Who doesn’t love getting a free hotel upgrade?
A better room, better facilities and perhaps better view, all for the price you originally paid for a standard room.
With so many gorgeous water villas, cliffside hotels and even quirky accommodations in Bali, being able to stay in a better room can mean having an ocean view instead of a beach view. And who says it’s impossible to get that upgrade without paying extra?
Here’s some little tips that may grant you that wish, if Lady Luck is on your side too!
1. Enquire enthusiastically about hotel loyalty programme
Bali has an established tourism industry, so there’s a great selection of hotels. Among these are a good range of chain hotels you can find all over the world, and they often run loyalty programmes.
These programmes are easy to join and some hotels may even provide free membership.
You may need to stay loyal to the hotel brand a couple of times (sometimes the requirements may be more lax), but you can actually get access to everything from freebies in hotel restaurants to that elusive room upgrade.
Sneaky Tip: Enquire enthusiastically as you can about the loyalty programme in the hotel you’re staying at. Many hotels have policies in place to encourage people to become a loyalty card holder, with bonuses for staff who manage to get people to sign up.
So getting that free upgrade may not be totally out of your reach.
Most Balinese hotels will certainly want you to – stay.
Gif via That Hotel2. Get the Revenue/Reservation Manager (He’s the man)
There are so many hotel-booking websites now that it’s nearly impossible to keep track. But have you ever considered how booking from these sites affects the price you’re paying for your room?
Most sites charge a flat percentage rate for hotels to advertise on their sites, which is passed onto the customer. They also have strict rules that prevent hotels from selling the rooms for less than they’ve advertised on the booking site.
But of course, there are ways around it that can save you money and may even result in upgrades.
Instead of booking through a site, try calling or emailing directly to the hotel, and ask for the reservations manager.
During your conversation, mention that you’re aware of lower rates on booking sites, and that direct bookings with the hotel may actually cost them less overall.
See what can be bundled into your accommodation to avoid them breaking the booking sites rules. This might as little as an in-house spa treatment, or as much as a room upgrade.
3. Look at hotel reviews and find those who had received upgrades
If you’ve travelled to Bali before, or have Balinese friends, you would know that the Balinese are family people.
They care about relationships, and want to build good relationships with everyone.
Now how does this get you your room upgrade?
It’s all about being as nice as you can to the hotel staff and build those friendships. If you’re always on hand with a compliment, Balinese staff will do almost anything to keep you happy, including upgrades if they can manage it.
Just don’t act too enthusiastically like this, they will think you are weird.
Gif via That Hotel
Sneaky Tip: We aren’t saying you should lie, but if you want to improve your chances, look at the hotel’s reviews and find the names of people who had received upgrades or had a great time.
Casually mention that name at the front desk, and say that your ‘friends’ recommended you come here for the amazing staff and service.
Until you try, you’ll never know how far that flattery can get you.
4. Don’t Settle For Less
The unfortunate truth about any busy hotel or resort is that mistakes happen.
Sometimes, you’re just unluckily caught in the middle of it, but that doesn’t mean you should accept it.
Consider this: you show up to your hotel at check-in time and your room isn’t ready.
Instead of sitting around reception for an hour, make a complaint. You’re well within your rights to, as you are with any mistake or delay in the hotel service that can hinder your trip or your enjoyment.
Remember, hotels want you to be happy, so if you aren’t, it’s time to speak up.
Make reasonable demands in repayment for their lack of service. But be careful not to complain falsely to try and get bonuses or upgrades, because hotels are generally well-acquainted with these tricks, and mostly likely won’t stand for it.
5. Tip and Time Your Request
Hotels in Bali can be busy, busy places… But outside of holiday periods and during the European summer, Bali can get pretty quiet.
For hotels and resorts, this can mean lots of empty rooms, which also translates to you, as a potential customer, having a better negotiating power.
The secret to getting a room upgrade during low season is simple: ask.
But remember, if they can’t offer the upgrade, keep your friendly manner, as there may be other bonuses on the table like tour discounts and even free meals in resort restaurants.
Just don’t ask like as if you deserve this.