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…

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.

Last month Hilton HHonors announced members are required to change their 4-digit PIN by April 1, 2015. Hilton HHonors members’ new passwords will require at least eight characters, at least one upper case letter, and at least one number or one special character. Proactive members earn 1,000 points for changing their password by March 25.

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

Turned out the Hilton HHonors website was all screwed up and members could not change their password on February 19.

Then, Hilton HHonors started the messaging again with an offer for 1,000 bonus points who proactively change their password between March 12 and March 25, 2015.

An HHonors Security Alert message appears when you load the Hilton website.

HHonors Security Alert

Since dozens of BoardingArea bloggers posted about these changes last week, I decided to wait until this week to write about the HHonors 1,000 points, just in case you were without connectivity for the past week.

The password change should be a sixty second effort, however, I just spent close to 15 minutes trying to change my Hilton HHonors account password and preferences.

I created a new username. Since 1998 my username was simply my HHonors number. I changed my password from a 4-digit PIN to another password.

And I thought I should add my AAA membership number to see if that would prevent me from needing to insert it every time I want to book a AAA rate.

When I clicked the “Save Changes” button, the message came back, “Sorry, that email address is already registered. Enter a different one and try again.”

HHonors email error

Well yeah, that email has been registered to my account for more than a decade.

I tried several times to submit my changes with my new username and password with the same result. I changed email addresses, deleted email addresses and more. I closed down my browser and started over again.

Eventually I tracked down the error to the AAA membership number as the cause for the email error. I now have a new username and a new password for my HHonors account.

Still, I have no AAA number linked to my account.

Is my time worth 1,000 points for Hilton HHonors Password Security?

I guess account activity in March 2015 keeps the points alive for another year.

Starwood Hotels joins Marriott and Hilton in setting a global cancellation policy. Starwood Hotels global cancellation policy is 6pm day before arrival hotel local time effective January 15, 2015.

Starwood Lurker on FlyerTalk states the change will impact about 35% of hotels worldwide that currently offer day of arrival cancellation without penalty.

Updates to the Starwood Cancellation Policy


Effective January 15, 2015, Starwood will implement a change to our room cancellation policy, which will be implemented at all Starwood hotels globally that currently offers a same-day-cancellation policy. After this change takes effect, guests must cancel a reservation as of 6:00 pm local time the day before arrival. This change will impact about 35% of our hotels, which currently allow for same day cancellation without penalty. The majority of Starwood hotels already have a cancellation policy of at least one day prior to arrival or greater.

The minimum room cancellation policy will apply to all new reservations made after January 15, 2015.

Starwood will be honoring any negotiated contractual rates. Reservations made under contracts will be governed by their negotiated terms.

If you have any questions about this change, please reach out to us.
Best regards,
Christopher Carman
Social Media Specialist
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide
spgchampion@starwoodhotels.com

FlyerTalk – January 8, 2015

The cancellation penalty amount is still a hotel decision at the local level. Some hotels charge one night’s room and tax and others may even charge the entire stay cost as a penalty for late cancellation.

Marriott International announced their cancellation without penalty policy change in October, making the time uniform at 11:59pm day before arrival for hotels in U.S, Canada, Caribbean, Central and South America effective January 1, 2015.

Hilton Worldwide announced its global cancellation policy in November, setting 11:59pm day before arrival as the latest time for cancellation without penalty effective January 1, 2015.

Loyalty Traveler – New Hilton Cancellation Policy starts January 2015 (Nov 10, 2014).

Elevator Summary of Hotel Cancellation Policies

This is the biggest move yet by hotels to move toward the airline model of nonrefundable fees. Of course, most guests will know to cancel day before arrival, but in case of travel mishaps you are pleading on a case-by-case basis for leniency in cancellation fees if travel woes keep you from reaching your hotel on the planned day of arrival. As frequent flyers know all too well, weather is the dominant factor in keeping you away from the city where you plan to stay in a hotel.

Cancellation fees in 2015 should help pay for those global free internet policies for 2015.

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.

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Hilton has Cyber Week discounts at two New York properties bookable to December 7, 2014. New York Hilton Midtown as low as $179 and Waldorf Astoria New York as low as $229 per night with Cyber Week discount rates available for stays through March 31, 2015.

Hilton New York Winter Getaway

There is a calendar showing the lowest rate dates and I found the low rates for dates I checked in January 2015.

