Hotel upgrades can prove the cherry on the top of a holiday if you manage to nab one. However, they can seem tricky to come by, with many Britons never experiencing the thrill of getting upgraded. Express.co.uk spoke to a travel expert to find out whether some hotels are more likely to dish out upgrades than others.
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Tim Hentschel, co-founder and CEO of HotelPlanner, shared his top tips.
He revealed that certain hotels are indeed more likely to upgrade you.
Hentschel explained that your chances are higher with “independent luxury four and five-star resorts.”
What’s more, he added: “Typically hotels that depend on word of mouth referrals will try to earn repeat customers and patronage from your friends and family.”
The hotel expert also pointed that it’s “never pointless” to ask for an upgrade.
However, he warned that it can be more difficult depending on the hotel.
“It’s harder if the hotel is full or it’s a one, two, or three-star limited service low rise hotel where all the rooms are the same, i.e. would you like the first or second-floor room with a view of the parking lot or the back of the building next door?”
There are various things to consider when you’re choosing a hotel that holidaymakers might not realise.
Hentschel advises looking into the last time the hotel was renovated.
“Was it a soft or hard renovation? Typically you want a hotel that has soft reinventions (linens, drapes, walls painted, carpet replaced) every five to eight years, and hard renovations (lobby and common areas reconstructed as well as guest rooms including bathrooms) every 15 to 20 years.”
In the light of the coronavirus pandemic, many people may be worried about what the crisis means for their hotel bookings.
Hentschel advised: “Hotels are letting customers change their reservations for free or get a full refund, since hotels are typically 20 percent to 30 percent more expensive over the summer travel season, they should look to see if their hotel is more expensive over the summer than what they already paid for it, if so, then they should just change their dates.
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“If their hotel is less expensive over the summer then what they paid, they should cancel for the full refund and then re-book at the lower price.
“If they decide to cancel and rebook, they should rebook quickly because China has already recovered from the coronavirus with no new cases, so their hotel market is bouncing back, once this happens in Europe and The USA, hotel rates over the summer will start spiking quickly.”
Consumer rights advocate Which? has also shared advice for holiday accommodation.
“If you had just booked accommodation, and the hotel or B&B has now cancelled, you should also receive a refund,” said Which?
“Many hotel chains like Premier Inn and Hilton have said that they will offer full refunds. Airbnb is also offering customers full refunds until 14 April.
“But we’ve heard from a number of customers struggling to get refunds. One disappointed holidaymaker, James, told us he had a holiday cottage in Northumberland booked for during the lockdown period. But Cottages.com refused to refund his stay, offering him a 12-month deadline to rebook instead.
“James said the company ‘just couldn’t tell me what would happen if this all lasts more than a year, and said I might even have to pay more when I rebook. I feel very let down.’
“If you have trouble getting a refund, you can also try contacting your travel insurance company to see if you can make a claim.”
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