FeatureImage.Bestwaystoscorehotelupgrade

11 of the best ways to score a hotel upgrade

Hands up if you want to check-in to the superior room.

Something that can really make a holiday is finding yourself at the check-in counter of your hotel being handed a key to a much more luxe abode than you may have originally booked.

What are the secrets to unlocking this perk? While we don’t have a hard and fast answer for you, we do have a couple of pointers that can help increase your chances of securing a hotel upgrade.

Bon voyage!

How to get a hotel upgrade

1. Be part of the program: Some hotel chains offer membership programs that provide you with benefits for frequent stays, including upgrades.

    • Anantara Privilege member: Special members-only rates apply to Privilege members. Upgrade your status to receive complimentary room upgrades.
    • LeClub Accor Hotels member:Get discounts, free nights with points earned and upgrades when you obtain Gold status.
    • Hilton HHonors member: Once you reach Gold Status (20 stays or 40 nights) you can tap into complimentary upgrade options.
    • IHG Rewards club member:Holiday Inn IHG members can earn points that they can then redeem for bonus rewards nights.
    • My Millennium member: The Millennium and Copthorne memberships grant you access to complimentary stays and discounts. Upgrade to Elite status to receive two upgrades per membership year.
    • MyOaks member:While no upgrades are available for MyOaks members, you can still earn points for member deals and discounts.
    • Marriott Rewards member: Stay four consecutive nights and get the fifth free. The more you upgrade in status, the bigger the benefit.
    • Starwood Preferred Guest member: Earn points through stays and shopping that you can then spend on various items including flights. Stay three consecutive nights and get the fourth free. Upgrades come when you obtain Gold Status.
    • TFE Hotels eClub: Sign up to the TFE Hotels eClub for 10% off member stays at hotels like Adina and Vibe. No upgrades available.
    • Hyatt Gold Passport members: Earn points for every dollar you spend and receive nights for free. Upgraded membership status can get you free upgrades.
    • Hotels.com Rewards member:One free night for every 10 nights stayed. No upgrades available.
    • Qantas Frequent Flyer members:Clock up points when you stay at eligible hotels. You can later exchange these for stays.

2. Get the right credit card: Many hotels offer credit cards that automatically make you eligible for an upgrade. Hilton’s Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve card automatically grants you gold status, as does the Hyatt Credit Card.

3. Tell the staff that it’s a special occasion: When checking in, sneakily drop in that you’re celebrating something. Could be a birthday, could be an engagement; whatever it is, it should be something worthy of a better room. Even if you don’t score that upgrade, you might get a free bottle of Champers out of it.

4. Ask for it but be nice about it: The worst they can do is say no, and the hotel staff will appreciate that you are being polite about it. Don’t make a fuss if they say no and don’t ask for the upgrade when other guests are around.

On that note, make a request for a specific room and don’t aim too high. Bumping yourself from a standard room to the Presidential Suite is probably not going to happen, but asking for a superior room might be possible.

5. Say something nice about the staff: When you’re at the hotel, be polite and leave good feedback for the staff. Got a bit of social media influence? Use it by sharing your love for the hotel online. The hotel will remember the praise and if you return, they may upgrade you automatically because of it.

6. Book a new hotel: New hotels don’t yet have the reviews to prove that they’re worth their salt, so they may be more likely to yield to an upgrade request to please you, especially if they have rooms to spare.

HotelUpgrade

7. Book through the hotel: It’s true that booking through websites like Booking.com and Hotels.com can have the benefits of a slightly cheaper rate, but booking through these sites means that the hotel has to pay them a commission. The hotel also doesn’t receive your personal details prior to your arrival. By booking direct you’re suggesting loyalty to the brand itself, which can increase your chances of an upgrade.

8. Arrive late rather than early: The afternoon to early evening is a non-peak time at the check-in desk, meaning they won’t be rushed when taking care of you. It also means the staff will have better knowledge of what rooms are available for the evening. It might not align with your flight but it might align with an upgrade.

9. Stay just one night: Shorter stays are more likely to get an upgrade as premium rooms may be filled the following days or have the potential to be filled.

10. Pay the price: Booking the cheapest room or getting a discounted room is probably not going to win you any favours. Be willing to pay an uncancellable full rate to prove that you’re serious about staying at the hotel. Brand loyalty is everything.

11. Make a complaint - but only if it’s justified. If there’s something wrong with your current room, return to the counter and let them know. The hotel staff are there to make your stay a good one, so if a plug isn’t working or the toilet doesn’t flush properly, bring it up. They’d rather address the problem then and there than have you complain later. If it’s something that can’t be fixed, they’ll likely bump you to another room (hopefully an upgraded one).


