It feels surreal. That’s the first thought when you find yourself 40 stories up in an incredible city sipping craft cocktails and champagne while savoring delicious canapés overlooking the skyline. You’ve probably seen the “club level” option when booking your hotel and there are times when the extra cost is totally worth it and there are times when it’s best to give it a hard pass. Here’s how to decide once and for all…

Club Level Is Worth It When The Price Is Right + You’ve Done Research…

For cash bookings, whether club level is worth it depends on the difference between the best available rate for any room and the cheapest rate for a club room. If the difference is a number which you’re confident you can make up in complimentary breakfast, cocktails, evening canapés and additional privileges such as garment pressing, business services or even airport transfers it’s often a good buy. The key is knowing what’s on offer…

Club Level Offerings Vary By Property And Region, So Research Really Is Everything…

Always Google “(Insert) hotel club lounge” first. At the best of times club level means an incredible room with complimentary first rate food and drinks all day, enough that you’d never need to buy a meal elsewhere! At the worst of times the room is about the same, the coffee is decent and the store bought pastries just don’t quite hit the spot and alcohol? Yeah, there is none. You’ll generally find the very best club lounge offerings in Asia, Europe and Middle East/Africa, often with the most wowing in Southeast Asian countries rich in hospitality. In the US, unless it’s a stunning property it’s often a “miss”.

And If You Peak In And Get Jealous You Can Often “Upgrade” After Booking Or At Check in Using Points Or Cash…

Even when hotels are part of a larger chain they often have tons of discretion with how they let people into club lounges. In many circumstances they’ll be very willing to “upgrade” you at check in, perhaps for less than the original cost difference between rooms. At hotels with loyalty programs you can often use points or a combination of points and cash to upgrade. The best example of this is Hyatt’s Suite Upgrades, which are just a mere 3,000 points for a club room or 6,000 points for a suite per night!