10 Tips to Get Yourself a Free Hotel Room Upgrade

The New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel

No matter what it could be, an upgrade always sounds better and appealing. In the world of hotel stays and reservations, an upgrade could mean many things. In the simplest sense, a hotel upgrade could be a room upgrade from a basic room to a bigger room or one that has better views. However, a hotel room upgrade can also mean free breakfast or dinner vouchers, complimentary spa access, free amenities, or even waived parking fees. If you’re always on the lookout for ways to save when you travel, here are 10 tips on how you can get a room upgrade for free.

Personality counts

Hotel front desk agents have a little bit more leeway than they let on sometimes. If not, they can always get permission from a supervisor to upgrade guests as they see fit. Sometimes, all it takes is just a little bit of personality. Even niceness can go a long way. If you somehow manage to inspire an agent to upgrade you by your awesomeness alone, you’re already on a league of your own.

Special occasions

Most people take the time to travel and stay at hotels when there’s something going on. If you are celebrating something in your life, let your hotel know. They’re likely to upgrade you to help you make great memories in their property. Try not to abuse the system though; they might remember you next time you decide to come in.

Check room as soon as possible

The first thing you should always do after checking into your hotel is to check your room thoroughly. You should be looking for signs of bed bugs or any other issues. Even the best hotels go through these sorts of problems from time to time. Report any issues you might find immediately, and you might find yourself moved to a better room just so the hotel can get back to your good side.

Know the room types

Sometimes an upgrade might not be much of a difference. If you’re in a junior suite and want to go a level up, it might just mean going to a junior suite with a view or a senior suite. You don’t necessarily have to go for the penthouse suite. If you know what room types are available, then you can have a better idea of what you can be upgraded to.

Loyalty programs

Every hotel has a loyalty program, and it really helps to be loyal. Accumulating points every time you stay at a hotel can give you a lot of free things, including upgrades. Once you get to a certain level, let’s say gold or diamond level, hotels may automatically upgrade you as long as they have the room availability.

Book your reservation via telephone

Sometimes it also makes a difference when you call the hotel directly to book your reservation rather than going through a third party or even just booking online. Depending on who you talk to or if ever you catch an agent in a good mood, you might get lucky with a free upgrade just because of the underrated human connection.

Look for newer properties

Newer properties usually offer a lot of promotions and deals just to get people to test out their hotels. You’re more likely to get an upgrade in a newer property than in one that’s just been doing their thing for a while.

Tips count

While you’re still shelling out some money for this one, it doesn’t take much to show your appreciation. Ten or twenty dollars is not a lot compared to having a room with a panoramic ocean view. If you find that you’re just a bit short on cash, you’ll be surprised how much a fiver can do.

It’s whom you know

Go through your list of connections and see if you know anyone who might work at a hotel. It doesn’t even matter what department they work for because they can easily contact someone in the front desk to hook you up with an upgrade. Like with everything else in life, it’s not what you know—it’s whom you know.

Just ask

Sometimes all it takes is just to ask. After all, you’ll never know if you can get an upgrade if you don’t ask. If you find that you’re a little too timid or proud to ask for a free upgrade, then you probably will end up without one. The worse that can happen is the hotel tells you no. If that’s the case, at least you tried.


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