Simple Tips To Score A Discounted Or Upgraded Hotel Stay This Summer
Have you booked your Summer vacation yet? Be prepared for sticker shock. Hotel rates are scorching expensive.
Fun fact – hotel stays (like many things in life) – can be negotiated. Prices are rarely set in stone, if you know what (and how) to ask for discounts and upgrades.
Now, it is not as easy as simply asking, “Can I be upgraded?!” It is easier than you think, however.
Here are a few tips your trusted personal injury attorneys have successfully used in the past.
First things, first.
The way you ask for the request can be more important than what you ask for.
Hotel staff gets “talked down to” all day long.
“Why isn’t my room ready?”
Why are my pillows too soft?”
“Why is the pool serving plastic straws”, etc.?
They are used to dealing with people like TED (tired, entitled, drunk), and MARIA (mean, annoyed, rude, inflexible, arrogant). TED and MARIA’s requests are dismissed.
Remember, the hotel staff you are making the request to holds all the cards. You cannot see behind their computer screen showing open rooms or restaurant tables. You do not know what they have authority to do.
Be the anti-TED and MARIA.
- Disarm them right away. Be friendly, upbeat and playful. Smile.
- (Jokingly) evoke the negative before making your request.
- Give them permission to say no.
- Show respect. Be polite.
- Give them a reason to satisfy your request.
Here’s a (true life) example of my interaction with a hotel clerk in the Bahamas for my wife’s birthday.
“Hi. You are going to hate me because I am about to ruin your day [then I smile].
I am a bad husband. It is my wife’s 40th birthday, and I got her a “regular room”. I wanted to make sure the “regular room” has a couch because that is where I’ll be all weekend … posting my stay on IG on a tiny couch with a throw blanket.
How much trouble do I get you in for upgrading us to a suite for free so I look like a hero husband for the first time? … Is that a ridiculous request?”
In this case, the clerk upgraded us to a suite and sent us a personalized gift basket each day for our stay.
Now, this level of “WTF WOW!” is not the norm.
But we almost always get some upgrade(s) whether it is free breakfast, bar credit, late check-out, ocean view, etc. from these types of interactions.
If you are saying to yourself, “I could never do that, do you have any other magic tricks?”
I would reply, “It is not magic, but you do need to speak their language.”
What’s their language?
Valuable to you – Cheap for them.
What is valuable to you – an upgrade.
What is cheap for them – upgrading you.
A suite (or room with a better view) is enjoyed by no one if its empty. It is in the hotels’ interest to take the best possible care of you and create a memory … especially if you are one to “share your memories with the world.”
(If the hotel is not at capacity) it costs them nothing to upgrade you.
Cheap for you – Valuable to them.
What is valuable to the hotel, and especially the manager – positive reviews / IG tags.
What is cheap for you – writing a positive review / IG tag.
TripAdvisor is the lifeblood of a hotel’s survival as many people research TripAdvisor before booking their stay.
IG tags are also valuable, especially if you are an influencer or have a large following.
Your review (or IG tag) could be the difference between the manager getting bonused or not.
It costs you nothing (but a few minutes of time) to write a review or post a picture tagging the hotel.
Use social media sites – especially TripAdvisor – to your advantage.
- Find your hotel on TripAdvisor. One person (usually a manager) is in charge of responding to the posts – good and bad. Email the manager directly.
- Tell the manager you saw some positive (or negative) comments of their hotel on TripAdvisor and wanted to inquire with them directly.
- Make the request.
“I am thinking about traveling in July. My dates are flexible. Will there be any promotions at the time of my stay … if not, Is there a week where you would be able to offer me an upgrade or discount?”
or “Some of the posts mentioned a promotion for “X”, is there any way you could honor that promotion for this trip?”
4. Give a specific reason.
“Is there anything you can do so ensure my family has an amazing experience as it is …. “wife’s birthday”, “college reunion”, “parent’s anniversary”, “children’s first-time skiing”, etc.
5. Follow up: Email the manager again a week or so before your arrival to tell them how excited you are to come to their hotel and if there is anything they can do to make your experience memorable.
On our last trip, I emailed the manager (who I found through TripAdvisor) directly using the tips above. Although we did not get an upgraded room (as the hotel was at capacity for Spring Break), we did get free breakfast and 2 bottles of wine delivered to our hotel room.
The front desk clerk told us that the manager left a note in their system to “Take care of this VIP guest from TripAdvisor”.
Do not be afraid … you can do this! Worst case scenario – the hotel says no. Best case scenario, you’re in the penthouse sipping champagne bragging to your friends that you are an expert negotiator.
Remember, the same way we help negotiate these rates, we help negotiate your personal injury case!