Hotel Rules and Regulations Every Owner Needs [+Template]

Updated on:
February 24, 2023
Published on:
February 24, 2023
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Hotel rules and regulations are important in keeping everyone at a property safe. Hotels have rules and regulations around everything from check-in procedures and room usage to health and safety and security protocols.

These essential documents ensure appropriate agreements are made between property staff and hotel guests and allow hotels to quickly adapt their policies to keep up with public health recommendations in an ever-changing hospitality landscape.

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Many hotels had to rapidly adapt in 2020 and enact COVID-19 rules and regulations and ensure the health and safety of everyone at the hotel. Even as the world returns to a new normal, it’s important for properties to address health and safety concerns ahead of time so that there aren’t any questions or miscommunications between your leadership team, your hotel staff, and your guests. With the right rules and regulations in place, your hotel can avoid running into issues around safety, security, and public health and remain mindful in this post-COVID landscape. 

In this guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know to ensure your hotel stays diligent with rules and regulations. Specifically, we’ll discuss: 

  • What are hotel rules & regulations? 
  • Why Should You Create Rules & Regulations? 
  • Common Hotel Rules & Regulations
  • How to Create Your Own Hotel Rules and Regulations

To continue your learning, check out our comprehensive Hotel Operations Management Guide.

What are Hotel Rules and Regulations?

Hotel rules and regulations spell out a clear agreement between a hotel and its guests. These rules and regulations can include hotel policies and procedures around guest interaction and guest stays. Typically a hotel’s rules and regulations are spelled out and agreed upon when the guest registers to check in to their room. Hotels may also keep a copy of their rules and regulations in their guestrooms so that they’re easily accessible for review. 

Hotel Guest Rules and Regulations Examples
Hotel Guest Rules Examples

Why Should You Create Rules & Regulations?

Rules and regulations are pretty standard practice at hotels. And it became especially evident to many hotel teams just how important rules and regulations would be in managing COVID-19 protocols when the travel and hospitality industry was initially impacted. But rules and regulations have never stopped being important for properties: documented policies maintain adequate risk prevention, ensure hotel security, preserve guest health and safety, prevent liability issues, and more. Rules helps mold the property culture and are an important piece of a wholistic Hotel Operations Management System.

Rules and Regulations set Behavioral Standards and Consequences for Disruptive Activity

Rules and regulations set out clear expectations for conduct around the property during a guest’s stay. This can include any post-COVID health guidelines your property might be following or any necessary guest protocols your hotel has in place. These documented policies can also help to communicate any local government regulations that guests may need to be aware of during their stay, whether it be policies around public alcohol use, mask mandates for public transit, or general local guidelines. 

Those are the rules gif
Joel McHale - ABC via Giphy

Having rules and regulations isn’t just about COVID-specific safety. Clearly outlined policies help avoid miscommunication or confusion and ensure everyone’s general safety across the hotel. Clearly defining expectations can mean the difference between having to rapidly respond to risk and being able to avoid the risk altogether. 

Common Hotel Rules and Regulations

Usually rules and regulations will begin with something like:

"Management will highly appreciate your collaboration in abiding by these rules and regulations, whose aim is to ensure a peaceful and safe stay for our Guests.” 

Some common hotel rules and regulations beyond the introduction may include: 

🧾 Room tariffs and taxes 

If there are any local occupancy taxes that may apply to your guests, it’s ideal to include information about them within your hotel rules and regulations so occupants know where these taxes are applied and where they’re not. 

💵 The settlement of guest bills

Make sure you spell out any policies around when and how your guests are expected to settle their hotel bills. This can include clauses about whether or not personal checks are accepted or if you expect your guests to have a card on file upon arrival. If guests are required to pay their bill upon arrival, make sure you have that included in your rules and regulations. 

Hotel Guest Bill Settlement Gif
Saturday Night Live via Giphy


“The hotel reserves the right to pre-authorize your credit card upon check-in or collect a fee for the entire stay in the form of a cash deposit.”

“In case the guest fails to appear in the hotel by 6 p.m. of the accommodation day despite making a reservation, the fee for the room shall be charged by the hotel.”

👜 The treatment of guest baggage and belongings 

Does your property put liens on luggage or guest belongings if your guests refuse to or are unable to pay their bills? If so, it should definitely be included in your rules and regulations. It might not happen often, but you want to have a plan for when and if it does to avoid issues. 

