There have been two instances where I’ve turned down a suite upgrade. Surprised? There is definitely an underlying reason. It’s a bit annoying to turn down a generous front desk agent, but it’s just the way things go. Sometimes no suite makes more sense.

This past week I was reminded of why I should have stuck to this plan.

When A Suite Night Equals A Sleepless Night

When I checked into the Talbott Hotel Chicago last week, the front desk had already upgraded my son and I from a basic queen room to one with two queen beds. I’d made a note in the reservation that this is what we’d prefer. They were easily willing to accommodate us (probably due to the fact that both the rate and occupancy had to be atrociously low). However, we arrived very early in the day, and no rooms were available.

I was given the option to upgrade to a studio king with a king and sofa bed. The space was welcome, and I wanted to drop the bags in our actual room if possible, so I accepted. Technically, these aren’t listed as a suite, but they are the same size as the Talbott’s junior suites. Same difference.

Fast forward to the evening, and I was having a hard time convincing my son to sleep in the sofa bed. He’s spent nights in them several times, and while he seems to sleep just fine (as kids do), it was protest as usual. After going a couple trips without sharing a bed, I decided that the king was big enough for the two of us.

Except I’d forgotten the fact that eight-year-olds flail about like soccer player with a fake ankle injury.

I got maybe three hours of sleep. I almost put myself on the sofa bed halfway through the night. It probably would have been the better choice.

The Suite Killer: Two Beds

Traveling with kids means trying to find rooms that accommodate more than two people. Even if only traveling with one kid, I almost always insist on a room with two beds. Things are just better for everyone this way.

What I’ve found is that the two bed request is what kills the suite upgrades. In some cases, hotels are even unable to offer other room types since this request is so limiting. There have been cases where we’ve had to wait for a room with two beds to be cleaned when the hotel had plenty of other rooms available. The typical configuration of a suite seems to be a king bed plus a sofa bed, unless you’re at a hotel that already offers a good amount of space, such as a Residence Inn or Staybridge Suites.

Obviously, there is another solution: just make the kid sleep in the sofa bed. But when you have the option of having two real beds, the latter generally wins.