Tips to Get & Keep Hotel Complimentary Suite Upgrades

After many years of living in hotels, I have learned a great deal about how to optimize loyalty points and perks. One of the perks I enjoy most is complimentary suite upgrades.  Since my husband and I live in hotels almost every day of the year, staying in suites significantly improves our experience. We have larger, separate spaces, and we can lounge on a couch to watch the television.

I share videos of my complimentary hotel suites on my YouTube site and My Suite Life post. 

My book Hotel Sweet Home shares 10 tips for getting a complimentary suite upgrade. Following is one of them:     

Choose and use Marriott Bonvoy or World of Hyatt “Suite Nights.” Guests loyal to the Marriott and Hyatt chains can earn a perk called “suite nights.”  For example, after staying 50 nights in a year, a Marriott Bonvoy member can choose from a number of rewards, including 5 free suite nights. After staying 75 nights in a year, a member can choose 5 more free suite nights. In 2018, I chose this benefit at both milestones, so I received the maximum perk of 10 free suite nights.  It’s the best value given how often I stay in hotels and how much I enjoy suites.

How to turn a suite night into suite weeks

There are times when I plan on staying at the same hotel for many weeks or months, for example, in states like California where hotel taxes are refunded after 30 days. I would love to have a suite, but the cost is prohibitive.  Following is my well-tested tip for enjoying a complimentary suite long-term.

When I book a hotel for a long-term stay, I book one night only, and then one week at a time after that. If I get a suite upgrade for my first night, I then generally keep that suite for my remaining week-long bookings. This tip is more of a guarantee at Marriott hotels, where I apply my “suite night” perk for my first one-night booking only. 

After enjoying my one-night complimentary suite upgrade, when it’s time to check-out and check-in to my next reservation, I tell the front desk “I have a back-to-back reservation. I am hoping to stay in the same room.” Unless the hotel is fully booked, I always receive a response of “Of course, Mrs. Rome.”

At first, I felt guilty about using this method. However, after speaking with several hotel staff members, it seems to be the only method of securing a suite. The upgrades are important to me, so I have been using this tip a lot this year. I stayed in a lovely suite at the Sheraton Pasadena for several weeks. Using the Marriott app, I booked my first night and requested to use one of my suite night rewards. I received the following email:

Marriott suite night rewards

Here is a video of my sweet suite at the Sheraton Pasadena, where I lived for several weeks.  

I also applied this tip right before I arrived in Pasadena. I used a suite night award to get upgraded to a presidential suite at the Sheraton in Agoura Hills, California. I used a credit card free night perk to stay for free the first night, and my loyalty elite points to stay in that suite for free for 5 additional days. Unfortunately, my week ended early due to evacuations from the surrounding Woolsey fire! My typical suite video turned into an evacuation video:

Questions? Comments? Let me know in the Comments section below.

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