Hotel Not Up To Expectations – Checkout Early & Leave?


There has been plenty of feedback from our readers about unsatisfactory hotels, not only in 2020, but this has become an increasing trend in recent years.

You have booked a property and upon your arrival you find out that most of the facilities are closed, and none of this was communicated either on their website or by email before the stay, or the hotel is simply not to your liking.

I have a novel idea that I exercise a few times every year. If a hotel doesn’t live up to its promise or there are too many issues to deal with, check out early and move to a properly run property.

Why should we give business to poorly managed hotels that either don’t care or don’t have motivated and knowledgeable staff to run the show?

I have never been asked to pay for the nights that I have not consumed. If it was an award, I have had the points returned for the stay’s unused portion.

Usually, you already know at the time of checking in whether the property is appropriately run:

1. Did you get a pre-stay email?

2. Is bell service ready and available?

3. Was the room allocation done during the overnight shift?

4. Is there a proper elite member line, and is it staffed?

5. Was a personalized welcome letter prepared with a list of elite and other benefits?

Note that the points above only apply to full service and luxury hotels.

Usually, if you get bad vibes during the arrival experience, it is better to cancel the stay and move elsewhere. If the hotel doesn’t care enough to get the check-in right, you can only imagine how disorganized the other departments are.

Sometimes there is nothing wrong with the hotel, but it is not the right fit for your stay. Perhaps your expectations of the hotel or its services were unreasonably high, or the hotel’s marketing communication doesn’t reflect what is going on in reality.

Properties I have left early this year:

InterContinental Beppu

  • Check-in was a mess. It took a while to find a person who could check in a non-Japanese speaking guest.
  • Air conditioning in the room was not working even when the hotel claimed that it did. After I threatened to leave unless the issue was fixed, I was assigned another room with a working AC where I could sleep comfortably.
  • Hotel public spaces were climatized to be extremely hot, and there was no place where I could have comfortably been able to type away. I had to go to a Starbucks in the city.
  • I should have left after the first night but ended up staying two. The stay was originally three nights.

InterContinental Ishikagi

  • The hotel was just old and didn’t quite fit the brand under which it is run.
  • I should have chosen one of the local branded hotels in the city that went for one-quarter of the price of the InterContinental.
  • There was also a typhoon coming, so I left a day early, which ending up being the right choice because most of the flights ended up canceling on the day I was supposed t leave.

Hotel Danieli

  • The hotel didn’t like that I had used the Friends & Family rate plan.
  • They contacted the hotel whose employee issued it to me, demanding to know if the manager knew me, then complained about the F&F rate plan in general and how they don’t have to offer it.
  • It also burdened the hotel that they have to provide Bonvoy benefits.  If being part of Marriott is a burden, the hotel can always exit the system and reflag.  Very unporfessional.
  • I didn’t use any of the hotel services or communicate with the staff and left a day early.


My advice is that if you don’t like the hotel where you are staying, check out early and go to a hotel that better suits your needs. Nothing is worse than staying at and paying for a property that you don’t like. It is better to have a fresh start elsewhere.

I don’t quite understand why so many hotels miserably fail on the pre-stay and arrival experiences? For me, if the beginning of the stay is chaotic, there is no way to turn it around.  If by the time you are in the room the stay still feels “off”, sometimes it is best to just go down to the front desk, cancel the stay and try again another day.

There is often something wrong with the resorts. I am generally happier with the city hotels that tend to be better run well-oiled machines while resorts adopt the “this is island time” mentality. I guess that it is more challenging to find competent staff to work at them.  Only guests should be relaxed at resorts, not brand standards or expectations.

You theoretically take a risk if you checkout early that the hotel tries to hit you with a penalty or not refund the rest of the stay. I have never negotiated this in advance when I have left. If I don’t like the hotel, I rather lose the payment than feel miserable for the rest of the stay. Life is too short to stay at bad hotels.

Have you ever cut your stay short and left?

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