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.
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.
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:
Hotels from $9 per night: 72 hour hotel sale
Book hotels from $9 per night at Wotif. Valid on select hotels only. Exclusions and T&Cs apply.
Book in advance and save 25%
Make a reservation for a Novotel property at least 30 days in advance and save up to 25% on the regular price.
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Save up to 25% on advance bookings
Book a stay at an Ibis property at least 30 days in advance and save up to 25%.
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15% off hotels: Friday nights only
Get 15% off across all hotels with limited restrictions at Travelodge UK during Fridays. T&Cs apply.
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Up to 40% off + 2,000 AirAsia BIG points
Save up to 40% and earn up to 2,000 AirAsia BIG points when you stay at selected Swiss-Belhotel International. Valid for stays until 31 October 2016. T&Cs apply.
Up to 30% off - Millennium & Copthorne Hotels, Singapore
Enjoy up to 30% off in your luxurious stay at Millennium Hotels, Singapore.
Get 10% off bookings
Book direct with Swiss-Belhotel and get an instant 10% off your stay.
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Up to 30% off + FREE breakfast for BCA credit card holders
Simply use the code to get up to 30% off plus breakfast for BCA credit card holders. Valid for booking & stays until 15 March 2017. Valid only for Swiss-Belhotel Indonesian properties (Swiss-Belhotel, Swiss-Belinn and Swiss-Inn).
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Up to 10% off advanced purchase: Berjaya Eden Park London Hotel, United Kingdom
Save up to 10% off advanced purchase at Berjaya Eden Park London Hotel, United Kingdom.
10% off when you book 13 days in advance: Berjaya Waterfront Hotel, Malaysia
Get 10% off when you book 13 days in advance at Berjaya Waterfront Hotel, Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Book & stay until 31st December 2016. Minimum 2 nights stay required. T&Cs apply.
Vegas Vacation Sale: rooms from $29
Book cheap rooms from $29 during the Vegas Vacation Sale.
Up to 20% off early bird promo + free breakfast at Swiss-Inn Batam, Indonesia
Book 14 days in advance and save up to 20% off the flexi rate with breakfast for two included at Swiss-Inn Batam, Indonesia. Book & stay until 30th December 2016.
Gold Coast stays from $92 per night
Find accommodation on the Gold Coast from $92 per night on Lastminute.com.au.
Up to 25% off for 3 nights stay + other great benefits at Swiss-Inn Batam, Indonesia
Enjoy up to 25% off for 3 nights stay plus other great benefits at Swiss-Inn Batam, Indonesia. Includes daily breakfast for 2 persons & more. Book & stay until 30th December 2016.
Book a Secret Hotel for up to 40% off
Not fussed about where you stay? Book Lastminute's secret hotels where the name is revealed when you book for up to 40% off the regular price.
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The Chesterfield Mayfair: Book Early & Save up to 30%
Bookings made at least 10 days prior to arrival will receive up to 30% off on the best available rate. Terms & conditions apply.
The Montague: Kids Go Free
Parents and children alike are glad to retire to the relaxing Montague on the Gardens, where every need is anticipated and taken care of. Kids up to 12 years stay and eat for free when sharing a room with parents. Offer also includes unlimited in-room movies and access to a games console too.
Book Early & Save up to 30% - The Egerton House Hotel
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.
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.
Save up to £20 off your stay
Book a stay at Britannia Hotels at least 10 days in advance and save up to £20 per night of your stay.
Weekly Britannia Hotel offers: Rooms from £38 per night
Reserve a stay at a select Britannia Hotel from just £38 per night for two people, including breakfast. Available hotels vary from week to week.
Best rate guarantee
Book a stay with Easy To Book and get the best rate guaranteed.
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Suite deal + freebies at Kuta, Bali
Book the executive suite room for 3 nights at Swiss-Belhotel Rainforest, Kuta from IDR 3,045,000net. Minimum stay of 3 nights. Check website for more details.
Suite Sensation: luxury suite + freebies
Book the suite pool view for 3 nights at Swiss-Belhotel Petitenget from IDR 3,360,000net. Check website for more details.
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The Rubens: Book Early & Save up to 20%
Get up to 20% off on the best available rate when you book a minimum of 14 days in advance. T&Cs apply.
The Montague: 4 nights for the price of 3
Book 4 nights at The Montague and pay for only 3 nights. Available on all standard room types including Single, Double and King rooms. T&Cs apply.
The Chesterfield Mayfair: 3 nights for the price of 2
Stay for 3 nights for the price of 2. Stay a little longer with us in a junior suite or executive suite including the dormer suite, Duchess suite, Philippe suite and Stanhope suite and enjoy a complimentary third night. Terms & conditions 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.
Stay 3 Pay 2 + free Breakfast on a free night
Get the 3rd night free when you book 2 consecutive nights at Citrus Sukhumvit 11 Hotel, Thailand. Room rates starts from THB 1755++/night. Black out dates: Dec. 25, 2015 to Jan. 3, 2016. Booking & staying period is valid from now until Oct. 31, 2016. T&Cs apply.
The Chesterfield Mayfair: 4 nights for the price of 3
Stay for (4) four nights or more, get the fourth night free of charge. Available on all standard room types including Single, Double and King rooms. Terms & conditions apply.
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