Luxury hotels are bleeding — use it to your advantage!

I booked a nice premium mileage award using Aeroplan miles last week which I haven’t had time to blog about yet, but worry not, it’s coming. Anyway, I’m staying in a city which has a very nice InterContinental hotel which is notoriously stingy when it comes to Royal Ambassador upgrades.

I emailed the Guest Relations Manager at this hotel to ask about their upgrade policy, and got the standard response. I then pointed out how tempting of a promotion a competing hotel was offering through American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts (which this hotel also belongs to), and asked whether they’d be willing to throw in club access as well. I even offered to pay for a higher room level which was slightly more if this request could be granted. Not only did the Guest Relations Manager agree, but he also said I only had to pay for the lower room level.

So the lesson to be learned? The customer is in the driver’s seat when it comes to luxury hotels, especially in a recession where many of them are experiencing occupancy rates below 50%. Email the Guest Relations Manager, even if you’re not a top tier elite in a hotel program, and push for an upgrade. Chances are you’ll get it.

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. Hmm, staying at the Waldorf Astoria for the first time in a couple weeks (only $279). Will take your advice and email to check upgrade possibility for a HH Gold.

  2. The Waldorf Astoria was even lower about 3 months ago. You could get the lowest room category for 159 and a free upgrade. But i guess that fantastic promo is now over. Nevertheless, I do agree that luxury hotels are hurting as I see plenty of great promos available which was unthinkable a year ago.
    Btw, lucky which IC are u referring to? :p
    Thanks for your help on the PH Seoul the other day.

  3. Even during good times, a pre-trip e-mail has always been a part of my routine. As Hilton HHonors Gold patient, polite, persistence has yielded very good results.

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