5 subtle ways to help you score a hotel room upgrade

By Clinton Moodley Mar 12, 2021 Share this article: ShareTweetShareShareShareEmailShare Hotel upgrades are rare and

By Clinton Moodley Mar 12, 2021

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Hotel upgrades are rare and few, but if you play your cards right, you may secure yourself one.

Be warned, hotels aren’t obligated to upgrade a guest no matter how convincing they are.

That said, nothing is impossible, and you may get bumped up to a bigger hotel room with luxurious amenities.

Here are five tips to help you get a hotel upgrade

Book off-peak season travel

Your chances for a room upgrade is far better when you travel during the off-peak season. There are fewer guests, rooms are available and staff are less stressed. Staff have more flexibility for an upgrade than when at full capacity.

Call ahead

Travellers can call the front desk to find out about the occupancy during their trip. If there is availability, ask whether it is possible for a room upgrade.

Chances are the staff member won’t agree to it via telephone, but you can always try your luck again when you check into the hotel.

Dress and behave the part

If you are seeking an upgrade, you should dress the part. Go for something smart casual and look presentable and professional. Avoid joggers or shorts. Your attitude is equally important.

Nothing makes hotel staff more upset than a rude or entitled hotel guest. Therefore, throwing a tantrum won’t work if you seek an upgrade. Be polite when addressing staff. If an upgrade isn’t possible, be gracious and not threaten to write a negative review.

Alert them of a milestone

This may be the oldest trick in the book and may not always work. However, it’s worth trying. Hotel staff often upgrade travellers marking an auspicious occasion, like an anniversary, birthday, graduation or honeymoon.

Email the hotel to ask what special activities they can plan (at your own cost). Some hotels may upgrade your room or offer something special to mark the occasion.

And, if you are thinking about lying about a milestone, I suggest you do not.

Play on the hotel’s weakness

Let this be your absolute last resort. Review sites like TripAdvisor are the best indicators of what travellers can expect at a hotel. If there are any negative reviews, contact the hotel to ask them how they rectified the matter.

Hotel staff usually go out of their way to impress guests who are knowledgeable about their ‘weaknesses’. While that may not secure you a free room upgrade, it will make your stay much more enjoyable.