J.D. Power 2015 Hotel Loyalty/Rewards Program Satisfaction Report was released last week.

Report Rankings

  • Delta Privilege and Hilton HHonors rank highest in a tie among hotel loyalty/rewards programs with an overall satisfaction score of 727 each.
  • Delta Privilege performs particularly well in the ease of redeeming points/miles, variety of benefits and reward program terms factors.
  • Hilton HHonors performs particularly well with ease of redeeming points/miles and ease of earning points/miles factors.
  • Following Delta Privilege and Hilton HHonors in the rankings are Best Western Rewards (722) and IHG Rewards Club (721)

Delta Privilege and Hilton HHonors rank highest among hotel loyalty programs. Delta Hotels, a Canadian hotel brand, was acquired by Marriott International this year.

Loyalty Traveler – Marriott acquires 38 Delta Hotels in Canada (Jan 27)

I assume Delta Privileges will be discontinued, in favor of placing the hotel brand within Marriott Rewards.

JD Power 2015 Hotel Loyalty Satisfaction Report

J.D. Power 2015 Hotel Loyalty/Rewards Program Satisfaction Report

Read More…

U.S. Travel Association’s Daily Getaways has Hilton HHonors points for sale today in sets of 100,000 or 150,000 or 250,000 points. Prices are $5.00 per 1,000 points, regardless of which package you buy. I won’t analyze the arbitrary value of Hilton HHonors points in this post. I’ll assume if you are considering spending $500 on Hilton HHonors points, then you have already determined their value.

This post is simply a reminder that Hilton HHonors points are for sale today, Friday, March 27 at 1:00pm Eastern.

Loyalty Traveler – Daily Getaways 2015 discount hotel points preview for March 23 to April 10 (March 13, 2015) Read More…

Remember when several bloggers posted in February about Hilton HHonors offer for 1,000 bonus points free for changing your 4-digit PIN to a more secure password?

One Mile at a Time – 1,000 Free Points For Changing Your Hilton HHonors Password (Feb 19, 2015).

Loyalty Traveler – 1,000 points free for changing Hilton HHonors password Feb 19 to March 8, 2015 (Feb 19, 2015)

I was hanging out in Amsterdam at the time and my post ended with this sentence:

The website is undergoing maintenance at the moment and won’t let me update my pin to a new password.

Loyalty Traveler Feb 19, 2015

Hilton HHonors Password Change 1000 free points campaign exposed security flaws

Today I came across an article on the website Krebs on Security explaining the inside story on why Hilton probably shut down the password change campaign in February and relaunched the campaign last week for 1,000 HHonors bonus points when you change your HHonors PIN to a password by Wednesday March 25, 2015.

Krebsonsecurity.com – Hilton Honors Flaw Exposed All Accounts (March 23, 2015)

Hospitality giant Hilton Hotels & Resorts recently started offering Hilton HHonors Awards members 1,000 free awards points to those who agreed to change their passwords for the online service prior to April 1, 2015, when the company said the change would become mandatory. Ironically, that same campaign led to the discovery of a simple yet powerful flaw in the site that let anyone hijack a Hilton Honors account just by knowing or guessing its valid 9-digit Hilton Honors account number.

KrebsonSecurity.com – Hilton HHonors Flaw Exposed All Accounts (March 23, 2015)

The article explains how IT security consultants found that once logged into an HHonors account, any other member’s account could be hijacked if you knew the HHonors account number.

A good read outside my field of knowledge on IT security and sort of explains why the HHonors PIN reset promotion for 1,000 free points went offline in February soon after it launched and resurfaced again last week in a new and improved version.

Loyalty Traveler – Is my time worth 1,000 points for Hilton HHonors Password Security? (March 16, 2015)

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Hilton launched two brands in 2014 with Canopy and Curio Collection. Portland, Oregon is in the midst of a hotel construction boom and two new hotels are signed with Canopy and Curio Collection.

Canopy Portland Pearl District is one of the original 11 hotels announced in October 2014 in Hilton’s Canopy new hotel brand launch press release. Canopy Portland is planned as a nine story, 153-room lifestyle hotel.

