Why Do Hotels Have A 12 pm Check Out?

why do hotels have a 12pm check out

Have you ever found yourself in that familiar, bittersweet situation where you’re having the time of your life in a hotel room, only to realize that the clock is ticking and check-out time is looming? I mean, who wants to leave that cozy room with the fluffy pillows and that breathtaking view? Well, my friend, you’re not alone in this dilemma. Let’s dive into the intriguing world of hotel check-out times and uncover why the magic number seems to be 12 pm!

Quick Answer 👇

Hotels opt for a 12 pm check-out to balance room turnover, housekeeping, and guest comfort.

The Standard Checkout Time in Hotels

So, picture this: you’re on a fabulous vacation, and it’s your last morning in the hotel. You wake up, rub your eyes, and glance at the clock. It’s already past 9 am, and suddenly, you feel a rush of panic. You’ve got three hours to pack, get ready, and bid adieu to your temporary abode. But why is the dreaded check-out time set at noon?

Balancing Guest Turnover: Hotels are like busy beehives. They want to make sure they have enough time to prepare rooms for incoming guests while giving departing guests a reasonable window to check out comfortably.

Housekeeping and Room Preparation: Ever wondered how a room that looked like a tornado hit it during your stay gets transformed into a pristine haven for the next guest? Housekeeping needs ample time to work their magic, change linens, and make sure everything is spick and span.

Maximizing Revenue: Hotels are businesses, and optimizing occupancy is crucial. A standardized check-out time ensures that they can synchronize arrivals and departures, allowing them to manage their resources efficiently.

The Significance of 12 PM Checkout

Now, let’s delve into the fascinating history and practicality behind the often-cited 12 pm check-out time.

why do hotels have a 12pm check out

Historical Perspective

In the not-so-distant past, check-out times were all over the place. Some hotels might have asked you to leave by 10 am, while others generously extended the deadline to 1 pm. The 12 pm standardization likely emerged as a compromise, taking into account various factors like guest habits and hotel operations.

Practical Reasons

Imagine this: you’re the hotel manager, and it’s check-out day. If guests had to leave super early, you’d have a wave of grumpy morning faces. On the flip side, if check-out was too late, you’d be swamped with departing guests while trying to manage new check-ins. 12 pm strikes a balance, giving everyone a fair shot at a smooth transition.

Flexibility in Checkout Times

Ah, the joy of flexibility! Many hotels now offer options for early check-in and late checkout, catering to the quirks of our travel schedules.

Early Check-in and Late Checkout

Sometimes, you stumble upon a miraculous flight deal that lands you in your destination city hours before noon. You’re tired, you’re jet-lagged, and all you want is to crash in your hotel room. Enter the early check-in option. Some hotels provide this service at an additional cost, ensuring you don’t have to roam around like a zombie until the “official” check-in time.

On the other end of the spectrum, the coveted late checkout offers you the luxury of savoring your morning, having a leisurely breakfast, and perhaps even fitting in a last-minute sightseeing spree. Of course, this might come with an extra fee, but it’s a small price to pay for those extra hours of tranquility.

Elite Status and Special Memberships

Remember that shiny credit card you have tucked away in your wallet? If it’s an elite status card or one affiliated with a specific hotel chain, it could grant you the power of late checkout subject to availability. Loyalty programs and partnerships between hotels and credit card companies like American Express often shower their VIP members with perks like this.

Strategies for Extending Checkout

Sometimes, you just need a bit more time to pack your souvenirs, do a last-minute room check, and maybe even squeeze in a quick nap. Here’s how you can make the most of your check-out situation:

Late Checkout OptionsHotels often allow you to request a late checkout. However, remember that this is usually subject to room availability. If the hotel isn’t fully booked for the night, you might get lucky!
Leveraging Credit Card PartnershipsCertain credit cards, like the Platinum Card from American Express, offer late checkout benefits when you book through their partner hotels. It’s like waving a magical wand for some extra hours of comfort.

The Influence of Technology

In today’s digital age, even checkouts have gone high-tech by using online checkouts and apps.

Picture this scenario: you’re running a bit late on your check-out morning. You’re frantically tossing things into your suitcase, and it feels like a race against time. But wait, there’s a way out! Many hotels now offer online checkouts through their apps. You can settle your bill, notify the hotel that you’re vacating, and avoid that nerve-wracking dash to the reception desk.

The Debate: 12 PM vs. 4 PM Late Checkout

The battle of the checkout times continues. Some hotels have pushed the envelope and offer a 4 pm late checkout option, raising the question: is later better?

Different Hotel Chains, Different Policies

Hotel chains have their unique approaches. Some swear by the 12 pm tradition, while others embrace the 4 pm luxury. The choice often depends on factors like guest preferences and the rhythm of the local hospitality industry.

The Role of Travel Experts and Enthusiasts

The Points Guy, a renowned travel resource, suggests that maximizing late checkout benefits involves strategic planning. He recommends discussing the possibility of late checkout at the time of reservation and reconfirming it upon arrival. This ensures you make the most of those extra hours!


So there you have it, fellow travelers! The tale behind the 12 pm check-out time is a delicate balance of guest convenience, hotel operations, and the art of turning over rooms. As the hospitality industry evolves, we might see even more flexibility in these timings, catering to our diverse needs. Whether you’re a morning person eager to hit the road or a night owl savoring every last moment, remember that hotels strive to make your stay as comfortable as possible.


Q: Can you check out before 12 pm?

A: Yes, many hotels allow early check-outs if you’re ready to bid farewell before the clock strikes noon.

Q: Why do hotels have check out times?

A: Check-out times help hotels manage room turnover, housekeeping, and ensure smooth transitions between guests.

Q: What happens if I don’t check out at 12?

A: If you don’t check out by the designated time, hotels might charge you for an extra night or offer a late check-out option subject to availability.

Q: Does it matter what time you check out of a hotel?

A: The check-out time can affect your experience. Leaving early might limit your morning plans, while a late check-out can provide extra convenience.

Q: Is it OK to leave a hotel without checking out?

A: It’s generally best to officially check out, as it ensures you settle any outstanding bills and helps hotels keep track of room availability.

Q: Why do hotels have 3pm check-in?

A: A 3 pm check-in time allows for proper room preparation after previous guests leave and aligns with the time needed for housekeeping and maintenance.

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