The Suite Life

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When booking a hotel we tend to go for the best hotel in our budget without really looking at the type of room category. This is a fairly reasonable strategy since we want to score the best hotel without breaking the bank.  And while suites are normally a fortune when booking ahead time there are deals to be had if you’re smart. So you may just be able to get the best of both worlds, a great room at a great hotel at an affordable rate.

One really simple strategy is to book a good room at a great hotel and then try to upgrade upon arrival.

This is a great way to score a more affordable suite or better room. Here’s how it works; book a normal room and when you check into a hotel ask what the upgrade price is for a higher floor or suite. This also works for club levels and often hotels like Ritz Carlton will charge just US$150 extra for the club rather than a more typical US$300 by pre-booking. If they have space they want to fill it.

In Asia club lounges are always worth the extra if you normally have breakfast and a couple cocktails in the evening. If you are a elite member of the hotel’s loyalty program that also helps with free upgrades and perks. For my money, I think Starwood are the best if you make it to the platinum level as they automatically assign you the best room available on every check in. That’s a very real benefit.

Las Vegas though has made upgrades upon check in into an art. Every single hotel at check in will whisper in your ear that as a special JUST for you they can get you a fabulous room for around US$50 more. Don’t be shy in Vegas to bargain with them, it’s what is expected. But PLEASE only do this in Vegas.

The Wynn has some of the best suites I have ever stayed in. I felt like a prince in a palace with their top level suite. It was US$300 more a night but the size of the suite was around 2000 sq feet and the bathroom was to die for. It was an indulgence for sure but one that was totally worthwhile.

So what are some of my favorite suites?

Ritz Carlton Singapore – modern and chic

Shangri-la Bangkok – Thai modern elegance

Dorchester London – old world class

Conrad Bangkok – huge and plush

Wynn Vegas – celebrity status

Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong – real money value

Sheraton Grand Phuket – bungalows with space

Banyan tree Phuket – private pool villas

V villa hua hin – secluded private villa with pool and personal butler

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