The difference between Canopy and a lifestyle brand like Starwood’s Aloft Hotels is Hilton states no two Canopy hotels will be the same with each hotel featuring a locality design component. The hotel industry of the past decade focused on cookie-cutter designs easy and less expensive to build than uniquely designed hotels. Walk into a Hilton Garden Inn, Hyatt Place or Aloft and you might be hard-pressed from inside to distinguish one hotel from another around the country.

The new buzzword in the industry is ‘lifestyle’ with a focus on blending the lobby with the locality to create a more inviting space for the public in hopes the hotel will experience increased spending in the lobby for food and drinks.

Here is how Hilton describes its Canopy hotel brand,

Through Hilton Worldwide’s extensive research and analysis, Canopy by Hilton’s proposition and concept has been refined and validated at every step with both guests and owners alike. Beyond simply creating a positive stay, four essential elements define what it means to be a Canopy hotel:

  • Great neighborhoods. Canopy by Hilton is the streetlamp of the neighborhood. We are all about being local, through design, food and beverage, art, and local know-how. No two Canopy hotels will be the same, and we know that’s what our guests want.
  • Comfort and design. We take a people first approach to design. The energy from our great neighborhoods flows through our open, welcoming lobby space. This energy gives way to warm, inviting, and comfortable just-right rooms.
  • More included value. We know our guests demand a more inclusive approach and surprising extras. So basic Wi-Fi and an artisanal breakfast are included, along with a local welcome gift and an evening tasting of local beer, wine, or spirits*.
  • Our “positively yours” culture. With a “positively yours” service culture, hotel “Enthusiasts” will deliver a one-stop approach to front-of-house service.

“The demands and preferences of today’s travelers continue to evolve, and Canopy by Hilton creates something new for consumers in the lifestyle space,” said Jim Holthouser, executive vice president, global brands, Hilton Worldwide. “Canopy by Hilton will deliver more choice and control for guests than ever before, from a mobile straight-to-room arrival to surprising extras throughout each stay.”

Canopy by Hilton will develop through new-build and conversion projects in key urban neighborhoods and vibrant secondary markets around the world with properties expected to begin opening in 2015. Canopy by Hilton has 11 signed letters of intent to open in the following neighborhoods:

  • Canopy Portland | Pearl District
  • Canopy London | Neighborhood to be announced
  • Canopy Miami | Brickell
  • Canopy Washington, D.C. | Bethesda North
  • Canopy San Diego | Gaslamp Quarter
  • Canopy Nashville | Downtown
  • Canopy Savannah | Historic District
  • Canopy Indianapolis | City Centre
  • Canopy Charlotte | Uptown
  • Canopy Oklahoma City | Bricktown
  • Canopy Ithaca | The Commons

Hilton Worldwide – Canopy Hotels

Hilton’s Curio Collection is the new independent high-end brand from Hilton in the space occupied by brands like Starwood Luxury Collection and Marriott Autograph Collection. There are currently five Curio Collection Hotels open in the U.S.

Curio Collection hotels

The ‘Great Recession’ of 2008-10 brought down a lot of independent hotels with foreclosure. One of the effects of the banking crisis is the rise of new upper upscale hotel brands for independent hoteliers desiring the marketing arm of major brand affiliation. Bank financing terms are often more favorable for a hotel project aligned with a major brand.

A new hotel to be branded in Hilton’s Curio Collection is also in the works for Portland, Oregon. The 23-story hotel is planned with 300 rooms on the site of the former Pendleton Woolen Mills at 218 S.W. Jefferson Street. Plans include a rooftop restaurant and lounge with an opening date for 2016.

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Hilton HHonors has bonus points offer when you buy HHonors points by April 22, 2015 with up to 40% bonus points.

  • Buy 5,000 to 9,000 points and get 20% more points.
  • Buy 10,000 to 80,000 points and get 40% more points.

The regular price for Hilton HHonors points is $10 per 1,000 points.

