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Very interesting. We are very small and only had one experience which is where a ladies family was camping and she bought several children back here for a shower, leaving sand in the shower. I would not allow that to happen again and would not allow them to visit in the B&B. Sounds harsh but we cannot be responsible for visitors in a small B&B.
Good luck regards Avril
Thank you Lloyd and Nicky, very helpful, especially as it is currently type Apartment. Regards Avril
If you cannot see the option for minimum advance registration on your calendar you may need to ask booking.com to make it visible. I use list view instead of yearly and have had to ask for a number of things that I couldnt see. There is a little drop down inidicater which expands more info lines and it is on there.
I also have a self check-in for after 5pm but still regularly have the problem that guests dont want to give an arrival time, thinking they can turn up any time. Also asking for an early check in which I really like to do, but ask them to text on the day as they dont turn up and I have put in extra effort to only have to wait for extra hours. Once I had to abandon a seal that I was watching to make sure it wasnt injured, that had taken shelter from storm doris, to get back for a check-in and they didnt turn up for another hour (The seal was OK by the way).
So self-check-in is the way to go which many people have verified: -
- When a booking comes thru, message then straight away with more info, get their direct email address make sure they know they have asked for a late check in and they will reply to an email sent the day before on how to pick up the key
- The day or 2 before email with the key info, directions, extra info for them, parking info and breakfast info.
- Leave check-in notes on the table and put the key in the key box by the front door.
- Leave the breakfast list so that they can cross off anything they dont want as I cook to orders from the day before
So far this has worked well and noone has had any problems.
That must have been scary. You can stop it happening for booking.com bookings. This is how I would deal with the answers to your questions.
1) How is a guest able to book for the same night after the published check in time? - Your check in time doesnt even have to be filled in and they can still book regardless of it (caught me out the first time).
2) Should they be marked as a No show? - They are not a no show. The booking will have to be cancelled. If you select cancel the booking it will ask you to agree that the guests get a full refund.
3) What if it had been 3 or 4 am? - Make sure you have set up the availability restrictions correctly, as I will show you below, and it wont happen
4)Should we offer a refund? - Sorry, it is really annoying, but I would give a full refund and stop it happening again. If the guests can book it and can pay for it, then they will need a full refund.
To prevent this. For every day on your calendar there is an option that says "minimum advance registration". If this is set to 1 day the guests cannot book on the day of arrival. Or you can set the number of hours. I often set it to 12H which means guests can book up to 12 hours before midnight being up to 12pm on the day of arrival. If I change my mind on the day I change it back to 1D.
Good luck. Avril
Self Check-In is the way to go.
1. Follow up every booking immediately with the info you think they need and you need for the booking.
2. Install a key box and advise guests that if they would like to arrive outside of your check-in times (or likely to be delayed) then they can do a self check-in but we do not do night check-ins. I have had one cancellation due to this in 4 years. I advise that the is left for the hour they are due so they must tell us if they are going to be delayed.
3. Put a restriction on booking.com that allows bookings for x number of hours on the day of arrival or put 1day so they cant book for the arrival day. Also check you have the right check-in times allowed.
4. Label the rooms and write up a list of things you need the guest to know.
5. Send an email the day before with the information they need, the key code, directions and the times that the key will be available in the key box. I also ask them to cross off anything they dont want on the breakfast list or if there are any special diatery requirements.
So far it works well. I prefer to meet guests but it is important to have some down time when we start early every 7 days a week.