What do you look for in a hotel suite?

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  • JH_1234

    I wonder whether, as with (perhaps it could be argued) First Class on some airlines, one of the main reasons for suites to exist is to allow an upgrade path to ‘surprise and delight’ valued guests?

    I’ve enjoyed quite a few suite upgrades over the years and it does make one feel appreciated and inclined to return. I have occasionally paid for suites when the price has been reasonable, but usually just as a treat for a special occasion, not for a specific purpose other than it being nice to have some extra space. If I need to meet clients, I tend to use the lounge or associated meeting room in preference to my own room.

    For me though, the real question is: What would make me stay in a hotel suite over a serviced apartment (given that, especially in Asia, one can often get an apartment for the price of a regular hotel room, and a 2 or 3 bedroom one for the price of a suite). Space is a given of course, but I think it would come down to, as others have mentioned, extra facilities (e.g. club/executive lounge access) or priority services and recognition. An example of that, that I think hotels could make more of, is the option to take, say, your club lounge amenities (e.g. breakfast, afternoon tea) in your suite at no extra charge (I don’t think I’ve ever seen that explicitly listed as a room benefit, and only once have I had it proactively offered).

    I wonder how many would admit that being able to say “I’m staying in The Don’t You Know Who I Am Suite” might also be a factor? 😉

    But to specifically answer the original question, I think perhaps I would look for ‘wow factor’ (or at least a pleasant surprise). Sure, there’s all the practical aspects of more space, separate rooms, kitchenette, free mini bar perhaps… but if I’m going to pay extra for a room that, arguably, I don’t really need but am quite happy to want, then it needs to be special. I want to walk in and be impressed. My best example of that so far I think would have to be the time I got upgraded to a ridiculously huge duplex suite where, after spending about half an hour exploring, I discovered a sauna hiding next to the master bathroom (which itself featured a huge jacuzzi as well as the usual bath and shower).

    That said, one of my favourite rooms anywhere is not actually a suite at all, but a ‘secret’ (unlisted) room type at one of my regular city-centre Hiltons, having a large balcony/roof terrace/garden that allows me to relax outdoors in peace and quiet, away from the noise of the pool area. Can’t be pre-booked, and only available on request / via upgrade at check-in, but worth its weight etc if you can get it. Was definitely a nice surprise the first time I was given that room, not least because having arrived after dark, I only discovered the outdoor space when I opened the curtains in the morning!


    One thing that I do look for in hotel suites (and regular rooms too) is somewhere decent to sit, rather than the bed!

    So many hotels provide chairs or/and sofas that are just plain uncomfortable – its seems they choose them based purely on design rather than function…

    And yes, a decent coffee machines (NO to instant rubbish) is also quite a big issue for me, especially if there is no executive lounge….& lets not even go there on the hideous UHT milk cartons provided by so many properties!


    For many years I spend a week every month at the Sheraton in Sofia. As well as getting a lifetime gold card and enough points of a few holidays, I always got an upgrade to the best available room which, as often as not, was the Presidential Suite – dining room, living room, kitchen, study and 2 bedrooms.

    One stay was immediately after Bill Clinton had been in town and had taken over the hotel for his stay. I joked that I hope they had changed the sheets on the bed, knowing Bill’s reputation. The Manager laughed and explained that ‘The President never sleeps in the presidential suite’. That would be far too great a security risk. Some poor decoy from his party gets that honor.

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    I’ve never booked a suite but have been upgraded reasonably regularly.
    Always looked at it as a bonus and enjoyed the space, especially when it came with a balcony. However , it still feels like staying in a hotel, just plusher .
    And I hate “living” in a hotel , limiting my time staying in a hotel

    When I book for leisure I now book AirBnB as it delivers all of what people are looking for and for me, more importantly its not a hotel.

    A couple of years back, I couldn’t get my normal apartment in DB, and had to stay at the Auberge. Fantastic hotel but it was still a hotel . For the first time staying in HK I felt like a tourist staying in a hotel, rather than frequent visitor with local knowledge living within the community .


    1. Light switches I can understand: not a system where, whenever I turn one light off, another one comes on somewhere and it takes me 10 minutes to work it all out.
    2. TV, likewise.
    3. A proper bedside reading light, not an overhead spot light or a lampshade jobbie. And one which doesn’t shine in the Wife’s eyes while I’m reading.
    4. A comfy chair.

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    Good letter from someone else who hates hotel rooms where you can’t open a window.

    Why don’t hotel windows open?

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    I always assumed that it was to prevent accidents and suicides.

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