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Club Floor Upgrades Worth The Splurge

Where: Various Locations
January 4, 2013 at 12:53 PM | by | ()

We know this will come as a surprise, but there are lots of ways to spend extra cash for extra amenities at hotels worldwide. Sometimes it's not so much - like the $9 upgrade at the Radisson Blu Chicago we broke the news on last year - and others, as you'll see below, are completely designed for people impervious to price.

The matter of money may be a matter of perspective, but one thing we can all agree on is that spontaneity at the counter can certainly spice up your stay. And most of the time you will benefit from wheeling and dealing on-site - we find you're more likely to get a better deal in the moment than with the set prices online, so be sure to bring your poker face to the round table.

Here, we've put together a list of some upgrades that we feel are good examples of what's happening out there on a whole. Our advice? Do your research, for sure, but have fun with it. Sometimes, a simple upgrade is a great way to turn a typical stay into a memorable one.

Stay Well Rooms at MGM Grand, Las Vegas: Going the fitness route is nothing new for hotels – many offer free workout clothes and shoes, for example – but the MGM Grand is taking the wellness lifestyle to a whole new level in Las Vegas (surprise surprise!). Guests can upgrade from a normal room to a new Stay Well room for only $30/night, each including about a dozen “fitness-focused features.” A few examples: Wake-up light therapy, shower water infused with Vitamin C, and dawn simulator alarm clocks. Who knows if you’ll actually wake up feeling any more refreshed in the City of Sin, but we love the price tag. $30 is peanuts in Vegas.

Horizon Club at Shangri-La Hotel, Abu Dhabi: An upgrade to the Horizon Club, which includes 26 suites and two Presidential Suites, kind of sort of gives guests an extra day’s stay with its late check-out privileges of up to 6 p.m. We love this perk, as the Shangri-La is essentially giving a day rate for free, allowing for an extra full day at a destination (and remember, day rates aren’t scandalous anymore!). Guests of the Horizon Club have access to the lounge for complimentary food & beverage including a daily buffet breakfast, afternoon tea, and evening canapés and cocktails. Free WiFi and a complimentary suit pressing round out the perks. The cost to upgrade is approximately $300 from a standard room, but we're sure you can do better than that.

JW Marriott, Various Locations: Many JW Marriotts across the US provide club-level upgrade opportunities for a reasonable $60-$65 per night. Perks vary slightly by hotel, but access to an executive lounge with free food and booze, a bigger room, and city views are almost always part of the deal. The Union Square property in San Francisco boasts views of the Golden Gate Bridge and claims to have the only Club Lounge open on the weekends in the entire city. The Griffin Club at The Desert Ridge Resort in Phoenix includes complimentary spa access as well as all-day food offerings in the lounge (breakfast, lunch, happy hour hors d’oeuvres, interactive chef experiences, drinks, and dessert). Potential guests should check in with specific locations for exact perk and pricing information.

The Peninsula Hotel, New York: And we'll finish up with a fantasy offering that most of us will never be able to afford, brought you to by none other than the ultra-luxurious Peninsula. Those booking an Executive Suite or higher at the NYC, Chicago, Hong Kong, or Tokyo properties (starting at around $2,000 a night) are treated to a chauffeured-driven ride for up to three hours per day in a decked out MINI Cooper. Sometimes we have to laugh at these deals, as if someone shelling out $2,000/night would want to roll in a MINI. We don't really get that (they aren't expensive, by the way). And what's with the three-hour time limit? For $2,000 we'd expect at least a half day in an Escalade or something. But hey, we're poor, so perhaps we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

[Photos:MGM Resorts]

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