If you are a frequent traveler, I am sure that at one time your hotel check in was not so pleasant. Reason, the receptionist asked you for something you did not have. I am going to let you know everything you need to know about hotel check-in requirements in Kenya and generally across the world as hotels follow the same standards.
- The first and most important thing is having your original and valid passport or Kenyan ID(if you are Kenyan) with you. Believe it or not, in most of the hotels, you will never be allowed to check in without these two forms of identification. It started with big hotels but today even small ones and motels will require a for of legal identification. This is mainly for security reasons, both yours and the hotel’s. You would not want to be a resident in the same hotel with a terrorist or any wanted person would you? It’s also an advantage to you as a hotel guest. Take for example something happens and you lose your passport, you can easily get the copy from the hotel if you did not have any.
- You also need to have cash as most of the hotels will ask for payment upfront. Kenya accepts most of the payment methods used worldwide such as credit cards, but personally from experience, I would advise you to at list have some cash on you. I work as a receptionist and it’s not once that I have had to turn away someone since their credit card did not go through. Technology is good, but it’s always good to have an old fashioned way of doing things for back up. Also note that even if you are a business traveler and you know your company is catering for all the bills, please have some hard cash, sh*t happens! Most hotels here will accept US Dollars, Euros, Pounds and South African Rands so do not stress yourself out if you cannot get Kenyan shillings at that moment you want to check in.
For alternative mode of payment, you can have a credit card, debit card or M-pesa. I always ask guests if their card is a credit or a debit before I take it. Some people do not understand the difference or are usually not aware. Knowing the difference between a credit card and a debit card can save you a lot of trouble especially in a hotel situation. For M-pesa, this is a local payment method mainly in Kenya where one uses their phones to make payment. It’s quite convenient and widely accepted in here more than cards.
- Hotel booking voucher is the other thing that’s important. This is the written confirmation from the hotel indicating that reservation has been made and they are expecting you. It is not necessary that you will be asked to produce this at check in. In most situations, you will only be asked for the passport and the receptionist will look your name up in the system to see if a reservation had been made (that is if you had made prior reservations). If for any reason your name cannot be found in the system, then they will ask for the voucher. Now, this is where the receptionist will be forced to check you in even if your name is not in the system. See, the voucher is your evidence which you can use if the situation requires you to.
How do I get a voucher? Some of you might be asking. If you booked via an agent, ask the agent for it. If the booking was made online, print out the confirmation page. If made by calling the hotel, give them your email address and ask them to send it to you. It’s also good to have a backup voucher in your email or phone just in case the hotel asks you to send them a copy.
Those are basically the most important hotel check-in requirements, make sure you have all this and I
promise, you will never have trouble checking in to any hotel. Anything I did not clarify, feel free to contact me and get a response as soon as possible.