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:
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.
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.
Up to 30% off stays
Book now and get up to 30% off stays at Crowne Plaza. Valid on stays until 31 January. Conditions apply.
Up to 30% off stays
Book now and get up to 30% off stays at Holiday Inn Express. Valid on stays until 31 January. Conditions apply.
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Save up to $889: The Flaming Deal Packages
Book now and save up to $889 on flights and hotels at Wotif. T&Cs apply.
Berjaya Hotel Colombo from $206+
Book for minimum of 2 nights stay for 2 adults from $206+ per package. Inclusive of a half day city tour with refreshments to the places of attractions in Colombo and wide selection of daily breakfast, daily set/buffet dinner for 2 adults. Conditions apply.
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Book the 3 nights package at Swiss-Belinn Legian, Bali, Indonesia and get 10% off with free return airport transfer. T&Cs apply.
10% off flexi rate + free beer bucket: Swiss-Belinn Legian, Bali, Indonesia
Get 10% off flexi rates plus enjoy a free beer bucket at Swiss-Belinn Legian, Bali, Indonesia. Minimum stay of 3 nights. Conditions apply.
Rooms from $19 per night: Veracruz, Mexico
Book now and get rooms from $19 per night at Hotelopia. Hotels included are Acuario, Suites Mediterraneo Veracruz and more. T&Cs apply.
Up to 15% off
Book now and get up to 15% off selected hotels in UK at Compass Hospitality. Includes The Lion Hotel Shrewsbury, Columba Hotel Inverness and more. Exclusions and T&Cs apply.
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Up to 20% off 3-nights or more at any Adina Apartment Hotel worldwide
Available on stays until 31 December. Enjoy up to 20% off your next stay when you book three nights or more at any Adina Apartment Hotel worldwide. Conditions 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Get 10% off bookings
Book direct with Swiss-Belhotel and get an instant 10% off your stay.
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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%.
38% off Swiss-Belhotel International, Segara, Indonesia
Enjoy 38% off flexi rate at Swiss-Belhotel Segara, Bali with special benefits. Includes late check out until 6pm - free one way airport transfer (drop off from hotel to airport, daily breakfast and more. Minimum stays 5 nights. Conditions apply.
Last-minute stays from $135
Valid on stays within 72 hours of booking. Sample stays include Garden View Rooms for $135 per person, per night including return transfers from Airlie Beach, use of equipment at the hotel, Wi-Fi access and island shuttle service.
Up to 30% off advance booking: Berjaya Times Square Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Enjoy exceptional discounts by booking early at Berjaya Times Square Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The earlier you book in advance, the greater the savings of up to 30% off premier floor rooms. T&Cs apply.
3 nights stay for the price of 2: The Egerton House Hotel
Reserve three nights at The Egerton House Hotel and only pay for two. T&Cs apply.
Sign up for exclusive deals
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Book early and save up to 15%: Hotel 41
Take advantage of this early bird offer. Book at least 7 days in advance and save up to 15% on the best available rate. 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.
Save 25% off your stay at select NSW hotels
Book a stay at the Mercure Penrith, Mercure Sydney International Airport or Mercure Sydney Parramatta at least 30 days in advance and save.
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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Book your Thailand summer getaway and get 37% off at Adelphi Grande Sukhumvit with Compass Hospitality, Thailand. Valid for bookings and stays until 16 March 2017. T&Cs apply.
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Book up to 90 days in advance with a minimum of 3 nights stay to avail up to 25% off the best flexible rates at Berjaya Langkawi Resort, Malaysia. T&Cs apply. Check website for more info.
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Book cheap rooms from $29 during the Vegas Vacation Sale.
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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.
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