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Sharing beds in Switzerland

Hi,

I'm flying into Zurich and spending the night there before traveling on to a couple different swiss cities. I have a general question about booking hotels in Switzerland (or Europe generally). Does it matter how many people you are traveling with when choosing the amount of "Beds" you need in the hotel room? I'm traveling with good friends and we are happy to share small beds - can we for instance book a "2 person" hotel room for cheaper? I've noticed the prices go up dramatically when you get to 3 people. Obviously here in the states you can easily do this, but I'm wondering if there is some rule amongst Swiss inns and hotels that you have to book the amount of beds/person? Thanks in advance!

Posted by
2393 posts

Rates are based on the # of people not necessarily the # of beds. Rates are based on # of people to cover costs for water, electricity, the often included breakfast, etc.

Even in the US you should book for the # of guests actually in the room - hotel;s often have max occupancy limits which may be lower than than # of people that can be crammed into each room.

Posted by
8889 posts

Michael, I agree with Christi. Hotel rooms in Switzerland (and in Europe in General are priced "per person". If it is a 2-person room, it will have two single beds or one double bed, no room for a third person, and the hotel would not let you have a third person in a room. This is not the law, this is the way hotels work.

Posted by
33003 posts

you may find that if you stay outside Zurich you will save money.

Posted by
1548 posts

I do not know in Switzerland, but in some European countries all hotel guests have to be registered with police, and obviously you cannot have three registered persons in a two-bed room.

Posted by
8889 posts

lachera, Hotel guests don't have to be registered with the police, that is a misconception. It may well have been true decades ago, but not now. The Schengen Treaty requires all hotels to record names and passport details. These is only ever handed over to the police if they come and ask as part of a subsequent investigation.
It is more fire and safety regulations that say if a room is designated for 'n' guests, then no more than that are allowed to stay in the room. A two person room, with a double or two single beds, is unlikely to have space for a third person to sleep in it. If it had, a third bed would have been added and the room designated a 3-person room. Or a partition added and split into two rooms.

Posted by
11294 posts

For Switzerland, e-mail any hotel you are interested in directly, and indicate you need a room for 3 people. I found that the online booking engines, even the ones on the hotels' own websites, did not show all availability or have the best prices; I did much better contacting the hotels directly.

Yes, in Europe you need to indicate the number of people, and they will not let "extra" people stay in a room. And once you've seen the size of the rooms and the beds, you'll understand why - the kind of large room with two king beds that is so common in the US just doesn't exist there (unless you're paying a fortune for a very fancy room).

Posted by
32228 posts

michael,

The best policy is to simply specify the number of people who will be occupying the room, and the hotel will provide an appropriate room. As others have mentioned, things such as fire regulations and number of people being served breakfast will be of concern to the hotel.

You might find it helpful to have a look at the RS Switzerland guidebook, as there's good information there on reasonably priced hotels.

Posted by
1548 posts

Chris, as I wrote: I did not know if police registration is compulsory in Switzerland. But as the original poster was asking about Europe generally, I said that could be cases where police registration is compulsory. In Italy, for example, it is an old antiterrorism law from Red Brigades time that was never repealed. If you rent any accommodation to any person out of your family, you should send a notice by mail to police within 24 hours.

Posted by
3521 posts

No, you can't get by cheaper by stuffing more people in a single room in Europe.

As others have mentioned, European hotels charge by the person and have rooms sized accordingly. That was the hardest thing for me to get used to when I first started traveling to Europe. In the US, you just reserve a room at a hotel and they are pretty much all the same -- one king sized bed or two queen sized ones. As long as everyone finds a spot to sleep, the hotel doesn't care unless you are stuffing a dozen or so people into the one room. In Europe, booking a room as a single means you get a room that is barely big enough for one person -- small bed, not a lot of space around the bed, and hopefully a bathroom that you don't have go out of your room to reach. A you add people, the room does get bigger, but unless you are staying in a US based chain hotel, the rooms are all small and cozy for the number of people allowed. When you are looking at B&B places, the room sizes can vary tremendously and even as a single I have gotten very nice large rooms, mainly in Ireland, for the single price.

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks for all the replies! My concern was more about will the hotel actually allow it if they see you have more people, rather than concerns about room size. This is will be my first time in Europe - appreciate the clarifications.