I want to invite my in-laws, who live in another country, to visit me and my wife. However, we do not have enough space in our apartment for so many people, so I would like to accommodate them in a nearby hotel instead.

Unfortunately, given their financial situation my in-laws lack the money to pay a hotel room for themselves, so I would like to propose to pay their room for the time of their visit.

The issue is they categorically refuse financial aid (or even presents that are above a certain price), because receiving money makes them feel uncomfortable.

I would really like them to visit us and honestly the price for a hotel room is not expensive. How do I go about proposing to pay for their accommodation, without making them feel uncomfortable?

EDIT: their refusal to accept money is not due to cultural reasons.

EDIT2: My wife shares the same fear that "simply proposing" to pay for their accommodation might not work out.

  • What would be the outcome if you can't convince them to let you pay? They won't be visiting? They will go to a loan shark?
    – gnasher729
    Commented May 8, 2018 at 0:39

5 Answers 5


They are happy to come and visit you and stay in your home, so evidently they are okay with accepting your hospitality. An approach that may well work is if you present the arrangement not as a gift, but as an extension of your hospitality. After all, if you had a bigger home they would be able to stay with you - but a bigger home would cost you more money, not only during their stay but all the time!

Right from the start, describe the arrangement in practical terms.

DON'T say:

Our apartment is too small so we are going to pay for you to stay in a hotel.

This kind of statement raises the cost of the hotel as if it an issue, and also calling your apartment "small" also may suggest that you struggle financially yourself.

Instead, try reasoning this way:

I have arranged a hotel room for you during your stay - it is the most practical solution as our apartment is just the right size for us.

Then, if they raise the matter of cost, say:

I don't want you to worry about the cost. If we had larger home then we would have you stay with us, but we save a lot of money ourselves by keeping our apartment just the right size. Please allow us to show our hospitality to you this way.


What you could do is to not mention the price of the hotel, or the payment altogether.

As you may know, our apartment does not provide enough space for all of us, so we will organize a place in our vicinity for you to sleep.

This way you reassure them that you will take care that they will have a place to sleep. Whether you decide to make space in your apartment, or ask your neighbors for their guest rooms, or you just book a hotel room is now up to you, therefore the financial consequences will fall to you (unless you specifically say that they should pay, which is not what you want here).

If the in-laws should still ask you about the payment of the hotel room, then play it down, make clear that you are happy to have them, and that you knew that such situations would arise when you moved into that apartment and were perfectly happy with this solution.

Choosing a rather cheap than extravagant hotel will further help preventing/reducing the uncomfortableness of your in-laws.


I would frame it so that they understand that having them visit is something that brings a lot of happiness to you and your wife and spending time with them is worth more than money. Explain that since you live in an apartment it would get cramped and make the visit harder for both them and you and you want to make the most of the time they are visiting - that means everyone is well rested and not stepping on each others toes when having to use the restrooms or whatnot. In short - its the best use of your money you could find, spending quality time with family.


Even though not the most sincere solution an, only as a last resort you could always present a situation where for some reason you wouldn't be paying or paying just a mere part of such an expense. You could arrange with the hotel to present such an accommodation as a prize you won somehow. Or you could imply that you had some business with the owner and he owes you some money so he made this present to you etc. Still i don't think it would be the best solution and i would only resort to that if nothing else could bring your beloved friends there.


I like Dhon Joe's option pretty good, but another would simply be to lie:

I have a friend who is a manager at the hotel and offered a room for free. However, he asked that we tip the maid each day. Something like 2 or 3 dollars is acceptable.

So this way they feel like they are paying something and it is probably well within their means to do that. Yes it is a lie, but I do not feel it is unethical as what harm does it bring to anyone? None, in fact it is a lie that promotes family unity.


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