This summer Bill and I took a wonderful vacation to Paris. It was très magnifique! One of the highlights of our trip was the Eiffel Tower view. It was great to wake up and see the Eiffel Tower from our room and so romantic to come back to our hotel room after a day of sightseeing and see the Eiffel Tower sparkling at night.
How did we get such a fabulous room? No, I didn’t have an employee hook up or platinum status with the hotel chain. Here are a few tips that you can use to get you a great hotel room without costing you extra money.
- Do your homework. Look at the options for hotel rooms before you get to the hotel. Upgraded rooms may be bigger or have certain features (like views of the Epcot fireworks, bath robes, slippers, special bath tubs or showers). The hotel website will usually will show you other options. If you like a certain type of room book it to ensure you receive it. Remember, hotels always have more double rooms (or two beds) than kings, if you are planning to attend a meeting and the hotel will be sold out, book your room early and request the room type you want early.
- Be pleasant when you get to the counter. Ask how the reservation agent is doing. Once you give your information, share my favorite line, “I will be glad to take any complimentary upgrades that you may have.” Usually, because I am pleasant the reservationist finds a nice room for me – and it is complementary.
- Get a credit card with rewards and perks. Because I travel so much I like the benefits of the American Express Platinum credit card. This card has a lot of benefits, including complimentary upgrades at hotels, enrollment as a gold member for Hilton Honors and Starwood Rewards. This gives me free Wifi and early check in and late checkout. I have a friend with the American Express Platinum card and he contacts the card concierge to make sure his room is upgraded prior to his arrival. There are other credit cards to check out for travel rewards: Chase Sapphire Preferred or Barclaycard Arrival Plus.
- Sign up for the hotel’s frequent stay program. The hotel will make accommodations for their faithful customers. If I am planning to stay at a hotel and I am not a member of the hotel chain’s frequent stay program I will sign up. When I check in to the hotel I always ask the reservation agent (before they assign my room), “do you have my reward number attached to my reservation.” This alerts them that I am at least interested in staying at the hotel chain again, so they will do their best to make my experience great. When you sign up for the hotel program include your preferences.
- Ask for what you want. If you want a type of room, be bold enough ask for it. It doesn’t hurt to say, “do you have a suite available. Or can I have a room on the concierge floor?” All he or she can say is yes or no. Remember, you are the customer and the hotel wants you to have a pleasant stay (and return).
Use these tips to get a great hotel room! We want to hear from you. Tell us your hotel tips.