Is it just me or is there no better feeling that turning up to a hotel and finding out you’ve been given a free upgrade?!
Well, what if I was to tell you that you can greatly increase your chances of getting upgraded by doing one simple thing?!
Just ask for one.
Yep, it’s that simple and so over on my Instagram I shared a few really simple reasons why you should ask for one (spoiler: you should always ask!!!!)
When should I ask for a free hotel upgrade?
My first step would be to write an email to the hotel. If there’s a ‘special requests’ box at time of booking, I also like to pop in a ‘so excited to stay with you!’ message referencing a special occasion to tee this up, but mostly I’ll send this email a week or so out.
If I haven’t had a response, I may follow up the email with a question about my stay a couple of days before just to make sure they’ve seen it but I won’t chase or reference it. Ultimately, this is a lovely perk if it happens but it doesn’t mean you have a right to a free upgrade.
What should I write in my email?
You should keep your email as honest and authentic as possible – hotel staff will get these sort of requests all the time and can often see through the fake engagements! I think the key is to be polite, complimentary and not in any way demanding.
My free upgrade email formula
My free upgrade email template is coming up but remember that your email should change based on your circumstances. Here’s the general formula I stick to:
- Find out the name of the person who makes the upgrade decisions
Often it will be the general manager so you could try calling up and asking for their name so that you can send it to the right person
- Address your email according to the hotel you’re staying at
Couldn’t find a name? Don’t worry! But do think about what type of hotel you’re staying at and address your email accordingly. A trendy 4 star hotel? I think a simple ‘Hi there’ works well – you don’t want to be too formal. A luxury 5 star hotel however… I’d be cracking out the English grammar book out for that one!
- Tell them why you’ve chosen them specifically
Has the place been recommended to you? Have you been following them on Instagram for years? Have you been really impressed by the reviews? Let them know and compliment them.
- Add some humour!
I once got an upgrade from writing an email very similar to the above for a trip to Brussels on the first day that the UK left the EU. We asked if they could help cheer us up – and it worked!
- Check the hotel’s availability
This is more so you can adjust the tone of your message. If it’s fully booked up you may want to refer to possible ‘last minute availability’ and if there’s plenty of rooms then you know you can be a bit more general
- End on a high
Let them know that you’re not expecting an upgrade and you’re excited to stay, no matter what happens.
- Tag the hotel on social media
Influencer or not, showing your excitement by tagging in the hotel in a post or Instagram story on the day before shows them how excited you are and also hints that you’ll be posting about your stay when you arrive too!
Free hotel upgrade template
Here’s an example of what has worked for me in the past. This is a pretty basic one so remember to tweak it to make sure it works for you!
I hope you’re well.
After reading some amazing reviews, I’ve just booked a stay at your hotel for me and my boyfriend and we are both so excited! I cannot wait to try the spicy margarita from your library bar.
This will be our first getaway in a while and so would love to be considered for an upgrade to help us celebrate if you have the availability.
Upgrade or not, we are really looking forward to staying with you.
All the best,
What if it doesn't work?
It might not! I say this has worked for me about 50% of the time and tends to work best when you’re booking hotels where customer service is at its heart. However, the best way to go into this is to expect to not get an upgrade. Remember, nobody owes you one and it’s also very normal for hotels to email back and say an upgrade will cost you. If that’s the case, simply say that you’ll give it some thought and wish them a good day.
Overall, the best plan of action is to send the email and then forget about it. Don’t let not getting a free upgrade affect your stay, it’s simply an amazing bonus if it happens!
Want more tips and to read the email that got me this amazing upgrade?
I’ve created a guide on how I get a free hotel upgrade for everyone who is supporting me over on Patreon.
This also includes real life successful upgrade emails including:
- The ‘not directly asking’ hotel upgrade template
- The ‘I’m being a bit cheeky but it’s for a good cause’ template
- The ‘this is the upgrade I want please’ template (yep, it’s what I used for the villa above!)