Want a hotel room upgrade? Just ask!

Introduction

As I was in my room at the Conrad Koh Samui wondering why I hadn’t been upgraded at the Conrad or the Park Hyatt Siem Reap even though I was top tier at both chains.  I was thinking what was different about this trip because I was upgraded to the top 5 rooms at both the Hilton Seychelles Northolme and Hilton Seychelles Labriz the year before.  See, before I go on my big trips, I’ll Google the GM’s email address and casually mention how I’m excited for the trip and what great things I’ve read on Tripadvisor.  Then if I’m celebrating anything, I’ll mention that.  I’ll also casually ask what the Diamond benefits are.  Just subconscious stuff.

So what changed on this trip vs the Seychelles?  Well it dawned on me that for the Seychelles, I was straight forward with the GM’s and asked something like, “as a Diamond member, I was wondering if we could be upgraded to the XYZ suite?  It looks awesome in photos.”  Both times, they replied saying they couldn’t confirm me into those rooms, but when I checked in, we were upgraded to those EXACT ROOMS.  I remembered for Koh Samui and Siem Reap, I didn’t do that and both times struck out.

 

Psychology

Look at it from the GM’s point of view.  If one person says, “Hi, we’re celebrating our anniversary,” I’m just gonna give you a bottle of wine and a cake.  In my mind, you had no room expectations and that’ll make you happy.  However, if the person asks, “Hi, we’re celebrating our anniversary.  Can we get a suite?” then I know what’ll make them happy – the room upgrade.  There’s no ambiguity in what’ll make the 2nd guest happy.

 

Putting it to the test

There I was in Koh Samui with my 4 night stay at the Hilton Bangkok Millennium coming up in a few days.  I then Google’d the GM’s name, and had to join some web site to get their email address.  I then emailed them basically everything from above.  I then mentioned it would be awesome if we could get upgraded to one of the panoramic suites.  Quick aside here – I even looked on the Hilton site and that room wasn’t available for all 4 nights, so I figured my chances were low.  However, 2 days later, I get a reconfirmation email from Hilton changing my room to the pano room.  SUCCESS!  That review coming tomorrow.

 

Lessons Learned

If you’re going on a special trip, email the GM of the hotel and say how excited you are for your stay, how you’ve read great things about the hotel, and then specifically ask for the room you want.  Don’t be rude or pul the DYKWIA card.  Be cool about it.  Worst case – you don’t get upgraded.  Remember, you miss every shot you don’t take!

  • Mark Ostermann

    I have had success in the past simply tweeting a specific hotel and then PMing them trip details and special occasions etc. Got my buddy a balcony room upgrade at the Hyatt in Portland Maine Labor Day weekend because I told him it was a wedding gift. I am only a lowly discoverist too. I have found in all things in life…asking nicely usually works wonders for things :)…most people are afraid to try.

  • Dave C

    I saw this article last month and tried it; it’s basically the same thing you’re saying, but with more detail. I successfully got an upgrade to a suite at the Ritz Carlton Maui.

    http://www.brianmcadam.com/get-spectacular-hotel-room-upgrade-free/

    • Miles per Day

      I think the photo attachment is kinda creepy

  • James33

    Couldn’t find the GM email but emailed the general hotel email requesting the contact info for the manager.
    Emailed and her response says she will try to get me into the high floor suite and have a VIP set up upon arrival for my anniversary. This is for the Hilton Diagonal Mar in Barcelona later this month!
    Thanks for the tip Vinh!

    • Miles per Day

      Congrats. We’re headed to Barcelona next summer. Let me know how the Hilton is; I was leaning SPG.

  • Justin

    Lol I thought you meant you googled their physical home address. Was wondering where this article was going…

    • Miles per Day

      haha let me correct