Key price points with this promotional offer for buying Hilton HHonors points.

  • Buy 5,000 points at $50 and receive 6,000 points = $8.33 per 1,000 points for a 17% discount.
  • Buy 10,000 points at $100 and receive 14,000 points = $7.14 per 1,000 points for a 29% discount.

First, you need to log into your HHonors account and try to buy points to see if this offer is targeted for your HHonors account. My account received the offer.

HHonors Buy points 3-10-2015

Most HHonors members will not find this a good deal. Buying points is really only a good deal if you have a specific destination in mind and know the reward night stay is less costly than the paid rate.

HHonors my account 3-11-15

My HHonors account has only 14,190 points. In my case there might be good value in buying 6,000 points for $50 with the 20% bonus. 20,000 points can actually buy a decent hotel room.

What is it about Denmark and Currency Exchange Deals?

Hilton Copenhagen Airport 50,000 points or 20,000 points + 65 DKK

I checked Hilton Copenhagen Airport as an example of buying points to reach an award level since I will be flying there in July. The Points & Cash deal is actually an incredible deal for Hilton Copenhagen Airport.

Hilton CPH

65 Denmark krona is only $9 USD.

I’m a buyer anytime you can buy 30,000 points for $9 USD. 20,000 points redeemed saves $207 or actually a savings of $150 after buying the 6,000 HHonors points needed for the Hilton Copenhagen reward stay redemption.

Bottom line is the HHonors 40% deal got me looking at Denmark where I found the real deal today for Hilton HHonors points.

As far as buying HHonors points, this 20% or 40% bonus is a good deal for the purchase of low numbers of points. My recommendation for those who can use 100,000 HHonors points or more is to wait until March 16, 2015 for the preview of the U.S. Travel Association’s Daily Getaways. Last year HHonors points were under $500 for 100,000 points.

Loyalty Traveler 2015 – Daily Getaways hotel points deals launch March 23. Preview March 16

Loyalty Traveler 2014 – Buy HHonors discount points Daily Getaways Fri May 23, 2014.

Hilton Worldwide Holdings, Inc. negotiated to buy Parc 55 San Francisco and four other hotel properties in Florida backed by the proceeds from the $1.95 billion sale of the Waldorf-Astoria New York last month. The sale of the Waldorf Astoria New York to the Chinese Anbang Insurance Group Co. fetched the biggest price for a hotel in U.S. history.

Proceeds from the sale of Waldorf Astoria New York were used to buy Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek and the Waldorf Astoria Orlando in Orlando, Fla., The Reach and Casa Marina Waldorf Astoria resorts in Key West, Fla.; and the Parc 55 in San Francisco. The purchase price for these five hotels was $1.76 billion. Hilton already managed the four other hotels, so Parc 55 is the only new hotel added to the Hilton portfolio.

The sale price for Parc 55 San Francisco was predicted to be the largest hotel real estate transaction in San Francisco of 2014 at $550 million or $537,000 per room. Ritz-Carlton San Francisco sold in summer 2014 for $161 million or $437,000 per room. Hotel Vitale San Francisco sold in April 2014 for $130 million or $800,000 per room.

Los Angeles real estate investor Michael Rosenfeld bought the Nob Hill hotel Stanford Court in 2014, formerly a Renaissance brand hotel managed by Marriott. Rosenfeld now owns three of the major hotel properties on San Francisco’s Nob Hill with Stanford Court, Fairmont San Francisco purchased in 2012 for $200 million, and InterContinental Mark Hopkins, purchased for $120 million in February 2014.

The average price of hotel rooms in San Francisco has increased 40% in the past five years. Those price increases have kept me out of the city hotels for most of the past four years since prices increased rapidly in 2012. It was a good San Francisco run from 2008 to 2011 when recession hotel rate bargains were prevalent.

