Can I Stay in a Hotel With My Girlfriend/Boyfriend? Rules Per Country

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Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, being with a special person at the end of either an exhausting or a fun-filled day can make perfect sense. Having someone beside you to listen to your work-related problems or share your dreams with can be good for your mental wellness.

That person could be your girlfriend or boyfriend.

Hotel rates these days are usually based on double occupancy. In other words, that hotel room you are about to reserve is likely to be good for two people.

It is for this reason exactly why most hotels do not mind a guest bringing a guest of his or her own as the person shelled out money for a room and some amenities that can accommodate a couple.

Wouldn’t it be nice to share a hotel room that you paid for with your hard-earned money with someone you feel is important enough and can make your hotel stay memorable?

Although it seems like staying in a hotel with your girlfriend or boyfriend is both reasonable and harmless, it can be a massive issue if your hotel is situated where it is frowned upon.

Unless you are married, it is perfectly legal to have a girlfriend or boyfriend. After all, it is your life, and you have every reason to build a romantic relationship with a person even without having to tie the knot.

In some places, staying in a hotel with a girlfriend or boyfriend is against the law. While hotels in Dubai generally do not pay attention to unmarried couples, this could be an issue in other Middle East countries.

Inviting someone that you are not married to but have a sexual relationship with into your hotel room when it is prohibited could land you in jail and wind up having a criminal record that would follow you around.

In some instances, you may be fined with an excessive amount of money.

Either way, it is a terrible idea to stay in a hotel with a romantic partner to whom you are not married if the local laws prohibit such. Needless to say, it is a must for any traveler to do his or her research beforehand.

Not an Issue in the US

Whether you are a resident or tourist, you can invite your girlfriend or boyfriend to a US hotel room without worries. But before you do so, there are some criteria that you need to meet:

  • Your hotel room rate is based on double occupancy. Some hotel rooms are priced per person, as opposed to per room. Others have a sticker price based on single occupancy. If you reserved a room whose rate is not based on double occupancy, you could not share it with a person, be it your girlfriend, boyfriend, or spouse.
  • The accommodation is intended for a single person only. In Japan, there are capsule hotels. They offer bed-sized rooms perfect for travelers who are on a tight budget. Elsewhere on the planet, they are called pod hotels. If you are staying in one, bringing anyone with you is a complete no-no as it’s impossible.
  • Your guest is of legal age. If the front desk sees that your guest looks awfully young, he or she will be asked to present an ID. A minor is likely to be refused entry to your room. However, it is a different story if you are a parent or guardian to your guest, although you will have to be able to prove that such is the case.

In a nutshell, the possibility of you breaking the law or being kicked out of the hotel for staying with your girlfriend or boyfriend is slim to none in the US.

There is also no need to fret about inviting someone into your hotel room. For as long as you reserved a hotel room based on a double occupancy rate, you’re golden.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said if you are staying in a hotel located in a highly religious country, particularly if premarital sex is considered a sin.

The same is true if the hotel is in a country where there are strict cohabitation laws. The presence of cohabitation laws makes it illegal for unmarried couples to live together.

It goes without saying that hotels in these countries do not allow people who didn’t tie the knot to share a single hotel room.

Here’s the Deal in Dubai

Dubai is one of the seven states that make up the United Arab Emirates or UAE. It is also one of the most popular tourist hotspots in the Middle East.

Many people from all over the planet fly to Dubai to check out its soaring skyscrapers, magnificent resorts, exciting water parks, and sprawling shopping malls.

It doesn’t come as a surprise why staying there for several days is the way to go, which means that you will need to get a hotel room.

In the various UAE states, Islamic laws prohibit unmarried couples from living together. Hotels may get into trouble for allowing two guests who are not husband and wife to share a room.

Since Dubai’s tourism industry is what makes the city bustling first and foremost, the majority of its hotels allow guests to stay in the same room even if they are not married.

This is especially true for tourists. So if you are planning to pay this country a visit, you can stay in Dubai with your boyfriend in the same hotel room.

This does not mean, however, that there are no considerations when booking with a Dubai hotel.

It is a good idea to go for a hotel that caters primarily to tourists if you want to make sure that your vacation will go without a hitch.

Hotels in Dubai that offer accommodation to tourists do not abide by the “married couples only” rule. Stay away from hotels whose guests are predominantly Muslims.

Even if you and your girlfriend or boyfriend are able to get a hotel room, refrain from holding hands, hugging, kissing, or displaying affection in public.

If the locals get offended by what you are doing in front of everybody with your special someone, it is possible for them to get in touch with the authorities to have you arrested.

Feel free to enjoy the amazing sights and sounds of Dubai. Just make sure that you practice caution, especially when you are in a public place with your girlfriend or boyfriend.

It’s Strict in Saudi Arabia

The largest country in the Middle East is Saudi Arabia. It is also one of the strictest in the region as it is an Islamic state, which doesn’t really come as a surprise because it is the birthplace of Islam.

Naturally, unmarried couples who live together are punishable by law in Saudi Arabia. This can be a cause of concern for tourists who would like to pay the Middle Eastern kingdom a visit with their girlfriends or boyfriends.

In Saudi Arabia, locals who didn’t tie the knot are not allowed to stay in the same hotel room. For a local man and woman to be able to get a hotel room, they will have to provide proof that they are married.

The good news is that Muslim females in the country are now allowed to get hotel rooms, although they will have to stay in them alone.

This is a great time for women in Saudi Arabia as they are also now permitted to access various government services as well as drive cars without the consent of their guardians. Before, Saudi Arabia was the only country on the entire planet that prohibited women from driving!

