Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page > Minimum age to stay in a hotel unaccompanied by parent/adult

Minimum age to stay in a hotel unaccompanied by parent/adult

Reply

Feb 17th, 2004, 02:07 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 21,909
Minimum age to stay in a hotel unaccompanied by parent/adult

A group of our son's friends (all HS seniors) have cooked up a plan to go from Boston to concert in NY area (Nassau) and stay overnight in a hotel. They are all 17 and 18 years old. We are not inclined to let our son go under any circumstances, but he does not believe our warnings that a hotel will not let someone of that age stay in a hotel without an older person, even if a parent has made and guaranteed the reservation ahead of time.

Any experience with hotels and age requirements? I know in some parts of the country unofficial "senior trips" - without adult chaperones are the norm (thankfully not here) - so maybe I am wrong about age requirements.
gail is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 17th, 2004, 02:43 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,648
Let me be the first to say: tell your son it does not make any difference in your decision what the laws are. YOUR law rules. I have two teenagers too, and I find this play-acting as adults very repulsive. The big thing here in Florida is to rent a hotel room on prom night. I told my kids NO WAY- until you're grown up enough to have a full time job and your own apt, you don't get the perks that come with being an adult. Honestly, kids like rules. Even very tall 17 year old boys. I think it IS hard to lay down the rule when your kid is tall as or taller than you are...but you have to remember those brain cells just aren't finished growing yet. Just my opinion...
joan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 17th, 2004, 03:19 AM
  #3
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 21,909
Thanks, Joan - as I mentioned in my post, we are not inclined to let him go (barring some factor we are not aware of - like someones parent is going). But, as you know, a little extra ammunition in reserve is always good. And it did get me wondering about hotel rules - I checked some webistes of major chains and there is no mention of minimum age.

Now I am even more curious, since there are certainly people who are married, on leave from the service, driving home from college, etc who are under-21 and in need of a hotel room.
gail is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 17th, 2004, 04:24 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,689
I am an attorney, and harking back to my one class in hospitality law, I would say that whether a minor can rent a hotel room will depend on what the laws of Massachusetss and/or the city of Boston require.

As a general rule, hotels cannot deny lodging to a guest on the basis of age. In many states, an absolute ban on minors may be unlawful. There is a common law a duty to receive guests.

However, there are some local jurisdictions that prohibit a hotel from allowing a minor to stay unaccompanied by an adult. Other jurisdictions prohibit an adult (parent) from renting a room for the purpose of a party for minors. Also, most jurisdictions will give a hotel owner the right to refuse rental to a minor if there is liquor in the room (i.e. a mini-bar).

Therefore, even if one of the party is 18 (and can legally enter into contracts) if there is liquor in the room, the hotel owner can refuse to rent to the 18 year old.

Most hotels also have policies regarding the number of guests per room, and can force unregistered guests or guests exceeding the limit to leave the hotel.

Cicerone is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 17th, 2004, 04:25 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,689
Sorry, I see boys are from Boston but going to NY. Whether they can rent a room will depend on New York State and the local jurisdiction in which the hotel is located.
Cicerone is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 17th, 2004, 06:12 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 758
I'm not sure about Nassau County in particular, but I know almost all hotels in NYC do not rent to anyone under 21 without an adult. (There are a few hostels and hotels that do, but these are far and few in between.)
missjanna is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 17th, 2004, 06:44 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 168
Many don't under age 21 same with the cruise lines. I find it bizzare actually and a great PIA.
When are we going to raise the age of adulthood to 21? Also the age you can join the military then or get married to 21?? Either you are an adult at 18 with full rights and priveledges or you aren't. The same with the rental car companies but at least if you pay more deposit they will in some cases waive the age of 25 to you but that didn't used to be the case.
I was married, had kids and owned a home young by America's standards. I was as responsible as someone 10 years older then me. I still couldn't rent a car without my mom or my husbands help.

I don't know if your son can get a hotel or not, or if you should let him go or not but I wouldn't rule it out if he was responsible.
MoniqueU is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 17th, 2004, 06:52 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,336
I always feel that tug to let my son do more so he will grow up, and to keep him under my wing forever so he won't. He's constantly admonishing me for my efforts to make sure he's safe by contacting other parents involved (ohmigosh, how embarrassing!!!). Maybe you should talk with the other parents who probably feel the same as you, appoint a chaperone couple, book two rooms, and have that couple stay in the adjoining one. You could all split the cost of that room.
Tandoori_Girl is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 17th, 2004, 07:04 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,763
If you don't want your son to go, then tell him that he can't go.

Do not rely on the hotel not renting to them because they are under 21.

The reality is, that at least one of them will have a phony ID that shows them being 21.
Dick is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 17th, 2004, 07:14 AM
  #10
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,131
In answer to your question, and with no rush to judgement, an 18-year-old with valid ID can rent a hotel room.
Leona is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 17th, 2004, 07:14 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,131
Sorry, that age is for NY.
Leona is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 17th, 2004, 07:22 AM
  #12
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,079
If it is your rule, enforce it.
Don't make someone else the "heavy" or depend on an outside, disinterested party, to enforce your rules by default.
Who is in control here, you or the offspring?
Handing off like that opens the door even more for future subterfuge.
How do I know? Got burned once and never forgot it.
brookwood is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 17th, 2004, 07:37 AM
  #13
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 4,257
If the young lads are able to convince any hotel to allow them to check in, all I can say is that I feel for the people in the next room. Gail, the parent's of these high school seniors should possibly "cook up" their own plan as to who is going to pick them up at 2 am when they get kicked out for being too noisy and rambunctious.