San Francisco’s Largest Hotels

  • Hilton San Francisco Union Square: 1,908 rooms
  • Marriott marquis San Francisco: 1,500 rooms
  • Westin St. Francis: 1,195 rooms
  • Parc 55 San Francisco, a Hilton Hotel: 1,024 rooms

Hilton Parc 55

Sources:

Bloomberg.com Feb 11, 2015 – Hilton to Buy Five Hotels With Waldorf Astoria Proceeds

Oyster.com – Parc 55 San Francisco (373 photos)

BusinessWire.com – Hilton Worldwide Expands Portfolio in San Francisco with Acquisition of Parc 55 Wyndham San Francisco – Union Square

Parc 55 San Francisco, a Hilton Hotel.

Hilton HHonors Reward Category

Parc 55 San Francisco is available at 50,000 points for standard reward nights as HHonors category 7. The hotel is not listed yet on HHonorspointssearchtool.com.

Hilton San Francisco Union Square and Hilton San Francisco Financial District are also at 50,000 points for most months. Hilton Union Square rises to 60,000 points for September and October (peak season for San Francisco weather) and Hilton Financial District is 60,000 points from May through October 2015.

Big news announcement in hotel branding as Hilton signs Chicago LondonHouse Hotel to Curio Collection. There is good reason you likely never heard of LondonHouse Hotel. The hotel will not open for another year in spring 2016. The big deal is its location on the Chicago River in the historic London Guarantee Building designed and completed in 1923 by Chicago architect Alfred S. Alschuler for an insurance company. The building is one of the four 1920s architectural anchors located on the corners to the Michigan Avenue Bridge.

Chicago LondonHouse Hilton-Curio

This is my photo of the London Guarantee Building as seen from a boat on the Chicago River during a Chicago Architecture cruise in 2011.

Loyalty Traveler – Chicago River Architecture Tour

A 22-story glass tower is being erected to harmonize with the historic building and serve as the main entrance and gateway lobby for the 452-room hotel with a grand second floor check-in lobby and bar. The remodeled cupola at the top of the hotel will offer rooftop dining and event space.

chicago-LondonHouse-Trump

LondonHouse Hotel on south side of Chicago River with glass Trump Tower and Hotel on north side of river.

The design scheme of LondonHouse, led by Simeone Deary Design Group, will speak to the London Guarantee Building’s roots with the use of historic detail, while adopting the progressive thinking of the 1920s to create modern and chic accents. The color palette will feature warm greys and crisp whites, punctuated by jewel tones and rich fumed eucalyptus woods. The guestroom design is inspired by the luxurious automobiles of that era – clean, sleek, and elegant. The hotel will be outfitted with modern furniture upholstered in lavish materials, paying homage to the opulence of the 1920’s. The lines of the furniture will be contemporary, but embellished with classic touches, providing an overall feeling of serenity and elegance.

Hilton press release

Another interesting feature of the Hilton press release is a closing statement about HHonors members:

As members of the Hilton Worldwide portfolio, Curio hotels will offer guests the benefits of Hilton HHonors®, the award-winning guest-loyalty program serving more than 44 million members. Hilton HHonors offers more ways to redeem points than any other guest-loyalty program. LondonHouse will participate in Hilton HHonors, the only hotel rewards program that offers Points & Miles® and No Blackout Dates.

Hilton rocks in Chicago with several high profile and historic hotels. I have reviewed several of them. Last year I photographed the Palmer Hilton, Chicago’s oldest hotel (1871) and Hilton Chicago, the largest hotel in the world for many years after it was constructed in 1927.

Waldorf Astoria Chicago was rebranded by Hilton in February 2012. This came a few months after the new the Zell Fund bought the well-regarded 5-star hotel Elysian for $95 million in November 2011, setting the highest per room purchase rate for a Chicago Hotel, $505,000 per room. Zell Fund put the 188-room Waldorf Astoria on the market last month. The hotel is expected to fetch a record breaking room price. This is a hotel I have not seen.

Loyalty Traveler - Palmer House Hilton history of Chicago’s oldest hotel (April 14, 2014)

Loyalty Traveler – Hilton Chicago and its Stevens Hotel scandalous history (April 16, 2014) was the largest hotel in the world when it opened in 1927.