Hilton New York Winter rates

January and February are best bets for low rates. December shopping season keeps the deals at a minimum this month.

 

Terms and Conditions

Offer is subject to availability at the New York Hilton Midtown, Waldorf Astoria New York and The Towers of the Waldorf Astoria New York, for stays booked between 12:01 am Central Standard Time, December 1 and 11:59 pm Central Standard Time, December 7, 2014 and completed between December 1, 2014 and March 31, 2015. Rates will vary based on selected hotels and may include higher or lower rates than advertised based on specific travel dates selected. Each hotel has a policy addressing cancellations and/or blackout dates that may apply. Unless otherwise stated, quoted rates are per room per night, based on double occupancy and do not include taxes, gratuities, incidental charges or resort fees (where applicable). Offer is not combinable with other promotions, packages, negotiated/qualified rate plans or bonus offers and is not valid for group bookings. The booking must be made within the booked period specified herein. A limited number of rooms will be available for this offer. Additional restrictions may apply and vary by hotel. To book by phone, please call 1.800.HILTONS (445.8667) or view a global list of Hilton Worldwide Reservation centers.

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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 Worldwide has lined up 11 letters of intent to build hotels under the Canopy by Hilton new upper upscale lifestyle brand. This announcement follows the launch of Curio Collection by Hilton a few months ago for independent boutique hotels.

The announcement of the new hotel brand happened at Hilton’s Global Partnership Conference this week in Orlando, Florida.

“Built on extensive market research, our highly anticipated Canopy by Hilton brand delivers a fresh approach to hospitality and the guest experience,” Nassetta said said Christopher J. Nassetta, president and CEO of Hilton Worldwide. “We saw an opportunity to not only enter the lifestyle space by developing a new brand, but also to redefine this category by creating a more accessible lifestyle brand. We identified the need to take the emphasis off of capital-intensive design and deliver exactly what the target consumer desires: an energizing, comfortable stay with more included value.”

Hilton Worldwide Press Release – October 15, 2014

Say Hello to Canopy by Hilton

One of the first hotels will be Portland, Oregon.

CanopyPortland_LobbyRendering_FP

Lobby rendering for Canopy Portland, courtesy of Hilton Worldwide.

Another lifestyle brand keeps the hotel industry moving forward with new ideas for guest experiences. Personally, I think W Hotels and Aloft are the only two hotel industry original brands to hit the market in the past 15 years. W Hotels brought originality, unique design and playfulness to a luxury hotel setting and Aloft made social playfulness affordable with a cookie-cutter room design. Every other new hotel brand seems to try and emulate the success of Starwood Hotels original brands. Luxury Collection already had the boutique, independent hotel in mind as a lifestyle brand that has been copied by Marriott Autograph Collection and Curio Collection by Hilton.

Where the new Canopy by Hilton hotels will open

  • 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
171286687

Canopy logo, (photo courtesy of Hilton Worldwide)

What is unique about Canopy by Hilton?

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.

Four elements define Canopy Hotels:

1. Unique properties. The claim is no two Canopy Hotels will be the same with an emphasis on local. I think every hotel is local and some reflect that local character. Sounds good. My recent stay at The Thief Oslo, Choice Hotels Ascend Collection offered this same type of local character in a luxury hotel owned by the Norwegian billionaire head of Nordic Choice Hotels.

2. Comfort and Design. The press release is simply marketing speak. Sounds like zen and the art of hotel design.

3. More Included Value = free Wi-Fi and artisanal breakfast. Locally sourced foods coming to a Canopy near you? Evening tasting hour and local welcome gifts. Sounds to me like there will be an additional price tag to the room rate for all these “included values”. I am thinking Embassy Suites amenities with a unique design and smaller rooms and lots of signs to tell you about the local character of the stuff in the hotel surrounding you. I have seen that in other hotels, like The Nines, Starwood Luxury Collection in Portland, Oregon.

4. Our “positively yours” culture. Of course my hotel stay is all about me, the guest. Isn’t that common to most hotels?

“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.”

Hotels as a lifestyle space. What does that mean?

So I can check into my hotel room without having to interact with anybody at the hotel?

Sounds great for an anti-social person in a social setting.

I love new hotels and urban renewal. Hotels are an anchor for urban revitalization and development. Many of the Canopy by Hilton letters of intent are urban projects.

