How do those of you traveling with kids deal with a hotel's occupancy rules? I have an award for a free room at a Hyatt in Paris, and a free upgrade if a larger room is available. But the maximum occupancy for the free room is two, and I am traveling with my DH and 2 children aged 12 and 14. In the US, we would just "sneak them in" and have the girls sleep on the floor with the extra bedding that's in the closet, but what about in France?
Another vote for calling the hotel to ask about extra persons in the room. If they say that cannot be done, even for a supplemental fee, then your "free" room will not be such a good deal, as the cost of another room at a Paris Hyatt apears pretty high (ridiculous, actually, when I checked prices for rooms.) You could likely get a comfortable apartment for the 4 of you for less.
In Europe a double room is for 2, a triple for 3, etc. It is not like in the U.S. I would not try to "sneak them in", but you could contact the hotel directly and ask them what their policy is.
I don't know how you would expect to go in and out of the Hyatt while you are in Paris with two almost grown children and have none of the staff notice them. What would you do ... send them down in the elevator ahead of you and meet outside on the sidewalk? How would you spirit them back up to the room unseen? Apart from the ethics of it (and what a thing to teach one's children) it sounds like too much subterfuge just to get a free room.
Many Parisian hotel rooms are so small, there literally is no floor space for people to sleep. I've been in rooms where there was only about 12" on all sides of the bed. You are not guaranteed extra bedding for 2 people in the closet, either. Utilities are expensive in Europe, and by having unpaying extra guests in a room, you are basically stealing, since you are consuming twice as much water (and possibly electricity, depending on the girls' tv and device use). Why not consider yourself fortunate to have a free room, and pay for an adjoining room?
I think the best suggestion is to call the hotel and ask what they suggest.
Like Brad, I suggest you call the hotel. I do urge you not to show up at the Hyatt with four people and assume you can work it out on the spot. Rick S. has sections in his books with much information on the differences in maximum occupancy in Europe v. US. I met a couple traveling with one child in Paris a few months ago who just arrived at the hotel with their son, and the hotel absolutely wouldn't allow 3 people in the room. It was an unhappy surprise when they were already tired from jet lag.
As with all rules in Europe, we obey them so we are not seen as "ugly americans".
Charlie - I'm not sure if I misunderstand your post or lost the sarcasm, but the previous posters clearly point out that occupancy rules are enforced because most rooms are far too small to handle more people, you won't be given extra towels, there is no "extra bedding" and if the hotel finds out they will deny you the room, kick you out or charge you considerably more. A European hotel operator basically considers it like stealing, which it is. Even with just the free room, the OP can still get a good deal. They can have their own room with peace and quiet and pay for a second room for the kids, which they'd have to pay for anyway.
Many hotels will have rooms available with either a sleeper couch or will put in a small bed. Please ask the hotel what they would suggest rather than speculate on how to get around the rules. They may have a good alternative for you. I am a bit creeped out about the bedding on the floor. With all the crud that is on your shoes from walking around, especially in Paris, that seems kind of disgusting to then put blankets on the floor to sleep in. Would you then fold them up nicely and put them back in the closet so housekeeping never knew you used them. Pity the next unsuspecting guest!
These responses are remarkably prudish. Becky is asking a simple question. If sneaking in an extra hotel guest is illegal you can simply say so without being insulting or catty about it, and also with the understanding that just because something is illegal that doesn't make it ethically or morally wrong... by the sound of these responses you would think that Becky was considering robbing someone at knife-point! Perhaps my sensibilities aren't quite as delicate as those of some posters on the Rick Steve's helpline but I've gone camping plenty of times and slept on the ground. I've also slept on a few carpets in my time when crammed in with cousins or friends for a sleepover. It's no big deal, really. And if it is to you it's still not necessary to shame other people for considering it. All of this leaves me scratching my head considering the state of the youth hostels in Europe... I mean personally I'd rather sleep on the ground of a higher-end hotel than have to sleep on a typical hostel bed in France. Relax, people
Becky there are such things in all Eurpean countries as fire regulations. These would prevent you sleeping four to a room when the room is only meant for two. It could cost the hotel many millions of Euros in fines and could close the hotel down if they were found out Additionally at the ages you children are I would book two ajoining rooms for the children's and you privacy and comfort.