Loyalty Traveler – Palmer House and The Drake: Historic Chicago in Hilton Hotels (November 10, 2010)

LondonHouse Facebook, LondonHouse Twitter and LondonHouseChicago.com are ways to keep informed on the hotel’s progress over the next year.

CurioCollection.com, Curio, a collection by Hilton

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HHonors Representative on FlyerTalk announced today Hilton free Wi-Fi for all HHonors members begins August 2015. HHonors Diamond members will receive premium Wi-Fi access beginning sometime in 2015 second quarter.

Hilton Wi-Fi Update


Hi all,
As you know, we value your feedback tremendously and have been listening closely to what you have to say to help us continue to evolve the HHonors program. And, thanks to your thoughts and input on our Wi-Fi offerings, we’ve decided to make some updates as we know this is one of the HHonors benefits that matters most to you. Details below:

  • Our most loyal guests, Diamond members, will receive complimentary premium Wi-Fi beginning in the second quarter this year at all of our properties when they book directly through a proprietary Hilton channel or via one of our corporate travel partners.
  • Starting in August, we will extend complimentary standard Wi-Fi access to Blue and Silver members when they book their stays directly through a proprietary Hilton channel or one of our corporate travel partners.
  • Complimentary standard Wi-Fi will continue to be a benefit for HHonors Gold members who also book directly through our proprietary Hilton channels or one of our corporate travel partners.
  • Booking directly through a proprietary Hilton channel one of our corporate travel partners:
    • The Hilton HHonors mobile app
    • Online from hilton.com, HHonors.com, or any of our brand/hotel websites
    • Calling Hilton Reservations Customer Care: 1-800-HHonors or your local Hilton reservations office
    • Calling an individual hotel (plus walk-ins and physical on-property too)
    • Via corporate travel agencies and travel professionals that book via a Hilton proprietary channel
  • This update doesn’t apply to hotels where there is a resort charge.

You’ll receive this benefit when booking directly through a proprietary Hilton channel or one of our corporate travel partners, which enables us to provide you with a more personalized stay experience. We heard you loud and clear when it comes to Wi-Fi and have shared your feedback with our broader team, so thank you for helping us better understand what is important to you.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out within this thread or through PM.

Thanks!
Erin

Hilton HHonors
FlyerTalk Ambassador

Here is an article I wrote recently about Hotel Wi-Fi policies. Hilton Worldwide was the laggard hotel chain that finally makes the move to free Wi-Fi.

Loyalty Traveler – Major hotel brands Free Internet Rules 2015 (Feb 5, 2015)

Hilton HHonors Double Points or Miles March 1 to May 31, 2015 is the upcoming global promotion. Hilton announced last month they will only run two global promotions per year and focus on targeted offers for HHonors members in the other months. Welcome to new Hilton HHonors.

Double points is the standby promotion for Hilton HHonors.

Hilton Double Points or Miles registration is required before your hotel stay during the promotion period to qualify as an eligible stay.

Choose carefully because your selection cannot be changed
once you select Double Points or Double Miles and register for the promotion.

HHonors 2x-2015 spring promo

HHonors normal earning rate

A member with earning preference of Points & Points normally earns 15 points per dollar. Double points applies only to base points for 10 extra points per dollar.

Earn 10 HHonors Base Points for every eligible US dollar spent on your room
When you stay at a hotel or resort within the Hilton Worldwide portfolio, you earn 10 Base Points for every US dollar spent on your room rate and other eligible room charges, including telephone calls and room service.

Some exceptions apply: At Hampton Inn™ or Homewood Suites by Hilton™ hotels, earn 10 Base Points for every US dollar spent on your room rate only. At Home2 Suites by Hilton™ hotels, earn 5 Base Points for every US dollar spent on your room rate only.

Hilton HHonors Earn Points

Points & Miles earners receive 10 base points and 1 mile per dollar.

POINTS & MILES (HHonors Base Points + airline/rail miles)
Turn stays into free nights and reward flights with this earning style. Earn 10 HHonors Base Points plus 1 mile per eligible US dollar spent on most stays. (For stays at Home2 Suites by Hilton™ hotels, earn 5 HHonors Base Points plus 1 mile per eligible US dollar spent on your room, up to 100 miles per stay.)

