6 secrets for getting free perks at hotels

Want to make your holiday even better? Scoring that hotel room with the amazing view, or being treated to some free champagne can make all the difference.

Hotel experts divulged some of their best secrets for getting free upgrades to Refinery29, so don’t check into your hotel without reading their top tips. Here are 6 ways to get free perks at hotels.

1. Do your homework

Study the everything about your hotel, from what its busiest times are to what kinds of rooms are on offer. That way, you’ll know exactly what and when to ask for upgrades.

“A great way to figure out your best time of action is to check out a hotel’s online reservation page,” says Steve Clarke, ‎senior director of business insights at Hipmunk. “Those blocks with lower prices are when you’ll have more success with getting your way.”

2. Celebrate a special occasion

Play up the fact that you’re celebrating a birthday, anniversary or honeymoon. You’ll be much more likely to get on the upgrade list for perks like free champagne or a room with a stunning view.

“The staff is usually very appreciative when you mention how genuinely excited you are to stay at this hotel and the many positive things you’ve heard from other guests,” says Jeanette Pavini, a savings expert at Coupons.com. “They are more likely to go the extra mile to give you something that elevates your experience.”

3. Be loyal, sort of

This works best with big hotel chains. Give the impression that you’re on the brink of joining a loyalty scheme – but only if you can get a taste of membership life first. Or casually mention that you’re a member of a rival hotel group, but are considering switching. If they get the impression that you travel a lot, you might be in for a trial night or two!

4. Mention previous screw-ups

While super picky clients can be a pain to deal with, hotel experts say that those are the customers they try hardest to keep because they help improve the standards.

Call ahead and ask about a negative review you saw online, and inquire as to what the staff did to fix the situation. They’ll know immediately that you’re a shrewd customer they can’t afford to lose, and will do everything in their power to make your stay the best ever.

5. Be nice to the front desk receptionist

It’s generally a good rule of thumb to be nice to all hotel staff (and everyone in general), but as far as room upgrades go, the front desk receptionist is the one with all the power. Asking at check-in rather than on the phone before you get there makes it much more personal, and gives you a better chance to make a good impression.

“Make sure you’re dressed to the teeth and be extremely polite,” says Ingrid Belobradic, senior editor of Expedia. “You never know what rewards nice behaviour can bring — it might just be that suite with a sick view.”

6. Play up your social media following

If you’ve got a popular blog or 10k Instagram followers, mention that you’re going to be writing about the hotel – and you’ll likely be in for some pretty sweet perks. High profile social media people or regular contributors to TripAdvisor are usually top of the list for people that must be pleased.

Now what?