Nine top tips for snagging that hotel upgrade

Getting away is great, getting an upgrade is even better. But how can you get an upgrade on your hotel room? For some hotel guests, asking for an upgrade is uncomfortable. For some hotel staff, being asked for an upgrade is tacky. So, how do you increase your chances of getting upgraded?

Know your limits

Staying in a budget hotel will make it harder to get an upgrade. Staying in a luxury hotel is more about the ‘experience’, which may mean hotel staff are more willing to offer an upgrade. Meet them half way by booking a mid-price room (not the cheapest room), and you might just score an upgrade.

Be positive

Asking for an upgrade outright is not always the best option, however, each hotel and its reception staff will work differently. Be nice, be positive and state how much you are looking forward to staying in the hotel. Try asking if there are any deals available, rather than for an upgrade. Complaining is definitely not the best way to get an upgrade. Visit the Accor website to make your next reservation.

Make a phone reservation

While many travellers choose to book online, it can be a good idea to phone the hotel directly to make a reservation. Doing this allows you to ask if there are any special deals that day, and can save you a substantial amount of money. Do some research online first though, to find out what you are dealing with.

Last minute bookings

Making a reservation on the day can work to your advantage, but it could also work against you. The hotel may be looking to increase its occupancy, and may be willing to offer you a better room for a lower price. On the other hand, there may be no rooms available, and you will be stuck with nowhere to stay.

Late check-in

You may find you are more likely to get a hotel upgrade if you check in later in the afternoon, between 4pm and 6pm. By this time, hotel staff will know their occupancy rate for the night and if there are any no-shows, making it more likely you are upgraded to a better room.

Express your excitement

This goes hand-in-hand with being positive. Expressing your excitement at staying at the hotel, and saying why you are there – a special girls’ weekend, a romantic trip and so on – may get you an upgrade. If you are excited about the stay, you may seem more likely to share your experience (and the upgrade) to your social circle after your stay.

Special events

Hotel staff hear about guests’ honeymoons or engagements on a regular basis. Some of these guests will be fibbing to get an upgrade. If it is a special occasion, let the hotel know far in advance and send them an email to let them know about it. If the hotel is looking to offer upgrades, this should put you at the top of the list.

Make friends

Treat hotel staff as people, appreciate what they do for you, and learn their names if you stay there regularly or are there for a long stay. Don’t be a brown-nose, but be friendly. The concierge will usually be able to pull more strings than regular reception staff, but it doesn’t hurt to be nice to everyone.

Loyalty is rewarded

If you return to the same hotel on a regular basis, you will be more likely to snag an upgrade if there’s one going. Hotels love return business, and if your name comes up regularly on their books, they will be more likely to reward you with an upgrade.

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