We engineer a semiconductor microcavity through an appropriate choice of geometry and materials in order to maximise the exciton-photon coupling. The polaritonic nonlinearities in such devices survive at high temperatures and high excitation densities. We measure parametric polariton amplification up to 220 K in CdTe microcavities and up to 120 K in GaAs ones. The amplification is also outstanding, reaching as much as 5000 at low temperature. The experimental observations suggest that the operating temperature can be further improved by optimising the present technology, so that a real-world polariton amplifier appears no more as a mirage.