HotelTonight just launched a new feature that lets users upgrade to suites on the cheap. If available, the option will pop up during checkout, and will always cost less than 50 percent of the standard upgrade rate. And at first glance prices in the app seem pretty affordable — some hotels are offering upgrades for less than $50, with only a few hotels pricing upgrades in the hundreds.
Live now at more than 300 hotels, HotelTonight says this was the most requested new feature from both customers and hotels.
While hotels pick their own types of suites to list, HotelTonight has some specific criteria the rooms must meet — like having a separate seating or dining area and be at least 20 percent larger than a standard room.
The benefits to travelers are obvious — everyone who stays in a hotel wants a bigger room or suite, and it’s not always the easiest to get. Usually only the highest-tier loyalty program members score free suite upgrades, and most hotels are reluctant to dish out suites for anything other than full price.
“When legacy online travel websites offer an upgrade, it is often nothing more than a higher floor, which renders the term ‘upgrade’ largely meaningless. With HotelTonight, an ‘upgrade’ means a suite, clear and simple. And now it can be accessed with the ease and savings only a mobile-only, last-minute booking app can provide,” explained Sam Shank, CEO of HotelTonight.
This upgrade feature also can be tremendously valuable to hotels. Properties can generate additional revenue by upselling suites that would otherwise be empty or unsold. It also gives hotels a chance to show off their best rooms with the hopes that travelers will like them so much that next time they’ll just pay for them upfront.
While upgrade prices will vary based on nightly demand just like traditional room rates do, HotelTonight is requiring all upgrade rates to be at least 50 percent less than their standard upgrade cost. And if you don’t want to wait until checkout to see if a hotel offers an upgrade, you can specifically search properties that have an upgrade available that night by typing in the city name followed by “upgrade” (“Miami upgrade”) into the search bar.