Scoring Hotel Room Upgrades

Throughout my travels, I’ve managed to score a number of major hotel room upgrades. I’m not talking about the often standard slight space upgrade from a ‘Superior’ to a ‘Deluxe’ that most hotels would gladly throw in. I’m talking about a superior/studio to a Executive/Suite type of upgrade. Here’s a recent experience that I’ve had:

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A standard studio room with a king size bed

Last Friday, my buddy and I entered the hotel lobby when we heard a commotion between the counter staff and what I perceive to be Singaporeans (2 girls). It went something like this, “I want to see your manager… why doesn’t your manager work on a Saturday?” to which the staff replied, “today is public holiday”(sic). The girls replied, “What kind of hotel is this, there should always be a manager around!”

I don’t know what the problem was, but by this time, sensing our presence, the other staff attended to us and proceeded to process my booking. The problem: when I booked a room on Expedia, I forgot to indicate two single beds. I’m not sure if there’s even an option for that but nevertheless, two guys on a king size bed is kinda awkward, so i requested for two singles. To which the counter staff said, “Sorry Sir, we don’t have any more twin beds, only king size left, and we’re fully booked.”

To cut the long story short, she upgraded us to SUITES which was going for twice the price of the studio room that I paid for. It comes with two separate restrooms equipped with a bathtub and toilet bowl, a complete living room, and a kitchenette. This bring me to my first tip to score an upgrade:

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A complete living room adjacent to the sleeping area
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The Kitchenette greets you when you enter from the door to the living room

1.Always be polite to service staff – I could throw a tantrum and insist on my “rights” (they’re not technically at fault anyway, cause “King Size” was clearly stated), but I decided to be nice about it and even joked with my buddy that this would allow us to be “closer”. She sensed that we were nice customers and paid it forward!

2.Queue behind a rude guest/passenger – I’ve read this online somewhere before and this strategy has worked out in my favour! The idea is to be completely nice especially after the staff had to deal with the self entitled shitty attitude of some guest/passengers. This creates a contrast of experience for the staff and the tendency to reward those that treat them well.

3.If you don’t ask, the answer will always be no – I’m still not good at this, but sometimes I pluck up my courage to ask for an upgrade or if there are any freebies available. Whether it’s at the hotel or on an airplane, they’ll often oblige you with a minor upgrade or gifts, if it’s the season (I got a cute couple bear cause I told the staff during my SIA, Suites trip that it was my honeymoon. Click here to read it).

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SIA’s 70th Anniversary bear

4.Approach the opposite sex – If you’re a guy, approach female staff; and vice verser. The bulk of my freebies and upgrades have always been from female staff.

5.Make use of a special date – It could be your honeymoon, a birthday or just some special occasion. People are created to celebrate with each other! When I was having my honeymoon with my wife in Europe, I would make known to the staff that it’s my honeymoon and ask politely and nicely if there was any ‘chance’ for a free upgrade. I use the word ‘chance’ because it’s not as imposing or demanding as asking straight up.

In Paris, I was given one of the highest floors at the Marriott Hotel overlooking the city

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An awesome view and a comfy room

In Rome, we scored an upgrade from a normal room to an executive room at the Hilton which enabled us to access the Executive lounge with free flow food and drinks!

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Access to the Executive lounge

Hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article.

If you’ve any travel tips, please share with me. Would love to hear from you!

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