Last Updated on September 26, 2021
When the clock strikes midnight the current date changes from one day to the next.
So if you check into your hotel room after midnight when do you need to check out?
Is it the same day? Don’t you pay for a full day and not just a few hours?
Let’s find out.
Can you check into a hotel after midnight?
Yes, you can check into a hotel after midnight, but if you are going to arrive late then it’s best practice to call the hotel and let them know.
Most hotels will be able to check you in after midnight, but very small boutique hotels might not have any staff available at night to check you in.
Also, if you don’t let the hotel know about your late arrival they may mark you down as a no show.
This actually opens up the possibility that the hotel could sell your room to another guest. You could arrive at the inn only to find they don’t have any rooms, even though you booked one!
So if you will be arriving after midnight do let the hotel know your approximate check-in time.
When Do You Have To Check Out Of A Hotel If You Check In Late At Night?
Checking into a hotel after midnight doesn’t mean that you checked in early for the next day.
You will check in late for the previous day, even though the calendar has moved forward to a new date your check-in is for the previous day.
That means that if you only booked a single night stay then your check-out time will be the same morning you checked in. You’ll find your exact check-out time on your reservation.
If you check-in at midnight your check-out time could be only 11 hours away at 11 am. Your exact check-out time may differ depending on the hotel you are staying at but it is usually 10 am or 11 am.
If you check-in at 5 am, you could be leaving in just 5 hours.
Hotels do sometimes allow early check-in, but that will typically be a few hours before a 3 pm standard check-in time.
Trying to check in at midnight for the next day would be like checking in 15 hours early. That’s just not going to happen!
Request A Late Check Out
One thing you can do while at the front desk is to request a late checkout. You might be allowed to stay until noon if you ask.
This might get you an extra hour or two. Essentially the hotel will schedule your room to be cleaned last so you can get a little more time before you need to leave.
However, a free late check-out isn’t guaranteed. Some hotels will just do it for free others won’t.
Some hotels will allow you to stay a little longer but will charge you extra for it.
Of course, if you haven’t booked yet, then call up the hotel manager and negotiate. If the hotel is not full they may be willing to be more flexible to win your business. If you don’t ask you don’t get.
The Bottom Line
If you arrive check into a hotel after midnight for a single night stay your check-out time will be around 10 am or 11 am the same morning.
You might be able to negotiate a late check-out if you ask nicely. This might extend your stay be a few hours at most and hotels sometimes charge extra for checking out late.
While the calendar date changes at exactly midnight, in the hotel industry the date of stay changes somewhere between 11 am and 3 pm when the housekeeping staff clean the rooms.
It might feel unfair that you pay the same amount for a shorter stay but that’s the way the hotel business works.
It’s said that hotels charge “per night”. You don’t pay for a 24-hour stay, you pay for a bed to sleep in at night.
And that’s a good thing! Otherwise, checkout time would be midnight and you’d be getting kicked out of your room in the middle of the night so the next guest could get in!