Questions: Scandinavia on Points

Old Jul 8, 21, 2:20 am
  #61  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Germany
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 298
Thanks for the reply It's definitely one of the hotels with only a few international visitors. In Stockholm (had a nice experience at Clarion Hotel Sign), everything worked flawlessly. But even after explaining the concept of a redemption night yesterday, they insisted on the charge.

Originally Posted by Peter1012 View Post
In the worst case, try contacting Choice directly. They once helped me when this situation arose.
That's exactly what I've done two times now. At the second attempt, someone from Choice US hotline finally reached the hotel and explained the issue to them. According to the phone agent, all should be settled now. SEK 605 (= Ä 60) is really the amount that Choice US will pay to the hotel for my stay, I won't have to pay anything else than my 10.000 points.

So it appears that hotels really get paid 0,6 euro-cent for any points redeemed at the property (which is the same price that we can regularly buy points for). This might explain why many of those "cheap" hotels have now banned all redemption nights. But maybe it's just a coincidence and there are other factors influencing the paid price according to their agreement.

Edit: Just checked out of the property without any issues. Thanks to the great choice US phone agents for solving the issue, even if I had to wait in line for about 30mi twice.
Peter1012 likes this.

Last edited by delpiero223; Jul 8, 21 at 3:03 am
delpiero223 is offline  
Old Jul 8, 21, 5:24 pm
  #62  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Watchlisted by the prejudiced, en route to purgatory
Programs: Just Say No to Fleecing and Blacklisting
Posts: 100,395
For those looking for hotel stays in Stockholm using points, Hyatt’s program may be worth checking out.

Originally Posted by delpiero223 View Post
I just had a very disappointing experience at Clarion Collection Hotel Norre Park in Halmstad, Sweden.

I booked a Family Room (apartment) via Choice Hotels for 10.000 points a few weeks ago. It's one of only a handful points within Scandinavia that are still available with Choice Points.

However, when checking in, the hotel demanded a payment of SEK 600 (€ 60 / USD 70). I showed them the booking confirmation from Choice Hotels which clearly states a total cost of 10.000 points with all taxes / fees included. They couldn't explain to me where the charge is supposed to come from. However, even after talking with the "boss", they insisted on the payment to be made. Unfortunately, there haven't been any alternatives, so I am staying at the hotel right now, with be payment supposed to be done at check-out.

Did this happen to someone else yet? Didn't reach anyone from Choice Hotels via phone, so my options are quite limited. My guess it that the payment of € 60 is what the hotel will receive from Choice Hotels US for my "free" night, but the hotel isn't overly cooperative.

Also, the hotel first assigned the wrong room type (double room instead of family room), but this has been solved in the mean time.
Sounds like you got inexperienced hotel staff checking you in and/or being around for the duration of your stay. They were literally trying to bill you the reimbursement amount that Choice provides them for the stay when it’s booked using choice program points. This kind of mistake I’ve repeatedly seen from Nordic Choice properties over the years, including going back at least 7 years if not even earlier. It had been a less common mistake in 2020 and 2019 than it used to be several years earlier. But now with hotel staff recalled after long (pandemic-related) absence and new recruits also more in the picture than in 2019, it’s time to watch out for more of these mistakes.

About the room type allocation, unfortunately it’s not a rare mistake and is a long-standing issue. The best way to try to reduce the chances of that mistake currently is to book a room type after doing the initial award night search for 2 adults + 1 child.

Nordic Choice is also sort of on a Hilton-like kick with regard to trying to encourage direct bookings for its hotels; and in this regard Choicehotels.com bookings don’t come across as being such direct bookings.
delpiero223 and Peter1012 like this.

Last edited by GUWonder; Jul 8, 21 at 5:32 pm
GUWonder is offline  
Old Jul 9, 21, 6:27 am
  #63  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Watchlisted by the prejudiced, en route to purgatory
Programs: Just Say No to Fleecing and Blacklisting
Posts: 100,395
When staying at Nordic Choice hotels in Sweden on Choice program points, if the hotel asks me to insert a bank card for the stay at check-in, that’s most commonly taken by me as a sign that the front desk agent doesn’t know what they are doing with regard to this kind of booking.

On my insanely huge number of Choice award nights in Sweden, I’ve had to present a bank card at check-in less than 2% of the time during the course of the last ten years. And the only times where I’ve been wrongly billed for the room rate on award stay by the Nordic Choice Hotel properties, each of those errors has been on those award stays where I was asked for and presented a bank card at check-in.

