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.

Hilton HHonors 2x and 3x points August 1 to October 31, 2014 is a good value offer for 30 points per dollar earning on hotels stays on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday night and 20 points per dollar for stays on Monday to Thursday nights.

Typical of Hilton HHonors is conflicting information on different pages. One set of promotion T&Cs state the promotion begins today July 9 while the main promotion page offer states August 1.

Hilton HHonors 2x/3x points Promotion registration is available as of today.

[Loyalty Traveler note Friday, July 11 7:00am PT: The HHonors promotion registration page has not loaded the past two days since this offer was announced. I was able to register for the 2014Q3 offer on July 9, however the HHOnors registration page link went dead soon after this post. The image below shows the Aug 1-Oct 31, 2014 dates.]

HHonors 2014 Q3 2x-3x promotion

Hilton HHonors 2014 Q3 promotion for 2x and 3x points August 1 to October 31, 2014.

HHonors 2x/3x Promotion FAQ shows how bonus points are calculated. Read More…

Hilton HHonors has a new promotion for Singapore Airlines Krisflyer double miles (2 miles/$1) for Hilton brand hotel stays from July 1 to September 30, 2014. Hotel stays in Asia Pacific region earn triple miles (3 miles/$1).

Residents of Singapore have an additional incentive with the HHonors member participant who earns the most KrisFlyer base miles during the promotion winning a 5-night trip to the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort with flights on Singapore Airlines.

Read More…

Hilton HHonors published hotel award category changes July 2, 2014, effective next Wednesday, July 9 with a list of 24 hotels increasing category and 15 hotels decreasing category. Be sure to look over the lists and check rates by Tuesday, January 8 for potential bookings you want to make at lower category rates.

In addition, there are 56 new hotels opened since April 1, 2014 with their hotel award category assignment. That is an average of one new hotel nearly every other day for the quarter. In April 2014, Hilton HHonors announced it was going to drop its annual award category reassignment for periodic reassignment during the year. I think it is the new hotel openings providing the underlying motive for more frequent hotel award category reassignment than the annual list. This also coincides with their quarterly inventory of Hilton brand hotels for financial reports.

Read More…

Hilton is offering a summer rate sale for hotels in Europe, Middle East and Africa for stays through September. These are advance purchase, prepaid and nonrefundable rates.

UK and Europe require room bookings by September 1 for weekend stays from June 27 through September 30, 2014. Some properties offer Summer Sale rates every day of the week from July 28 to September 1. Requires 3-day advance purchase.

Middle East and Africa require room bookings by September 30 for stays  through October 5, 2014. Requires 5-day advance purchase and no weekend limitation for these regions.

Rates start as low as $43 per night for DoubleTree by Hilton Malatya, Turkey. Poland, Slovakia, Spain, UK, Turkey, UAE, Egypt and South Africa all have hotel rates starting at under $70 per night.

Hilton Summer Sale link.

Hilton Europe 2014 sale

Hilton Summer Sale Terms 

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Hilton Worldwide has partnered with Eden Group by signing a deal for five separate Hilton brand hotels in different Myanmar locations. The country of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is located on the Indian Ocean and bordered by Thailand, Laos, China, Bangladesh and India. International tourism in the country nearly doubled from 2012 with more than two million visitors in 2013.

Hilton Yangon is scheduled to open in Q4-2014 in Myanmar’s largest city. Myanmar has a population of 61 million in a country just beginning development with western brands. Accor and Best Western have also signed hotel properties in Myanmar recently.

Eden Group already has two hotels open in Myanmar and these hotels will be rebranded and open as Hilton Hotels in October 2014.

Read More…

Hilton returns to central Paris with Concorde Opera Paris. The hotel is Hilton HHonors category 9 and currently bookable on the Hilton websites. The website states HHonors benefits are provided, yet the hotel is not yet branded as Hilton. That is expected sometime in the next few months.

Hilton Concorde Opera Paris

Concorde Opera Paris

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