Hampton Inn brand opens 2000th hotel to reach a milestone this week with Hampton Inn & Suites Bellevue Downtown-Seattle. Hilton Worldwide has about 4,250 hotels globally. Most Hampton Inn hotels are located in the USA, although the brand is a growing global brand with properties in 16 countries.

Hilton Worldwide recently signed an exclusive deal with Plateno Hotel Group to develop more than 400 Hampton brand hotels in China with the first scheduled to open in 2015. Plateno Hotel Group is China’s largest hotel operator with more than 3,000 hotels in 300 cities and operates China’s largest loyalty program with 80 million members.

Hilton HHonors with 43 million members worldwide expects to benefit from the customer loyalty base of Plateno Hotel Group in China.

Holiday Inn Express brand of InterContinental Hotels Group already has over 2,300 hotels worldwide. The midscale hotel brands like Hampton and Holiday Inn Express are the foundation for these large hotel chain global brands.

SLS Las Vegas has a 50% rate offer for stays through August 31, 2015 when booked by December 8, 2014. This rate offer has no blackout date or minimum stay restrictions with the opportunity to get discount rates even during special events like Rock in Rio next May when performers like No Doubt, Linkin Park and Taylor Swift will be in the city for concerts expected to draw about 85,000 attendees.

SLS Las Vegas is the newest hotel resort property in Las Vegas and a member of Hilton’s Curio Collection brand. The SLS Las Vegas is the result of a $415 million renovation of the former Sahara. The three towers offer 1,600 rooms.

Sample room rates I found are as low as $69.50 for midweek January. Add a $25 daily resort fee to that rate and you are still under $100 per night before taxes; less than $110 after tax.

SLS Las Vegas Jan 2015 rates

Rock in Rio Las Vegas weekend rates at SLS Las Vegas

The no blackout dates means you can book SLS Las Vegas using the 50% off rates for a 3-day weekend stay during the Rock in Rio Las Vegas concerts May 8-9 and May 15-16.

SLS Las Vegas rock in rio rates

Lux Signature King Suite or Double Suite is about $150 more per night with rates in the $375 to $400 per night range during the Rock in Rio shows.

January 13-15, 2015 midweek rates are $124.50 King Suite or $132.50 Double Suite.

SLS Lux Signature Suite

Story Signature King Suite is around $310 per night for a less ostentatious room design during the May Rock in Rio shows.

January 13-15, 2015 midweek rates are $109.50 Story Signature King Suite.

SLS Story Suite

These look like good deals for SLS Las Vegas, plus you earn Hilton HHonors points.

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Denver was an expensive hotel city this past week. Finding a best rate guarantee with Hilton Worldwide was the main reason I could afford a downtown hotel over the Labor Day four-day weekend holiday this year running Saturday through Tuesday, November 11.

Hilton Best Rate Guarantee and Upgrade                                                

Hampton Inn Denver Downtown

The first part of this piece is about the Hilton Best Rate Guarantee procedure. This was a stay on an approved claim for a reduced rate and $50 American Express gift card. Skip down to the pictures if you just want to see the Hampton Inn Downtown Denver bi-level suites on the top sixth floor of the hotel.

Hampton Inn Denver Downtown was one of the lower rate hotels for Monday night at $149 for a standard queen. Last week I shared how I booked the $149 Hampton Inn Standard Queen room for Denver and filed a best rate guarantee claim against a $124 rate for the same room type at Expedia. All details, even the cancellation policy matched to the letter.

My BRG claim was a slam dunk. It was approved in 9 hours. The problem was the $124 Standard Queen room was no longer available on Expedia and the BRG representative matched a lower room rate on Expedia to $140 for a Two Queen Studio. My room rate dropped from $149 to $140, but I seriously doubted the room type would change to an upgrade Studio room category.

Hilton provides a $50 American Express card for an approved best rate guarantee claim. The card is mailed after the hotel stay is completed.

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This morning I cancelled my Hilton reservation for a DoubleTree hotel tonight. My cancellation policy for the booking was 4pm today with no penalty. If this were January 10, 2015 instead of November 10, 2014, my same situation would have cost me $122.

