How to get a room upgrade at Hilton, Conrad, DoubleTree hotels – Even if your corporate travel policy typically extends to a standard hotel room, there are numerous strategies to enhance your lodging experience at renowned hotels such as Hilton, Conrad, Waldorf Astoria, and Doubletree. Occasionally, full upgrades are available, including rooms with executive lounge privileges.
3 ways to upgrade a room at Hilton hotels
Whether you’re a regular patron of Hilton Worldwide establishments, have a surplus of Hilton Honors points to utilize, or are open to spending a bit more for an enhanced experience, here’s a guide on upgrading to a superior room.
1. Become a Hilton Honors Gold or Diamond member
The most straightforward route to securing an upgrade is by attaining Hilton Honors Gold or Diamond membership. These esteemed members relish complimentary upgrades at a range of Hilton-affiliated establishments, including Hilton, Conrad, Waldorf Astoria, Curio, DoubleTree, Canopy, and Tapestry Collection by Hilton hotels.
Gold members typically receive upgrades to “preferred” rooms, which can encompass rooms boasting desirable views, special amenities, corner rooms, or those on higher floors. Upgrades may also extend to the next-best room type compared to the booked one or even to executive rooms featuring access to the Executive Lounge, where guests enjoy daily breakfast, refreshments, snacks, and evening drinks with canapés.
While Hilton Honors Gold members receive complimentary breakfast irrespective of room type, additional Executive Lounge privileges are only available when booking or upgrading to an Executive room. These upgrades are typically subject to availability during check-in throughout the stay, but pleasant surprises might occur during online check-in the day before or on the morning of arrival, as the author personally experienced at Hilton Helsinki Airport hotel.
It’s worth noting that while some hotels may occasionally upgrade Gold members to suites, this is not a guaranteed standard practice. In the realm of the Hilton Honors program, Diamond cardholders, occupying the top-tier, enjoy similar room type upgrades as Gold members but with the official inclusion of junior, standard, and one-bedroom suites. Moreover, Diamond members consistently have access to the executive lounge, regardless of the room type.
In cases where higher-end rooms are unavailable or upgrades aren’t extended, exceptions may occur, such as on group reservations for villas or executive suites, or when upgrading to the Imperial Floor at the Waldorf Astoria Rome Cavalieri, Napua Tower at the Waldorf Astoria Grand Wailea, or Conrad Maldives on Rangali Island.
2. Pay cash for ‘eStandby’ discounted upgrade
Lacking a gleaming Hilton Honors card in your travel portfolio? Fear not, as you might still elevate your lodging experience through a ‘Standby’ upgrade, also known as a ‘Nor1’ upgrade, available for purchase at select hotels.
The underlying concept revolves around achieving a total cost, combining your original room rate with the upgrade cost, which is lower than if you had initially booked a superior room type. This not only translates to savings for leisure trips but also facilitates a seamless experience for business travelers willing to personally invest in an enhanced room.
While not every hotel provides these upgrade options, it’s worthwhile to explore the possibilities during your upcoming stay. Simply log in to your Hilton Honors account, navigate to ‘My Reservations’ at the top, and select ‘View/Edit’ beside the reservation you wish to upgrade.
Similar to the complimentary upgrades extended to Gold and Diamond members, these upgrades are also contingent on availability at check-in throughout the duration of your stay. This trade-off is the compromise for securing an upgrade at a discounted rate. In scenarios where the hotel is at full capacity or lacks higher-category rooms, you will remain in the originally booked room type at no additional cost.
Upon a successful upgrade, the corresponding cost will be added to your hotel folio for settlement during check-out. If you are personally covering the expense rather than invoicing your company, the hotel staff can easily split the charges. It’s a practical way to keep your travel manager informed, with separate payment details in a distinct folio.
3. Use Hilton Honors points for room upgrades
Finally, a noteworthy option is leveraging Hilton Honors points for ‘Room Upgrade Rewards.’ Unlike complimentary and e-Standby upgrades, these rewards are granted at the time of booking, offering a confirmed and guaranteed improvement in your room.
This choice proves beneficial, especially when securing a better room is crucial, such as for a weekend getaway with your partner. However, it’s important to note that Hilton Honors no longer follows fixed reward costs, making it challenging to determine the points required for upgrades after your initial booking.
It’s worth mentioning that these upgrades may not be available at every hotel. You might book a paid stay only to discover either the upgrades are entirely unavailable, or they are available, but you lack sufficient points to secure them.
If this option is available, locate it on the ‘View/Edit’ reservation page on the Hilton website, following the same initial steps as for an e-Standby upgrade.
While the optimal strategy is to book the higher room category initially, whether using money or Hilton Honors points for your reservation, when this isn’t feasible, an upgrade becomes a valuable alternative for a more memorable stay.
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