Getting a special hotel room can make or break a trip, so here are five questions you should ask to be sure you get the best room possible — or maybe even an upgrade.
The key is to get the front desk clerk involved
in choosing the best room for you and not
letting the hotel booking system choose it for you. You do that by making
specific requests at the check in counter such as:
Does this room have
good wi-fi reception?
Thankfully more and more hotels are offering
in-room wi-fi for free. But in a world where you frequently
“get what you pay for”, a free connection could also mean weak or spotty reception.
Since wi-fi is broadcast via wireless routers located in hotel corridors, rooms
closest to the routers get the best reception. Front desk staffers usually know
which rooms get the most complaints about poor wi-fi reception, so they’ll
actively search for a room they know gets a strong signal.
Can I get a newly
renovated room or one with a great view, a corner room, or a quiet room?
Simply asking for any of the above gets the
hotel clerk involved in choosing your room. Since these features don’t usually affect
the room rate, by asking, you are likely to get the best room for the price.
Is there an
Noisy neighbours can distract you if you’re
working, taking business calls or meeting with clients in your room. This is
also an important request if you are a
light sleeper. If peace and quiet is important to you, ask
the clerk for a non-adjoining room (one without interior doors leading to an
Does this room have
a large, well-lit desk and chair?
Some hotels have desks in every room that are suitable
for working. Some don’t. By letting the clerk know that you plan to work in
your room, you are more likely to get a larger or better room set aside for
business travellers — maybe even one on a special club or concierge level reserved
for elite level members of hotel loyalty programmes or those on specially
negotiated corporate rates.
How much could I
pay for an upgrade to a bigger/better room or suite?
Most hotel desk clerks are weary of guests asking
for something for nothing. But by offering to pay slightly more than your
reserved rate, you could end up with a much better room. The amount will vary
based on how busy the hotel is, and how many higher tier rooms are available. You’ll
never know how much it will cost to get an upgrade unless you ask… so ask! You might
Have you ever talked your way into an upgrade?
How did it go for you? Please leave your advice on our Facebook page.
McGinnis is the business travel columnist for