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Not declaring 2nd child / smuggle infant into Hotel?

Not declaring 2nd child / smuggle infant into Hotel?

Old Oct 2, 15, 9:37 am
  #1  
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Not declaring 2nd child / smuggle infant into Hotel?

I am trying to book our first trip as a family of four (Kids are 2 year old + 6 Months old) and am struggling to find reasonable hotels.

Particularly looking at Abu Dhabi, Hotels seem to charge significantly more when declaring four guests (only offering Suites and such), and I don't need that room.

The infant is breastfed and I am happy to bring my own cot, so there is no need for any additional services and no cost to the hotel.

I just called one Hotel where I was looking to make a prepaid reservation and she told me straightforward "only two adults and one child are allowed".

How do other families deal with it?
Maybe we should check-in separately, so they wouldn't even know? Or just show up and risk being turned away?
Booking two rooms is not an option as the little ones are too small to sleep in a seperate room, neither is a suite as I can't afford paying 2.5 times the room rate.
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Old Oct 2, 15, 10:38 am
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All depends on the property and you can get property-specific information by providing its name. Otherwise, it's just a general observation.

If you get away with it, all was well. If you get caught, you are humiliated and the property will be fully justified in moving you to a room which is capable of holding a family of 4 and charging you the full rack rate (which will likely be far in excess of the 2.5 x you could get it for now).

Only you can make the judgment as to whether you are willing to run the downside risk. What will you do if you are stuck with a bill 5 x the rate you are willing to pay when 2.5 was too much?
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Old Oct 2, 15, 11:20 am
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Call or email the properties directly - ask for the reservations manager if needed. The on-line booking engines typically show no flexibility even if the hotels are happy to accommodate you. Explain you have 2 babies - not 2 kids.
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Old Oct 2, 15, 12:21 pm
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Originally Posted by erik123 View Post
Call or email the properties directly - ask for the reservations manager if needed. The on-line booking engines typically show no flexibility even if the hotels are happy to accommodate you. Explain you have 2 babies - not 2 kids.
OP says that she called the hotel directly.
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Old Oct 2, 15, 7:22 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
OP says that she called the hotel directly.
Calling front desk is pointless - those people have no decisionmaking power. Email director of rooms or ask to escalate to manager/supervisor.
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Old Oct 2, 15, 7:35 pm
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Some chains have policies that you don't pay extra for kids under a certain age. Others will reserve a connecting room at half price for the kids.
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Old Oct 3, 15, 5:15 am
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If you are set on a hotel, I'd suggest one parent and one child per room, getting two rooms. We have managed with two rooms as a family of six with no issues, albeit in the UK. I do not recommend just lying to the hotel...the cost to the hotel may be in terms of regulations - like fire safety etc. If they are not certified to have more than three to a room I'd be uncomfortable breaking those rules. If you get found out, best case is being asked to pay the rack rate for a second room, worst case is being thrown out at whatever time of the day or night they discover your deception.

Do you NEED to be in a hotel? Is apartment accommodation available? We have found that this works much better than hotels as a family option when the kids are young - what are you going to do once the kids are down to sleep? We spent an evening or two perched in the bathroom on one memorable holiday in India as we had booked a room for the four of us. Not fun. Dinner in the restaurant was also a nightmare as it wasn't always available early enough. Serviced apartment accommodation all the way from that point on! Now they are older we can do hotels again, but an apartment offers more flexibility, if not breakfast. That can be fixed with a local supermarket. Booking.com offered some apartments for random dates in March 2016 - google is your friend here!

Good luck.
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Old Oct 3, 15, 5:36 am
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In Asia where I'm usually travelling, kids under 7-8 don't usually seem to count against room occupancy.

I booked a Hyatt in Tokyo recently, and upgraded to a suite. At first they told me no suites we're available the whole year. Then when they checked with the property, they said to just remove the toddler from the reservation. Then all the suites opened up.

Unless there are fire code issues, I'd definitely think properties would cooperate if contacted.
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Old Oct 3, 15, 7:46 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
OP says that she called the hotel directly.
She called one hotel. Abu Dhabi has many great options for families. Again, the website restrictions on occupancy are often not matched by reality.

It's important when you call to also ask about other options: The best available rate for room/s that can accommodate your family size (sometimes they will offer a suite or family room that is not bookable on-line) and ask if there is a family rate or promotion (e.g. with the second room 50% off).
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Old Oct 3, 15, 1:55 pm
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Thanks for all the replies so far.

