We will share some tips and considerations about how to increase your chances to get upgraded to a suite at a hotel. Please note this post is very Hyatt centric as this is where we have spent the most of our stays in the last 3 years and have had the best luck in getting upgraded to suites; we’ve had some luck as SPG Platinum, Hilton Diamond, and Marriott Gold but never as much as with Hyatt Globalist Status.
1) Length of Stay:
Since you’re not paying full price for the suite and the hotel wants to sell it to make more money, you usually get better upgrades to suites if your stay is shorter. For example, we had a 2 night stay at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki and at check-in, they told us they had upgraded us to a sub-penthouse suite. Had we been there for a week, it would have been very unlikely we would have been upgraded to this suite.
2) Elite Status:
Do you have Elite status with the hotel chain? If so, your chances of being upgraded as a gesture to thank and reward you for your loyalty are higher. Some elite status benefits include upgrades to suites already either at check-in or by applying a suite upgrade certificate. As Hyatt Globalists, we receive 4 complimentary guaranteed suite upgrade certificates. When we stayed at the Park Hyatt Siem Reap, we had called in a suite upgrade and a few days prior to check-in, we noticed they were still selling pool suites so we contacted the GM of the hotel and kindly asked for a pool suite which we did receive.
3) Category of Room and Price Paid:
Even if you are staying for a short amount of time and have top tier status with the hotel chain, booking the cheapest base room decreases your chances of being upgraded to a suite. Booking a higher category of room will definitely increase the likelihood of an upgrade to a suite and possibly a nicer suite. When we stayed at the Andaz Maui, we booked the base garden room and got upgraded to an ocean view room as opposed to a suite. Some programs such as the Intercontinental’s Royal Ambassador have very detailed wording and rules for upgrades, i.e “a room upgrade to a category two tiers higher than the original booking shall be available to all Royal Ambassador Members.” and they have a list of excluded suites at some of their properties. We were very lucky to book a base room at the Park Hyatt Dubai and get an upgrade to a suite that had a nice terrace and view of Dubai Creek.
4) Hotel Occupancy:
If the hotel is at high occupancy or sold out, it may work in your favor or against it; less rooms can mean less suites. We stayed at the Park Hyatt Saigon when the hotel was sold out but the majority of the guests were part of tour groups which probably helped us to be upgraded to a Lam Son suite, which is a lot nicer than the base suite. As much as we were hoping for the presidential suite, there were a lot of business people and government VIPs at the hotel so even with status, a short 3 night stay, and paying for a higher category of room, it was very unlikely we’d get the best suite at this hotel. We have also been lucky in applying suite upgrades at the Grand Hyatt Playa Del Carmen at peak times like New Year’s.
5) Number of Suites:
More suites means more upgrade opportunities and less suites means less chances of getting a suite. When we were staying at the newly opened Holston House in Nashville, we booked the base room, were there for 1 night and while there are 6 suites, we only received a room upgrade, not a suite. In addition, smaller boutique-style hotels might be less inclined to upgrade guests, even those with top-tier status due to their business model of selling specific rooms. For example, when we stayed at Hotel La Semilla in Playa Del Carmen, a small hotel with only 9 rooms part of Starwood’s Design, we booked the room we wanted, the “Suites Terraza” as opposed to booking the cheapest room and requesting an upgrade at check-in.
Do you have any other tips and considerations about getting upgraded to a suite? What was the best suite upgrade you have every gotten?