Productivity

5 Ways To Score A Hotel Discount Or Upgrade

Sylvia Pennington
Business Journalist

Sylvia Pennington writes regularly on business and technology for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age

Sylvia Pennington
Business Journalist

Sylvia Pennington writes regularly on business and technology for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age

Does business regularly take you away for the night? Join the club. Australians collectively clocked 49.4 million nights of overnight business travel in the 2014 financial year and spent a cool $12.3 billion in the process, according to Tourism Research Australia.

Hotel sign overlooking Melbourne skyline

1. A Smile Goes A Long Way

Believe it or not, getting up to the desk with a smile and a chirpy greeting can be the difference when it comes to a discretionary upgrade from a harried check-in clerk that checks in dozens of guests a day, says Gary Stickland, general manager of Alto on Bourke in Melbourne.

“Be friendly and professional – after all, you are dealing with another person who will respond to you and if there is a choice to upgrade Guest A or B, the ‘nice’ person is likely to be chosen,” Stickland says.

“[It’s] human nature really.”

2. Go Direct

Looking for a couple of nights in a capital city and determined to save a few dollars on accomodation?

You can spend hours scouring accommodation sites, comparing deep cut discounts, but picking up the phone and contacting a hotel directly can yield superior results, especially if you’re planning to stay several nights.

“As they don’t need to pay various web sites or travel agents a commission or booking fee they may be able to offer a better rate,” Stickland says.

“And because you’re dealing with a person at the hotel, they may be able to offer an upgrade – a computer will not do this.

“On some occasions, if the hotel is almost fully booked for standard rooms on one night of a multi-night stay, they may upgrade the booking to ensure the adjoining nights are booked.”

3. Loyalty Schemes

Been racking up frequent flyer benefits on your travels? Check your membership status, Yelp regional manager and road warrior Tresna Lee advises. Some airlines offer complimentary membership to their hotel partners’ loyalty schemes, which can allow you to exchange points for free accommodation or a room upgrade, helping you save.

4. Come Again

Shopping around pays off – but so can returning to a place which took great care of you last time you were in town. Expect a keen rate, warmer welcome and possible perks, such as free breakfast, late check-out and gym passes, if you become a regular customer of the same boutique hotel or chain, Lee says.

5. Tell Other Business Folk

If you’re not happy, tell us. If you’re happy, tell others, so the old marketing saw goes. Cement your relationship – and the regulars’ accommodation discount – with a favoured hotel by referring associates who share your discerning taste. Or consider giving worthy establishments the thumbs-up via social media shout-out or a complimentary review on their Facebook page.

Get more bang for your buck with articles from Smarter.

Receive actionable advice and insights straight into your inbox, fortnightly. Sign up here.

Find Out More

Related News

A woman using her laptop and phone in a shop.
Tech Solutions
Tech Solutions
Get to the nbn™ network starting line in great shape

Even if it may still be some time before the nbn network is available in your neighbourhood, planning now can mean a hassle-free switch over when it happens. When the nbn™ netw...

Business woman giving speech in front of peers holding a microphone.
Success Stories
Success Stories
The tips, tricks and non-negotiables of winning speeches

Business leaders give great speeches, and the 2017 Telstra Business Women's Awards finalists are no exception thanks to the tips, tricks and non-negotiables they are taught dur...

Business woman giving speech in front of peers holding iPad.
Success Stories
Success Stories
Six steps to spectacular speeches

Public speaking is commonly quoted as one of the world’s most common fears, but it's a skill business leaders must master to be influential at networking events, workshops and ...

Elise Apolloni with her 2017 Telstra  Australian Capital Territory Business Woman of the Year Award.
Success Stories
Success Stories
Wanniassa pharmacist is named 2017 Telstra ACT Business Woman of the Year

Elise Apolloni from Capital Chemist Wanniassa cleaned up at the 2017 Telstra Australian Capital Territory Business Women’s Awards, winning three Awards, including 2017 Telstra ...