We’ve made it our mission to figure out all the tricks of the trade so that the next time you book a hotel, you might score a free upgrade or some goodies that will make your stay just that extra bit special.
1. The concierge is king.
If you’re in a city where theatre is a big thing (hello New York! London! Milan!) the concierge can be like your own personal magician. Some savvy concierges make sure they have tickets to hit shows available for their guests, and it is definitely worth asking, especially if want to get tickets to Hamilton in the next 865 years. The same goes for some popular restaurants, or fancy hairdressers, or even sourcing a last minute babysitter.
2. You can borrow stuff… a lot of stuff.
Weirdly, no one ever does, but hotels have huge caches of strange goodies you can borrow, or be given for free. Things like umbrellas (is there anything more annoying than not having an umbrella when it’s raining?), hair straighteners, tweezers, lint rollers, razors, bow-ties, yoga mats, cuff links, adaptors, phone chargers, hair ties, and even things like tampons, nail files and ear plugs.
3. Cheeky check-ins
Check-in and check-out times aren’t nearly as strict as you think. For those wanting to check-in early, your best bet is to just let the hotel know in advance of your arrival, and they will usually do their best to accommodate you free of charge. However, this is best done in advance, because if you roll up at 6am on the morning without a pre-warning, you may be left staring at the housekeeper in an empty hotel bar til 3:00pm.
For check-outs, you’d be surprised how late you can stay just for the asking. If the hotel doesn’t have a guest chomping at the bit for your room, usually you can request to check-out an hour or two later than the scheduled time. Large chains like Novotel and Westin even offer late check-outs as standard on Sundays, which is a bonus for anyone who likes to hit the town on Saturday night.