When You Want Late Check-Out, Hang This Sign On Your Door

Hotels often offer guests late check-out, sometimes just if they ask and other times for an extra charge. Loyalty programs frequently make this a benefit of status – Hyatt and Marriott guarantee this benefit for qualifying members, while Hilton and IHG make it ‘subject to availability’.

However when you ask for late check-out, and the hotel agrees, two things invariably happen.

  1. The front desk forgets to code your room key for late check-out, and it stops working by Noon.

  2. Housekeeping comes in to turn the room in the morning, even though you’re not supposed to be checking out yet.

When I know I’m planning to check out late at the time of check-in, I specifically ask the desk agent whether they’ve coded my key for late check-out. Sometimes that addresses the issue.

Meanwhile, Ishak Kristof has come up with a hack to get housekeeping to leave the room alone before late check-out: an official-looking Post-It note:

[E]ach time a late checkout (2 or 4pm) is agreed with the reception, housekeeping keeps knocking at my door at standard checkout time (11am), sometimes earlier (even with the “do not disturb” sign hanged). Surely the front desk and housekeeping communicate about the late checkouts, right? It irritates me so much that I ended up creating these post-its!

Late checkout and housekeeping
by u/Ishak-Kristof in hyatt

“Congratulations! You’re Now A Globalist” is an especially nice touch. Perhaps this works better than a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign.

While it would be nice for housekeeping to pay attention to charts showing check-out times and not just dates, this is also what the “door security bar” or “door latch” as well as the secondary lock on the door are for. And by the way, I’ve had housekeeping do this regardless of chain, even at a Ritz-Carlton. So genius hacks are needed.

(HT: Ryan C)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Just 2 weeks ago we had a 4 pm checkout at a Courtyard. We were up late with a family member in the hospital. At 8:30 am housekeeping knocked on the door and kept knocking until I answered her. When I was young I worked for a short time as a housekeeper at a Best Western. This was before everything was tracked by computers. The manager would give me a list of people who had already checked out and update that throughout the morning. I did not go to a room that I had not been told was empty. I know now, you can just leave and bypass the front desk but 8:30 am is not the time to be knocking on doors! Surely they have lists of which rooms are ready to be cleaned.

  2. I hate it when housekeeping calls your phone and if you answer they just hang up. This happens a lot of places.

  3. This is a bit of a shout out really.
    I was on my way back from Beirut via a stopover in northern Cyprus. On the way to Larnaca, I started to feel real yuk, so I decided to do an extra night and stayed at the Rise hotel larnaca. I had stayed at this hotel one night on my way to Beirut.
    The staff were brilliant. Immediately on check in gave me a 4pm check out time for following day, and gave me absolute assurance about not being disturbed by the cleaning crew. And it worked! No knock on the door etc at midday.
    Thanks Rise hotel larnaca

  4. First two things to do on arriving at a hotel:
    a) Disconnect the hotel phone, you’ll only get nuisance calls from the staff
    b) Completely disable the alarm clock which invariably has lots of confusing buttons on it, none of which will disable the alarm

  5. @christian

    Print the message on a regular piece of paper.

    Put a post-it over that image.

    Put the paper back in the drawer, correct side for printing.


    This could have all sorts of uses.
    Imagine: “You park like a jerk”. Or other snappy comments.

  6. Happened to me at Marriott chains too while gold. Was the reason I stopped going for loyalty and just get the cheapest thing. What’s the point if I can’t even enjoy the perk? Shout-out to Courtyard Marriott in Detroit downtown where the manager came knocking while I was sleeping and just said “are you going to checkout?” and left without an apology.

  7. You’d think the London Marriott Park Lane would have something like this even partially down given the caliber of hotel, but no. I told them at check in I only wanted housekeeping on request. It was one mishap after another for that stay and at one point housekeeping came knocking at 0830 because I had accidentally put both the do not disturb and clean the room signs out. Again, I had left super clear instructions when checking in. The maid thought it was *hilarious* that she woke me up. Nonsense.

  8. One addition to Zebraitis’ excellent directions.

    When putting the paper in the drawer, make sure the glue edge of the post-it is facing forwards as the paper feeds into the printer. Otherwise, the post-it can peel off and jam your feeder…

    Otherwise, the above instructions worked fine

  9. Haha I’m a bit surprised to find this article, I am actually the one who did this post-it For those who asked, I had the post-its professionally made by a printing company, it’s not very expensive. Note as well that I’m waiting for a new version of it with a better grammar and also written in both English and Spanish. Since I started to use the post-its I was never bothered again ☺️

  10. These maids know. Why else would they knock at 3:45 all the time when I have 4 om checkout. Too coincidental.

  11. That’s awesome, but you need the se habla espanol verson. And even then there is no guarantee of reading comprehension.

  12. Globalist is such a poor choice of terms that I have to laugh to keep from getting mad.

    (It’s an anti-Semitic dogwhistle…which is clearly not the hotel’s intent but…I’m going to laugh over here in Jew for a bit).

    The post-its are an awesome idea. I always leave the Do Not Disturb sign up until I’m actually out of the room, regardless of checkout tie. USUALLY that works. But the post-its make it clear so that if the maid forgets…or isn’t properly informed…

    (Btw, Gary, the rapid fire commenting is because my email sub to the blog malfunctioned and suddenly sent me the last 2 weeks of posts, not all of which I’d got around to reading).

  13. @Jennifer – yup, my inbox was slammed with about 20 emails too. Some good stuff, too! Glad it “caught up”.

  14. Funny thing – this has never once happened to me while staying at an Airbnb, along with no slamming doors, clacking ice machines, screaming children in the hallways, blaring tv sets or loud voices in the adjoining rooms. I know Airbnb gets maligned here (a lot) but invariably quieter stays in Airbnb rentals are a big part of the appeal for me.

  15. I’m sure for the most part that made up sign would be ignored.

    Just simply ask…

  16. I am the one that created the post-it. It works incredibly well, especially since I created a new version that is bi-lingual, including Spanish. It is because I was asking the reception all the time, and despite their confirmation for a late check-out, the cleaning team was rarely informed, that I decided to create this post-it. So useful!

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