My typical practice of checking in on Choice program award stays in Sweden involves stating the name and perhaps showing a Nordic Choice Club card. No bank card asked for or presented. And none of the ID nonsense to check-in either.
delpiero223 likes this.
GUWonder is offline  
Old Jul 15, 21, 5:40 pm
  #64  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: SE MI.
Posts: 309
Every Hotel, every day in Norway has no "reward" availability. I'd like some help in bringing this corporate behavior to public attention.
dlouise37 is offline  
Old Jul 15, 21, 6:46 pm
  #65  
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Aarhus, DK
Programs: A3 Gold, BA Silver
Posts: 835
Originally Posted by dlouise37 View Post
Every Hotel, every day in Norway has no "reward" availability. I'd like some help in bringing this corporate behavior to public attention.
I don't know where you are looking, but I see a lot of availability in many of the hotels. It is also summer so availability will be more sparse than usual. So specific hotels might also just be booked up more then usual as people stay close to home with Covid still being around.
NextWhiteDeath is offline  
Old Jul 15, 21, 10:58 pm
  #66  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: ARN
Programs: SK*G (EB D), OW S
Posts: 109
Originally Posted by dlouise37 View Post
Every Hotel, every day in Norway has no "reward" availability. I'd like some help in bringing this corporate behavior to public attention.
Originally Posted by NextWhiteDeath View Post
I don't know where you are looking, but I see a lot of availability in many of the hotels. It is also summer so availability will be more sparse than usual. So specific hotels might also just be booked up more then usual as people stay close to home with Covid still being around.
From week 37 and ahead (September 12th), I cannot find availability at any Choice property in Scandinavia. Weíve already been through this in the past. However, keeping in mind Stordalenís financial hit during the pandemic, letís hope this is another IT glitch and not a permanent change.
delpiero223 likes this.
Peter1012 is offline  
Old Jul 16, 21, 7:45 am
  #67  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Watchlisted by the prejudiced, en route to purgatory
Programs: Just Say No to Fleecing and Blacklisting
Posts: 100,395
Originally Posted by dlouise37 View Post
Every Hotel, every day in Norway has no "reward" availability. I'd like some help in bringing this corporate behavior to public attention.
While way too many Norwegian Nordic Choice hotels have not been loaded as available for quite some time when it comes to wanting them as Choice Privilegesí award nights, there are still some Norwegian hotels that are available for redemption. Even after you posted, I booked a few Norwegian Nordic Choice Hotels using US Choice points for stays this month. That said, Iím all in for anything that gets us back those blocked properties.
GUWonder is offline  
Old Jul 16, 21, 7:54 am
  #68  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Watchlisted by the prejudiced, en route to purgatory
Programs: Just Say No to Fleecing and Blacklisting
Posts: 100,395
Originally Posted by Peter1012 View Post
From week 37 and ahead (September 12th), I cannot find availability at any Choice property in Scandinavia. Weíve already been through this in the past. However, keeping in mind Stordalenís financial hit during the pandemic, letís hope this is another IT glitch and not a permanent change.
I found a few nights available in Norway using Choice US points for September 14-15. But after that, itís zippo availability even at the last of those Nordic Choice properties using US Choice points.

I wouldnít be surprised if we end up seeing a whole new repricing of award nights using US Choice points for these properties, with the new baseline being more often 16k-30k points than the 8k-20k that has been my bread and butter in the US Choice program.
GUWonder is offline  
Old Jul 16, 21, 8:11 am
  #69  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: ARN
Programs: SK*G (EB D), OW S
Posts: 109
Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
I found a few nights available in Norway using Choice US points for September 14-15. But after that, itís zippo availability even at the last of those Nordic Choice properties using US Choice points.

I wouldnít be surprised if we end up seeing a whole new repricing of award nights using US Choice points for these properties, with the new baseline being more often 16k-30k points than the 8k-20k that has been my bread and butter in the US Choice program.
Unfortunately, I believe you could be right. They are definitely changing things. For some hotels (e.g. Amerikalinjen in Oslo), the points redemption cost tab per night looks like this:



Whereas for other hotels, it still looks as itís always done (e.g. AtSix in Stockholm):



A good indicator that re-pricing may be around the corner. We will probably know in the next days

Last edited by Peter1012; Jul 16, 21 at 9:19 am
Peter1012 is offline  
Old Jul 16, 21, 8:43 am
  #70  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: SE MI.
Posts: 309
It's not an IT problem. It's a "Choice" by corporate or an agreement among the hotel owners.
dlouise37 is offline  
Old Jul 16, 21, 9:36 am
  #71  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Germany
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 298
It's been a pretty nice sweet spot for many years. But it would be understandable to raise the cost for some properties, if they receive like $ 70 for award nights instead of regular rates starting at $ 200.

However, just removing them altogether, is unacceptable in my opinion.

At choice hotels, who is in charge of setting award night prices? Can it be done by the property itself or is it set by Choice US corporate?
Peter1012 likes this.
delpiero223 is offline  
Old Jul 16, 21, 1:29 pm
  #72  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: SE MI.
Posts: 309
Got some feedback that perhaps it is an "IT" issue. Seems that there is some(not much but > 0 ) availability closer in. Namely <= 60 days out may be the key.
delpiero223 and Peter1012 like this.
dlouise37 is offline  
Old Jul 17, 21, 10:48 am
  #73  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Watchlisted by the prejudiced, en route to purgatory
Programs: Just Say No to Fleecing and Blacklisting
Posts: 100,395
Originally Posted by NextWhiteDeath View Post
I don't know where you are looking, but I see a lot of availability in many of the hotels. It is also summer so availability will be more sparse than usual. So specific hotels might also just be booked up more then usual as people stay close to home with Covid still being around.
Summer is definitely not the reason for this (lack of) award night availability issue when trying to use US Choice points for Nordic Choice properties.
GUWonder is offline  
Old Jul 18, 21, 2:01 pm
  #74  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: SFO
Programs: AS Gold 75K (OW), SK EB Silver (*A), UR, MR
Posts: 2,880
I canít say I have ever considered staying at a Choice Hotel outside of the US, certainly not in Scandinavia, given whatís offered locally. Whatís the attraction?
vanillabean is online now  
Old Jul 18, 21, 2:06 pm
  #75  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Germany
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 298
Originally Posted by vanillabean View Post
I canít say I have ever considered staying at a Choice Hotel outside of the US, certainly not in Scandinavia, given whatís offered locally. Whatís the attraction?
For me, some pro's for their Scandinavian hotels are:
- great rates for points redemptions (paid nights are often USD 150 or above in Stockholm, Oslo, ...
- many international brands like IHG don't have a large foodprint in Scandinavia, while there are quite a lot Choice hotels
- brakfast is (almost?) always included in Scandinavian choice properties, unlike other hotels
- their Choice Collection hotels are usually quite nice and even include a small dinner buffet

With that being said, I am not a frequent user of Choice's US properties and prefer Wyndham, IHG, ... when travelling to North America. But that might just be my European view
delpiero223 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread