception:
- Counting toothbrushes, towels, shoes, and hangers
- Noise complaints and disruptions flagging potential extra guests
- Suspicious high traffic in/out of room
- Double-checking during housekeeping or maintenance visits
If caught exceeding stated occupancy, the consequences can be severe:
- Daily charges added to your bill for extra guests, usually $20-$50 per person
- Removal from hotel property for violating policies
- Loss of hotel loyalty program status and points
- Poor reviews online hampering future bookings
- Possible police involvement and legal action in extreme cases
While it’s possible to get away with little white lies about occupancy, is it really worth the risks? In most cases, honesty is the smartest policy.
Disclosing Occupancy Is Required
Providing accurate occupancy information isn’t optional—it’s required by every hotel. Failing to disclose guests complicates operations:
- Rooms can’t be properly assigned based on size and bed configuration
- Enough beds, linen, and amenities can’t be supplied
- Hotels can’t meet safety regulations if over capacity
- Staffing levels can’t match guests’ needs
- Hotels lose revenue by miscalculating occupancy fees
Being transparent from the start solves these issues. Wait until finalizing a booking to discuss occupancy honestly.
Handling Extra Visitors
Hotels understand guests may occasionally entertain visitors. Here are tips for smoothly handling extra visitors:
- Disclose expected visitors when booking or at check-in. Don’t surprise staff.
- Ask about visitor policies. Some hotels allow visitors only during the daytime.
- Expect fees for overnight visitors, usually around $20-50 per person daily.
- Hotels may require ID checks and security screenings for all visitors.
- Communicate about visitors and adjust occupancy if stays become frequent or long.
With advance planning and fees, many hotels can accommodate visitors flexibly. Don’t assume it’s allowed without asking first.
Fostering Honesty Between Guests and Hotels
A relationship of trust between guests and hotels benefits all parties. Some tips:
- Disclose accurate occupancy when booking, including kids. Update staff about changes.
- Don’t pressure staff into “just this once” exceptions that violate policies.
- Provide fair reviews addressing issues professionally, not emotionally.
- Explain policies and occupancy limits transparently upon booking.
- Enforce occupancy policies consistently, not arbitrarily. Hold all guests accountable.
- Address guest complaints promptly and compassionately.
When guests and hotels engage honestly and ethically, it leads to smoother stays and operations.
Fibbing about occupancy might seem harmless on the surface, but it can have major detrimental consequences for your stay and the hotel’s operations. Exceeding room limits jeopardizes safety, incurs extra fees, and damages mutual trust. While making room for occasional visitors is often possible with planning and fees, it’s wise to disclose accurate occupancy numbers upfront when booking. Truthful communication lays the foundation for positive experiences on both sides. By following hotel policies and speaking up about changes, guests can enjoy their stays without compromising comfort, safety, or relationships.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is it okay to lie about the number of guests in a hotel room?
A: No, it’s not advisable. Lying about guests can violate hotel policies and may lead to extra charges or eviction.
Q: What happens if I don’t declare all guests during check-in?
A: The hotel may charge additional fees, or your reservation could be canceled if you exceed the room’s occupancy limit.
Q: Can I add extra guests later if I initially booked for fewer people?
A: Typically, you can request to add guests, but check with the hotel in advance to avoid issues.
Q: Will hotels charge extra for children staying in the room?
A: Many hotels offer free stays for children within a certain age range, but it varies by property, so check their policies.
Q: Can hotels refuse service if I have more guests than declared?
A: Yes, hotels may refuse service if you exceed the room’s occupancy limit or violate their policies.
Q: What if I’m just having visitors and not staying overnight?
A: Inform the hotel, as some may require registering visitors for security reasons, even if they’re not staying overnight.
Q: Are there consequences for concealing guests?
A: Yes, concealing guests may result in extra charges, eviction, or even legal action, depending on the hotel’s policies.
Q: Can I negotiate with hotels to accommodate more guests?
A: You can inquire about room upgrades or suites that can accommodate additional guests, but it’s subject to availability and fees.
Q: Do hotels track the number of guests in a room?
A: Some hotels use key card access records and housekeeping checks to monitor guest counts, ensuring compliance with their policies.
Q: Is it okay to exceed the maximum occupancy with a baby or toddler?
A: Hotels may make exceptions for infants, but it’s best to inform the hotel about your child to avoid any issues during your stay.