As this matter often comes up in reader questions we’d like to remind our readers to study the room types available at the hotel they book as their elite upgrade benefits are often higher than the hotels want you to believe.
The usual phrase is that a top tier elite member is entitled to the “Best Room Available” including (at some programs such as SPG and Hyatt) Standard Suites.
Especially those programs that do not include suites for their top tier members such as Marriott Rewards or Hilton HHonors make it even more important for the member to inform himself beforehand about the various room types available. It’s actually always recommended to know what rooms the hotels have available.
Why is that the case?
Most hotels like to play games with their elite members and generally put them into a Club Room, selling it as ‘the best room available’ (BRA) which is actually not the case.
Two hotels where a Club Room is by far NOT the best room available is the Hyatt Regency Tokyo and the Grand Hyatt Taipei yet that’s usually what you’re going to get unless you take a stand and outline that BRA means the highest room category and that a Club Room doesn’t fit that criteria.
Here is the example of the rates and room variations at the Hyatt Regency Tokyo:
Don’t look at the price for the ‘Club King’ here because all the ‘Club’ does is tag an extra 10,000 JPY to the base rate. I’m usually getting a Deluxe Corner King or what the lady at the Club called a Club Deluxe Corner King (see picture above) which also has a nice couch in it.
Here are the rates from Grand Hyatt Taipei where they sell an insane amount of 22 different room types (Suites included).
Until the new rules of World of Hyatt took effect I always asked for the Grand Premier King with a view to Taipei 101 here which is as good as any Junior Suite I’ve ever stayed in. There is really no need to ask for more.
Even if it’s not a suite the premium room types can often be as good as one. It’s really paying off to have a look in advance what the different room types are both in size and amenities. You can even put in the comments what you like to be upgraded to so the hotel staff knows you’re familiar with the different room types.
Often the hotel doesn’t read the comments but at least you have it as reference for when you arrive. It took a strong escalation to Hyatt Corporate before until the Taipei property finally relented and started to give me the Club Premier View King on every stay. Don’t give up if a hotel is being difficult, especially if you plan to go back there. Better invest a little time once to lay out the cards and profit over a longer period of time.