Advising hotels of time of arrival?

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Oct 19th, 2017, 11:56 PM
  #1
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Advising hotels of time of arrival?

Hi, as we will not have the facility of using a phone in Japan (we shall be data only on our mobile) we are confused by the seeming necessity of hotels there needing one to tell them of one's time of arrival in advance: is this really necessary? We aim to arrive around the time of check-in, or before when we shall ask if we can leave our bags or even inadvertently later! (we have either paid in advance or they have our credit card guarantee where they will be paid no matter what, and , if we arrive late surely they will let us have the room we have booked and paid for/ undertaken to pay?)
Any experience from my fellow Fodorites?
patriciatbrogan is offline  
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Oct 20th, 2017, 04:55 AM
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That is frequently a requirement for small inns, B&Bs and the like. They do not run 24/7 front desks as most hotels do. If it is an actual hotel -- they probably just need to know if you plan on arriving extremely early/late. If you are arriving a 'normal' hour, just give them a number that is about when you think you'll get there.
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Oct 20th, 2017, 05:55 AM
  #3
 
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I typically give an estimated arrival time via email before I leave home. Then I email again the day before arrival, with a better estimate of arrival time. Given the language barrier, this is much easier than calling anyway. I always get a nice, polite reply.
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Oct 20th, 2017, 11:37 AM
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I don't think it is necessary, unless you'll be arriving late. The few times that we arrived later in the evening without notifying a hotel, I suspected that we were given a room that was not all that desirable, probably because they weren't sure we were going to show up.

Now, I tell them we're on a late flight (or train, etc.) and at the same time request a view room or quiet room. Seems to work!

In Japan, the staff from your hotel the night before is usually happy to make the call to your next hotel or inn.

Recently, I had notified a ryokan in Kinosaki that we'd be arriving on the 3 pm train. That morning they emailed that the train tracks had washed out, so we could cancel either or both nights with no penalty. When I respond that we'd found a bus instead, they offered to meet us at the station, and gave us the Emperor's suite for out stay. Courtesy pays off!
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Oct 20th, 2017, 03:02 PM
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I have stayed over 1,000 nights in hotels all over the world. I have never notified any of my arrival time...even when arriving after midnight and its never been a problem.
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Oct 20th, 2017, 03:52 PM
  #6
kja
 
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Like CaliforniaLady, I use email to give an estimated time even before leaving for my trip and update it as possible when on the road. I also advise them that I will not have access to a phone.
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Oct 20th, 2017, 06:17 PM
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"I have never notified any of my arrival time...even when arriving after midnight and its never been a problem."

Then you have only stayed in places with 24 hour front desks. There are a lot of places people stay that do not have 24 front desks, although they are not necessarily hotels. They even exist in the US - for instance, since I felt I could not rely on Amtrak arriving on time, I booked a hotel instead of a B&B in San Francisco.
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Oct 20th, 2017, 07:06 PM
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>>I have stayed over 1,000 nights in hotels all over the world. I have never notified any of my arrival time...even when arriving after midnight and its never been a problem.<<

That seems unbelievable -- have you never stayed in a B&B or Inn or hostel? Or maybe you seldom arrive after midnight and just threw in >>... even when arriving after midnight << for affect?
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Oct 20th, 2017, 07:54 PM
  #9
kja
 
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"I have never notified any of my arrival time...even when arriving after midnight and its never been a problem."

Even if all these places were 24/7 hotels, it would seem to me that the poster was very lucky, as desirable rooms are not infrequently given away if the reserver doesn't arrive in a timely manner. Or maybe the rooms / hotels at issue weren't particularly desirable....
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Oct 21st, 2017, 01:16 AM
  #10
 
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In my experience, hotels will not give away your room if you arrive late, but you will be charged for the first night if you fail to arrive at all. They ask for your credit card in advance so they can charge for a no-show. Read the fine print when you make the reservation.
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Oct 21st, 2017, 07:26 AM
  #11
 
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>>In my experience, hotels will not give away your room if you arrive late<<

That is not my experience at all. Even at large/business type hotels if one arrives very late - say 2AM, there is a good chance the room will be gone . . . UNLESS one advises them of a late arrival. Of course if the hotel is not full that isn't an issue. But after midnight they can certainly call it a 'no show' since it is now the next day. I've seen it happen even before midnight - not me but at a Holiday Inn Express I was staying heading down I-5 en route to LA and had to go in person to the front desk because my in-room phone wasn't working. It was about 10:30 or 11PM and a couple was at the desk and the clerk was calling around to find them a place because the hotel had released their room to someone else about an hour earlier because they hadn't checked in yet.

Very often on the booking site there is a place to include special notes such as 'late arrival'.
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Oct 21st, 2017, 07:28 AM
  #12
 
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. . . which I realize isn't in Asia -- but juts an example that even w/ a 24/7 desk they can and do give rooms away . . .
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Oct 21st, 2017, 07:43 AM
  #13
kja
 
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I've been at a desk, checking in late -- having notified the hotel that I would do so -- while other late arrivers were out-of-luck because their rooms had been given away. It happens!
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Oct 22nd, 2017, 12:40 AM
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Yep, I agree, deptrai has either been inordinately fortunate, only stayed at hotels with 24 hour front desks, visited at a time when the hotel was not fully booked or not arrived very late as often as all that.

I have stayed in small family-run places where an arrival time is required in order to ensure that someone is there to greet and show the visitor to their room, and in some cases, the hotel will only have certain windows for arrival too.

I've stayed in places where even a guaranteed booking doesn't stop a room from being given away if there's walk in demand, and it's late enough that the front desk staff on duty is willing to make the call that the late arrival is actually a no show.

And I absolutely have stayed in places where arriving late has meant being assigned a shitty room, technically fulfilling the booking but giving the benefit of better rooms to those who came earlier.

On top of that, if I am able to give my time of arrival, I do so, it's a simple courtesy that costs incredibly little effort on my part, and if it helps the hotel to plan their resources (such as when they need to get housekeeping turned around by and when they need more or less staff on the desk) that's fair enough!

If I genuinely don't know, I usually put a note saying I'll advise them once I know, or give a wider range than the usual one hour window.
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Oct 22nd, 2017, 12:50 AM
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Patricia, in answer to your question, if you have a rough idea of arrival time from the itinerary planning, you could send that in advance, and add a note that you'll update if there's to be any significant change.

If there is a change, you can either email if you have internet (mobile data is usually fine for email) or ask the hotel you're leaving to make a call and advise.

If it's a case of getting stuck unexpectedly and being significantly delated, I would likely either use email again, or see if I could find a tourist office or nearby hotel that may be willing to make a call for me.

We often arrived before check in, and most hotels in Japan were very strict on not allowing early check in, but all of them always allowed us to leave luggage with reception so we could head out and explore.
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Oct 23rd, 2017, 12:52 AM
  #16
 
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I really feel it's just courtesy to let the hotel/Ryokan know your approximate arrival if they have asked for it. It helps them to plan. And if you can't make calls or send texts, perhaps you still have access to skype which I have often used. If you're going to stay in a place, it's good to start off with the people feeling you care. But if something happens and you are later than expected it's easy to apologise.
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Oct 23rd, 2017, 03:54 PM
  #17
kja
 
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OMG, if its a ryokan, you really should coordinate your arrival! Normally, a huge part of a ryokan stay is the meal prepared specifically for you, and for which your arrival at a specific hour (usually late afternoon) is considered necessary.
https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2029_arrival.html
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