Today we’re happy to bring to you an article from Australian travel journalist Megan Claire. With 5 years experience in hotel reception, Megan has been kind enough to share some of the lessons she’s learned that might just give you an edge on getting a free upgrade the next time you book with Book a Suite. Be sure to check our Megan’s bio at the bottom of this post!
If you have ever worked in hospitality, or ever known someone who has, you’ll know that dealing with customers can be the worst part of the job – having worked in the tourism industry as a hotel receptionist for 5 years, I came very close to developing an irrational hate of all people! I encountered my fair share of customers who were rude, prissy, needy and irrational, lacking common sense, and many who were extremely demanding. However, ever so rarely there would be a hotel guest who would surprise me with their patience and good manners, and as such I would bend over backwards to help them – even offering a free hotel upgrade on occasion as a thank you for treating me like a fellow human being!
That’s all it really takes to charm your way into a hotel upgrade – good manners! You would be surprised at how far you can get in the world by treating hospitality staff members decently – and really, it’s the staff members who can make or break your experience. We have access to the house wine, to cupboards full of complimentary chocolates, and we know which buttons to hit on the computer to discount your stay, include a complimentary breakfast, or magically move you into a premium suite. So when are these upgrades given out? All the time!
A lot of the time an upgrade of some sort will be offered as compensation for a bad experience in the hotel. You need to know HOW to make a complaint however. Too many times I have been on the receiving end of a hotel guest yelling and screaming irrationally over an incredibly small issue. Unless I could fix the issue right then and there my response was always “there’s nothing I can do, unfortunately you will have to speak to the manager in the morning”. No one appreciates being yelled at and they won’t be inclined to help you!
Guests however who approach a front desk receptionist and begin with: “I’m terribly sorry but xyz is wrong with my room is there any possibility of moving to a different room please?” will find they get so much further. A lot of the time the hotel won’t be sold out, and if the receptionist is feeling incredibly kind, they’ll offer a complimentary room upgrade. If you’re already in the a suite and a room upgrade is impossible, normally I would then offer a complimentary breakfast the next morning as well as a room change to another more suitable suite. Often there are instances where anger and frustration is understandable, however we know this, and are more likely to help you if your temper is kept under control!
If you’re travelling for a birthday, anniversary, wedding, honeymoon or any other special occasion, write the reason for your stay to make sure the hotel knows. All hotels try and take great care of their guests – and will generally try and do something special for guests travelling on special occasions. If there was the availability for room upgrades available they were instantly given to guest travelling on their honeymoon or anniversary – normally spa suites. Having just finished travelling around the United States for my honeymoon we were met with complimentary chocolates, wine, and even cheesecake upon our arrival all over the West Coast of America! One hotel even wrote a personalized card congratulating us on our recent wedding!
If you are returning to stay at a hotel you love, make sure they know that you are a returning guest. Hotels regularly find themselves overbooked on certain room types and therefore need to upgrade some guests into better rooms. Returning guests were the first to receive upgrades as a thank you for coming back.
So now that you know the little secrets behind charming your way into hotel upgrades, make sure to try it for yourself – and remember to always say please and thank you! As hospitality staff members, manners brighten our day, and put us in a better mood at work making your experience as a customer all that more enjoyable!
About Megan Claire
Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging around the world for the last 7 years to inspire others to embark on their own worldwide adventure! Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.
Meg has recently launched “Mapping Megan“, an up and coming travel blog which aims to give you the best tips and advice on travelling, volunteering, living, working and holidaying abroad. She hasn’t been everywhere, but it’s on her list!