Hotel Upsells for Increased Revenue | Hotelogix

Upselling in hotels can have a bad reputation. Upselling your hotel is not about pushing unneeded room upgrades or services on guests; instead, it is about learning your guest’s desires and catering to them with premium offerings. Enhancing the guest experience is at the heart of upselling techniques in hospitality. Upselling should be a natural solution to a guest’s desires or requests. Not to mention, upselling helps boost revenue.

It’s important to carefully choose when and how to upsell guests, so it does not risk coming off as pushy or insensitive. Again, most guests openly welcome an upsell if it fulfils a need they have!

Make Options Visible

One easy way to implicitly upsell guests before they even arrive is to advertise your special services or add-ons on your website. When guests discover these services themselves while browsing the website, they may be more likely to add them to their stay, influenced by the feeling of finding something unique to enhance their vacation.

To imagine this in action, suppose someone has logged on and begun to book a reservation for the honeymoon suite at your hotel. Once they have selected their check-in and check-out dates, your website automatically reloads to a page just before the payment screen with extra add-ons. This could be items like a bottle of champagne, flowers, a spa day for two in the on-site facility, and so on. When presented with these options right away, guests may opt for extra services in pursuit of getting the most out of the experience.

Another example is, imagine someone books an economical room on your website. Before checking out, your website launches a pop-up that shows them they could book the larger king suite for just $50 more per night. They can switch their reservation over right then and there (thanks to web-based booking and channel management software tools) allowing you to upsell seamlessly.

Essentially, with a website, integrated online booking tool, and some creative marketing, you can get some guests to upsell themselves.

Get to Know Your Guests

Today, hoteliers are lucky to have software that makes check-in seamless and quick (and in some cases, completely contactless). However, that doesn’t mean hotel staff shouldn’t be engaging with guests. In fact, these technologies enable staff to engage more with guests and focus on the experience.

However, there is a precious balance in this act. Staff shouldn’t see a family walk through the door and assume they will want a cable upgrade or passes to the local waterpark just because they have children. This is where hospitality professionals need to sharpen their fact-finding and discovery skills with each guest that walks through the door.

Hospitality employees should aim, first and foremost, to make a genuine connection with the guest. You can form a rapport with guests in many ways, but the fastest way may surprise you: ask open-ended questions and let them lead the conversation.

Asking a question such as “Was your plane ride long?”, results in two answers: yes or no. This limits the amount of information the guest will feel necessary to share and limits avenues for continuing the conversation. Instead, questions like “How was your travel here?”, or “What excites you about this trip?”, can enable a much more interesting conversation. Guests are more likely to divulge more personal information this way, and as a result, the staff member gains more insight to anticipate their needs.

Provide a Seamless Experience

Interaction with hospitality may not be the first on every guest’s priority list: and that is okay! Technology, such as integrated hotel apps, can allow your guests to browse in-house activities and add-ons at their leisure.

For example, a guest may decline any additional services at the front desk, but the staff member is keen and reminds them of the free mobile app should they change their minds. Later that night, perhaps the guest wished they would have added the hotel’s morning yoga program to their stay. Instead of waiting until the morning to visit the front desk, or giving up on it altogether, the guest can book a morning yoga session for the next morning right from their phone.

Putting the power in the guest’s hands can feel like a gamble, but if hospitality employees are sure to remind guests of the technology available to them, guests will utilize it to great benefit.

Identify Occasions

Certain groups at your hotel will have rather predictable wants and needs. By using an online booking tool, guests can note why they will be staying there. Or a staff member may simply find this out by asking, “What is the reason for your visit?”, with a smile. Upselling techniques in hotels rely on knowing your guests’ reason for being there!

Certain groups and types of occasions are great candidates for certain upsells. This includes parties such as:

  • Birthday parties, bachelorette or bachelor parties, reunions, and company retreats may be great candidates for offers like limo reservations, inclusive passes to bars or clubs, and room service.
  • Wedding parties can be great candidates for special services like spa passes, salon services, special in-room décor, or bottles of champagne on ice.
  • Couples celebrating an anniversary, honeymoon, or just looking to enjoy each other’s company are fabulous candidates for services like tickets to nearby excursions, fine-dining reservations, spa days, and room service.

The point of hospitality is to make the guest feel special. This includes paying attention to what occasion they are celebrating and what brings them in. Just acknowledging the guest’s reason for travel will make them feel seen, but offering special services catered to their specific event will make them feel truly special.

Offer Practical Services

Let’s face it: not every guest is going to be interested in a luxury spa session or room service during their stay. Upselling in the hospitality industry is all about the guest. However, many guests are interested in practical ancillary services that make their stay easier.

Implement additional services that appeal to a wide variety of guests, such as:

  • Transportation services to and from your local airport
  • Early check-in and/or bag storage for early arrivals
  • Extended check-out deadlines
  • Guided tours of the property to acclimate themselves

By offering truly practical add-on services, you will capture a broader audience of guests who may want to purchase these services. Almost everyone loves an offering that will make their trip easier!

Be Natural

Finally, although every hotel wants to upsell and increase revenue, it’s important not to push guests toward add-ons or upgrades. It’s much more important to have a satisfied guest who will book over and over than a guest who was successfully upsold but will never return because the experience made them uncomfortable or frustrated.

The truth is that some guests want a low-key, no-frills experience. Guests may be traveling to your hotel for a myriad of reasons, some of which are not so fantastical, like attending a funeral or stopping over for a few nights due to travel complications.

Always offer services and add-ons where it feels appropriate but remember it’s okay for guests to decline these! The guest experience comes first and foremost. You’d much rather have a guest who declined extra offers leave a positive review about your hotel online than receive a negative review from a guest who was repeatedly pestered with upsells after declining them.

Guests will say “Yes!” to the right experiences for them.


Upselling in hotels carries many benefits, it enhances the guest experience, increases guest satisfaction, and makes more revenue for the hotel. By using savvy rapport building, identifying guests’ needs, leveraging technology, and knowing when to offer what service, your hotel upsells will increase naturally.