Yes, there’s a better room in the hotel than the one you booked.
And sure, you may be able to swing that upgrade via a loyalty program, booking directly with the hotel or even just by asking nicely (some good tips on all of those options can be found here).
But if you’re willing to spend a few bucks — but still less than the cost of booking the premium room — you might want to try Upgradus. Recently launched in the U.S., the service allows hotel guests to receive room upgrade offers in advance, during the so-called “silent period” between a booking and your arrival.
“I travel regularly and found that car hire companies offered me discounted last-minute upgrades at almost every visit, but hotels almost never offered me a paid upgrade,” explains Guy Ratcliffe, CEO and founder of Upgradus. “And I would often realize that a better room than mine, often next door, was left empty during my stay.”
Radcliffe calls Upgradus a “win-win” for all parties involved — more revenue for the hotel and an improved stay for the guests. It’s also fairly easy and unobtrusive for customers: the site is free to join, all communication is handled behind the scenes via email, and guests can accept or refuse any offer.
As well, Upgradus fills a void that other rebooking sites like Tingo and TripRebel failed to achieve — those companies would monitor your reservations and automatically upgrade you if they found a better room at the same price (both of those companies have been bought and now appear to be straightforward hotel booking platforms). Other sites, like Service and Pruvo, can automatically save you money if they find your existing room at a lower rate, but don’t offer a superior room.
Currently Radcliffe says Upgradus is aiming to offer guests around a 50% discount on their room upgrades (though they say they’ve achieved savings of 45-75%, according to a recent Instagram post). If the launch goes well, expect the company to expand into different markets. Says Radcliffe: “The plan is to build a single global community of members who are active ‘Upgraders’ and we will work on their behalf across every travel and leisure activity that can be upgraded — hotels, flights, cruises, car-hire, travel experiences, even concert tickets or restaurant bookings.”
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