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Tipping at checkin for better room

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Next month we will be spending 19 nights in Italy in 6 different hotels, all Marriott and Hilton properties on points. DH is Platinum with Marriott, Diamond with Hilton. In the US we generally have to ask for upgrades but often get them, even when it's a free stay. Occasionally they have already upgraded us when we arrive.

Some TripAdvisor reviewers of the hotels we're using have commented that they got upgrades, some others who stayed in the same hotels have said that Italian hotels seem to disregard hotel status and they got nothing - sometimes not amenities like free internet they should get anyway and sometimes even when they were paying for the room. Some posters felt that larger rooms or upgrades depended on the mood of the desk clerk that day, how they felt about Americans, etc.

I read on another forum (Flyertalk?) that some people tip (bribe?) the registration desk person who checks them in, simultaneously asking for a "nice room." There was no information on whether this worked or how much to tip.

Has anyone tried this in Italy? With what results? If so, what would be a reasonable "tip"? We would hate to toss out a couple hundred bucks with no results or offer too little and insult the desk clerk. I was thinking maybe 20-30 EUR, depending on the length of the stay, but I have no idea what would actually be reasonable. I thought we might try it for the first 5 nights in Rome and if it worked, we'd try again at other hotels.

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