Although it is illegal for unmarried Muslim couples to stay in the same hotel room, it is perfectly fine for a tourist to share his or her hotel room with a boyfriend or girlfriend. Such is to help make the country’s tourism industry boom.

However, you should keep in mind that alcoholic beverages are still banned in Saudi Arabia.

While we were discussing hotel-related situations in Dubai earlier, we mentioned that displaying affection towards one another in public should be avoided. Well, the same is true in Saudi Arabia.

If you fail to practice caution with your partner while in front of everyone, you could end up paying a fine that is equivalent to a whopping $800!

The Rest of the Middle East

In the Middle East, the majority of people are Muslims. A lot of unmarried couples who would love to visit countries in the region may have second thoughts. It is primarily because of the fear that they may not be allowed to spend the night in the same hotel room and potentially end up behind bars.

According to those who have visited an assortment of countries in the Middle East, it is unlikely for you to have a hard time getting a hotel room for you and your girlfriend or boyfriend.

For as long as you are a tourist, most of the hotels in the Middle East won’t hesitate to give you and someone to whom you are not married a room. However, it is a completely different story for nationals as only married couples can share hotel rooms.

Many countries in the Middle East earn income by means of their tourism industry. Keeping you and your special someone from staying in their hotels means turning down revenues.

Based on participants’ experiences in a Lonely Planet forum site, they had no trouble getting a hotel room together with their girlfriends or boyfriends in the Middle East. Some of the countries mentioned include:

  • Iran
  • Jordan
  • Lebanon
  • Oman

Because strict Islamic laws still apply in many Middle Eastern countries, it is a good idea for you to be careful with how you and the person you are with behave in public. As always, try to avoid displaying affection towards one another when in places that are outside your hotel room.

Speaking of which, consider booking with a hotel that caters to tourists. Otherwise, you may offend Muslim guests, especially if you and your romantic partner cannot get your hands off one another.

To be sure, don’t feel too embarrassed to ask the hotel if it is perfectly fine to share a room with your girlfriend or boyfriend.

If the person on the other end confirms that there is no problem with that, the only remaining step to take is finalizing your booking. 

Follow these tips, be respectful of local traditions and laws, and you can have peace of mind when staying in a Middle Eastern Hotel.

Banned in Beautiful Bali

There are a couple of reasons why Bali, an island in Indonesia, is one of the most visited places on the planet.

First, there are lots of party places there. Second, the beaches in the Indonesian city are stunning. It’s no wonder why a lot of newlyweds fly there to have a memorable honeymoon.

Unfortunately, if you are unmarried and looking to have a romantic time in Bali with your girlfriend or boyfriend, better think again. That’s because there is a sex law that is being considered by the government of Indonesia.

As mentioned earlier, there is never a shortage of party places in Bali. It’s because of this why a lot of tourists spend the night in hotels with people to whom they are not married.

So, in other words, there are plenty of premarital sex activities taking place on the gorgeous island. Alas, the majority of the Indonesian population consists of Muslims. And in Islamic laws, unmarried couples are prohibited from having sex.

Currently, the sex law is not yet a law. The moment that it is approved and enforced; however, tourists who are not married to each other should think twice before they spend the night in the same hotel room.

Married couples should not have a problem getting a hotel room, provided that they can prove that they’re married.

According to one draft of the sex law, guilty parties may end up spending up to six months in prison. But then there is another draft in which unmarried guests who are caught sharing the same room may serve up to a year in prison.

Needless to say, if ever you are planning to visit Bali with your girlfriend or boyfriend, make sure that you are updated with Indonesian laws to make sure that your dream vacation won’t end up as a nightmare.

There is no need to bail out of your Bali trip. However, if you are going there with someone that you didn’t marry, the two of you will have no choice but to get separate hotel rooms once the sex law is already in effect.

In India, on the Other Hand

Here’s a fact: there is no law in India that prohibits unmarried couples from staying in a hotel. So, in other words, people who rent hotel rooms with their boyfriends and girlfriends are not breaking any law.

But then, premarital sex and unmarried couples living together are frowned upon by the Indian society. Because of this, some hotels in the country refuse to welcome couples who are not married.

These hotels probably want to win the hearts of the population to keep their image pristine and likable.

Again, it is not in any way, shape, or form illegal in India for unmarried couples to book a hotel room.

However, no one can keep the locals who are not familiar with their country’s laws from thinking otherwise.

For instance, back in 2015, 40 couples were dragged out of a hotel by Mumbai authorities as they were unmarried to one another. Other than being fined, their parents were also contacted and given a lecture.

However, it doesn’t mean that you and your girlfriend or boyfriend will not be able to find a hotel where the two of you can spend time in the same room. There are hotels in India that do not care about the marital status of their guests.

The majority of these are international brands or chains of hotels, which are primarily geared towards tourists. By booking with any of these hotels, you can share a room with your special someone without worries.

Although it is true that checking in with your girlfriend or boyfriend is not illegal in India, it is a good idea to avoid offending the locals, especially those who disapprove of premarital sex.

If you want your Indian trip to go as smoothly as possible, consider staying in a hotel where everyone is used to seeing pairs of tourists going in and out.

Hotels in India, by the way, will turn you away if you and your girlfriend or boyfriend are below 18 years of age.

Before You Book With a Hotel

Different hotels have different policies when it comes to the guests they welcome and deny. In many instances, these policies can be influenced not only by the local laws but also by religious beliefs and the views of society.

When planning a trip, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the laws of the country that you would like to visit before you book with a local hotel.

Doing so can help fend off problems that can make your trip less memorable, such as landing behind bars or getting judgmental stares from the locals.

Photo credit: ©canva.com

Reed Harris

Reed is a traveler and blogger. He's planning to visit all states in the USA. He's been in 31 states so far.

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