As someone who has had parcels delivered to their hotel room on three continents, I can tell you with some authority that you can definitely have mail and packages sent to your hotel room. It is, however, vital to remember a few fundamental tenets.
Of these, the two most important rules are:
- Yes, your hotel will likely accept packages and mail, but it is best to check upfront to confirm.
- Make sure the package or mail is marked clearly.
Hotels are all about convenience, and if you adhere to their rules and regulations, you should have no problems having packages or mail delivered to your hotel.
Packages Versus Mail
Packages and mail are not always the same thing. You can undoubtedly have packages delivered by mail. Still, you may also find that you need to have parcels delivered by courier, from a nearby shop or online stores such as Amazon, or even hand-delivered from your somewhere, to name a few more everyday instances.
When you want to temporarily receive some or all your mail at your hotel, you will need to notify your postal service. The process will vary from country to country, but at the very least, you will be expected to complete a temporary change of address form that includes the dates of your stay at a particular hotel.
Whether you send mail or packages, you should, where possible, notify the hotel that you are shipping something c/o the hotel to yourself or a guest, and if the package is valuable, you should consider taking out insurance. Insurance is particularly for when valuable artwork or similar is shipped.
How Should My Parcel or Mail Be Marked?
This is important. If you want your parcel to get to you with a minimum of effort, you should at the very least include your name and the full name and address of the hotel where you will be staying, including the state or province and country.
If it applies to that hotel, and you already know which room you will be in, you can include the room number. This is more common for local deliveries.
Certain delivery services will also require you to put a return address on the package being shipped in the case of an unsuccessful delivery. Try to send the package as close as possible to the arrival date.
Do I Need to Tell the Hotel What Is in My Package?
Despite what you may think, you do not necessarily need to tell the hotel what is in your package. However, they may have specific screening protocols in place, so it is up to you to check this.
Do I Need to Pay to Have My Packages or Mail Delivered?
This depends wholly on the hotel. Often, having packages delivered is a cost-free benefit of staying in a hotel, but this is not always the case. When your hotel charges for receiving or sending packages or mail, they consider a few factors.
The first is the size and the weight of the parcel. A small package of books is acceptable, whereas, for example, a large piece of artwork would not be or at the very least attract a large charge, because it is at this point that it likely becomes inconvenient for the hotel.
The second is storage, and most hotels will not charge you to store your package for between 3 and 7 days. After that, it will attract a daily charge.
The third and final consideration is outbound processing. At the very least, the hotel will charge a flat handling fee to forward your package after you have checked out.
Where Is My Package or Mail Stored at the Hotel?
This depends wholly on the size of the hotel and its procedures. Some hotels will keep small parcels and mail at reception, while others may have a whole area or room dedicated to their guests’ packages.
A third option is that it is placed directly in your room, even if you are out when it is delivered. If you find your package in your room, it is because you have provided a room number to the shipper.
One hotel I stayed at had a sticker system. We visited a store, and we gave them a hotel sticker with our name and room number on it and a business card from the hotel. When we arrived back at the hotel, the parcel was in our room. The caveat is that it was at a small hotel in Europe, not America.
Hotels, in general, are very accommodating, and if you are expecting a parcel, you can enquire at check-in where your items will be stored.
How to Ship From Your Hotel to Your Home
Some hotels offer the service of shipping your packages or mail to your home. You may need this service because your box is too large to travel with, or it has arrived after you have already checked out.
To ship your things from your hotel to your home, you need to do a few things. Of these, the most important thing to do is leave a clear forwarding address and contact number so that the hotel can get hold of you and know where to send your package.
The second is that your package is marked if it is already at the hotel, but you don’t want to travel with it. Finally, if you are using your own shipping company, the hotel knows which day to expect your package to be uplifted so that their receiving/dispatching area has your parcel ready.
Can I Leave Something at the Front Desk for Someone Else?
Like packages and mail, leaving something small like an envelope or small box at reception for someone else to collect is not usually a problem. Enquire at the front desk and if they can assist, be sure to tell them who to expect and which day or time.
Hotels usually offer the convenience of having your packages and mail accepted for you for the duration or just ahead of your stay. Still, it varies from hotel to hotel depending on the safety and security protocols.
The arrangements are up to you. While hotels are very accommodating, you should let the hotel know that you are expecting a shipment or mail, find out where your parcels will be stored and whether you will be expected to pay for receiving or shipping a package to or from your hotel.
If you stick to these basic rules, there is no misunderstanding, and if your parcel is clearly marked, you should receive it without too much trouble or effort.