How We Upgraded to a Vegas Penthouse for (Almost) Free!
Updated: Aug 3, 2022
Learn how we obtained upgraded rooms, including a Vegas penthouse for almost free. Now, this is not the kind of thing that happens every day - but it was our lucky day. This blog post will give you some of the tips and tricks we learned that helped us secure a luxury Vegas vacation experience for a low price. Enjoy!
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1. Get a night or two, COMPED.
During our trip, we stayed at the Mandalay Bay properties. Mandalay Bay is a member of MGM International, which has a rewards program called M Life Rewards. M Life Rewards gives you loyalty points for money you spend on shows, hotel rooms, food, and casinos at MGM properties. One way to secure loyalty points and secure M Life Rewards is through the MyVegas App. MyVegas features a series of slot machine games where you can earn loyalty points for free. The more loyalty points you accumulate, the more you can redeem for rewards like comped (free) nights at the MGM LV hotels. There are a number of resources on the web, such as MyVegas Advisor and the Ace of Vegas Youtube Channel that can give you pointers on how to earn loyalty points quickly.
We started playing MyVegas a couple of months before our trip and earned a free night's stay at Mandalay Bay.
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2. Learn the $20 Trick.
I learned about the $20 trick through blog posts just like this one. Essentially, it is a way to secure a complimentary upgrade. When you approach the check-in desk and the staff asks for your name and identification, you will present a prepared "sandwich." The sandwich is composed of your ID at the top, your credit card at the bottom, and a folded $20 bill in the middle. You ask if there are any complimentary upgrades available to a suite. If there are, the receptionist will take your $20 and reassign your room. If one is not available, they will hand the $20 back to you.
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3. Execute the $20 Trick.
There are a few thing that you can do to increase your chances of success:
- Reserve your accommodations through the hotel website
- Mention a special occasion, such as a birthday or anniversary
- Be polite, ask the staff member's name, and ask him/her about their day
- Include your M Life Reward Card in the sandwich
When we arrived in Vegas at the Mandalay Bay, we stopped by the M Life Rewards Desk to pick up our Rewards cards. We then presented it at check-in with the rest of the sandwich and followed the steps above. My boyfriend mentioned that we were celebrating my birthday and asked if any complimentary upgrades were available. Although there were no suites available when we checked in the first night, we were still able to be upgraded from an 8th to a 52nd floor room. We were also given a $75.00 food and beverage credit for our stay. Not bad!
At the end of the day, we came to Mandalay Bay with a comped room from MyVegas free slot games and left with a 52nd story room with food and beverage credits...all for $20.00 (+resort fees).
4. Voice concerns and leave feedback about your room.
If something about your room or suite is not to your liking, let the staff know! Managers and hotel staff appreciate honest feedback about your experience. If there is something that is bothersome, such as a leaking faucet or a broken appliance, let. the staff. know.
And also, don't be afraid to ask for...you guessed it...a complimentary upgrade for your inconvenience. Obviously, you shouldn't lie about any issues with your room. But if there are problems with your stay, don't just suffer through them. Inquire into the possibility of changing rooms. Perhaps on a higher floor. Or even upgrading to a suite if they have them available.
During our July stay in Vegas, we also stayed at the Delano. The Delano is a beautiful boutique hotel on the Mandalay Bay property that offers nothing but suite stays. We booked the Delano for $87.00 per night through Expedia a couple of months before our stay. While there, we did have some problems with the drainage in our bath tub. To make up for the inconvenience, we asked if any complimentary upgrades were available to a better suite. The manager offered us one of the Delano Panoramic penthouse suites for the remainder of our stay. This penthouse, on weekend nights, runs close to $1000.00 per night. It is 1500 sqft. with a spacious bedroom, bathroom, living room, bar, and dining area. We now highly recommend the Mandalay Bay properties to anyone we know going to Vegas, because we know that Mandalay Bay and the Delano are serious about customer satisfaction.
Lessons learned: Ask. The worst that anyone can say is no. Most people will certainly NEVER get upgraded from a standard room to a penthouse suite, but using these tips, you may score a room with a better view or extra food and beverage credits. Give it a try on your next trip to Vegas.
Have you ever succeeded in snagging complimentary upgrades? Let us know in the comments below!
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