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How to Get a Hotel Upgrade

Okay, Mr. Thrifty, you reserved the least expensive hotel room that you could. But your inner Donald Trump doesn’t want to settle for low-frills. Go ahead, it never hurts to ask.


  • Step 1: Before you book your room, check any credit card rewards program upgrades or other certificates that you have to see if you can get an upgrade that way.
  • Step 2: Decide what you want out of your upgrade. Would you like a larger room, an extra bed, a better view? It will probably be easier to get an extra bed than to move from a single room to the Presidential suite.
  • Step 3: When you check in, ask your clerk for an upgrade. If the hotel isn’t filled to capacity, he may be willing to do so in order to give the hotel a good name and lure you into becoming a regular customer.
  • TIP: The later you check in, the better your chances of getting an upgrade.
  • Step 4: Remember your manners. Be polite, friendly, and flexible. If you’re told there’s nothing available, accept it. The hotel doesn’t owe you an upgrade, and the more you act like it does, the less likely you are to get one.
  • TIP: If an employee has given you an upgrade, it is always a good idea to get his name and write a note to the management saying how wonderful he was.
  • Step 5: If the hotel doesn’t have an upgrade available for the full length of your stay, ask if it has one available for part of it.
  • TIP: If you’re visiting a hotel that has a loyalty program, join up. Even if you only visit that hotel—or another in the chain—once or twice, having a membership card will suggest that you’re a loyal customer, deserving of an upgrade.
  • Step 6: As a last ditch attempt, you can try greasing a few palms. Such behavior is typically frowned upon, but if you’re hell-bent on living in the lap of luxury, it’s worth a try.
  • FACT: According to Forbes, the Penthouse Suite at the Hotel Martinez in Cannes is one of the most expensive hotel rooms in the world, with a nightly rate of over $37,000.

You Will Need

  • Inquisitiveness
  • Good manners
  • Bribe money

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