A year ago ago, I barely knew what hotel status was. I knew that some people had status, but I didn’t really care enough to find out what it meant, and certainly didn’t care enough to go for it myself. Mere months later, I’ve got high-level status in seven different programs, and often lull myself to sleep at night by imagining the upgrades and/or amenities I will get at future hotel stays courtesy of my status. (I’m mostly kidding here, but there is a thread of truth to this admission).
Why do I care?
Well, as I’ve said before, I would make a great rock star. I love the VIP treatment. Spectacular rooms, customized refreshments, welcome amenities, showers of extra points – bring it on. I am a very appreciative guest.
Also, it’s amazing just how much nicer an upgraded room can be. It really makes a difference (to me) to have tons of extra space, a soaking tub, or a wall of windows. It enhances my experience to the point where I have a better trip because of it.
Some people assert that it doesn’t matter what your hotel room is like because the point of traveling is to get out of the room and explore. I couldn’t agree more. However, because I have two kids, when we travel as a family, we do actually spend time in our hotel room: the kids need occasional downtime; they go to sleep relatively early; and sometimes we just move a little more slowly because we need to stop to discuss important topics such as: which is cuter – a puppy or a kitten?
And when I travel by myself, well, I love pretending that I am a Kardashian. (Really just kidding here. Although I am addicted to that show).
Anyway, the point is that I love me some status. And honestly, it wasn’t hard to achieve. Especially if you know how to play hopscotch.
What is hotel status hopscotch?
Here’s how to play:
- Start by obtaining Hilton Gold status. You can do this for free with no hotel stay or spend requirements with a virtual move to Australia (learn how here from MilesQuest).
- If this crosses your ethical boundaries, you can also choose to wait, then pounce the next time Club Accor offers instant Platinum status.
- In any case, you should definitely pounce on the Club Accor offer the next time it happens.
- Leverage your new status by doing a status match. For example, Club Carlson has recently been matching Hilton Gold to their Gold Elite level; they’ve also matched Club Accor Platinum to Gold Elite. This is an easy way to obtain some pretty nice benefits.
- What to do: simply write a polite email to the loyalty program you’re eyeing. For example, you could write to email@example.com, noting that while you really enjoy staying at their properties, you have status with another hotel. You would love to have a status match so that you could easily justify staying at Club Carlson properties more frequently. Include a screen shot that displays your current level of status.
- Play hopscotch! There is a very informative site called StatusMatcher.com where people share their recent status match successes – check it out for inspiration.
What does status do for you?
Aside from (ahem) making you feel like a rock star, status can actually be valuable. A few recent examples:
- On our trip to NYC, Bird and I stayed at the Andaz Fifth Avenue, where we enjoyed an upgraded room and $75 worth of room service breakfast each day. We even went soaring over $75 one day and it was still comped.
- I enjoyed the heck out of my Radisson suite on my LA Girlfriend Getaway weekend. Plus they gave me a little gift.
- Kimpton surprised us with a suite and goodies, but totally wowed us with their service.
What do you do for status?
Personally, I will now go out of my way to stay at properties where I have status and I know that I am going to get an upgraded room and great amenities. In fact, I am planning an entire trip based on where I can find a Kimpton property. I am also going out of my way to stay at Hyatt properties. And you all know how I feel about Club Carlson: love them!
So, whether you are brand new to the points and miles community and have no status at all, or you have been doing this for years and have a status list a mile long, it’s always worth taking stock of where you are with various programs. You might find that you are just a jump away from enjoying the next level. And then you can play hopscotch.