The Hoxton guests can choose their own check-in and checkout -- for free

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The lobby at the Hoxton Williamsburg in Brooklyn, N.Y.
The lobby at the Hoxton Williamsburg in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The Hoxton boutique hotel brand is pioneering a new kind of check-in and checkout experience with its recently launched Flexy Time amenity.

Rolled out widely in November after a test run at select locations, Flexy Time offers all guests complimentary, 24-hour check-in and checkout options, enabling guests to select a check-in time as early as 1 a.m. on the first day of their stay and a checkout time as late as midnight. The only stipulation is that the reservation must be made direct online at least 72 hours in advance of the stay. Flexy Time selections must be made at the time of booking.

The amenity is available across the Hoxton’s full portfolio, which comprises nine locations in London; Paris; Amsterdam; Brooklyn, N.Y.; Chicago; Portland, Ore.; and Los Angeles. 

“Not surprisingly, it’s been very well received,” said Martina Luger, chief marketing officer for the Hoxton’s parent company, Ennismore. “There was a learning curve in the sense that people just didn’t believe it at first. We had to inform them that, yes, this is genuine and, no, there’s no catch, and, yes, it will be delivered on if you opt for it.”

Those educational efforts appear to be working. According to the Hoxton, more than 50% of the brand’s guests booking within a 72-hour window are now taking advantage of the amenity, with that share growing steadily each month.

But while the Hoxton is certainly the latest to jump on the flexible check-in and checkout trend, it’s far from the first hotelier to tout the service.

“We’re offering the reassurance that your room is ready at whatever time you need it.” -- Martina Luger, chief marketing officer for The Hoxton parent company Ennismore
“We’re offering the reassurance that your room is ready at whatever time you need it.” -- Martina Luger, chief marketing officer for The Hoxton parent company Ennismore

Many major hospitality brands promise late checkout options as a loyalty program perk, though those requests are generally subject to availability. Others enable guests to select personalized check-in and checkout times for a fee. The Standard hotel brand, for example, lets guests at select locations choose their check-in and checkout times as part of its Standard Time premium booking package.

Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts, meanwhile, has dabbled with offering flexible check-in on a complimentary basis, allowing guests to check-in at any time of the day or night at its Jumeirah Creekside Hotel in Dubai, so long as they put in the request at least 48 hours in advance of their arrival. The service is subject to availability. 

According to Luger, however, the Hoxton is the first of these vanguards to achieve the trifecta of making flexible check-in and checkout free, available portfolio-wide and “completely guaranteed.”

“It’s not a request,” Luger said. “We’re offering the reassurance that your room is ready at whatever time you need it.”

Despite the challenges that can come with delivering on that guarantee, Luger said that the implementation of Flexy Time across the Hoxton’s full network has been relatively smooth. The hotels have continued to use their existing management software, Knowcross, and the transition has required no additional hires.

“The most important change was having stronger communication between our front of house and housekeeping teams and having them working closely,” Luger said. “It hasn’t been more costly for us. And outside of some core hours, we can now give some staff more flexible working hours, which many of them appreciate.”

Also making the transition easier is the fact that the majority of guests continue to arrive and depart around the traditional noon checkout and 3 p.m. check-in times.

“The majority of people’s travel behaviors haven’t changed,” Luger said. “So, while there’s that fear that everyone will start checking in at 5 a.m., the fact is most people won’t need to come in at 5 a.m. And before, if someone arrived early, front of house would suddenly tell housekeeping, ‘We need an extra room,’ and then housekeeping would have to scramble. Now, we know what rooms are needed when much earlier. It means more communication, more planning and less surprises.”

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