Gotcha! IHG second adult room rate surcharge in Netherlands

Last week I ran into a reservation problem I have not experienced in more than a decade. I got hit with an extra person room rate charge of 15 EUR + 2.50 EUR tax on my IHG booking for Holiday Inn Leiden. My problem is I was a solo traveler on a nonrefundable rate and I did not realize I had booked my reservation for 2 people incurring an extra adult charge. This post shows how the situation unfolded and why I felt I should be refunded the extra person charge, even though I booked a nonrefundable room rate for two persons.

Holiday Inn Leiden 36 EUR per night room rate

Holiday Inn Leiden 36EUR

I wanted to book Holiday Inn stays for my trip to Amsterdam and work on my Accelerate 2016 promotion. Hotels in Amsterdam were 80 EUR per night to stay in the suburbs around Heineken Arena. Then I noticed Holiday Inn Leiden, an easy 20 minute train ride to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport was only 36 EUR for a Friday night. My reservation search shows I was checking rates for 1 adult.

Holiday Inn Leiden $40 USD

Normally I do not purchase nonrefundable rates. I figured I would not find a better hotel deal. One night at Holiday Inn would earn nearly 13,000 IHG Rewards Club points through my Accelerate 2016 offer.

A room night at Holiday Inn for 38.50 EUR or $43 USD after tax was a deal too good to pass.

HI Leiden 38.50EUR

After thinking about the hotel deal in Leiden, I signed into my IHG Rewards Club account an hour later and booked a nonrefundable reservation. Logging into IHG Rewards Club is where the problem occurred. IHG.com automatically populated the number of guests as 2 adults.

Holiday Inn Leiden

The fine print states:

  • ‎€15.00 EUR per extra adult starting with the 2nd Adult
    (not included in price shown).

I booked the room and was shocked to see the room rate change from €38.50 to €56.00.

HI Leiden 56EUR

I emailed the hotel immediately to state my reservation was meant to be for one person and the IHG website automatically populated my search for 2 adults. I never received a response.

At check-in for Holiday Inn Leiden I was greeted as an IHG Rewards Club Platinum member and upgraded from two doubles to an Executive room with one king bed. I was offered a drink coupon or 500 IHG bonus points as a Platinum elite welcome amenity. The Executive room was lovely.

Holiday Inn Leiden room-1   Holiday Inn Leiden room-2

The front desk staff stated I could not be refunded the difference for the second adult due to the room rate being advance purchase and nonrefundable. I was offered a dining credit of 17.50 EUR for the extra person charge. Since I am on a strict low-carb diet and rarely eat more than 500 calories for a meal, hotel restaurant dining was not a need for me.

The room was nice and I decided to let the issue go after spending a wonderful day wandering around Leiden.

At check-out there was a credit of 17.50 EUR applied to my credit card. All in all a highly satisfactory ending.

How common are extra person hotel charges?

Extra person charges for the second guest is an issue I have not come across in a hotel stay for well over a decade. That is my excuse for not paying attention to the fact that I had two guests on the room reservation when I booked Holiday Inn Leiden.

I looked into the practice of charging for the second adult at all 18 IHG hotels in the Netherlands. Only 3 of 18 IHG hotels in the Netherlands have extra person fees beginning with second adult.

Crowne Plaza Amsterdam (being rebranded to Kimpton)

  • € 10.00 EUR per extra adult starting with the 2nd Adult
    (not included in price shown)

Crowne Plaza Den Haag Promenade (The Hague)

  • € 15.00 EUR per extra adult starting with the 2nd Adult
    (not included in price shown)

Holiday Inn Leiden

  • € 15.00 EUR per extra adult starting with the 2nd Adult
    (not included in price shown)


Loyalty TravelerPilgrimage to Holiday Inn Leiden

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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  1. Extra person charges in US hotels seem to reasonable, except in Las Vegas. There they want something like $50 per person per night after 2 people. I can’t figure out how this makes any sense. Fortunately I’ve never seen it be enforced.

  2. vEry common in Australia particularly Starwood especially if you are buying executive level rooms… The greater the benefits/inclusions the more likely the price is to go up for 2nd adult. oF course even more so for the 3rd adult even where extra bedding is not required!

  3. This is pretty common in Japan, I think. Fortunately, Hilton has a “second person stays free” benefit, so I didn’t have to pay extra for the SO when we were there.

  4. Good morning, Our sincere apologies for all inconvenience you had to experience when making the booking. We tested the site, we could not find anything wrong, booking 1 person stayed booking 1 person. We’re pleased to refund you, no problem at all, even as the free upgrade. Very nice pictures of our hotel and of Leiden (or small Amsterdam), we love them!, thank you very much. Again, our apologies. When visiting Holland again, please stop at the Leiden Holiday Inn, you are more than welcome. Kindest regards, The Holiday Inn Leiden Team

  5. I’ll be traveling with wife in Germany this summer and will look, to avoid, hotels with extra person charges for second adult.

    The website I always book through is IHG.com. No problem booking one person for room, but the site defaults to two persons when I log into my account and I rarely think of changing it to one person since it rarely matters if room is booked for one or two adults. All-inclusive resorts are the only place where it has made a difference in room rate between one and two adults in the past decade for hotels where I’ve stayed.

    Great hotel in Leiden nonetheless.Thank you.

  6. I have sometimes seen this 2nd person charge in Germany too, one way to get around it is to use IHG reward points if you do not need the revenue stay for Accelerate promotion. (as there is no charge if you use points)

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