How To Realistically Get A Hotel Room Upgrade To A Suite

Get upgraded to a hotel suite with travel friend

Hotel upgrade tips are a dime a dozen, but there’s one that works almost every time I travel. In fact, it’s so easy, you won’t think about it, and it’s how you can realistically get a hotel room upgrade to a suite with very little effort. You don’t even have to be a loyalty member. All you have to do? Travel with a friend.

This hotel tip is for those who are traveling with friends (it doesn’t quite work for couples).

When I travel with close friends, we typically stay in the same hotel room because it helps cut costs. But here’s the secret to getting a hotel room upgrade to a suite every time I travel. It’s common my friend and I will sleep in the same bed — because it increases our chances of being upgraded to a suite. 

You read that right. Sharing one single bed almost always gets us upgraded to a suite.

Let’s do the math. 

Our hotel suite upgrade at Ritz Carlton.
Jason and I upgraded to a suite at Ritz Carlton Philadelphia.

The majority of hotel guests being upgraded to a better room or a suite are solo/business travelers, couples and honeymooners. What do these types of travelers have in common?

They require one single bed. 

Hotels generally offer their most prize room categories with single beds (usually it’s a King or a Queen bed). These top-category rooms will be more spacious, have better views, separate living areas, perhaps bathrooms with tub and separate rain shower and often better amenities.

It’s the premium, more expensive rooms that couples, single travelers (like business travelers) and honeymooners will splurge on… why do you think hotels call them “honeymoon suite” or “executive suite?”

Btw: Have you even gotten a USB charging hub? Are you bringing a laptop, a tablet, bluetooth headphones, vape, literally a million things you need to plug in that the hotel doesn’t provide? Here’s one of our favorites and most affordable on Amazon. You can see all other options.

Bottom line: You don’t find premium suites with two single beds ever. It’s extremely rare, if non-existent. So the chances of you getting upgraded to a suite when traveling with a friend and need two beds is few and far between. 

Get a hotel suite upgrade easily.
Christian and I upgraded at Ritz Carlton Bal Harbour.

Let’s say you’re traveling with a friend to a city hotel or resort, and you share a room with two single beds. If you ask for an upgrade, you could likely get a room that might be a little bigger, but you won’t get the top suite…. because, again, those suites with two single beds do not exist.

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I love trips where I can get away with friends, especially to beautiful places and amazing hotels, and they know that if they travel with me, we’re going to share a bed.

I’d rather be upgraded to an insane room with an insane view and larger-than-life amenities (TVs in the bathroom, separate living room, French balcony, welcome champagne) than stay in a mediocre-size room with two beds. 

Upgraded to this massive suite at Peninsula Chicago as a solo business traveler.

But before you ask for that hotel suite upgrade on your next trip, it’s a good idea to have a strategy.

Here are 5 other important and useful tips on getting a hotel room upgrade to a suite

1. If you’re celebrating something, like a birthday, the front desk staff will be more prone to giving you an upgrade. They want you to have a memorable stay (especially if it’s a four or five star hotel), so they may upgrade you if they have availability.

2. If you travel off peak season and off peak dates, like Sunday to Wednesday, your chances of being upgraded will be higher since there will be more room availability. I talk about this in my YouTube video on how to travel the world for super cheap. 

3. If you’re part of the hotel’s loyalty program, you have a higher chance of being upgraded. It works like airlines. Hotels want to reward you for staying with them, and they often show their appreciation with upgrades based on availability. 

4. Try to book a recently opened hotel. New hotels need to fill rooms, and there will be plenty until the world knows they exist. Not only will the hotel likely offer introductory discount rates, they’re generous with upgrades with the hopes you spread the word. 

5. Be charming. I can’t even begin to tell you how much this works. As long as you’re cool and fun and show your excitement for your upcoming stay (whether you Tweet the hotel before or upon check in), hotels will be more thrilled about giving a hotel suite to you than someone who tries to negotiate.

So next time you travel with a friend and you want a stunning suite, let your travel buddy know about my hack… and you’ll increase your chances of being upgraded!

Do you have tips on how to realistically get a hotel room upgrade to a suite? Share them with us in the comments below!

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Jimmy Im has traveled to 113 countries, stayed in over 600 hotels and has flown a million airmiles. He lives in New York City.

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