No upgrade? “Sorry sold out!” Do you believe hotels when they say this?

So you check in at the hotel and they give you a room key. “Did you manage to upgrade me?” you ask, being sure that the answer is going to be positive.

“No sir, I am sorry, we’re sold out”

What? The lobby is empty, no roaming bands of conventioneers, no groups of language students, no anyone.

So what do you do when this happens?

  • Accept it, after all you’re only sleeping in the room?
  • Demand to see the manager?
  • Check-out what the hotel is still selling for rooms?

Me, I do the last one. Pop up to the room, get out the laptop and have a look at what they still have for sale. If it’s truly sold out their web site is going to tell you.

This was my experience recently at the Grand Hyatt New York, a huge property right next to Grand Central Terminal on 42nd St.

Grand Hyatt New York - Grand Club lobby

My previous stay had been pretty poor and one of the managers asked me to email him before I came next time, so he could make sure I had a nicer room. I duly did this, and arrived thinking that a combination of this and my status might get me a better room. How wrong could I be?

28th floor, tiny room at the end of the corridor.

I checked the web site and they had a number of better room types still for sale, and to add insult to injury my standard room was about $30 cheaper than when I booked.

I did email the team that sends you a welcome email in advance of your stay to ask what had happened and they repeated the ‘sold out’ story. When I sent the web page, then it was an ‘error’ on the site. But here are 10,000 Gold Passport points for your trouble. The next day someone else reached out and offered a two category upgrade if I wanted to move for my last night. No thanks.

Oh, and I checked the second night and it too had rooms!

So, perhaps it’s just a rogue property, or a ghost in the machine that is the Hyatt web site. I don’t know, but it didn’t make me feel great about how this property looks after its Diamonds.


  1. Slightly off topic, but how close is this hotel to some of the major NY tourist sites and Broadway theater? I’m taking my nephew for his first trip there and care more about location that hotel comfort ( though I managed to get a diamond suite upgrade). Thanks for any thoughts

  2. This specific hotel has a lot to be desired both as a diamond and non-diamond. I purchased a suite at this hotel last year (for work) and when I walked in, the drapes crashed into a vase and caused a mess. (that was just the beginning)

    Before, I had junior suites and they always smelled like cigarettes. These were two random dates too with two different rooms.

    The public spaces (and RC) always seem fine though.

  3. @shaun – it’s in a good location in my view. You can get downtown easily, as well as walk to everywhere you need to be. There is literally an exit off the main concourse in to Grand Central and a short walk to the subway.

  4. That’s why I always have my phone out on the hotel’s app.

    “We’re sold out of suites”
    “Your website says you have at least one for sale”

    That’s gotten me several upgrades.

  5. 10,000 points compensation? Perfect… Next time you pre-book a suite upgrade or you use them for the points portion of a Category 5 P+C award night.

  6. Great location, but worst Hyatt I’ve ever stayed in. Poor service, tiny bathrooms and they don’t care.

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