‘Certain things’ travellers can do to get a ‘free’ hotel upgrade

Jane McDonald shares hotel concierge tip for holidays

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Arriving at your hotel to find you’ve upgraded to one of the finest suites is a dream for many travellers, but it’s one which might not transpire into reality as often as you might hope. However, head of The Points Guy UK Nicky Kelvin (@NickyKelvin) says there are “certain things” holidaymakers can do to boost their chances.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, Nicky said: “Whether you’re travelling for work or pleasure, scoring an upgrade can go a long way towards a more comfortable stay.

“Upgrades can be one of the best perks of hotel elite status and as such could make it worth you trying to earn that status.”

If you’re someone who travels regularly and likes to do so in style, loyalty to a global hotel brand can come in handy.

Nicky explained: “Some credit cards like the American Express Platinum Card actually come with elite status at several hotel groups.

“There are certain things a traveller can do to land that coveted suite or improved room based on their elite status or by booking through certain travel programmes like American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts.”

However, there is a caveat to this tip, especially if the hotel is in a popular location.

Nicky said: “It’s worth being aware that these upgrades are subject to availability and hotels might not want to give them away if there’s still a chance that they can sell the room to a paying customer.

“It helps to have a sense of the available room types before you arrive by checking on the website or app to see what is still available.”

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However, Nicky in order to ensure your stay counts towards hotel points, you should book directly with the hotel.

Even if you don’t hold “elite status” there are still some sneaky tips which could help you land that dream room.

Nicky explained: “When possible, booking directly with a hotel is the best way to make your reservation.

“Online travel agencies make it easy to search a wide variety of airfares and hotel options, but what you get in convenience you lose in benefits and protections.

“If you need to make changes, it’s much easier to deal directly with a property.”

As with any “free” upgrade, the chance of it happening is often down to luck, therefore if you have your heart set on a suite, you’re going to have to pay.

But, as Nicky points out, there are still ways to score a room for much cheaper than at its peak price.

“It’s always useful to keep a close eye on sales which come around sporadically during the year and usually outside of the summer period, Nicky said.

“Although my number one top tip regardless of when you decide to book is to check the discount codes on offer when booking a hotel.

“All you have to do is google the name of the booking site that you are using and google ‘discount code’ alongside it and usually, a code will come up straight away.

“It’s also useful to look out for the times when tour operators are trying to clear their inventory of prearranged trips, as they often offer great discounts on hotels.”

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