Elite status is something that can make the mundane nature of travel a little more pleasurable and even rewarding. With hotel elite status, it doesn’t give you as much as airline elite status can but it sure is easier to come by! If you have mid-tier elite status, here is where that status may give you an edge in your hotel travels.
Where Your Mid-Tier Elite Status For Hotels Can Make The Most Difference
If you have not read this post before, make sure you check it out now. It tells you how you can earn mid-tier hotel elite status across the different hotel programs and you can see just how easy it is! If you have mid-tier hotel elite status, you may wonder what it actually gets you in terms of recognition at hotels. Here is where it can make a difference.
If you have status of any kind, you can always expect the benefits that the terms guarantee to you. This post is talking about situations where it goes above and beyond the stated benefits.
First things first – forget about your mid-tier status getting you some kind of great upgrade or otherwise at high-end hotels. Even top-tier elites do not always get great upgrades, etc. at these properties so it can help right away to temper your expectations.
But, if you travel to mid-range hotels, like the middle category properties on the chain’s award chart, it gives you a great opportunity to get some benefits from your status. I have had this happen countless times with the mid-tier status I had before (and now, in some programs).
These hotels may not be used to seeing the top-tier elites staying at them or they are just trying to make a more favorable impression (to encourage repeat business) and they have always greeted me warmly and mentioned/thanked me for my loyalty to the program (ie. credit card). Following that, I typically get a nicer room and even upgrades to some kind of a suite (though it may be basic). I have even received free breakfast or restaurant vouchers at some of these properties as well.
This point can also include hotels that are located in out-of-the-way locations. Some of those properties may be under-booked often. By taking care of a mid-tier elite and upgrading them, they are able to showcase the best of the hotel at really no cost to them since the guest list may be quite short at the time and the chances are that a mid-tier elite will go away and talk up the great service/upgrade that he/she had received.
Weekend Stays At Business Hotels
Business hotels make their most money during the week when businessmen/women are staying there for work and conferences. On the weekends, these properties typically have much lower rates since they are likely not in very touristy friendly locations (but may only be a few minute ride/walk away). Booking a weekend stay at such a hotel can really help increase your likelihood of getting an upgrade since the hotel will be far more empty than it is during the week (which is also when most of the top-tier elites will be there).
You can typically tell a business hotel by their location or how they describe themselves on their page.
While the larger international cities may have high-end properties, getting upgrades at chain hotels in international cities is always quite common for mid-tier elites – even in the high-end hotels. This is likely due to the fact that most people around the world have to earn their status by actually staying at hotels and do not have the shortcut to mid-tier elite status through just holding certain credit cards.
I have stayed at many international properties where they had almost been falling over themselves to make sure that I knew how welcome I was, thanking me for choosing their property, and giving me a very nice room that was more than I should have received.
I remember one time when my wife and I both stayed at a property, both of our numbers were on the reservation. I was a top-tier and she was mid-tier and we were staying on a free night from her account. The reception staff kept saying how they had never had a Platinum and a Diamond member staying in the same room (of course they likely did but both members probably did not have their numbers on the reservation). They gave us a huge upgrade as a thank-you for selecting their hotel. This upgrade was much better than anything I had previously received at this hotel as a Diamond (but it was definitely helped that I was a Diamond). This same hotel almost always gives Plats (that I know) upgrades.
If you select hotels in a destination during what would be considered as an off-peak season, you also stand a good chance of getting upgrades/great treatment as a mid-tier elite. This can sometimes even work for high-end properties. Since the guest list is smaller than normal, it seems hotels are often more generous with their upgrades. Some of that might be that they figure you may spend more money in the hotel (room service, etc) if you are given a room you do not want to leave.
I am not saying you should pick a location during an off-peak season just to get a good hotel upgrade, but realize that an upgrade is more likely to happen at many hotels during off-peak seasons.
None of these tips will guarantee you an upgrade as a mid-tier elite but they will certainly give you a better shot at getting one! I have enjoyed upgrades/better treatment at hotels in each of these situations as a mid-tier elite in various programs.
While the hotel is not the destination, getting upgrades in some hotels can make the stay more comfortable and even more special. Being a mid-tier elite member does not have to mean that you cannot get those upgrades!
What kind of upgrade/treatment have you received at hotels as a mid-tier elite? Which program have you found to be most generous?