I definitely have a love-hate relationship with Las Vegas. While I am alternately dismayed and scandalized by so much of what happens here, I love the weather, the pools, the glitz and glam…and of course the sense of possibility that constantly zings through the city.
So far, I haven’t had any Vegas WOW moments on this trip, but I know they’re out there, waiting for me. A few months ago, I had a great one at the Bellagio when I got the biggest room upgrade of my life.
This is the story of how it happened. (Keep in mind that this post is from several months ago…but this trick lives on!)
Our trip to Vegas got off to a great start yesterday at the Amex Centurion Lounge at the airport, where we enjoyed hand-crafted cocktails made by Jim Meehan himself….and things only got better from there.
Our next stop was the Bellagio, where I had booked a “Fine Hotels and Resorts” rate for $165/night. I was super excited about this deal, because it included a ton of extra perks:
- Room upgrade upon arrival, when available
- Daily breakfast for two
- $100 food and beverage credit
- Noon early check-in, upon availability
- 4:00 pm guaranteed late check-out
On a dare from my friend, I agreed to try the “$20 trick.” In case you don’t already know, what this means is that you sandwich a folded twenty-dollar bill between your driver’s license and credit card, then present the three items to the front desk agent as you ask if there are any complimentary upgrades available.
Honestly, I was a little scared. I had never done anything like this before! But I figured that the worst thing that could happen would be that I would lose $20…so I went for it. And it worked like a charm. The guy behind the front desk was young and hip. Perfect. He wasn’t phased at all by my request. He simply placed the $20 along with my license on his keyboard, then picked up the phone and made a couple of calls. He was speaking quietly, but I was thrilled when I thought I caught the word “spa.”
Finally he hung up the phone. “So…you were booked into a Deluxe Fountain View room through the Fine Hotels and Resorts program. I tried to get you a Fountain View Suite…but I was able to do a little better than that.”
I was hanging on his every word. “What did you do?” I asked.
“I got you the Penthouse Suite,” he grinned.
I couldn’t help myself. “Woo hoo!” I yelled.
The Penthouse Suites go for around $600/night. They are 1536 square feet, and have three bathrooms, a wet bar, a jacuzzi tub, and a steam shower.
So, after I recovered my composure at the front desk, I thanked the agent profusely. I told him that he made our trip. And from the way he was smiling, it looked like he was glad to do it.
Viva Las Vegas!
Have you ever tried the $20 trick? Were you scared to do it? Did it work for you? What kind of room did you get?