Home Hotels Why Hotels Ask How Many Guests Will Be In A Room (Spoilers: It’s More Than Just Money)

Why Hotels Ask How Many Guests Will Be In A Room (Spoilers: It’s More Than Just Money)

by SharonKurheg

After a lot of searching (don’t search for too long!), you’ve finally picked out your hotel are filling out the online form to make your reservation. Dates you’ll be there. Contact information. Credit card number. How many people will be in the room?

Have you ever wondered why hotels ask how many people are going to be in the room? It turns out there are a few reasons…

More people = more $

Of course, the first reason most people would think of as to why the hotel asks how many people will be in the room is so they can charge for you the extra people. And they would be right. Some hotels charge per person, some charge a premium for however many over 2, some charge for kids, some don’t, whatever. But yes, hotels do make more money if there are more people in the room. I don’t have much of an issue with that personally. Having, let’s say, a 3rd or 4th person in there potentially means more towels to wash, more beds to make, more water being used in the shower and toilet, more people eating the free breakfast (if available), etc. And, of course, the “extra” people are receiving the same main amenity as the 1st and 2nd people…a bed for the night.

In the event of an emergency

If there’s a fire, earthquake or some other emergency and first responders and/or hotel staff have to search for you, they need to know how many people to search for. Say you’re sharing a hotel room with your friend but to save money, you’ve gotten a single room and only listed one person being in the room. A fire breaks out. You’re in the bathroom, wetting towels to put under the door when you become overwhelmed with smoke and pass out. A minute later your friend also passes out, over by the patio door. Firefighters make it into your room via the patio, and check the hotel roster that says only 1 person is in the room. So they rescue your friend, never knowing that you’ve passed out from smoke inhalation in the bathroom.

And if that’s not a good enough reason to be honest about how many people are in a hotel room, I don’t know what is.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


T January 29, 2020 - 3:23 pm

There would be serious liability if that’s how they operated – what if you happened to have a friend visiting you in your room for 15 minutes when the emergency happens? There are many reasons why there would be more people in a hotel room than the number of registered guests, so using the number of registered guests for responding to emergencies is a serious problem…

PA November 18, 2021 - 5:03 pm

That was my first thought

Lee @ BaldThoughts February 3, 2020 - 8:59 pm

I agree with the need to be honest, but the premise doesn’t work. Like “T” said above, the assumption that guests and non-guests aren’t visiting you in your room is not realistic. There are any number of reasons why more people would be in a room than just the registered guest.

Chelsea Adams October 27, 2020 - 4:49 pm

and the real answer is Building code laws for occupancy levels. Hotels are granted certain maximum occupancy license. Most hotels wish to keep the “tenants” “registered” persons at a safe level . Packing folks in like a sardine to save $ is against certain code laws. In this day and age many characters may well be into human trafficking where they stuff folks in a hotel . Non registered guest on Private owned property technically can be trespassers.


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