Sometimes, prior to your stay, you may receive an email from the property offering you room upgrades for cash. As an elite member with most of the chains, I rarely receive these, as the upgrades are processed complimentary based on the status.
Few days ago, I received an email from an InterContinental hotel that I had not stayed at previously. I was using China Dream award nights ( read more here) and some hotels go by the book with Royal Ambassador benefits on these (basically none).
Usually, the hotels that I am a frequent guest do extend most of the Royal Ambassador benefits on award stays, because it is good business. It is known, however, that the InterContinental Hong Kong is stingy and goes by the book.
The award night books into the lowest room category and the email offers an upgrade for 3,000 HKD per night to one of the Junior Suites.
I am not sure, where this 3,000 HKD per night comes from? The price difference of the base level room and the Junior suite is 1,600 HKD per night. The hotel upgraded me to one of their Harbor view rooms (not sure if it is deluxe or not), so the price difference would be even less.
Some hotels are offering upsells at a reasonable price that may make sense in some special occasions, when you REALLY need he upgrade.
The pricing that InterContinental Hong Kong uses for upgrades (more than the price difference between the booked and upgraded room) is out of whack, however.
Of course, the upgrades are not guaranteed for Royal Ambassadors on award nights, so the hotel can extend whatever offers they wish and it is up to the guest to decide, whether it is worth their money or not. In my case, paying an extra $400 per night would not have been sensible choice.