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

Hotel thermostat hack: 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.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. […] Thanks to my buddy Gary Leff for teaching me this great trick: how to override your hotel room thermostat and set it as hot or cold as you like. I’m sure you’ve been in hotels where the lowest or hottest setting isn’t good enough for you. Well it turns out that hotels have these thermostat preset to save money—and this short video teaches you how to override those presets. I don’t condone abusing it, so only use it when you need it and be sure to change it back before walking out of your room each day. […]


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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?

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

  12. Did not work on hilton garden inn INNCOM thermostat. Maybe the hotel’s realized people are overriding the system. Any other suggestions?

  13. Yeehaa and a few Hallelujahs!!!
    Spend half my year in Hotels and it should be MY choice how cold I want it!!!!! I paid for the room!

  14. I just checked into a Hampton Inn with a Daikin thermostat and tried a similar key input to the Inncom hack and it worked. I held down the Mode button, then pushed the power button and then pushed the up arrow button. The unit was on when I did this and it powered off after hitting the up arrow. I turned it back on and was then able to turn the AC down below the 68 degrees the hotel had the low temp lock set to, hope this works for others.

  15. This is a good work around and have used it a few times.

    I generally ask upon check in if the climate control for the room being issued is motion sensor controlled. Staff are well trained to sheepishly act like this is the first time that they have heard about any such practice. They will offer to send maintenance up to verify that everything is in good working order, i.e., show me how to set the thermostat – give me a break!

    Having climate control that does not operate as a customer would expect is a cheat and form of fraud. If I awake from a room temperature that is not operating at the thermostat set-point I call the front desk immediately and ask that it be noted because it will be discussed at check out. The whole reason I am there is to SLEEP. If they cannot provide climate control that supports sleep it should be disclosed when you book the room as the cancellation rules are. When this occurs and the property does not offer a reasonable resolve, I inform the franchise. IHG did nothing, Delta and Marriott did.

    Guess which franchise I not longer patronize?

  16. Just used this at a Hampton Inn near Northampton, MA. Worked like a champ. The video does help as all you have to do is tap the off button and then the up button. And not try to hold them down for any period of time. Here’s to hoping for a very comfortable night’s sleep now!

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