Since when is it prudish to suggest that stealing is wrong? Sneaking extra people into a hotel room is robbing the owners, pure and simple. It's illegal, unethical and immoral, in my opinion. Everyone else pays higher prices when people steal, whether from a hotel, shop or vendor.
Prudish? That made me laugh. I have slept on my share of carpets at the homes of friends too, but I bet they washed the blankets and sheets after I used them on the floor, or put down some sort of air mattress, not use them and then fold them up and put them back in the cabinet of the hotel room for the next unsuspecting guest. Considering the state of the sidewalks in many cities in Europe, covered with spit, gum and dog poop, sleeping on the floor in a hotel would not enter my mind as something wonderful to do. The OP is the person who used the phrase "sneak them in", so why do you wonder at the rest of us who are telling her that it is incorrect. If she didn't think it was wrong in the first place, she would not have asked about them "sneaking in".
Speaking of the OP, has anybody seen Becky from Houston since the question was posed 5 days ago? Closure please, Becky.... Becky?
Is it possible that Becky (number of posts: 1) has a friend named Cat (number of posts: 1) and asked her to intervene on her behalf? She is, after all, the only one to come to her defense, though with very flawed reasoning.
This post made me chuckle. It reminded me of a very well-rehearsed childhood ritual. When we pulled up to the Quality/Red Roof/ Days /Knights /HoJos/ Holiday Inn, my younger brother and I had to duck our heads so the desk clerk couldn't see that we were actually a family of 6, and not a family of 4, as we had registered! And we had to leave the room in shifts, lest we get charged for an extra room at these 4 star motels. Good to know that mine wasn't the only cheapo family that pulled this trick. But echoing the others, I would never try this in Europe, for many reasons, but most prominent being that rooms are often much smaller than you would find in a typical US motel.
The post that mentioned fire regulations is spot on. The hotel could find it's insurance invalid if it could be proven that more guests were 'booked in' than fire regulations/exits allowed. Book another room and sleep easy.
"In the US we would just "sneak them in" .. ,, ok, so you do this at home too? I don't get how people set these types of examples for their kids? In Hawaii we had to get a one bedroom suite as opposed to a regular hotel room due to the fact there was five of us. My husband and I, and a 6 yr old 4yr old, and a 9 month old baby. We felt we could easily fit into the regular room, it had two queen size beds,, baby with us in one bed, and two little boys in other bed,,but apparently Hawaii also has fire regulations and maximum occupancy laws. Its not unique to Europe I guess. I would NEVER let my kids sleep on the floor, seriously yuck, bed bugs, poop and spit tracked in on shoes, and many hotels don't wash blankets regurlarily so clean sheets are your only real barrier,, and the children would not be provided with those ,, just the offical occupants would be. I would phone the hotel and ask if award could be applied to a quad room and tell them you will pay the difference... it will still be a deal.
I LOL at the posts about how icky it is to sleep on hotel room floors. They are at least vacumed every day. How often are the bed spreads washed or changed? Not very. Lots of exposees showing what is "left" behind on spreads... Besides, kids don't care. And in college I slept on the floors of trains several times.
Well Douglas, not all hotels vacum every day, and even if they do its a quick swipe, and that still does nothing to eliminate the many substances that can be on a hotel rug. Take a white towel and dampen a corner, now, rub it on the carpet,, yummy. And as I said, there is the bed bug issue, we are told not to leave our LUGGAGE on the floor, so why would you put your kids on it..
As for college, sorry, no college dorm sleeps literally hundreds of people( in the same room in a single year,, the dirt factor is no where near the same. I agree the blankets and bedspreads can be disgusting, I perosnally remove the spread and never use it, and the SHEETS which are clean, are the barrier against the blanket,, but if you sneak people in,, where do you get them sheets to use?
If folk want to put their kids on the floor to save money then that is their perogative. The morals of 'sneaking' someone in to save money is another isssue. The very word 'sneak' means ' convey furtively or steal unobserved', or 'a sneak' is a 'mean-spirited underhand person'. I feel a bit sorry for Becky because I do not think she this is what she meant. I am assuming that it is OK in the States to rent a room and then have the kids bunk up (?), rather than here in Europe where you state beforehand the number of persons. I think her choice of the word 'sneak' is what has got folk a bit hot under the collar.