Jan262012

Upgraded hotel benefits for HHonors Diamond elites

Hilton HHonors revised the list of elite benefits for Hilton, Doubletree, Conrad and Waldorf Astoria hotel stays. For Diamond members it appears to be an upgrade. Hilton HHonors Gold elites are less assured the changes are an enhancement to the former room upgrade policy.

Basically the wording states Gold and Diamond members will receive an upgrade if available for the entire stay to at least the next higher category room, but the type of upgrade is solely at the discretion of the hotel. Diamond members have the word “suite” as a room type possibility, but there is no language compelling a hotel to give a member a suite.

New HHonors Diamond Elite Benefits Policy:

Conrad® Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts and DoubleTree by Hilton™ Benefits

All Hilton HHonors Diamond guests will receive each of the following:

  • Upgrades to Preferred Rooms.
    Diamond HHonors guests will receive upgrades to preferred rooms, based on availability for the entire stay at the time of check-in. Upgrades for Diamond HHonors guests may include the next-best available room from the room type booked. Upgrades may also be rooms with desirable views, corner rooms, rooms on high floors, rooms with special amenities, rooms on Executive Floors**, or suites, as identified by each property. Some exclusions based on rate and room type may apply. See Terms & Conditions for details.
  • 1,000 Hilton HHonors® Bonus Points per stay.
  • Continental Breakfast.
    You will receive complimentary Continental breakfast for you and up to one additional registered hotel guest each day of your stay.
  • Executive Floor Lounge Access.
    You will always enjoy access to the Executive Floor Lounge, even if you do not receive a room upgrade to the Executive Floor. Executive Floor Lounges are available only at select Conrad® Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, and DoubleTree by Hilton™ properties.

** Executive Lounge Access Policy

The following policy will apply at all Waldorf Astoria® Hotels & Resorts, Conrad® Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, and DoubleTree by Hilton™ hotels with Executive Floor Lounges. Executive Floor Lounges are available only at select properties.

  • If you are a Gold HHonors guest, you and up to one additional registered guest will be granted complimentary access to the Executive Floor Lounge only if you receive a room upgrade to the Executive Floor or an upgrade to a room type that confers Executive Floor Lounge access benefits.
  • If you are a Diamond HHonors guest, you and up to one additional registered guest will always enjoy complimentary access to the Executive Floor Lounge, even if you do not receive a room upgrade to the Executive Floor.

Diamond Benefits when staying at Waldorf Astoria hotels:

  • Expedited HHonors check in at designated desk
  • Late checkout based on availability
  • Two bottles of water per stay
  • Complimentary health club access where available, owned and operated by the hotel
  • Welcome beverage (up to two guests)
  • Upgrades to preferred rooms*, which may include suites, Executive Floor rooms, or the next-best available room from the room type booked. Upgrades are granted on a space-available basis for the entire stay, as determined at the time of check-in. (Excludes Napua Tower at Grand Wailea and Imperial Floor at Rome Cavalieri)
  • Access to the Waldorf Astoria Lounge, even if you do not receive a room upgrade. (PLEASE NOTE: Lounges are available only at select Waldorf Astoria properties.)
  • Choose TWO of the following on-property benefits:
    • 1,000 Hilton HHonors bonus points
    • One in-room movie included with your stay (where locally available)
    • Discount at Hotel/Resort facility – either Spa, Golf or Restaurant as designated by the Hotel/Resort management

*Note: if a room upgrade is not available, the member will receive all of the above benefits.

 

New Hilton HHonors Gold Elite Benefits Policy:

Conrad® Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts and DoubleTree by Hilton™ Benefits

All Hilton HHonors Gold guests will receive the following:

  • Upgrades to Preferred Rooms..
    Gold HHonors guests will receive upgrades to preferred rooms, based on availability for the entire stay at the time of check-in. Upgrades for Gold HHonors guests may include the next-best available room from the room type booked. Upgrades may also be rooms with desirable views, corner rooms, rooms on high floors, rooms with special amenities or rooms on Executive Floors**, as identified by each property. Some exclusions based on rate and room type may apply. See Terms & Conditionsfor details.

AND choose ONE of the following:

  • Earn 1,000 Hilton HHonors® Bonus Points per stay.
  • Continental Breakfast.
    You will receive complimentary Continental breakfast for you and up to one additional registered hotel guest each day of your stay.

** Executive Floor Lounge Access Policy

The following policy will apply at all Waldorf Astoria® Hotels & Resorts, Conrad® Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, and DoubleTree by Hilton™ hotels with Executive Floor Lounges. Executive Floor Lounges are available only at select properties.

  • If you are a Gold HHonors guest, you and up to one additional registered guest will be granted complimentary access to the Executive Floor Lounge only if you receive a room upgrade to the Executive Floor or an upgrade to a room type that confers Executive Floor Lounge access benefits.

Gold Benefits when staying at Waldorf Astoria hotels:

  • Expedited HHonors check in at designated desk
  • Late checkout based on availability
  • Two bottles of water per stay
  • Complimentary health club access where available, owned and operated by the hotel
  • Welcome beverage (up to two guests)
  • One category room upgrade* (excludes suites, Napua Tower at Grand Wailea and Imperial Floor at Rome Cavalieri) and choose ONE  of the following:
    • 1,000 HHonors bonus points
    • One in-room movie included with your stay (where locally available)

    *Note:  if a room upgrade is unavailable, the member will receive both of the above benefits.

 

What do the changes mean?

The wording is open-ended and leaves room upgrades to the hotel’s discretion. That is kind of what the procedure has always been so I’m not really sure these changes have a great impact on room upgrades. Diamonds have a guarantee for a room upgrade and access to Executive Lounges. Gold members may find the new policy more restrictive if Executive Floor rooms are limited in favor of other room category upgrades.

HHonors member experiences vary. My personal experience was pretty good for upgrades as a Gold and particularly nice as a Diamond member.

HHonors Premium Room Rewards introduced in 2011 mean high category rooms can be sold for points last minute. Time will tell how HHonors members are doing with upgrades as more anecdotal evidence appears on FlyerTalk. Here is the FlyerTalk thread discussing the HHonors Diamond elite benefit changes.

The most significant change seems to be for Diamond members with the guarantee of:

  • some type of room upgrade,
  • 1,000 bonus points,
  • free breakfast
  • and, if applicable, Executive Lounge access.

Hilton is now matching Hyatt, SPG and Marriott with welcome amenity points and lounge access. Only Hyatt has a matching breakfast benefit while Marriott offers breakfast with excluded properties and weekends.

Gold members have to choose between breakfast and 1,000 bonus points. Breakfast will certainly have more value when used, but 1,000 points is a nice alternative for hotels where you miss breakfast or expense breakfast.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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  1. HH Gold: 1000 points better than breakfast especially when the breakfast in house is limited (or crummy)

  2. no wonder Hilton can’t get it all together and employees always screw everything up – its overly complicated with all these stupid exceptions and additions. Simplicity is the key to a great hotel experience, Hilton.

  3. Does not really seem like any changes to me…..I always get upgraded as a Hilton Diamond, and get breakfast and the 1000 bonus points has been given to me before at certain properties. I really have no value in the continental breakfast in the States, after living in Israel for 6 years and staying at hotels there and in Europe, the continental is worthless.

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