Hotel memberships and deals that could help you score an upgrade

Latest hotel offers:

Up to 33% off best travel deals

Get up to 33% off the best travel deals at Lastminute.com.au. Valid on select hotels only. T&Cs apply.

Up to 30% off hotels + free breakfast and Wi-Fi

Valid for stays until 31 March at select Asia hotels. Book your vacations at Millennium Hotels & Resorts and get 20% off on room stay plus an extra 10% discount for Millennium loyalty members. T&Cs apply.

50% off select hotels: Members only

Available to logged-in Expedia account holders, newsletter subscribers, and via the Expedia App. Excludes applicable taxes and other fees. T&Cs apply.

Christmas promo from IDR 1,200,000 nett per room for 2 nights: Swiss-Belinn Simatupang, Jakarta, Indonesia

Available for stays from 23 December until 30 December 2016. Minimum stay of 2 nights. Conditions apply.

Sparkling New Year promo from IDR 800,000 nett: Swiss-Belinn Simatupang, Jakarta, Indonesia

Save big with this Sparkling New Year promo from IDR 800,000 nett per room per night at Swiss-Belinn Simatupang, Jakarta, Indonesia. Promo valid for stays between 30th December 2016 until 2nd January 2017. T&Cs apply.

Up to 30% off stays

Valid on stays until 31 January at InterContinental, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Crowne Plaza at IHG Hotels. Rewards Club members can get an extra 5% off in Asia Pacific (excluding China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan), the Middle East and Africa. Conditions apply.

20% off Christmas package: Swiss-Belhotel, Papua, Jayapura

Save big with Swiss-Belhotel's Christmas package and get 20% off from flexi rate. Valid for stays from 21st until 27th December 2016. T&Cs apply.

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Enjoy overnight stay including breakfast and welcome drink for just € 99 per night. Minimum 1 night stay required. Valid on participating hotels only. T&Cs apply.

15% off 2-night stay or more + FREE welcome drink at the new Storehouse on the Park

Valid for stays from 1 December, 2016 to 28 February, 2017. Celebrate the newly refurbished Vibe Hotel Rushcutters Bay, Sydney and save 15% when you stay two or more nights plus enjoy a complimentary welcome drink at the new Storehouse on the Park. T&Cs apply.

Get a late check-out, free welcome drink and 2-for-1 breakfast in Darwin

Available until 30 April, 2017. Get a special rate inclusive of 1pm late check-out, drink on arrival and 2 for 1 breakfast. Stay in Adina Apartment Hotel Darwin Waterfront to take advantage of this Darwin Deal. T&Cs apply.

Get a late check-out, free welcome drink and 2-for-1 breakfast in Darwin

Available until 30 April, 2017. Get a special rate inclusive of 1pm late check-out, drink on arrival and 2 for 1 breakfast. Stay in Travelodge Mirambeena Resort Darwin to take advantage of this Darwin Deal. T&Cs apply.

Up to 50% off room upgrade: Berjaya Times Square Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Valid on stays until 20th December 2016. Enjoy up to 50% off on the upgrade charges on top of premier room rate and be instantly upgraded to club premier room which come with breakfast and club benefits at Berjaya Times Square Hotel. T&Cs apply.

Up to 20% off any stay when you book online in advance: Early Bird Special

Available for stays until 31 August, 2017. Book your accommodation in advance online and enjoy a saving of up to 20% on any stay. Valid on Adina Apartment Hotels across Australia and New Zealand. T&Cs apply.

15% Off Early Bird discount

Book 15 days in advance to get 15% off at Citrus Sukhumvit 11 Hotel, Thailand. Room rates starts from THB 1660++/night. Black out dates: Dec. 25, 2015 to Jan. 3, 2016. Booking & staying period is valid from now until Dec. 6, 2016. T&Cs apply.

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The Montague: Book Early & Save up to 20%

Receive up to 20% off on the best available rate when you book seven days or more prior to your arrival. Terms and conditions apply.

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Take advantage of the special advance purchase offer when you book at least 10 days in advance and receive up to 30% off on the best available rate.

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Up to 25% off for 3 nights stay + other great benefits at Swiss-Inn Batam, Indonesia

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Stephanie Yip

Stephanie is a journalist, avid traveller and all-round bargain hunter. If there's an online coupon code, deal or cheap flight available, she'll know about it. And she'll let you know about it, too.

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