Dear Hotels: I’m Not Traveling With The Brady Bunch Or Concubines!

Filed Under: Hotels

Picking up on my post earlier about hotels customizing experiences, is there a way for me to explain to hotels that I’m not traveling with the Brady Bunch and/or a harem of concubines?!

During three of my most recent hotel stays I’ve been upgraded to accommodations with extra beds.

Lots and lots of extra beds.

At the Hotel Pulitzer in Amsterdam I was recently “upgraded” to a family room, which featured a second level with extra beds.



At the Radisson Blu Oslo Airport I was upgraded to some sort of a family room, which featured an extra bed and a crib.



But quite possibly the most bizarre “upgrade” of all is my current room at the Walt Disney World Dolphin (don’t. freaking. ask.), where I didn’t get a room upgrade… but a rooms upgrade.

In fact, I got upgraded to three rooms.




To give you the full experience:

So here are my questions:

  • Am I supposed to assume they intentionally gave me three rooms, or am I supposed to go to the front desk and ask if they just forgot to lock the doors between rooms? When I checked in nothing was mentioned about an upgrade, so I’m not sure what to make of it.
  • If I’m a Platinum guest showing up alone, do they really think three rooms on the ground floor would be preferable to a single room with a view of something?
  • I do a more thorough room inspection than the Secret Service before closing my hotel room door. Do you have any clue how time consuming that is with three rooms and no central lighting controls? It took me a good hour before before I “cleared” the room. I’m more safety conscious than a US airline flight attendant trying to find an excuse not to provide drink service.
  • WTF?

I’m not complaining at all, because in the end I just locked the doors to the other two rooms and had a nice ground floor junior suite, but am I the only one that finds it a bit… odd?

  1. My God that hotel looks dated.
    I get that they don’t have to upgrade as often being in Orlando, but could they have done an upgrade in the 1990-2000 cycle??

  2. Well now you need to tell ME how to get that 3BR suite at Disney World because I *DO* have a Brady Bunch and that room looks AWESOME 🙂

    Seriously though I know what you mean – it goes back to your earlier post about the customization – when hotels (or anywhere really) recognizes you for YOU and provides something that fits YOU, it really does make a ton of difference.

  3. I had a similar upgrade last year at the Swan (granted it was on the top floor). Think there were three rooms that made up my suite and it was about twice the size of my apartment at home.

    My cousin came up to the suite for breakfast one day and thought it was insane that I’d have a room that size to myself.

  4. Holy crap Ben, could you pick a more offensive meme than one featuring a monster who killed her own child & went out partying?? That’s just disgusting.

  5. Here’s my theory — the hotel industry is on to you. They know that you will tell the world if you don’t get an upgrade when you are eligible for one. They know that your readers look to you to decide which loyalty program to join, based on who really gives out the upgrades. So, naturally, they want to make it extremely obvious that you have been UPGRADED. A higher floor or better view is nice, but it’s not 100% proof of an upgrade — especially when you are just looking at a photo on a web site. But extra rooms, and extra beds – now that’s undeniably an upgrade.

  6. Follow up – if you are staying for a while, we’d be happy to bring some bubbly to get a party started. Just need time to get on the evening flight from DEN.


  7. So awful on so many levels. Pretty much every Disney hotel needs a room renovation. I don’t even want to imagine how you ended up at the Dolphin. One room is bad enough, but three? Shivers….

  8. If I had 3 connecting rooms like that, I’d just check the 3 exterior doors. If my key works in all 3, they are all mine. If it only works in one, they forgot to shut the connecting doors from the last guest.

  9. Since you’re pretty much the only person I know who stays in hotels for a living, do you mind sharing your procedure for clearing a hotel room? Some of us may want to adopt some of your practices, though I can’t imagine what could take an hour even for three rooms (unless it’s like cycling every light switch exactly 47 times).

  10. Ben – @steve above is right. You need to change out that image – not sure if you didn’t realize that was Casey Anthony but it is, and it needs to go.

  11. The problem with many hotels is they have this simple formula: “better” room=”bigger” room and “upgrade”=”better”. The problem is the bigger room isn’t always all that different but just has a ton of beds and some other useless feature like a wet bar. I remember getting an upgrade at a Marriott resort in Arizona one time where the room was the same only 3 times bigger. Same beds, same outdated decor, same ugly white furniture and same TV set. Sounds good but the 19″ TV was still mounted to the ugly white furniture across the room from the bed like 25 feet away. It was impossible to watch.

  12. The hotels don’t know how many people you have staying. Even if you have one listed, many times more people will stay. If it bothers you, why don’t you just put something like, I will be the only one staying, please upgrade to a smaller but nicer suite or room.