Hilton HHonors Earn Miles

Hilton HHonors has 60 airline partners, more than any other hotel chain. The double miles promotion earns 2 miles per dollar in hotel spend. In general, earning miles from hotel stays is the better value than redeeming HHonors points for airline miles at HHonors poor exchange rates.

Double Points or Double Miles?

This question is more relevant to Hilton HHonors members who are not elite members. I assume you know what workd for you if you hold HHonors Diamond elite and accumulate points on Hilton HHonors credit cards.

  1. Double points = 25 HHonors points/$1 for Points & Points earners.
  2. Double points earns 20 HHonors points/$1 + 1 mile/$1 for Points & Miles earners.
  3. Double miles earns 10 HHonors points/$1 + 2 miles/$1 for Points & Miles earners.

$1,000 Analysis

I look at $1,000 in spend during a hotel promotion as a reasonable amount for a person or family traveling for a week on vacation or for several short one and two night stays during three months.

Double points at 25 points per dollar means you can earn 25,000 points on $1,000 in hotel spend, plus elite member bonus points and credit card bonus points, if applicable.

Double points for a Points & Miles earner means 20,000 HHonors points + 1,000 miles.

Double miles for a Points & Miles earner means 10,000 HHonors points + 2,000 miles.

HHonors points to miles exchange at the rate of 10,000 points = 1,000 miles for most airlines. You can earn points and exchange at a later date. You need a minimum of 10,000 HHonors points to make transfers into most airline programs. Air France/KLM require 20,000 points and a couple other airlines require 25,000 points.

I think Points & Points is the best earning option, unless you have a good reason for choosing miles.

All in all, your choice of earning option might be irrelevant if you are planning hotel stays in the USA. More than 750 hotels in the USA opted out of this promotion compared to only 21 hotels for the rest of the world.

Welcome to the current Hilton HHonors!

Is Hilton HHonors your best option?

I’d like to leave you with a hotel loyalty promotion comparison for what I think is the best value currently for hotel stays. Club Carlson Extend Your Stay offer of 30,000 bonus points for 3-nights and longer stays or 15,000 bonus points for two night stays through March 29, 2015 is the best offer currently available for earning sufficient points for free nights.

Club Carlson Vondelpark points

Park Plaza Vondelpark Amsterdam – 3 night stay for 225 EUR earned 20 points per dollar for $259 + 30,000 bonus points with Extend Your Stay bonus points.

Last month I stayed 3 nights at Country Inn & Suites West Valley City, Utah.

Club Carlson Utah points

$220 in hotel spend + tax earned nearly 46,000 points with one stay in Utah and $280 in hotel spend earned 37,000 points with one stay in Amsterdam.

My total spend was a little over $500 for six hotel nights that earned 83,000 points. Those points will buy several hotel nights in Europe this summer as a Club Carlson Visa card member with the benefit of one night on reward stays of two or more nights. I’ll primarily plan for 2-night hotel stays on our July trip to Europe.

Hilton HHonors double points would have earned 12,500 points with $500 in spend. Possibly sufficient points for one hotel night at a low category Hampton Inn hotel.

You will receive 1,000 points free for changing Hilton HHonors password February 19 to March 8, 2015. Hilton HHonors will no longer use 4-digit pins for account passwords effective March 25, 2015.

I have had the same 4-digit pin for Hilton HHonors since 1999.

The biggest theft I had from my Hilton HHonors account over the years was when Hilton HHonors wiped out 30,000 points for account inactivity from 2007 to 2009 after several years of being HHonors Diamond. That move pissed me off and kept me out of Hilton brand hotels. Time healed my wound and I have stayed in Hilton hotels again over the past couple of years.

1,000 bonus points will be nice. That will put me within about 10,000 points of a what I need for a free room at a place I would want to stay.

The website is undergoing maintenance at the moment and won’t let me update my pin to a new password.

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