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You booked a room in a luxury hotel, but upon arrival, inspired by the decadence, you decide to hunt for an upgrade. You’ve already dipped your foot in the luxury pool, why not dive in? Maybe you can finesse your way into the presidential suite. Here are our tips for the best ways to get a luxury hotel upgrade.

By Nick Karvounis

Turn on the Charm

Before we get into the more technical strategies, simple manners and a bit of charm can be the most effective weapons. Greet the concierge by name, go out of your way to be polite…maybe even offer a compliment or two. Don’t overdo it, but establishing a relationship with the head concierge might just turn the key when you decide to ask if there’s an open suite.

It sometimes pays to be honest. Once you’ve established a relationship with the concierge or one of the staff working at reception, it’s worth very nicely asking if an upgrade is an option. They are likely to want to ‘see what they can do’ if you’ve already been flashing them with a big, genuine smile.

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Check in Late

Checking in late means the staff knows which rooms are still vacant. They don’t want to move you into a room that a high roller might need later, but if it’s five minutes until the check-in deadline and there’s an open suite, the staff has nothing to lose. This is a great option if you only have hand luggage and you can delay heading to the hotel once you arrive in town. 

By Manuel Moreno

Upsell Program

Many hotels have what’s called an upsell program for front desk employees. It works like this: You ask if a suite is open and then offer to pay below the asking price but above the price of your current room. The employee at the desk makes a commission on the change and you get an upgrade for a reduced price.

By Christopher Schulz

Don’t Ask in Front of Others

Asking for an upgrade in front of the whole lobby puts pressure on the staff. It’s best to ask in a more private way so that the staff member can respond without any jealous eyes watching. Wait until the reception area is empty, and discretely ask a member of staff about the possibility of an upgrade. 

By Xavier Coiffic

Know who Runs the Show

Figure out who manages the concierges and introduce yourself upon arrival. Go straight to them when it’s time to ask.

By Sara Dubler / Unsplash

Pull Some Strings

If you’re staying in a luxury hotel, the chances are you might be able to pull some strings based on who you know. It’s worth a try!

By Andreas NextVoyagePL / Unsplash

Sign Up to Hotel Loyalty Programs

If you’re a regular at a particular hotel, you should see whether you can sign up to a loyalty program. Many hotels offer a reward program — and the good news is there’s a high chance you’ll get upgraded if you’re signed up and a regular client.

By Bob Bradley / Unsplash

Say it’s a Special Occasion

Why are you in town? Is it your birthday? Are you celebrating a new job, or is one of your best friends getting married? Be honest and tell the staff! Depending on how good you are at telling a white lie, you can also say you’re newly engaged or just married. Even if you aren’t given a room upgrade, they might offer you a bottle of champagne!

By Matt Lamers / Unsplash

Be Honest About The Things You Don’t Like About Your Room

If you’re honest with the concierge or management that your room isn’t ‘up-to-scratch’ you might be offered an upgrade in return. Hotel’s do not want bad reviews splashed over the internet, so offering an upgrade can be a discreet PR move. Maybe the ‘non-smoking’ room smells of stale smoke, or there’s something wrong with the bathroom. Even smaller problems with a room are still bad publicity for the hotel — so it’s worth asking!

By iAlicante Mediterranean Homes / Unsplash

Plan Your Dates

If you’re traveling over a holiday or a busy time of year, the chances of getting an upgrade are significantly lower. Do your research and choose a hotel that you really like and would love the chance to get upgraded in. Stay in a hotel during off-peak season and try your luck.

By Louis Hansel / Unsplash

Check Rebooking Sites

There are some rebooking sites out there that monitor your reservation and if a better room becomes available at the same price, you’ll be upgraded. Check out sites such as  Tingo and DreamCheaper.

By Kobu Agency / Unsplash

Dress Well

The better dressed you are, the more chance of being upgraded. Dress smartly and stylishly when approaching the concierge or member of staff to ask for an upgrade. This is also a well-used technique to get an upgrade on a flight. Check out these hacks for business travelers so you can travel in style!

Here are more luxury travel experiences to add to your list!

By Tamara Bellis / Unsplash



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