  13. I thought the baby crib was odd but this one just made me laugh. I would guess as others suggested that they forgot to lock the doors. You are better than me for “clearing the rooms”, I would have called or been back at the front to confirm/request new room. Once in NYC, I was upgraded to a king room with a rooftop patio (lounge chairs, dining area, etc.) where I could have had a fantastic party for twenty but was traveling solo. Sometimes, I wonder if the front desk does room roulette to see what happens with a guest and their reactions.

  14. If my family were to be ever upgraded to a three-room suite, we would be amazed. However, if I were to be upgraded to such a suite while traveling alone, I would certainly find it excessive.

  15. “I’m not complaining”

    You kind of are. Or passively-aggressively bragging? Not sure which, but definitely one of the two 😉


  16. Sorry, I don’t get the big problem. Yes, it’s ridiculously big for 1 person, and I get annoyed/amused too when I’m upgraded to a room that is just silly for a single traveller. But your video shows it takes 58 seconds to go through the whole “complex”, not an hour. And if you had been given a regular room, you would have complained because a suite was available and you weren’t upgraded according to SPG rules.

  17. As an SPG platinum, I have gotten the same multiple room upgrade on the ground floor at the Dolphin when traveling alone but usually for just 1 night stays.i did the same thing and just locked up the half I didn’t use. Across the way at the Swan, I’ve gotten multiple room upgrade on higher floor with multiple balconies facing the Dolphin. For longer than 1 night stays, they usually just give me regular room on higher floor . I end up at these properties too often due to conferences/meetings

  18. This line made my day!

    “I’m more safety conscious than a US airline flight attendant trying to find an excuse not to provide drink service.”

  19. I live 15 minutes from Disney. Would love to bring my nephew for a “night out” if you aren’t using those rooms tomorrow??!!!!

  20. That is an absolutely disgusting meme to use and you are, in fact, complaining essentially about being given a bigger room than you need (something others would be thrilled with), both of which just goes to show really how far out of touch you are with reality.

  21. @ steve – You’re absolutely right, my mistake. Didn’t realize who that was or else I wouldn’t have posted it.

  22. You are a young good looking guy and many that fit that profile like to go out to clubs and party. Maybe they are assuming you will go out and get plastered and want to bring some “friends” back to the room and they figure they might was well make you guys comfortable in a larger room. Or, maybe its just because you spend a lot of money on hotel rooms.

  23. Yea, I feel this is just the standard “they want an upgrade, so give them the super sized room that we didn’t sell”.

    My “complaint” is that when traveling with someone, I never get the “real” upgrades. When by myself and on a short “just passing thru”, I get the Presidential Penthouse.

    My funniest ws Hyatt Regency Albuquerque. Was upgraded to the standard “suite” which is really 2 rooms, one having a murphy bed folded up so that was my “living room”. This was my first stay in such a room. Gave me the keys to 2 rooms which I didn’t realize at first. Glad she did because the connector door was locked on both sides 🙂
    If I had walked into the bedroom 1st, I probably would’ve thot “this is an upgrade ??”. As it was, I entered the living room and was puzzled about where I was supposed to sleep. I finally put 2-n-2 together but was still nervous going into the hallway and entering the 2nd room, thinking I might walk in on someone.

    Same hotel also upgraded me an apartment one time. The living/dining/kitchen looked to be about 3 normal rooms w/o the walls. Not only that, the ceiling height was that of 2 floors.

    My sweetest upgrade was Grand Hyatt Tampa. Blue Heron Suite. The entry way had a baby grand piano and that was just the introduction to the suite. I haven’t seen it since they remodeled.

  24. I think u are a celebrity in the hotel/aviation industry.. Didn’t a receptionist or a flight attendant ever told u “im a big fan of your blog” ? 😀
    I mean that would be my reaction if I ever met u on a flight ..:D

  25. I previously found the Swan and Dolphin pretty stingy with upgrades, wish I’d had that sort of upgrade (their decor is definitely dated but location is superb).

    Best upgrade I’ve had was at the Hilton Lake Taupo where I got a one bedroom king apartment (complete with balcony, kitchen, washing machine, dishwasher, etc.!) for the princely sum of NZ$175 😀

  26. I feel your pain, Ben. As a single, I have been upgraded to multiple rooms as well, and even the Presidential Suite at the Hyatt Regency Orange County which was awesome, but fell on Labor Day weekend when all of my local friends all had other plans. When I get the multiple rooms, I ask for an alternative room: one that is quiet and overlooking something beautiful.

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *