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Upgrades to Suites... Does it really ever happen?

Upgrades to Suites... Does it really ever happen?

Old May 19th, 2005, 07:22 AM
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Upgrades to Suites... Does it really ever happen?

My husband is a very frequent traveler - air and hotel for 2-3 days every week. He only stays at Hiltons, he is a diamond HHonors member, and we currently have about 500K points.

I don't travel with him that often, but when I do it's nice to get upgraded. He pays the standard rates for the hotels (no hotwire or priceline) and always gets a standard upgrade to a concierge level or something similar. But almost never will he get upgraded to a suite. The question I'm wondering, who is??

He calls the hotel in advance to ask about upgrading and the reps usually try to skirt the issue of suites. I am wondering if it would be smarter to have the Diamond Desk do it.

I fully understand if there are none available, but the last hotel we stayed at told us that they keep them open in case someone walks in wanting to book them on the spot. Seems kind of odd to me.

Does anyone else fare better with Hiltons?
Is there another program that is more generous?



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Old May 19th, 2005, 07:27 AM
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I'm Hilton Diamond as well, and am often upgraded to the nicest level of room - but not suites.

The only time I've been given a suite is when I've checked in VERY late - and I've been in some amazing suites. I do think they hold the suites until they are sure they won't be rented.
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Old May 19th, 2005, 07:31 AM
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I was Starwood Platinum for a while and regularly got upgraded to suites (their policy is generally that they give Platinum members the best available room in the hotel).

Some were as large as 600 or 700 sf. One had a dining table set for 12. One had 4 32" TV's including one mounted in the bathroom.
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Old May 19th, 2005, 07:47 AM
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One reason hotels aren't generous with suite upgrades is that it really does cost them extra money in housekeeping expense. To a housekeeping manager, a suite may be 2 or 3 times as labor-extensive as a room. This is one reason why the suites are given away late in the evening, too, after all "regular" rooms are gone.
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Old May 19th, 2005, 08:17 AM
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The only time I get a suite upgrade is when I check in very late at night - this has been true with Hilton, Starwood and Priority Club.
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Old May 19th, 2005, 09:23 AM
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I used to travel to Cincin all the time - at least 40 times per year - and stayed at the same hotel. After they realized how often I was there they always automatically gave me a suite - unless the hotel was full.

But - it was a large hotel - and had a lot of suites. And I always checked in after 8pm - when they had a pretty good idea of what was going on.

They will not give you a suite in place of a paying customer - so asking in advance will not affect the result. And if you check in erlier in the day they are less likely to risk it - esp if they have few suites.

Best option - find out which hotels have the largest % of suites and use them. And if you have to check in early ask - very politely about the upgrade - and offer to wait to find out availability (they won;t want to switch you later since it means cleaning an extra room).
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Old May 19th, 2005, 09:41 AM
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Your chances for an upgrade to a suite from a standard room are for single night stays.

 
Old May 19th, 2005, 09:46 AM
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My experiences have been with Hilton, Starwood, Marriott, and Hyatt, and I haven't found that any of these programs offer suite upgrades on a regular, consistent basis. That's not to say I haven't received an occasional suite upgrade, but it's not something I expect (unless I'm a frequent guest of that particular hotel).

I think it's dependent on the property and not the program. Some hotels just offer better upgrade opportunities than others. If you do a search for a specific hotel on the flyertalk.com boards, you can often get a fairly good idea of how generous that property is in regards to upgrading elite members.
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Old May 19th, 2005, 09:48 AM
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When I've been upgraded to suites, it's been for one-night leisure travel at hotels for which I was not a member of a frequent traveler club -- the Jefferson in Richmond, and the Ritz Carlton in New Orleans come to mind. On those occasions, I checked in mid-day and did not ask for an upgrade. Must have been my pretty smile...
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Old May 19th, 2005, 11:50 AM
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Thanks for the feedback. Maybe the longer stays are the problem we're having. When I come along we tend to stay 3-4 days instead of 1-2 nights.

My husband routinely stays at the same hotels but has not received any special acknowledgement for that.
I used to stay at Hyatts a lot - they were good at that kind of thing... may have to migrate back to that chain part of the time.
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Old May 19th, 2005, 12:17 PM
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I recently did a girls weekend, and we were upgraded without asking. When we checked in, they told us that we had been given the best two suites they had. We did not expect anything, so this was a very pleasant surprise!
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Old May 19th, 2005, 04:42 PM
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A 3/4 day stay is very problematic. they won;t give you a suite upgrade for that unless they pretty sure they're going to be quite empty.

You might want to offer when you check in to take a suite on a night by night basis - with the understanding that they may ask you to move to a regular room if a paying guest comes along. Otherwise- I would say you have almost no chance.
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Old May 19th, 2005, 04:49 PM
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I have been given a suite more then once at the Villa Florence in SF without asking, always a pleasant surprise.

And my daughter & SIL had their honeymoon at the Grand Hyatt in SF. My gift to them was their honeymoon, and I made the reservations. On arrival they were told that instead of the room I had reserved for them they were being put in their honeymoon suite. What a truly beautiful surprise. Luck of the draw maybe?
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Old May 19th, 2005, 05:52 PM
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My DH is a platinum Marriott member (he travels about as frequently as yours Jennni), and he has been upgraded many times to suites. However, as I read the other posts, I realized that it's probably because he usually checks in late and night. And usually it's only when he's at the hotel for one night. He'll call me and tell me about this beautiful, multiple room suite he's in and how he feels badly that he'll only be in it long enough to sleep and shower!

He has, however, gotten special acknowledgement for staying at the same hotels. At one D.C. Marriott, the rates would be substantially higher some weeks than others. He felt guilty expensing so much when he could stay 10 minutes outside the city for about $150 less. So he asked the hotel for a discounted rate, and they took about $100 off the rate, and that rate is available to him any time he stays there. There's also a hotel in New York that clean's the snow off his rental car very early in the morning for him when it snows!
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