I would prefer to stay in a Hotel rather than an Apartment because we want to stay somewhere with (private) beach access, and because of the ability to collect and redeem points of course.

I really would have thought this was a non-issue, as others suggested, Kids under "X" (where X may be 1, or even 7-8) should not count in the first place, but apparently some rules are stricter than others.

If it was a legal/liability concern (fire code), I could possibly understand, else I have no respect for strictly enforcing the occupancy with babies - after all we're not looking for any particular treatment or extra (no extra bedding, no breakfast or anything). If they were teens, I could understand and would happily shell out for something bigger, but at that age, having two rooms (and sleeping separated from my wife) would be ridiculous.

Anyway, while I originally thought "what's the worst that could happen?" (and my answer would be that they don't allow us to stay, making us book another room somewhere else... or checking in as one adult + 2 kids, when they really couldn't control the other parent returning later), you now sufficiently unsettled me, that I went ahead and emailed the two preferred properties of my choice.

Curious what they'll come back with.
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Old Oct 4, 15, 11:36 am
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Why worry so much? - there will be ample options for beach side hotels. Just contact several directly and compare.
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Old Oct 4, 15, 4:43 pm
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Good news...

The first property replied via email
"(...)we are pleased to inform that all room except sea/garden view rooms in our property are able to accommodate 2 adults and 2 children below 5 years of age(...)"
Interestingly, that was the property where the (front desk) employee on the phone was only able to read the rule that only 3 guests are allowed.

Guess my problem is solved and I don't need to worry too much.

Bad news is that I now had to pay more than I would have a few days ago (prepaid / non-refundable), but I guess it's better safe than sorry.

Last edited by raph; Oct 5, 15 at 2:50 am
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Old Oct 4, 15, 8:10 pm
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Originally Posted by raph View Post
If it was a legal/liability concern (fire code), I could possibly understand, else I have no respect for strictly enforcing the occupancy with babies - after all we're not looking for any particular treatment or extra (no extra bedding, no breakfast or anything).
You know, when I read this, my brain translated it to "I have no respect for a business contract which I voluntarily entered into because it isn't what I want."

and when you combine it with this from OP's original post:
Originally Posted by raph View Post
Maybe we should check-in separately, so they wouldn't even know?
I see clearly why parents traveling with kids get such a bad reputation. And before the flames start, look at my posting history: I'm single parent whose child has been a frequent traveler since he was 4 months old. I know what traveling with kid involves, but what it shouldn't involve is deliberating violating a contract, which is effectively what your hotel reservation/registration is. Negotiate with the hotel if you need to, and try to work toward a lawful solution.
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Old Oct 5, 15, 2:33 am
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Originally Posted by CDTraveler View Post
my brain translated it to "I have no respect for a business contract which I voluntarily entered into because it isn't what I want."
Well... I'm not saying your translation is wrong, but it's not necessarily right either.

I indeed do not respect rules that were put in place because of IT Limitations, or just in order to try and create a standard that doesn't work and apply for everybody.

Marriott's Booking Engine for example only allows to select "X Guests/Room", and I'd suggest that it does make a big difference if a guest is 6 Months, 2 years, or 40 years old.

If the hotel is able to cater to three adults (provide an extra bed) AND babies in general, then common sense tells me that it can cater for two babies instead of a third adult. I may not expect them providing two cots free of charge, or any special treatment - but certainly not to be kicked out / refused service either.

Fortunately that has proven true in my case, as explained by the Hotel's Reservation Manager.

Anyway, I asked the property, got the answer I wanted (and if I didn't, they wouldn't have gotten my business) - so this is really a non-issue.
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Old Oct 5, 15, 5:29 am
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Originally Posted by raph View Post
Good news...

The first property replied via email


Interestingly, that was the property where the (front desk) employee on the phone was only able to read the rule that only 3 guests are allowed.

Guess my problem is solved and I don't need to worry too much.

Bad news is that I now had to pay more than I would have a few days ago (prepaid / non-refundable), but I guess it's better safe than sorry.
Glad you got the property you wanted - not to mention that they actually replied!

Incidentally SQ's website is equally rubbish: it won't let you book more than 4 pax in total. So as a family of 6, if I wanted to book with them I'd need to do it directly with them via phone (which is a pain) OR a third party online/physical TA.

Last edited by expatboy; Oct 5, 15 at 5:36 am
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