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Hotel Upgrade: Why You Should Always Ask…

We learned a very valuable lesson about hotel upgrades on our recent trip to the Maldives:  It never hurts to ask about an upgrade.

We stayed at Angsana Velavaru and had booked a Deluxe Beachfront Villa with Pool.  We booked a special promotion back in January that was one night free for every night paid. In addition to 70 something villas on the island, the resort also had 3o in-ocean villas, located about half a mile away.  Everyday we’d look out on those in-ocean villas as we sat on the beach or had drinks at the bar, thinking about how nice it would be to stay out there.  Since most resorts in the Maldives are on their own island, once you’re there, you’re there.  Since most visitors tend to stay for longer periods because of that, staying in the same room day after day, no matter how nice can get kind of monotonous.  So as two or three days went by, those in-ocean villas looked even better as a change of pace.

Luckily, there was a manager’s cocktail reception on the third night of our stay.  All of the hotel management was in attendance and we happened to strike up a conversation with the resort sales director.  Asking the requisite questions about how we were enjoying our stay, what did we think of the resort, etc. etc., he asked what type of room we were staying in.  He then asked if we had had an opportunity to look at any of the other rooms at the resort, especially the in-ocean villas.  When we said “no”, he offered to take us for a tour.  Well, that was just like adding fuel to a fire.  Of course after seeing them, we wanted to stay in one and asked about upgrading.  We thought our chances would be non-existent or priced out of range, given the rates were almost twice what we were already paying and they were ineligible for the 1 for 1 promotion.

After a short conversation, the sales manager said he’d see what he could do and deliver a proposal to us in the morning.  Sure enough, first thing the next morning there was a letter under our door….and the news was great.  We’d be able to move out to the in-ocean villas, if we would pay an additional daily supplement above the rate we were currently paying.  Plus, they’d throw in dinner for all of us each night.  When we did the math, it was a great deal.  We ended up staying in the in-ocean villas for almost 60% off the best available rate.  And, the best part was that the occupancy rate of the resort was at around 92% and we still received that rate.

Now, it certainly wasn’t a free upgrade, but we we were now staying in the best rooms the resort had available for less than the regular rate on the room we started out with.  We would have never had that opportunity, had we not asked.  This reminded us that no matter how impossible a hotel upgrade may seem, it never hurts to ask.  The worst anyone can say is “no”.  The best part is that if “yes” is the answer, then you can negotiate your way into better rooms than what you had planned on and make your vacation even more memorable.

Last modified: January 18, 2014