I have read about many people getting complimentary room upgrades upon arrival to Dar al Masyaf. Is this random or anything I can do to make it happen?
I don't think there is anything you can do to make it happen because it depends on availability
It is random but being a previous guest may help and being a Sirius member may help
You could always pay!
I often book a hotel transfer if the airline is not providing one, it definitely enables early check ins and I have been offered upgrades, some I have declined as they are not what I have wanted for various reasons (views, size, near lifts, noise, location etc)
If you are not offered one and you do not want the room you have paid for then give a valid reason and ask for a different one. As long as you get what you have paid for be happy.
Thank you for asking.
Upgrades are always subject to a range of variables, so it's about tilting it in your favour.
Big A's suggestion of booking a package is a top tip, as hotels will likely favour guests who book direct, who have status in their loyalty programs, or show a commitment to the hotel past just a room.
You could always Google the $20 trick though be very careful, I'm not advocating this but there's anecdotal evidence this works. Be wary of the risks of this approach though, I'm not condoning it.
Perhaps the best other option would be to call the hotel direct once you've booked. Ask to speak to the reservations manager (not the first person who answers the phone, or who says they work for reservations). Your aim here is to be confident, not cocky, and pleasant, humble and positive.
Your script should be something like this....
We've booked the hotel because he have read how excellent it is, although we're on a strict budget we felt a room here (even a basic one) would be better than a more upscale one or a suite in a lesser hotel.
However, we're really keen to appreciate your hotel to maximum, because of (insert special occasion, first trip to Dubai, we don't travel much etc.) We've heard all about Arabian hospitality and the excellent service you welcome guests with.
We were just wondering, is there anything you can do for us in terms of upgrade? We're willing to commit a little more of our budget, but can't afford to pay the full upgrade price but are willing to hear what can be done y to experience your hotel to the fullest.
You may need to offer (or show value/investment) during the call - e.g. we only booked room only but are willing to spend more eg breakfast or only dine in hotels, or other Jumeirah venues etc) if it helps maximise our stay.
At this point, I'd be pretty confident you could get something. Have an abundant mindset - not a cheap one, nor one of expectation, and you'd be surprised what hotels are willing to do for the right guests who invest in the relationship.
The mistake most people make when they're trying to get something from a hotel is they are often unwilling to give of themselves first. What's in it for the hotel to upgrade a guest who's already booked a cheaper rate with Expedia than booking direct, then asks for an upgrade?
Bear in mind that the value you receive should not just be thought of as a room upgrade, but perhaps they will make an offer for half board deal, Jumeirah discounts, spa vouchers or similar.
Good luck - let us know how you do!
I'd never consider the $20 trick because it could get you, as well as the unsuspecting hotel employee, into deep trouble. It's a form of bribery.
No matter how clever a script you come up with, I'm sure seasoned hotel managers have heard it all before. Just turn up, simply ask if there's a chance for an upgrade and hope for the best. IMO, no upgrade is worth buttering someone up for.
There are some tips here that do not include a script:
The principles of upgrades always boil down to a handful of situations...
a) the hotel has messed up (e.g. overbooked or due to renovations/noise/disturbance etc.)
b) the hotel wants to make good with a guest (e.g. a service recovery)
c) there is a quid-pro-quo transactional or reciprocal relationship (e.g. loyalty scheme, increased investment such as breakfast/fhalf board rates or simply connecting with the right person)
d) complete and utterly random luck
Most upgrades are not decided at the main desk at check-in; they're either already decided before check-in or through intervention (usually Guest Relation Managers or other managers). This is why it's about working the variables into your favour rather than relying on chance.
PS. I've never done the $20 dollar trick, mainly because I don't need to. I've had upgrades given to me (not asked for) for suites worth in excess of 25k AED. That's by working the variables, and no script needed either ;-)Edited: 13 May 2018, 00:02