The Best Reason to Check In to a Hotel Online?

i’m not a big hotel person so there may be more to it than i know, but i saw earlier this week that the hotel i’m currently staying at, the Andaz Wall Street (thanks $100 Travelocity coupon), offered online check-in via or the Hyatt app. research has shown that there really isn’t much to be gained since you have to stop at a kiosk (if available) or reception to get your key anyways, and there are reports of elite upgrades not going through, but i thought i’d give it a try anyways, in hopes of securing an early check-in. (i did see that it should help prevent you from being ‘walked’ to another hotel if the hotel is full.)

note of course, i’m sure the whole people/kiosk step is doomed to the annals of history as NFC and other technologies for using your phone as a room key become more prevalent.

my bus ride from Philadelphia arrived at 10:30 and i was hoping i could get into a room to drop my stuff off and maybe take a little nap. according to the posted rules, non-elites like me (doubly true since i booked through a third party and didn’t even have my number in the reservation) can only check in at 1:00 PM, with 9:00 check-ins available only to Diamond and Platinum members. huh. well, i tried checking in at 9:00 on the dot and whaddaya know! not only was i able to check in, but i was able to select 11:00 as my arrival time. granted, i don’t know if that meant anything since i’m not sure if it’s guaranteed (nor can you pick a room), but i figured it was worth a shot.

also something to note is that you may be asked to enter a credit card for incidentals, which will be processed immediately during web check-in, although i wasn’t asked for this prepaid reservation (they did take a card at the front desk though).

you can register a phone number for a text message or an email address for a notification when your room is ready. i didn’t expect anything until 10:59 at the earliest, but not even 10 minutes after i checked in, i got this:


wow! i arrived at the hotel just before 11 AM. there was a guy in front of me checking in but his room was not ready. granted he may have had a fancy room (i wasn’t able to eavesdrop as well as i wanted, but i know he didn’t have a suite; i think maybe i heard ‘deluxe room’) but i figure someone who booked a prepaid rate on a third-party site is probably the lowest of the low when it comes to status in the eyes of the hotel, so i think checking in online did me some good! it certainly didn’t hurt.

which meant that i could try and get some sleep before meeting a friend for lunch!

It's time for a nap.

A video posted by Jonathan Khoo (@jonk) on

and before i forget it, a shout out to this hotel’s interactive TV system! i normally bring along a bluetooth speaker so i can listen to music in the hotel/airbnb, but with this, unnecessary!

anyone else have any experience with web check-in for hotels? are there other benefits to it — with Hyatt or with other chains?

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