Bless the hearts of all parents with teen-agers. NOT an easy gig these days.
Tiff is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 17th, 2004, 07:44 AM
  #14
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,853
In New York 18 year olds can legally rent a hotel room. However, many hotels will not rent to them - or will require a significant deposit on their credit card. I don;t believe they will allow someone who does not have a card to check in on another person's (parents) card. The hotel will definitely not rent a room to a group for a party knowingly - and if unregistered people are in the room and there are complaints all will be removed.

I suggest you have the kids call the hotel in question and get some specifics - a reality check may help.
nytraveler is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 17th, 2004, 07:50 AM
  #15
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,853
Sorry - another thought. 18-year olds are legally adults and should be treated as such. Unfortunately few of them behave as adults - and so the rental car companies and hotels have set up all these restrictions. If you are under 21, but well-dressed and appear mature most hotels will give you a room with no problem. (I traveled quite a bit in my early 20's but appeared younger and no one ever questioned me.) They use the rules to avoid the party/groups who turn up loud, unruly and dressed in droopy drawers and ratty tees.
nytraveler is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 17th, 2004, 09:57 AM
  #16
GoTravel
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Renting a hotel room is not a right. Hotels themselves establish minimum age requirements and not a state mandated law.

At my resort, the minimum age requirement per room was 25 years old.

Cicerone, I'm interested in the law of this. I've taken a couple of workshops on this and never has it come up that a hotel cannot discriminate by age. Not that I don't believe you, I've just never heard of this. I've also never heard of a hotel being sued for age discrimination.

As far as minimum age requirements, I'll stand by the 21 age minimum all day long.

Eighteen year olds are just not quite mature enough. Ever stayed next to a group of them?
 
Reply With Quote
Feb 17th, 2004, 09:59 AM
  #17
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 102
Like the others have said it will really depend on the hotel. But I would suggest that they make their reservation and it wouldn't hurt if one of them had a credit card in their name. Like someone else said as long as they show up to the front desk and show some maturity there shouldn't be a problem. I've stayed at the travelodge in L.A when I was 20 and I don't think they're supposed to do hotels for those under 21. But I made my reservations and showed up at the hotel with no problem. So they just need to show up with reservation confirmation in hand acting like adults. Now when I went one thing I thought was odd was that they wanted to charge me upfront when I checked in.

If it's a hotel chain they may have better luck and fewer issues if calling the hotel direct instead of the 800 number. I never call 800 numbers anyways they usually quote you a higher price and the rep answering the phone doesn't know anything about that particular hotel. Also some hotels are more flexible with rules than others.
victorious is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 17th, 2004, 12:00 PM
  #18
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 4,640
My 17 year old son and his 18 year old friend had a hotel room in Grant's Pass,OR for one night. We phoned in the credit card and spoke with the front desk about it. Everything was fine, but there were only two of them.

Two summers ago we took a group of football players up to Bass Lake and gave them their own chalet, we stayed in a suite which was just a few feet away from their room.

The boys were asked to leave the hotel at 1:00am for making too much noise with their stereo. My husband offered to sleep in the room with them, but they were eveicted in the middle of the night.

My hubby had to drive them all back home while my daugther and I stayed alone until he came back to get us. And that was with us on the premises with them. Just a warning!

I would save myself the agony of worry and possible disaster and just say no to this, unless you are certain there are adults going or you go yourself as a chaperone. ***kim*** (Mom of three teens and six others that almost live with us!!)
kimamom is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 17th, 2004, 12:18 PM
  #19
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,873
The 18 yo's are adults and can sort of fend for themselves. I would think they might have a bit of a problem renting a room - and would definitely have to be on their best behavior or suffer the consequences.

BUT the 17 yo's are an entirely different matter. They are minors (unless emancipated). Reputable hotels wouldn't let a bunch of non-responsible minors rent rooms. By non-responsible I don't mean they are irresponsible - but that the hotel can't sue them if anything goes wrong. If a 17 year old trashes a room w/o the parents knowledge there isn't much the hotel can do about it.

I would not let my 17 yo do this for any reason. 18 yo's can pretty much do what they want -- as long as mommy and daddy don't control the purse strings. If mom and dad are footing the bill, they should refuse to . . . . .
janis is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 17th, 2004, 12:44 PM
  #20
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 4,640
My 17 year old son and his 18 year old friend had a hotel room in Grant's Pass,OR for one night. We phoned in the credit card and spoke with the front desk about it. Everything was fine, but there were only two of them.

Two summers ago we took a group of football players up to Bass Lake and gave them their own chalet, we stayed in a suite which was just a few feet away from their room.

The boys were asked to leave the hotel at 1:00am for making too much noise with their stereo. My husband offered to sleep in the room with them, but they were evicted in the middle of the night.

My hubby had to drive them all back home while my daugther and I stayed alone until he came back to get us. And that was with us on the premises with them. Just a warning!

I would save myself the agony of worry and possible disaster and just say no to this, unless you are certain there are adults going or you go yourself as a chaperone. ***kim*** (Mom of three teens and six others that almost live with us!!)
kimamom is offline  
Reply With Quote
 


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:40 PM.