How to Override Your Hotel’s Thermostat Controls and Make it as Cool or Hot As You’d Like

As the sun beats down on my room in the late afternoon, I wanted to crank the a/c up and set the temperature lower than the hotel normally allows it to go.

So I pulled up this four year old post where I passed along a tip for how to override your hotel’s thermostat.

  • Holding down the “display” button
  • While holding that button, press “off”
  • Release off, continue to hold down display, and Press the “up” arrow button
  • Release all buttons

And I did just that. The thermostat read “VIP” and I was able to adjust it all the way down to 60.

But since it’s almost 2014 now, someone else did me one better. They created a YouTube video of themselves pushing the buttons, which may make the tip even clearer.

This also shuts off the thermostat’s motion sensors, too — I hate those because sometimes my room will be baking by the time I return from dinner, or if I sleep too motionless it shuts off, the room warms up, and wakes me.

The things we do to try to get comfortable, eh?!

(Note that my original blog post on this tip four years ago contained a thanks for the information to the Points, Miles, and Martinis blog.)


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  1. I’ve been using this for the last 4 years Gary. One of my all-time favorite travel tips!!! Thanks.

  2. Turning off the motion sensor is great. I like to cool or heat the room while I’m out so when I return I can turn the AC or heat off or so it won’t cycle on easy to avoid noise, like for watching TV.

  3. Awesome tip, Gary. I never knew it was a motion sensor, I thought the hotel turned off all the air in the hotel between 1am and 6am.

  4. This is incredible (just tried it, mind blown) but the guy above had a good question: is there a chance the hotel notices and tries to charge you or something?

  5. Huh. I never knew. And this is after I threw a fit with the Laguna resort in Bali because I couldn’t get it colder than 23c. I can’t sleep unless its colder than 20, so I was *pissed* and they heard about it.

  6. Now this I love. Especially about the motion sensors. Some hotels are being so “green” that the hallways are hot as heck and you get to you room (hot) and the room is also warm and you have to wait until it cools for you. Some people have a hard time falling asleep at a hotel due to all sorts of reasons. One of the tricks is actually to cool the room more than you would at home.

  7. Also I didn’t know that it could cycle off (motionless) like you stated. I think that happened to me on a few occasions.

  8. I don’t think for a second the hotels are being “green” by having this type of technology. They’re using environmentalism as a convenient excuse to cut costs.

  9. Great tip, a real pet peeve of mine, but didn’t work at the Marriott’s I stay at (different type). However, we really need a compendium of brand & models of thermostat to make this right. They all have VIP modes. There is probably just a few across the major chains. Get on it Gary, you’d be my hero!

  10. Don’t worry China, they won’t notice, there are no repercussions, and the T-stat will reset itself in either 12 or 24 hours (I forget). It doesn’t remain in the VIP mode permanently.

  11. @JohnBon – Business Insider is picking up some of my blog posts, e.g. they also published my post on the United devaluation

  12. So this is my pet peeve: thermostats set to stupid cold in the summer. It is a thermostat, if set to 50 degrees, but there’s sun shining into the room and it doesn’t get below 60 setting it to 40 will accomplish absolutely nothing until the sun sets and it will get too cold in the room.

  13. Awesome. You just saved me from freezing here at a hotel in New Jersey. I remembered the post and went back looking for it.

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