3 Scenarios in Which Suites May Be Overrated

Ahh, that spacious set of rooms known as a suite. A symbol of luxury and status glorified on television, in the movies, and by fellow bloggers in the miles, points and travel space — pun intended. A place to stretch out and enjoy the opulence associated with just being in one of them…

3 Scenarios in Which Suites May Be Overrated

Grand Hilton Seoul

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

…but suites can potentially be overrated in three different scenarios, depending on the situation. If you are traveling with a family, being upgraded to a suite can be a pleasant and welcome surprise — especially if you want a separate room for the kids within the same space instead of simply a separate bed or two completely separate rooms.

If you are traveling on business and need to host a small meeting or party, a suite can definitely foot the bill — especially if you still want a room to get away from it all for the moment, which is usually the purpose of the bedroom portion of the suite…

1. Why Need a Suite When Traveling Alone?

Hilton Sharjah

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

…but for the life of me, I cannot understand why a single lone traveler would want a suite — other than perhaps bragging rights?

I have been upgraded to many suites over the years — some of them with the Presidential moniker — and I still find myself using only the bedroom and master bathroom areas.

You know — the areas one finds in a typical hotel room.

This video shows the suite which I received as a surprise at the Hilton Tallinn Park hotel property in Estonia.

Having a fully furnished dining area is nice, I suppose — along with the two couches, several more chairs, two televisions, three telephones, two desks, separate climate control units, three sinks, two toilets, a dozen lights, and plenty of cabinet and closet space. I just find that when I am alone, I just do not have a need for all that space.

Don’t get me wrong — I would typically never say no to an upgrade to a spacious and fully equipped suite at a hotel or resort property…

…but I honestly never understood why a lone traveler would be disappointed or upset at not getting upgraded to a suite during a stay — let alone purposely try to either pay for a suite or upgrade to a suite.

2. A Dated and Depressing Suite Which is Little More Than Bare Space

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Lawrence

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

I have been upgraded to suites which technically fit the literal definition of a suite — a large space with separate rooms which can be private through the use of doors — but they are either dark and dingy despite turning on all of the lights or opening the window shades and curtains; dated with furniture and decorations from decades ago; equipped with an uncomfortable bed with an old mattress; filthy and not kept well; barely furnished where I had little more to stare at than basically bare walls…

…or a combination thereof.

A bright, cozy and comfortable room which is nicely decorated — and with at least one large window — would almost always be my preference over a depressing suite which has seen better days.

3. Rooms Which Pretend to Be Suites

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Have you ever felt like you scored an upgrade to a suite — only to have walked into nothing more than a barely oversized room with little more than a partial divider which is approximately four feet tall?

Throw in a sofa bed, an extra table and a lamp, and — voilà! You have a suite — or so management of the hotel property wants you to believe, anyway.

One of the most valuable aspects of a suite is the ability to close off the space of one area for privacy purposes — something which most of these ersatz suites are not equipped to do. A second bathroom can come in really handy for a family, meeting or party — but again, the pseudo-suite fails in this area too.

Even worse is if you spent money to book a reservation for the capabilities of a suite — more than for the typical room, of course — only to find that your suite is really little more than a larger version of a typical room.


Surprise upgrades to a larger room or a suite may always be welcome; but do your due diligence in ensuring that you are getting exactly what you pay for when using money or frequent travel loyalty program miles or points to pay for your suite…

…as well as ensuring that the suite actually serves a purpose for you if you do indeed pay for it.

All photographs ©2014, ©2015, ©2017 and ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

One thought on “3 Scenarios in Which Suites May Be Overrated”

  1. WR2 says:

    1. Impress any lady visitors you may happen to have 😉
    2. less depressing space, like you don’t have to eat in your bed.
    3. Sometimes better amenities or nicer facilities like shower, bathtub, coffee maker, etc
    4. Will be on a floor that is generally less noisy
    5. You will get lounge access (in case no upgrade might mean no access)
    6. To keep some other a-hole from getting the upgrade.

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