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How to Get an Upgraded Hotel Room in Las Vegas

Once you’ve arrived in Sin City, you’ve got everything you need to start your Las Vegas vacation: Tips on nightclubs, plans for dining and show tickets. But there’s one thing you’re missing to get this trip started right: An upgraded hotel room.

In Las Vegas, it is not uncommon for people to be upgraded to larger rooms or those with a more desirable view of the Strip. In fact, stories of people slipping a few extra bucks to the front desk reception agent has become common practice in getting that all desirable room upgrade, but there’s an art to this tipping method, and there are other ways to get a room upgrade as well.

Get a player’s card. If you do any gambling at all, sign up for the hotel’s rewards program. These programs often provide incentives such as free casino play, buffet passes and upgraded rooms.

Make a reservation and arrive late. If you have a room reservation, try to arrive after 1:00 p.m. Most other people will likely be checked in by then, so it is possible that you’ll be upgraded to a better room simply as a matter of necessity. There are a few caveats to this method, though. First make sure you inform the hotel that you plan on arriving late, and don’t arrive so late that you lose your reservation. Also, it is a possibility that the hotel will give away the best rooms to others who have requested them, so you could be stuck with a less desirable room, such as one by an elevator.

Ask nicely. It never hurts to be polite and ask nicely for an upgrade. Though you are unlikely to get an upgrade during a holiday weekend or when it’s busy, if you ask during the slower times of the year or when dips in tourism leave Las Vegas hotels high and dry, you have a relatively decent chance of getting one. Fridays and Saturdays are bad days to expect an upgrade. Checking in during the week provides better odds.

Slip a tip. An impressive percentage of people report success of tipping for an upgrade at many of the resorts in Las Vegas. Use the “sandwich” technique of slipping a tip between your credit card and driver’s license when you check in, and chances are decent that your generosity will pay off. Most people find that $20.00 gets them the room they’d prefer, while others bump that amount up to $50.00 or $100.00. Las Vegas hospitality employees need tips to live. Consider this when digging into your wallet.

Be specific. If you ask for an upgrade, be specific about what you are looking for. Upgrades come in the form of bigger rooms, better views and higher floors. Make sure you get what you want by being detailed in your request.

Speak up. If something is wrong with your room, don’t be afraid to speak up. For example, if you requested a non-smoking room and the sheets smell like smoke, let the front desk know. Be polite, and you may be upgraded to a better room for the inconvenience.

Choose a favorite hotel. Return to the same hotel every time you visit Las Vegas and become a loyal return customer. Over time, your loyalty may pay off.

Manage expectations. It is generally easier to get an upgrade at one of the older or shabbier Las Vegas hotels. The nicer the hotel, the less likely people are to go out of their way to please you … after all, there are guests paying top dollar to stay there.