As a frequent traveler, I’m sure it’s not hard to believe that I’ve become a ‘hotel junkie’ and know a thing or two about hotels. Believe it, or not, the trick to going from a $150 per night room to a $300 suite in a matter of moments isn’t being famous, having the right connections, or even tricking the concierge into believing it’s your anniversary – sometimes, it’s just a matter of being smart about timing, being honest, and above all, not being a diva! (Yes, I just said that!)
With that in mind, consider trying out these 5 tips the next time you’re headed for a hotel stay and see what happens. With ease and practice, you can easily end up on the VIP list for each and every stay, at each and every hotel! Visit Accor Hotels today to try out some of these tips.
#1 – Purposefully Have Superb Timing
First things first – don’t ever try to get from a low priced room to a high priced room; you’ll have minimal success, at best. It’s always a good idea to meet the hotel half way and make your initial booking for that of a mid-priced room for the hotel. Upgrades are handed over far more easily when they’re not taking as much of a loss, by doing so.
Now, once you have the room booked – wait to check-in until later in the day. The hotel’s clerk has no idea how many cancellations and no-shows there will be earlier in the day and therefore won’t want to risk passing out upgrades until they do. Checking in between 4-6pm, is usually ideal as you don’t want to wait too long and get shuffled into the no-show list yourself.
Keep in mind, however, that if this hotel is at max occupancy – say during a peak travel season – the likelihood of this method working is slim. They simply don’t have any upgrades to hand out.
#2 – Mom Always Said… Be Honest & Mind Your Manners
Every hotel clerk on the planet that has been working the job for even a month has heard the same old white lies again and again and again. The “it’s my honeymoon!” or the “it’s our anniversary” lines are overused and unless you booked way in advance – or are wearing a wedding gown – the hotel clerk is going to smell the lie the second you walk into the lobby.
Believe it, or not, one of the best approaches to obtaining a room upgrade is just to ask for one. Adhere to the first tip on this list, and have great timing, but just ask. Be sweet, be honest, and you might be surprised – insulting the intelligence of the person who has the power, though, is a surefire way to get blacklisted.
Another way, is to make up complaints about your room – don’t do that. On the other hand, if there’s genuinely something wrong with your room, don’t shout and scream – be understanding, be patient, and you will be rewarded.
#3 – Let the Internet Be Your Agent
Not all of us have those real-world connections – like being the General Manager’s accountant – but that doesn’t stop any of us from working the digital connections available to anyone with the internet.
Prior to booking, check out a website called the Kiwi Collection. This is a luxury hotel website that provides loads of free perks and hotel upgrades to their members, especially if you’re with them long enough to achieve VIP status. Once you reach this level, Kiwi agents will actually take on the role of your agent, reach out to the vast array of hotels they have relationships with, and obtain upgrades for you in an instant.
Did I mention this is a completely free service? All they require is your loyalty!
Speaking of loyalty, you can also obtain upgrades just by being a VISA Signature cardholder at over 800 hotel properties sponsored by VISA.
#4 – A Little Loyalty Goes a Long Way
Since we’re already on the subject of loyalty, I’ll go right into how it can help you even more than already mentioned. Hotels want return guests — they want loyalty – they want to know that they’re your favorite hotel. Furthermore, they want to know that you’re recommending them to all of your friends, family, and co-workers.
How can they find out about this? It’s simple – when you refer the hotel, make sure to tell your referral to drop your name at check-in. Believe me, the hotel clerk will make note of it and will thank you with a hotel room upgrade the next time you check-in. Guests don’t just disappear from a hotel’s radar – especially if it’s a nice hotel – they keep a record of everything and everyone; especially their loyal customers.
Keep in mind that this isn’t just a “keep our customers happy and loyal” trick, it’s a “we want to save money on marketing” trick – it costs less to bring back a guest than it does to acquire a new one entirely. That’s business 101.
#5 – If it’s a Real Occasion, Speak up!
As mentioned before, hotel clerks can sniff out a lie really easily. However, if you’re booking with a hotel for a special occasion several weeks out, definitely let them know what the occasion is. If you combine this with tip #1 and check-in later in the day, the hotel will probably try to “wow” their new guests with a surprise upgrade for their special day. They’re in the business of hospitality and they love to extend it.
Furthermore, if you happen to be a loyal return customer – absolutely speak up!! You’ll receive an upgrade, no questions asked!