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.)

  1. Chris said,

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

  2. DaninSTL said,

    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. The Weekly Flyer said,

    Thanks for shout out. The trick works every time like a charm…

  4. beachfan said,

    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.

  5. dhammer53 said,

    This is as good as your old Flyertalk 1000 post update way back when.

  6. Hobo13 said,

    Energy conservation is for the common man.

  7. ChinaGirl said,

    Is there a way to change it back? Wondering if there are any repercussions if they find out you did this after you checked out?

  8. VC said,

    How do you change the thermostat back? The same key combination?

  9. Ryan said,

    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?

  10. Hmm said,

    Doesnt work in Mexico or where the A/C is triggered by movement or if you open and close your door.

  11. Dan said,

    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.

  12. robertw said,

    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.

  13. robertw said,

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

  14. No Fly Zon said,

    A great tip, but it works with ONE brand/model of thermostat…

  15. Randall said,

    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.

  16. Joshua said,

    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!

  17. Nick said,

    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.

  18. JohnBom said,

    Are you writing for Business Insider now?

  19. Gary said,

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

  20. JohnBom said,

    Lifehacker too!

  21. Explore said,

    Didn’t work last night at the Hyatt Regency SFO. Thermostat didn’t go lower than 64 degrees.

  22. laurensfaber said,

    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.

  23. Linda said,

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

  24. Millennium Hotel Minneapolis - The Skeptical Traveler said,

    […] could send someone, seemed too much trouble so I gave up. I wish I would have known about this post How to Override Your Hotel’s Thermostat Controls and Make it as Cool or Hot As You’d Lik…. One of the readers of this post asked in the comments whether “Wondering if there are any […]

  25. What Are Your Hotel Must-Haves? - View from the Wing - View from the Wing said,

    […] of knocking’. It isn’t an emergency.) Don’t turn off the a/c when you service the room. And overriding the hotel’s thermostat should work in warm climates. I want it ultra-clean, and a bathroom with big shower with quality toiletries […]

  26. cruiser said,

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

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