Getting a hotel upgrade is tough these days.
But it’s not impossible.
In fact, if you go about it the right way, chances are you’ll be able to score a better room for yourself without having to pay any extra money.
We talked to three industry insiders to find out the best way to get a complimentary hotel upgrade.
1. Join the hotel’s rewards program.
Andrew Flack, vice president of global marketing for Hilton, recommends joining the hotel’s rewards program.
For example, Flack points out that Hilton offers an honours program, and he says guests are more likely to receive an upgrade if they become a member.
“When space is available, we upgrade our HHonors gold and diamond members who book directly through Hilton,” Flack says. “Members that already have booked stays can also use HHonors Points to upgrade to a premium room or suite.”
2. Just ask.
Jennifer Goodman, manager of Independent Collection’s Capitol Hill Hotel, says that engaging with hotel staff is key when hoping for an upgrade. “The front desk folks really want to help, they want to please our guests, they want people to feel welcome,” Goodman says. “So if you just ask them, most of them will bend over backwards to be helpful.”
According to Michael O’Shaughnessy, manager of the New Hampshire Marriott property Wentworth By The Sea Hotel and Spa, guests should waiting until the last minute to ask for an upgrade. He suggests simply asking at the front desk when checking in.
“I think then we have the best idea that day what kind of inventory we have and if it’s a possibility, that’s usually the only time that we would be able to do a complimentary upgrade,” O’Shaughnessy says.
3. Be nice.
Brett Krafft, manager of the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, Texas, suggests simply being friendly when approaching the front desk. He says that a little bit of genuine interaction with hotel staff can go a long way.
4. Mention if you’re celebrating a birthday or anniversary.
Don’t be shy if your hotel stay was inspired by a birthday, anniversary, honeymoon, or other special occasion. Krafft says to mention your special occasion upon check in.
“If there’s a special celebration, an anniversary, someone’s birthday, our team is trained to engage with customers,” Krafft says. “And if there’s something special about a specific stay, we’re certainly empowered to allow our team members to offer an upgrade.”