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5 Secret Hotel Perks Most Guests Don’t Know About

By Peter Vanden Bos
Read time: 4 minutes

When planning a trip, you might write off the hotel as simply a place to rest your head after a day of sightseeing. But your hotel stay doesn’t have to be run-of-the-mill — especially if you’re a frequent traveler who has racked up enough points in a hotel loyalty program. Hotel companies reward loyal customers with a slew of perks you might not even know existed, ones that go far beyond late checkout and free breakfast. (Even if you’re not a hotel high roller, you can unlock many of these same benefits just by signing up for the right hotel credit card.) Below, check out five of the coolest perks you can get if you stay at hotels frequently.

Automatic Suite Upgrades

Couple entering large hotel suite
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It’s an old adage of travel — dress the part and ask politely at the front desk, and you might score that coveted room upgrade. While that may still happen on occasion, top-tier members of major hotel chains don’t have to worry about that uncertainty. For example, Marriott states it does its best to accommodate Platinum Elite and Titanium Elite members of its Bonvoy loyalty program with an “enhanced” room upgrade upon arrival, including to select suites. Those members can also secure a guaranteed suite upgrade by selecting a nightly upgrade award as part of their benefits package.

Exclusive Club Lounges

Hotel guest enjoying glass of wine in lounge
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Many larger hotels, particularly those that cater to business travelers, offer a dedicated lounge space with amenities such as complimentary food and drinks. This is often available to any guest who pays extra to reserve a room type that includes club access. However, many hotel chains will allow their elite-status members to enter the lounge for free. In the Hilton Honors program, for example, top-tier Diamond members enjoy complimentary executive lounge access wherever available. While the amenities at each lounge differ, you can typically expect complimentary breakfast in the morning, light snacks during the day, and an evening cocktail hour — along with a business center and a larger, more comfortable space to relax.

Waived Resort Fees

Hotel guest lounging in pool cabana
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It’s safe to say that no traveler likes seeing a resort fee tacked onto the bill at the end of their stay — especially for amenities they didn’t even use. While there are strategies to avoid paying this pesky fee (which can run upwards of $50 per night), members of many hotel loyalty programs don’t have to worry about negotiating with the front desk to remove it. For example, if you’re a Hyatt Globalist member, that fee is automatically waived on eligible rates and award bookings. Granted, you’ll probably have to spend quite a chunk of money to achieve that status, but it’s nice knowing the hotel isn’t going to tack on any bogus fees after you’ve rewarded them with your loyalty year after year.

Guaranteed Availability 

Hotel guests checking in at front desk
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If you’ve ever waited until the last minute to book a hotel room, you know how risky this strategy can be. Many hotels — especially those located in desirable areas near tourist attractions — will sell out weeks beforehand, and you may end up with subpar accommodations for your getaway. 

But if you stay at hotels frequently enough, you might not have to worry. Top members of Marriott’s Bonvoy program (like those in other loyalty programs) enjoy guaranteed room availability — if you book at least 48 hours prior to arrival, they’ll guarantee a room is available for you, even if the hotel is sold out. Marriott also guarantees that if, for any reason, they are unable to accommodate your reservation, they will pay for your room at a nearby hotel and offer additional compensation for the inconvenience. 

Private Concierge Service

Hotel guest interacting with staff member
Credit: SolStock/ E+ via Getty Images 

The concierge desk at a hotel can be a valuable perk for any guest. A concierge can help secure hard-to-get dinner reservations or recommend off-the-beaten-path activities to do at your destination. But did you know there’s a secret concierge service for top-paying customers? Hyatt offers Globalist members a service called My Concierge, which assigns the member a dedicated point of contact at the hotel chain, who can reach out to a specific hotel before they arrive to communicate any special preferences. Similarly, Marriott’s Ambassador Elite level offers a dedicated ambassador who’s able to seamlessly tackle any concerns or issues. 

Not an Elite Member? There Are Plenty of Other Perks To Know About

Man holding luggage and SUV door open for hotel guest walking away from camera
Credit: RossHelen/ Shutterstock 

If these benefits are any indication, it can certainly pay off to be a frequent hotel traveler. But if you can’t meet those requirements to achieve status, there are plenty of other benefits that are available to all guests — you just need to know what to ask for. Some can be modest but incredibly useful, such as complimentary amenity kits if you forget your toothbrush at home. Others, such as free bike rentals or free happy hours, can make your stay more enjoyable. You might also be surprised by some of the more high-end perks available at five-star hotels, from luxury pet services to a fleet of luxury cars available for guests to drive — for free — to take in the sights in style. 

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