How to Get a Free Room Upgrade (written by a hotel receptionist)

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Good news! It’s not at all difficult and it will almost always be achieved if you follow these few simple tips.


How to Get a Free Room Upgrade

Don’t purchase an entry-level room

If you’re hoping for an upgrade to the penthouse suite, be sure to at least purchase a mid-range room or suite in advance. All upgrades are of course based on availability, and will be awarded to those who have already spent a little extra on their stay.

The shorter your stay, the more likely your chances

If you’ve booked a two week stay at a resort and expect an upgrade to be available for a consecutive 14 days, you’re dreaming. For stays of 1-3 nights in duration you are more likely to be upgraded upon availability in order to clear the base rooms for last minute bookings.

Become a member

If the hotel in question has a loyalty program you will have a much better chance of being upgraded to a better room, should one be available. At the end of the day every traveller is looking to score an upgrade or certainly willing to take one on offer. Becoming a member or a frequent visitor will increase your chances of scoring an upgrade based on your loyalty.

Be polite

As a general life rule, being polite to people will always produce much better results. Manners go a long way in the hospitality and tourism industries because more often than not yours is not the 1st, but the 42nd face we have seen that day. You can make the world of difference by simply greeting a receptionist with a smile and introduction, rather than forcefully placing your ‘hotel confirmation’ under our nose with a matter of urgency. If an upgrade is available, it doesn’t even cross my mind to do so until someone has been so polite to flicker that lightbulb in my head that would even consider offering an upgrade.


First and foremost, you should never walk into a hotel and drop the line ‘any chance of an upgrade?’ within your first few sentences. If you have a problem with your room you should politely return to reception and share your concerns, followed by a polite request for you to be upgraded. Switching from the terminology of requesting to be ‘changed rooms’ to be ‘upgraded’ will make a world of difference.

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    October 24, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    […] many sites that reveal tips which increase a guests chances of getting an upgrade such as here or this site.  For some reason consumers in the hotel industry feel they have the right and in some cases are […]

    June 18, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    I have worked in a few hotels over the past ten years and as much as I would love to say all of this is true. It also depends on your managers as to what they allow the receptionist to do. A few hotels I worked at were easy going and were all about helping out families and genuinely nice people, if we had the room.
    However another hotel has been strictly ‘unless there is a major problem they pay’.
    A bit rough, but some managers are on their ‘high horse’ and shouldn’t work in hotels or customer service.
    So remember, it may not be how nice you are. It might be how mean their boss is!

    Colin Service
    June 17, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    I work as a manager at a 5***** hotel in Ahrntal South Tyrol. We really like to give out upgrades when guests, as stated, don’t book entry level rooms, guests that return, on the contrary; the longer you stay the better upgrade you’ll get (over 5 days), dress smart, act smart and respect the hotel its guests and staff, if you’ve booked lots of beauty treatments and spa appointments in advance, if you’ve booked a special package or informed us in advance of a anniversary/birthday), don’t use a travel agent or booking website but book direct (this is a must), generally seem interested in the area and things to do, if with kids always ask is there a bigger room. In terms of guests asking for an upgrade (unless with kids) this is a no-go for us. It just comes across as rude, unless you’re willing to pay for the upgrade (possibly at a reduced rate).

    We laugh, you pay to follow the rules of a 5 star hotel and if you follow the rules, make yourself aware and friendly to staff and management and then upon your return you get the golden ticket.

  • Hur vi blev uppgraderade på Grand Hôtel – och tio bra tips för att bli uppgraderad på hotell. – Matochresebloggen
    April 15, 2015 at 6:14 am

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    Chick Owen
    December 16, 2014 at 6:32 am

    I priceline 4* Hotels all of the time. You’d be surprised what a ddiscretely given $20 bill will do.

    Ron Xuereb
    May 18, 2014 at 9:07 pm

    My wife and I live in Sydney Australia do a lot of traveling and we could not agree with you more on the points you have made. The last time we went to Vegas I had booked a mid priced room on the net at the Cosmopolitan. After a few minutes talking to the man at the check in I offered him a little koala bear that had a boomerang in its hand. ( cost about $1.50) I told him that when we travel we always hand them out as a small thank you from Australia. I said that he can give it to his partner or his mother. I Asked him if we could have a room in the east tower and as high as possible. After about 5 min checking his computer he asked if we could come back in about two hours as he had a room that still needed to be cleaned as it was on the twenty sixth floor looking straight down the strip. It was not an up grade BUT we had one of the best views in Vegas.
    Being polite always works.
    Ron and Anne
    Also be nice to the cleaners, waiters, bus drivers, taxi drivers, shop assistants and any body else that helps you.

    February 9, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Hm….we hope som other article