The Hoxton is enabling hotel guests to arrive and depart whenever they like with its new ‘Flexy Time’ concept, allowing free 24-hour flexible check-ins and check-outs at all its properties. Emily Eastman reports
“No more leaving your luggage at reception, counting down the hours ‘til you can shower, or dragging your sleepy self out of bed come morning,” says The Hoxton.
Many people want to make the most of their time at a hotel by arriving and departing as early and as late as possible, so the fact that The Hoxton has introduced free 24-hour check-in and check-out is great news.
To allow enough time for housekeeping to clean the rooms, hotels typically require guests to check out by 11am, for example, and check-in no earlier than, say, 3pm.
However, those requesting early check-ins and check-outs at Hoxton hotels in advance online, have a chance of accessing to their room from midnight on the day of their booking until midnight the next day.
Normally, these kinds of privileges are only awarded to elite loyalty scheme members, or to people who politely ask at reception on the day.The Hoxton says its new initiative maximises the value of a hotel night like never before. The group has been trialling Flexy Time in different markets since January 2019 and, due to its popularity and success, is now rolling out the model across all its properties. (There are nine in total – three in London, plus one in Paris, Amsterdam, New York, Portland, LA and Chicago.)
When booking direct on thehoxton.com at least 72 hours before their stay, guests can select check-in and check-out times from 24-hour options on a drop-down menu.
The move follows The Hoxton’s original “pay-per-hour” late check-out option, which it launched in 2006. But Flexy Time goes further, offering tailored arrival and departure timings for free.“When we first thought about offering free flexible check-in and check-out to our guests, I was stunned hotels weren’t already doing it, and thought there must be a reason,” said Sharan Pasricha, founder and CEO of global hospitality developer Ennismore, which operates Hoxton hotels.
“However, after trialling it for one year across our hotels, I can happily say we’re ready to roll it out. Flexy Time is part of our first wave of innovations across the digital and technology space which are set to deliver personalised experiences to our guests.”
Personalised check-ins and check-outs could be the next frontier for hotels looking to attract guests in an increasingly busy marketplace.
Max Shepherd-Cross, CEO of HotelFlex, a start-up that helps hotels launch flexible check-ins and check-outs, told Skift: “With the continued rise of long-haul international travel, more and more hotel guests are arriving on flights at awkward hours of the day and night.
“Check-in/check-out flexibility is becoming the next big battleground to personalise the guest’s stay, increase loyalty and generate incremental revenue.”According to Shepherd-Cross, offering flexible timings don’t have any operational impact. “All hotels have spare capacity, whether that’s particular days of the week or seasons of the year that they experience lower occupancy.
“All the hotel has to do is use these empty rooms to offer early check-ins and late check-outs to their other guests. The hotel receives money from a room that would have just sat empty, and the guest receives much-needed flexibility,” he told Skift.
As other hotels take notice, flexible check-ins and check-outs could become the norm. It’s great news for guests – and higher occupancy rates are good for business. So it’s a win-win.