My Suite Life

Because I live in hotels full-time, I have the highest loyalty elite status for the 3 largest hotel chains: Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG), Hilton, and Marriott. One of the perks of that status is that I get complimentary room upgrades, upon availability.

Most often, room upgrades mean a higher floor, a slightly larger room, or a nicer view.  However, sometimes I receive a lovely complimentary upgrade to a suite.

What is a suite?

Jr Suite at Doubletree by Hilton Waikiki
Jr Suite at Doubletree Waikiki Hawaii

Suites are much larger than regular hotel guest rooms, and they include a living room and usually a kitchenette. Junior suites are smaller, and there is no door between the bedroom and the living room area.

Most hotels also have 1 or 2 presidential or penthouse suites. They are usually huge multi-room suites, sometimes with a full kitchen and dining room.

A suite typically costs 2-4 times more than a standard guest room.

Note: Some hotels are all-suites or mostly suites; for example, Marriott Residence Inn, Hilton Embassy Suites and Holiday Inn Express & Suites. This post is not about those types of hotels and suites. I’m specifically referring to hotels where the majority of their guest rooms are standard rooms with no additional couch, kitchenette, etc.

Who provides the most suite upgrades?

I have received most of my suite upgrades from Hilton hotels. However, all but one of my upgrades were outside the U.S.

With the top elite status (Spire and Ambassador) at InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG), I receive a complimentary suite upgrade at their Crowne Plaza properties on 80% of my stays!  Best of all, IHG hotels have upgraded me to a presidential/penthouse suite twice!

Despite being in their Ambassador program (See my post: Is Intercontinental Ambassador Program Worth the Money?), I have never had a suite upgrade at IHG’S most luxurious properties, InterContinental Hotels.

Marriott (including Starwood hotels) are definitely the most stingy with their suite upgrades. Also, despite being at the highest loyalty elite status for years, I have never once been upgraded to a presidential/penthouse suite with either Marriott or Hilton.

What do suites look like?

My YouTube channel contains videos I’ve taken from various suites I have stayed in. They were all complimentary upgrades after booking only a standard room in a standard hotel.  If you want to see more of these videos in the future, subscribe to my Libby Rome YouTube Channel.


  1. Libby, I read your 2015 article on the cost of long term hotel living. This is something we would like to do. Can you update us with current monthly prices?

  2. Congratulations on doing such a great job with creating the higher quality of your living quarters!
    I LOVE it when you are in Tampa.

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