While I wish I had some insight to Hilton Worldwide’s reaction to the HHonors Premium Room Rewards points devaluation discussion, I don’t. What I have learned from HotelNewsNow today is Hampton turns to guests, developers for innovation and oatmeal is the corporate reaction coming soon to a Hampton Inn near you. Oatmeal and 12 toppings to be more precise.
Now I am all for oatmeal. I cook a cup of old-fashioned or steel cut oatmeal five days a week, and since it is semi-fluid nutrition Kelley can eat her breakfast from a cup while driving 40 miles to work.
Hampton’s Innovation Process
According to the Hotel News Now article, Hampton’s innovation process is a multi-step process.
Kurt Smith, VP of product quality and innovation for Hilton’s focused-service brands, described Hampton’s innovation process. The steps:
I have to wonder if we are currently at Stage 8 with Premium Rewards when it seems like there was little adjustment made to the new reward option for Steps 5, 6 and 7, except perhaps to devalue HHonors points even further after six months of trial period Premium Room Rewards between April and October 2011.
I’ll just leave you with this quote from the HNN article by Phil Cordell, global head of focused service and Hampton brand management for Hilton Worldwide.
“We realized the roadside driver that is willing to pay (US)$139 along the roadside also is willing to pay (US)$600 in midtown Manhattan,” Cordell said. “So we have a significant opportunity in urban markets.”
That brings back memories of 2007 when I felt hotel rates were quickly rising to unsustainable levels for the vast majority of the traveling public.
Look out your hotel doors Hilton executives! The 99%ers are occupying and sleeping on the roadside for free in their tents. Perhaps you can market to the 1% willing to pay $600 in midtown Manhattan.
At 40,000 points per night those Manhattan Hampton Inns are a good value on HHonors points when the rate is $400 per night. But expect to pay about 120,000 points per night for that Hampton Inn if only Premium Room Upgrade Rewards are available.
And expect all those Manhattan Hampton Inn hotels to become Category 7 hotels (or higher) if rates actually do hit $600.
Just look on the bright side and remember that Hilton Worldwide listens to its guests.
You can count on a free breakfast of oatmeal with a choice of 12 toppings at Hampton Inn, regardless of the rate you pay.
Hilton HHonors Rate Analysis for Points & Money and Premium Room Rewards (May 9, 2011) Premium Room Reward points value was $6.00 per 1,000 points.
HHonors Premium Room Rewards Impacting Diamond Reservations Guarantee (June 20, 2011) Premium Room Reward points value is as low as $2,56 per 1,000 points in rate searches.
HHonors Premium Room Rewards Analysis and Flexible Dates search tool (October 10, 2011)
HHonors Representative responds to hotels offering only Premium Room Rewards issue. (October 14, 2011) Value for Premium Room Rewards is about $3.34 per 1,000 HHonors points at U.S. properties and US$4.29 per 1,000 points at international properties. Quite a drop from the $6.00 value calculated in May 2011 in first post during the trial period for these new HHonors rewards.