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Budget Hotel Price - Luxurious Amenities with Free Hotel Upgrades

Updated on August 15, 2010

Hotel Deals, Budget Prices, Luxurious Amenities

You may use this photo if you link to this page, Guriarte.
You may use this photo if you link to this page, Guriarte.

Budget Hotel Prices – Luxurious Amenities with free Hotel Upgrades

Managers at my previous job must be heating me right now as I am about to tell you a secret they don’t want you to know; how to get free hotel upgrades.


I was a front desk agent at a super busy, really big, really nice hotel in San Francisco. In fact the hotel was so busy that we were sold out almost every day; this often meant that some people would not get a room at all, while others got a free hotel upgrade. What was their trick?

At a 4 star hotel in downtown San Francisco a one night stay in a junior suite will cost you no less than $400 or $500 dollars, yet some people are getting these suite upgrades for free every day.

It doesn’t matter whether you book your stay through a third party site such as those that have the best deals, or directly through the hotel, although you may end up paying the lowest available rate if you book through one of those third party sites.

This is how I would go about making the reservation:

  1. Check the price on one of those travel sites that claim to have the best rates.
  2. Call the hotel directly and speak with a representative and see what the best rate they can offer you is. Make sure you are talking about the same room you saw online.
  3. Take the best deal.
  4. One or two days before your scheduled arrival date contact the hotel directly and ask to be transferred to the front desk.
  5. The people who answer the phone are trained to know when someone is trying to take advantage of the system, so be nice and explain why this trip is so special to you and ask to see if they can get you a nice room, ask for a free upgrade.
  6. Remember that person’s name and ask for him or her when you get to the hotel, just to say thanks for blocking that nice room, at the same time you could bring up one more time why this trip is so special and ask if they had a suite you could be upgraded to.

If the hotel is full or near full capacity, all rooms and suites are given out every night regardless of how much you paid for your room. Front desk agents know this, and they hand pick through the day who should get the upgrade, sometimes based on rate paid by night, and also on less objective matters such as which guest was nicer, or who called first.

Most front desk agents don’t expect a tip, so if he or she got you the suite you wanted or upgraded you to a really nice room you may want to do something nice in return, money usually works. Leaving a thank you note with their supervisor where you personally credit a particular agent for your wonderful stay will also be greatly appreciated by that person.

Next time you visit that hotel call and speak directly with the agent who helped you, chances are he or she will remember you and get you a free upgrade again.

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