Tag: Hotel UpgradesView All Tags
Last week we gave you six reasons why we thought the London Edition was all that (and truthfully, we could have listed a few more) but apparently, there are a few things that Ian Schrager and the rest of the Edition team feel needs work. Like the guest room hallways and doors.
Personally, we liked the well-lit hallways and the large numbers that are painted on the bottom of every door, especially since our room was far from the lifts and down a curvy and twisty hallway. Alas, Edition is painting over those numbers in a dark grey color which will lower the light level in the hallways just a touch.
Since we're all on social media these days, whether it be Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or FourSquare, we frequently see folks posting their recommendations for seemingly everything from restaurants to bars to skin care products, music, shops and of course, hotels.
Most of the hotel recs are pretty straight-forward--"I loved this hotel!" "Great spot on the beach!" "The kids love it!" and the like--but since we follow so many peeps that are frequent travelers as well as those in the hotel industry, we often see this kind of mention in a hotel recommendation, Be sure to mention my name to the GM and he will hook you up. Um, wha-what?
While we've personally never phoned a GM for a "hook-up", we have heard some experiences of guests who got preferential treatments from the hotel whether it be because they are return guest, or because the hotel was trying to make-up for a boo-boo or because they were there for a special occasion. So based on what we've seen and heard, a "hook-up" can mean a few different things:
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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.
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The brand Quality Inn doesn't conjure up much excitement when talking design and style, but that might begin to change. The brand doesn't require corporate-wide duplication of a mundane design footprint, and according to our source,"Some flexibility for the owner-franchisee to select décor is allowed." So we were thrilled to find a Quality Inn owner in Pasadena, California who hired season five HGTV Design Star, Julie Khuu to re-imagine their hotel.
Using vibrant colors and strong pattern-on-pattern play, in some ways this mid-scale category accommodation now looks like a luxury hotel that should command more than its average $84 a night rate (which includes breakfast). But there's one little problem:
The design didn't carry all the way to the bedrooms. So, what did Khuu do?
The other month we walked you through the somewhat secret $9 upgrade trick at the Radisson Blu Chicago which we found on our reservation confirmation. Lo and behold, we found the very same upgrade option last week after reserving a room at the Trump Soho in Manhattan.
The link to the eStandby Upgrade system (an airline-like upgrade service in place at several hotels like Hard Rock Las Vegas and Kimpton Hotels) was at the very bottom of our reservation link and it sort of looked like a fake ad.
We almost dismissed it at first but then why would Trump be putting fake ads on guest reservations? They wouldn't so cautiously we clicked and voila, this appeared.
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When we booked our City View King for a total of $287 on the hotel website, all was normal. Then we received the confirmation email, with a tempting little red notice that upgrade options were available, from only $9. After your room purchase is complete, Radisson would like to sap a few extra dollars (like $9 for the chance at a one-category upgrade or $39 for an 11am early check-in) from your wallet.
If you’ve been following our sister site Jaunted's coverage of the newly opened Wizarding World of Harry Potter , you’ve already gotten the inside scoop on the theme park and are probably in line to ride Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey. Be sure you don’t throw away that Universal Studios ticket. Nearby Vero Beach Hotel & Spa will give you a free room upgrade if you flash your Wizarding World ticket stub.
When your feet—and wallet—tire of perusing wands in the Wizarding World Shops, kick up your tootsies at this oceanfront hotel, which is an hour and a half southeast of Orlando.
We booked a room on Hotwire for Wednesday night, and snapped it up for $72 (PH’s website cost would have been $99). The checker-inner commiserated with us on our late arrival – about 9.30pm, having left our hotel in LA before 1pm – and immediately, without any prompts or hints, told us he was going to make things better by upgrading us to a Resort Vista room – one step up from the basic, with things like a massive 42in TV and even massiver bath to wallow in.
Every so often we feature a hotel review from one of our readers that we feel should be shared with the rest of you dear hotel guests. These reviews are highlighted because they are timely, about cool hotels in cool places and are relatively level-headed. Think you can submit one just like this? Send it in. Now, we present you with solid reviewer Michael S. Dacko's review of the W San Francisco which got a new look. Enjoy.
The W San Francisco was one of the original W's that laid the foundation of what "W" stood for in 1999. Fearing that I was going to spend 2 weeks at a trendy hotel to find "wear n tear" left and right was my main concern. Boy was I wrong!
The W San Francisco has renovated their interior quite a bit to keep sleek and posh like the rest of the new Ws, but original and unique just as all the Ws are. Since San Francisco has such an Asian influence in the city, the designer took much of that Asian influence and incorporated designs in with it. (Check out the elevators!)
That seems to be the case with what happened to Flickr member Ramones Karaoke (a nickname of course) who has a great collection of business hotel shots. Or as he calls them "Faceless Business Hotels of the World."
Ramones spent a night near the Munich airport and here's what went down:
They ran out of no smoking rooms on a day I was wearing a nice suit and looking hassled, so I got upgraded at the Munich Airport Kempinski into a 'Junior Suite' - what on earth a 'Senior Suite' must be like I cannot guess - the Junior has more toilets than my house, a walk-in wardrobe, 2 TVs, great toiletries in the bathroom.
Granted it was at an airport hotel but whatever! This kind of upgrade should make the layover feel a little more comfortable. The only thing that bummed Ramones was the lack of WiFi, meaning he had to stay glued to the desk instead of lounging on the bed. Still that's way better than the desk/bed combo at TuneHotels.
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We all want to get the best hotel room possible when we travel, and the UK Telegraph just put out an article with some handy tips on making sure your hotel stay is at least as good as you've hoped for.
Savvy traveler Nick Trend divides his tips into two parts: looking for the best room, and getting the best room when you actually book or check in. And like anything else in this world, you have to ask for you what you want.
Before you book, Trend suggests, you should have a chat to the hotelier (or reservations agent) about the merits of each kind of room. You should also avoid rooms near the kitchen (they're noisy, even if room service does arrive faster) and beware of rooms with a view if that side of the hotel will be on a busy (read noisy) street.
Once you have worked out which room or room category is the best for you, and you've booked it, Trend suggests getting something in writing from the hotel about what you've agreed on. Then when you arrive at the hotel--early, if possible--discuss the room some more with the receptionist, both to make sure you're getting what you asked for and in case there's any chance of an upgrade.
And if you don't like it, complain about it. But straight away, before you've started messing it up.
· Getting the Best Hotel Room [Telegraph]
· Best Odds For a $20 Room Upgrade in Vegas [HotelChatter]
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Frequent travelers who live by the maxim, "If you don't ask, you don't get" swear by the $20 room upgrade move. It works like this: when checking in to your ho-hum standard room, you casually slip an extra 20 bucks to the front desk clerk and ask if there's any chance of a "complimentary upgrade." In most cases, one of three things will happen. Either nothing (and you keep your $20), an official upsell at official prices (usually a poor value), or you score and get a much nicer room.
Judging by this site devoted to the topic called FrontDeskTip.com, your odds of $20 upgrade success in Las Vegas are far greater than they are at the gambling tables. As in a 74 percent success rate overall.
Some hotels have too limited a sample to really judge, but a few notable ones score an above-average success rate on a good sampling. These include the Venetian (pictured here), Wynn, Mirage, Bellagio, and Mandalay Bay.
As the site reminds you, if you're going to post about your successful upgrade, please don't mention who specifically helped you out. Many front desk managers seem to have a sort of "don't ask, don't tell" policy on spontaneous upgrades (whether the money goes into the till or into a pocket), but naming names can get someone in hot water.