Shipping packages to a hotel?
October 15, 2008 12:46 AM   Subscribe

I will be traveling to the US soon, and would like to be able to buy some stuff online and have it shipped to my hotel room. Do hotels allow this?

More specifically, I'll be staying at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center in Alexandria, VA. I have emailed Hilton asking about the policy but the mail was directed "to the hotel" and I've not heard from them since. I realise I could give the hotel a call, but I'd prefer to avoid any long-distance phone charges (I'm in Asia now).

Has anybody done this before? In the case of packages delivered via a courier service, will the hotel sign for the packages or do I somehow need to be physically present when the package arrives?
posted by destrius to Travel & Transportation (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I've done this many times, never a problem. No, you don't have to be present, they'll accept the delivery for you. Usually they'll hold it at the front desk and leave a message for you to pick it up. Some hotels sign for it and put it in your room.

Skype is a great solution for calling without the international long distance fees.
posted by Ookseer at 1:00 AM on October 15, 2008

hotels usually do accept packages for their guests and they do sign for fedex/ups/etc mailings. you could reasonable expect them to deliver such mailings to your room. think about it - business travelers need this all the time. still you might want to call them just to make sure in regards to larger packages.

oh yeah... and many retailers don't deliver to po boxes and hotels. make sure to ask them, too.
posted by krautland at 1:20 AM on October 15, 2008

Hilton are usually fine with this sort of thing. Do let them know though – it reduces the chances of something going wrong.
posted by mandal at 2:33 AM on October 15, 2008

Just one thing to keep in mind: many online retailers in the US don't accept credit cards with non-US billing addresses. I've had this problem with clothes, shoes and electronics stores so you might want to have a back-up plan in case what you're buying is really important to you.
posted by juva at 2:59 AM on October 15, 2008

To combat the problem juva is talking about, I would go to a bank and get a prepaid visa card. I think you can even get them in some grocery stores now. My friends all chipped in and bought me one when I moved, and i used it to buy dishes online, so it should work for making online purchases.
posted by d13t_p3ps1 at 3:52 AM on October 15, 2008

Best answer: I do this all the time with business related shipments (documents, etc.). Just have the package sent to:

NotMyselfRightNow (Guest X/XX - X/XX)
Hotel Name
Hotel Address

Never once had a problem.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 4:11 AM on October 15, 2008

You might be charged a small fee by the hotel for receiving and handling of your packages.
posted by junkbox at 5:51 AM on October 15, 2008

Best answer: I just called the hotel for you (free long distance is fun) and they said there would be no problem to send a package or packages to yourself addressed as NotMyselfRightNow described, and if the package arrives before you do, it will be at the front desk when you arrive, and if it arrives during your stay, they will call your room to let you know when it's there.
posted by Dreama at 5:51 AM on October 15, 2008 [3 favorites]

I have had fedex packages delivered to my room (at a Hilton, in Virginia actually) and this was no problem. They'll get it at the desk, let you know it's there and you can go fetch it at your leisure. Just make sure the name on the package is the same as the name on the reservation.
posted by jessamyn at 5:58 AM on October 15, 2008

I have had problems sending packages to hotel guests (for business reasons). Not with the actual shipment, but with the hotel mislaying it (even when addressed exactly as NotMyself RightNow describes). So my only caution to you would be to track those packages very carefully, and once it's signed for, track it down if it's not at the front desk waiting for you.
posted by kimdog at 6:38 AM on October 15, 2008

Just one thing to keep in mind: many online retailers in the US don't accept credit cards with non-US billing addresses.

Very often, this turns out to be a problem when ordering online, and then as soon as you ring the retailer in question, they're happy to take the order over the phone.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 7:26 AM on October 15, 2008

If a retailer (online or otherwise) refuses to accept your non-American-issued Visa or Mastercard, be sure to call the card company. It is against their TOS (not to mention advertising campaigns) for retailers to refuse any legitimate card. I've had this problem myself, occasionally.

The hotel delivery thing has never been a problem for me, done it many times.
posted by Goofyy at 7:52 AM on October 15, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks for all the answers, especially Dreama for giving the hotel a call. Very much appreciated! The credit card should not be a problem since I do have an American-issued card (from when I was saying in the States).
posted by destrius at 7:56 PM on October 15, 2008

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