Canopy by Hilton is a new brand for the hotel travel game by a major player in the global hotel industry. Time will tell if this new lifestyle hotel brand is a game-changer or just another hotel brand to remember when searching for good hotel loyalty value from Hilton HHonors.

*****

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.

Portland, Oregon is getting hotel branded with one of the initial Curio Collection by Hilton hotels planned for 2016 opening as a 300-room hotel at Southwest Second Avenue and Jefferson, a 600-room Hyatt Hotel by the Convention Center to open in 2017 and plans for a new 13-story AC by Marriott hotel at Southwest Third Avenue and Taylor Street on a city owned vacant lot.

AC Hotels are a Spain-based hotel chain acquired by Marriott in 2011. Portland is part of a plan to open 30 or more AC Hotels in the USA and Americas. The hotel is in the style of Aloft and Hyatt Place as a brand aimed at younger, social travelers.

Curio Collection is the new independent boutique hotel brand from Hilton. The first hotel member is SLS Las Vegas opened this week.

*****

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.

Hotel Palomar Dallas, a Kimpton Hotel until August 6, 2014 has rebranded to The Highland Dallas, a new Curio Collection hotel member of Hilton’s recently launched boutique brand. The Highland Dallas was originally a Hilton hotel when it opened in the 1960s.

Existing Hotel Palomar Dallas reservations are intact at The Highland Dallas, and current and future guests may immediately begin collecting and redeeming Hilton HHonors® points. Customers may book new reservations by visiting www.thehighlanddallas.com, or calling 1-800-HILTONS.

The 198-room Hotel Palomar Dallas received very high review ratings on TripAdvisor.com with 92% favorable and ranks #11 of 188 hotels in Dallas. The hotel is a TripAdvisor 2014 Certificate of Excellence recipient and Platinum Level for environmentally green practices.

Highland Dallas

In addition to a heated outdoor pool, Jacuzzi, cabanas and pool bar, The Highland Dallas also offers guests five complimentary bicycles to explore the surrounding area. Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Mockingbird Station is directly across the street and top restaurants, clubs, bars, shopping and other attractions are nearby, including NorthPark Center shopping mall, the Dallas Museum of Art, Majestic Theatre, Dallas Theatre Center, The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum and White Rock Lake.

Here is the press release for The Highland Dallas:

World-class Amenities

With 198 well-appointed guestrooms and suites, The Highland Dallas offers a sophisticated and contemporary guest experience. Featuring stylish décor and intuitive service touches, guests enjoy unsurpassed accommodations surrounded by a dynamic Dallas location. Each guestroom features a plush king-sized bed with Frette linens, designer headboards and an oversized desk. Guests will also enjoy luxurious bath amenities, and comfortable seating area for enjoying the state-of-the-art flat-screen plasma TV, iHome docking station and DVD player.

The Highland is also home to the acclaimed restaurant, Knife, a reinvention of the steakhouse experience created by nationally-acclaimed, James Beard-nominated and Bravo’s “Top Chef” contestant Chef John Tesar. Melding classic “Old School” with modern “New School” dishes, Knife features all-natural born and raised Texas beef, pork and lamb in dry-aged prime cuts as well as exotic specialty cuts. Boasting more than the average steakhouse, the menu also incorporates an extensive charcuterie program, bacon and ham tastings, sausages and burgers.

Guests can also rejuvenate and reenergize at Exhale, Dallas’ premiere destination for health and wellbeing. Exhale offers daily superior fitness classes including Core Fusion Barre, Bootcamp, Cardio and Yoga. An expansive suite of spa therapy rooms accommodates a full menu of face and body treatment offerings. Guests begin and culminate their restorative experiences in fully appointed changing rooms featuring private daily lockers, showers, and a eucalyptus steam room.

Specializing in the very latest in hair, skin and nail care, Salon Pompeo is dedicated to offering the best, individualized salon experience possible. The salon delivers contemporary hair styles and premium nail care, all in a stylish environment that features a fully-stocked bar.

Blending exceptional service, world-class amenities and a new signature style, The Highland Dallas is evocative of the affluence and elegance of the nearby Highland Park community, often described as the “Beverly Hills of Texas.” Guests may explore and experience upscale shopping at the Highland Park Village, featuring haute couture boutiques set amidst the gorgeous confines inspired by Spanish Mediterranean architecture. Additional shops and services are conveniently located adjacent to The Highland at Mockingbird Station.

www.thehighlanddallas.com

*****

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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