Every business traveller checking in at a hotel wishes for his or her room type to be overbooked, and that they get upgraded to a better room. This is often wishful thinking, but the truth is that hotel upgrades are in fact not impossible — here’s how a little prep work can turn your windowless single to a sunlit suite.
Prior to showing up
Plan a “Special Occasion”
It might be a little sneaky, but you can email the hotel ahead of time that you are on your wedding anniversary or honeymoon. Even those who are traveling alone can do this — by saying that your spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend is on the way to the hotel as a surprise. You can always repent by enjoying the free upgrade to the honeymoon suite by yourself.
Offer a Review
If you’re active or prominent on social media, your experience can make a difference in potential room reservations from your readers. Hence, offer to write a review of your stay. Take note, though, that it is a big no-no to bribe the hotel by promising a positive review. Similarly, if you get the upgrade, be sure that you mention it.
Paying a bit more
By at least booking one tier above the basic room, it can result in upgrading further. As the hotel is making a bit more from you already, the front desk can be more open to bumping you up. Being a bit more generous pays off.
Here’s a tip
At check-in, you will be asked to provide identification and a credit card. Simply put a bill ($20 to $50 SGD should do the trick), along with it. Reception staff will get it to give you a room with a special view or an upgrade. Even if they do nothing or politely refuse, not much is lost.
Keep it on the low
While hotel staff can give out upgrades, they do not want everyone to know about it. After all, who wouldn’t be jealous to know that someone else just like them got upgraded? So try not to ask for an upgrade when there are other people around.
Ask and you shall receive
Just be straightforward and politely ask for it. You’ll never know what they can do for you until then. Hotel staff — especially the front desk — who work long hours, truly appreciate polite customers. They are more likely to do you a favor and give you what you asked for.
After a hotel stay
Emailing about a prior poor experience
Sometimes, even in the best hotels, you can get a positive from getting a horrid experience. Ever been unfortunate enough to stay at hotel during renovations? Perhaps the hot water ran out during a shower? The front desk failed to give you a wake-up call and you missed your return flight? Get the email address of the general manager and send a polite but firm email directly. Any decent hotel manager will investigate the claim and if found true will likely offer a room upgrade on your next visit.
It may seem like hard work to get an upgrade because there are no guarantees. That being said, when it comes to booking accommodations, try some of these tips on your next trip.
About Brian Frissyn: He is the business owner of Hotels.tv Singapore and helps companies to manage their event and travel logistics more efficiently through the use of technology and personalised services. Brian is a true global citizen who has lived in different continents and this unique personal background provides affinity in conducting businesses without boundaries.