“Hotels don’t want you to know this, but many of them give free upgrades. I know a sneaky but effective way to get one—and I’ve done it myself many times. The night before you check in, call the concierge for restaurant recommendations and casually mention how excited you are for the trip and that it’s a special occasion. If it’s a specific noteworthy celebration—a birthday, an anniversary—by all means, mention that, too. You may score a nicer room and a comped bottle of wine as well. Once you’re at the hotel, come by the concierge desk after 6 p.m. to ask about other activities. Many guests will have gone to dinner, and we can devote more time to finding you deals. Most concierges have discount vouchers and coupons for museums and tourist attractions, but that’s not all: Often we can help you score secret friends-and-family discounts at local department stores, which can save you a ton if you plan to go on a shopping spree. We can also provide services you would pay more for elsewhere. Once a guest needed flowers for an event she was attending. I picked out a bunch at the market and arranged them for her myself. Not only were they beautiful but the guest walked away paying only a fraction of what she would have been charged by a florist.”
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