A question I asked on a thread I want to ask here:
If you want an upgrade as a platinum member, does it matter if you contact the hotel lets say a week before your stay as opposed to waiting till checkin / when you arrive for asking? Does it help to contact the hotel in advance?
IME, if you're not a regular at that property they are not likely to confirm an elite upgrade ahead of time. Terms for elites specifically say that the upgrades are based on availability at check-in. No incentive for them to give you an upgrade when they still have a chance to get money for the upgraded room.
The one property where I stay the most they give me an upgrade when I make the reservation. But that's a courtesy not a requirement.
this question has been asked in one form or another as much as any other inquiry. The answer is as fleeting as what someone's lucky charm is..... I have tried many ways to increase my odds, but find it is more or less the luck of the draw. As John mentioned above, your odds go up considerably when you stay at a property you frequent regularly. Your odds go up exponentially if you are staying for a single night. I'm not at all convinced that a call to the property beforehand helps or not, but it's worth a try. I cannot imaging something negative coming from it....
In general, I think shoeman1000 is correct. However remember an upgrade can come in many forms, not necessarily a suite. Some properties have deluxe rooms with a bit more space, high rooms with a view count, and I think having a room on the CL floor may qualify. When I travel for business I really don't care as I am probably not in the room all that much, just want it quiet and clean. I have seen that since my platinum status, I have typically been on the CL floor and have a nice view, but very seldom something more than that when I just take what is assigned. However like I have said in other posts, if my wife is with me either on business or for a personal trip and I would like something special, I will contact the property and make a specific request. I have always been accommodated. Most recently, my wife and daughter who is in college joined me after a business trip in DC. We stayed at the JW and I contacted the hotel and asked if they could make sure I had a room with a nice view of the National Mall. They responded that they would ensure a nice room and did they. Oversize corner room on the southwest corner. Had a great view of the mall, the tidal basin, and the ellipse south of the White House which allowed us to see a presidential motorcade enter the grounds from the 14th street gate. Better than a suite in my opinion.
I always ask nicely and state I understand if space does not allow. I also always email back after the stay and thank them for their help. Helps if you ever need to ask again for the same property.
All of what these folks above have mentioned come in to play when speaking about upgrades.
Shorter stays have a better chance of a bigger upgrade to a corner room or possibly as suite, while having a past presence at a property will go a long way toward getting a preferred room that you enjoy. But, calling the hotel ahead of time is always a good idea and any special events that you might be experiencing while at the property does in most cases help your cause.
Bottom line, just be a fun friendly happy camper and your chances are enhanced just because.