If your hotel offers luggage storage, your rules should record where you’ll hold guest luggage, how long you’ll hold it for, and what the hotel will and won’t assume responsibility for when it comes to storing luggage beyond the guestroom. Your rules and regulations should make it clear how luggage storage is handled so guests aren’t left with any question about the agreement your property has made with them. 

✅ Check-in procedures 

If your hotel has particular policies around guest check in, such as presenting valid ID or personal documentation, be sure to include that in your rules and regulations. 

Hotel Check In Gif
Saturday Night Live via Giphy


“A hotel day starts at 2:00 p.m. on the day of arrival and ends at 12:00 a.m. of the following day. Failure to check out by 12:00 p.m. will result in an additional fee for extending a hotel day. A charge for the extension until 4:00 p.m. amounts to PLN 80.00, after 4:00 p.m. the hotel will charge for an additional hotel day.”

🛫 Departure or check-out rules 

Do you require your guests to check out at a certain time or specifically notify the front desk when they’ve left? Any expected check-out behaviors should be included in your rules and regulations as well. If you have information around how guests can inquire about a later check out, be sure to document that too. 

🍷 Alcohol and Drug Policies

Alcohol and drug policies can vary from place to place. Properties also have to decide the consequences to breaking both hotel and government laws regarding drugs and alcohol. Beyond that, hotels should define how they handle intoxicated guests and property damage due to intoxication.

🔊 Noise Policies

Ensuring a positive guest experience for hundreds of people every night is not an easy task. Owners need to define and ensure proper noise levels to ensure that positive experience. Hotels should think about if and how many warnings guests will get, what is the policy for minors and pets.

🐶 Pet policies 

Does your hotel allow for guests to bring pets? Whether you do or not, it should be included in your rules and regulations somewhere so you’re prepared for the question. If your hotel doesn’t allow pets, make sure that’s included somewhere. If you allow pets in certain areas, spell that out very clearly. 

Hotel Pet Policy Gif
Amanda Cee Media via Giphy


“The hotel accepts guests traveling with pets. Only one pet is allowed per room for an extra charge and the guest bears full responsibility for any damage caused by their pet. Pets must be leashed in common areas. Due to hygienic reasons, pets are not allowed in the hotel restaurant.” 

☢️ Rules around hazardous goods

Sometimes guests travel with potentially hazardous materials—it happens. Your hotel should have rules and regulations around what is and isn’t allowed in the hotel, in guestrooms, and in public spaces. Hazardous materials can include anything from raw chemicals to weapons, and your property should have clear documentation around what’s prohibited and how the discovery of prohibited items is handled. 

🔨 Property damage clauses 

What happens if a guest causes damage to hotel property or property assets? Ensure you include information about how property damage is handled within your rules and regulations. 

Hotel Property Damage Gif
The Detour via Giphy


“The hotel may refuse to accept the guests who grossly violated the Hotel Rules and Regulations during the last stay by damaging the hotel's or guests' property or by inflicting damage on other guests, hotel employees or other persons staying in the hotel or in other way violated the stay of other guests or the functioning of the hotel.”

🥰 Relations between management and guests

It’s typically recommended to include policies around management rights and guest and management interaction in your rules and regulations. These might include things like: whether or not management has the right to remove guests from the property during specified circumstances, what conduct is expected between guests and management, and how management is authorized to interact with outside visitors their guests might have. 

👮🏻 Government rules and regulations 

Including a piece on government rules and regulations within your hotel documentation usually means including a clause that outlines how guests are expected to observe government laws. 

📸 Photograph and video policies 

Does your hotel allow guests to record photos and videos around the property? Or are guests expected to only record in guestrooms? It’s important to include a photo and video policy within your rules and regulations, even if it’s just to explain what kind of recording or photography is allowed or who can be included in such media. 

Hotel Photo Policy Gif
Camera via Giphy

How to Create Your Own Hotel Rules and Regulations

You can use the above sections and examples as a jumping off point to start formatting your own hotel rules and regulations. We’ve also included a template below of core policies we see in hotels around the world. We hope this helps you get started! Download the template to start below:

Once you have your rules and regulations outlined, make sure you put them in an accessible location for guests and staff to easily reference beyond the initial guest agreement. For more hotel operations guidance and resources, read our Hotel Operations Management Guide. If you’re utilizing a software solution like Xenia, you can house your rules and regulations digitally so everyone on staff has easy access to them whenever they need to reference policies.

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