New Hilton Cancellation Global Policy starts January 2015

Hilton is changing its global cancellation policy on January 1, 2015. Reservation cancellation guidelines will have a minimum of 11:59 p.m. local hotel time the day prior to arrival, and you will be required to provide a credit card at the time of booking.

The rationale given is “We’re making this change so that we can provide you with a more consistent booking process and make more rooms available for when you need last minute travel accommodations.”

This means no more day of arrival cancellation policies. Canceled flight or missed morning connection that keeps you from reaching the city where your Hilton reservation is booked will mean you pay for the hotel room anyway.

As I plan hotel stays for trips, their new cancellation policy could place Hilton behind other hotel chains with more lenient cancellation policies.

I am a big fan of same day cancellation with no penalty for hotel bookings. Hopefully this cancellation policy is not a trendsetter among the major hotel chains.

11:59pm day before arrival cancellation is only a minimum.

Of course, this updated Hilton cancellation policy only sets a minimum standard. Some hotels, especially resort properties, may still have 2 or 3 days, and even 7 or 14 days before arrival policies for cancellation with no penalty.

Source: FlyerTalk

Hilton Chicago sign

Hilton has a bad reputation for approving Best Rate Guarantee claims. I have made best rate guarantee claims with all the major hotel chains and I have had approved claims with all of them, except Hilton HHonors.

The issue is not that Hilton denied my claims, I simply have not stayed much at Hilton brands. My first stay in several years at a Hilton brand hotel was in 2014. My five year self-imposed boycott of Hilton was due to the program taking all my points away after a period of inactivity following several years of HHonors Diamond membership. Loyalty is a two way street and losing all my points pissed me off. Sure, I could have had a partner activity or some kind of transaction to keep my points alive, but I didn’t. Hilton dropped me and I dropped Hilton.

Today, I found a lower rate on Expedia for a Hilton brand hotel that I do not see any reason for a Hilton Best Rate Guarantee to be denied. I booked a $149 room at a Hampton Inn. Expedia has the exact same room type with same cancellation policy for $124.

I have never had a best rate guarantee claim denied when a similar room type with a sale rate shows up on Expedia.

Tomorrow I should be able to report back the Hilton best rate guarantee claim result.

If Hilton approves the claim, then my rate will drop from $149 to $124.

And I will receive a $50 American Express card, reducing my total rate after taxes to $92.30.

For Hotels inside the USA, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico, we will give you a US $50 American Express Gift Cheque. The Gift Cheque will be sent to you the next business day after your stay, as reserved, is completed.

Hilton Best Rate Guarantee

This will also give me an opportunity to earn points in the HHonors.com/DoubleUp promotion – if I have another Hilton HHonors stay before January 31, 2015.

HHonors 2xpoints 2014Q4

Related post: Register for Hilton HHonors Double Up Double Points Nov 1 to Jan 31, 2015.

*****

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. Check out current hotel loyalty program offers across all the major chains in Loyalty Traveler’s monthly hotel promotions guide.

Follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.

Members voted and Hilton HHonors is offering Double Points for its next promotion running November 1 – January 31, 2015. Double points start with your second hotel stay.

Hilton HHonors Double Up double points means double base points at 20 points/$1. HHonors Points & Points members earn 25 points/$1, plus any elite and HHonors credit card card bonus points.

Promotion registration is here at HHonors.com/DoubleUp.

There are slightly more than 400 hotels opting out of the promotion. All but 16 of the hotels opting out are located in the USA.

A couple of FAQ clarifications:

  • No retroactive credit for stays prior to promotion registration. Your first stay is counted as the first stay after you register for HHonors Double Up.
  • Double points bonus may be earned on two rooms beginning with second stay. Two rooms on your first stay will not count as two stays.
  • Award stays count for double points for incidental charges at all Hilton brands, except Hampton Inn, Homewood Suites and Home2 Suites.
  • Existing reservations made prior to promotion registration count for Double Up as long as your stay falls in the promotion period and you register for Double Up before the stay.

What are you waiting for? Register for HHonors Double Up.

HHonors 2xpoints 2014Q4

*****

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. Check out current hotel loyalty program offers across all the major chains in Loyalty Traveler’s monthly hotel promotions guide.

Follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.

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Members voted and Hilton HHonors is offering Double Points for its next promotion running November 1 – January 31, 2015. Double points start with your second hotel stay.

Double Points means double base points at 20 points/$1. HHonors Points & Points members earn 25 points/$1, plus any elite and HHonors credit card card bonus points.

Promotion registration is here at HHonors.com/DoubleUp.

There are slightly more than 400 hotels opting out of the promotion. All but 16 of the hotels opting out are located in the USA.

A couple of FAQ clarifications:

  • No retroactive credit for stays prior to promotion registration. Your first stay is counted as the first stay after you register for HHonors Double Up.
  • Double points bonus may be earned on two rooms beginning with second stay. Two rooms on your first stay will not count as two stays.
  • Award stays count for double points for incidental charges at all Hilton brands, except Hampton Inn, Homewood Suites and Home2 Suites.
  • Existing reservations made prior to promotion registration count for Double Up as long as your stay falls in the promotion period and you register for Double Up before the stay.

What are you waiting for? Register for HHonors Double Up.

HHonors 2xpoints 2014Q4

*****

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. Check out current hotel loyalty program offers across all the major chains in Loyalty Traveler’s monthly hotel promotions guide.

Follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.

Hilton HHonors hotel reward category changes October 8, 2014 is an announcement from Hilton that 20 hotels will increase in reward category and 12 hotels will decrease. One hotel made a two category jump from 1 to 3, effective September 10, 2014.

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Hilton HHonors cast your vote to choose your reward is a member opportunity to vote by October 4, 2014 for the next HHonors promotion.

  • Double Points
  • 1,000 points per night on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

The promotion offer with the most member votes will become the end-of-year HHonors global promotion running November 1 through January 31, 2015.

My vote goes for the 1,000 points per night since I won’t be spending much more than $100 per night for any of my stays. Also, my stays are more likely to be on weekends.

A person who spends more than $100 per night, and say someone who is staying on $250 per night reservations, will be better served with double points. High spenders win out on double points promotions, whereas low spenders tend to do better with fixed bonus points offers.

HHonors Choose Your Reward

The graph results visible after my vote showed 1K Bonus points with a slight lead. Note: the live results graph shown after my vote is different than the one seen in the graphic above where Double Points is slightly in the lead.

HHonors Cast your Vote thankyou

I voted for 1K Bonus Points and received the message response. My HHonors Gold elite membership counted for three votes.

Votes cast by Diamond membership level will count as four, votes cast by Gold membership level will count as three, votes cast by Silver membership level will count as two, and votes cast by Blue membership level will count as one.

There is an additional opportunity to vote for a charity that will receive $200,000 from Hilton HHonors. The two runner-up charities will receive $50,000.

HHonors Charity

Save the Children was a big leader over MercyCorps and Oxfam in third with what appeared to be more than twice the votes of the other two combined.

  • Mercy Corps is a leading global humanitarian agency saving and improving lives in the world’s toughest places.
  • Oxfam is a world-wide development organization that mobilizes the power of people against poverty.
  • Save the Children invests in childhood – every day, in times of crisis and for our future. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm.

Hilton HHonors has certainly found a unique way to get members involved in their next promotion. We should know what October Hilton brand stays mean in terms of promotion bonus points sometime after October 4, 2014.

*****

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. Check out current hotel loyalty program offers across all the major chains in Loyalty Traveler’s monthly hotel promotions guide.

Follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.

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One of the new features I like about Hilton HHonors is their periodic listing of new hotels. The list of 62 Hilton Worldwide new hotel openings June 30 to October 8, 2014 coincides with the release of HHonors category increases at 20 hotels and category decreases for 12 hotels effective October 8.

HHonors new hotels-Q3-1

Conrad London St. James is one of the big stories here with the InterContinental Westminster being rebranded in just two years since it opened. Loyalty Traveler – InterContinental London Westminster rebranding to Conrad in September 2014.

An elusive category 1 in Johor Bahru, Malaysia across the bridge from Singapore offers a cheap reward destination at 5,000 HHonors points per night when SIngapore is busting your travel budget.

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