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Premium Room Reward only at certain properties - Major Devaluation of HH points

Premium Room Reward only at certain properties - Major Devaluation of HH points

Old Oct 8, 11, 1:27 pm
  #16  
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Neither HHonors nor SPG defines a 'standard room' as is to be available for award redemption. If the programs have a minimum fraction of rooms to be defined as standard, I don't recall seeing it identified on the forums. The official Starwood Lurker has identified a property where only about 15% (I'm doing this from memory) of total room inventory is categorized as standard. SPG beat HHonors to the premium room for more points punch by years.
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Old Oct 8, 11, 1:29 pm
  #17  
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Another good English language term that seems to fit is Blackguard, er, sorry, blackguard, properly pronounced as "blag-guard". Synonyms include
1. scamp, rascal, rapscallion, rogue, devil, villain.

If they keep it up, well, I soon will receive my Hyatt Diamond card.

Originally Posted by Hhonor Gguard View Post
Haha, I love this! Admittedly, I had to look it up. I was familiar with Occam, but this is even better. I guarantee, almost 100% of the "scams" that FTers complain about can be attributed to Hanlon's Razor.
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Old Oct 8, 11, 1:34 pm
  #18  
 
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Pretty sure I saw this same problem looking Hilton Kuching a few days ago...I was just glancing to take a look at the property, but they definitely weren't allowing redemptions for the lowest category for the random dates I checked for prices. This isn't exactly a high-end hotel either....maybe it's an Asia bug?
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Old Oct 8, 11, 1:35 pm
  #19  
 
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
Neither HHonors nor SPG defines a 'standard room' as is to be available for award redemption. If the programs have a minimum fraction of rooms to be defined as standard, I don't recall seeing it identified on the forums. The official Starwood Lurker has identified a property where only about 15% (I'm doing this from memory) of total room inventory is categorized as standard. SPG beat HHonors to the premium room for more points punch by years.
Two points you must remember in this situation:
1. It appears that for at least Moorea and Bora Bora, there are NO "standard" rooms available at ANY time. Impossible to believe they have sold out of "standard" rooms. SPG at least requires some "standard" rooms to be sold.

2. The SPG "premium" room only requires a relatively small increase in points. For Hilton, to go from a standard room to a "standard room plus" requires double or triple the number of points. To go to an "executive" room may require 3 to 5 times the normal rate.

I fully understand and agree with the SPG approach. The Hilton approach where a hotel can ELIMINATE all standard rooms in order to charge 3-4 times the "standard" is insane.
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Old Oct 8, 11, 2:30 pm
  #20  
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Originally Posted by deant View Post
SPG at least requires some "standard" rooms to be sold.
I'm happy to correct this error of understanding at it relates to SPG, emphasis mine:

PLEASE NOTE: Free Night Awards at the following locations require higher Starpoint redemption amounts either because the hotel does not have standard rooms or the standard rooms it offers have a mandatory Full Board requirement in peak seasons: St. Regis Resort Bora Bora, and Le Méridien Bora Bora, Bora Bora, French Polynesia; W Maldives, Maldives; Sunset Key Guest Cottages, A Westin Resort, Key West, Florida; Mystique, Santorini, Greece; Pine Cliff Residences, Albuferia, Portugal; and Cala Di Volpe, Hotel Pitrizza, and Hotel Romazzino, Porto Cervo, Italy.


See some overlap in locations? I do. SPG doesn't allow online redemptions for those properties or even publish an award chart for premium rooms. HHonors has far more transparency here.
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Old Oct 8, 11, 4:11 pm
  #21  
 
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I think Hilton updated there system on the night of Oct 2nd. I checked on Oct 2nd and all was well. What sucks is I have just converted 150K AA miles to HH points and opened two CC for HH points and was waiting for my HH credit card points to post. Very disappointed but considering how easy it is to obtain the points I only have myself to blame to only start doing this a month ago and missing it by a day. Feel really sorry for the folks who have been planning weddings in these hotels.

[edited to correct the date]

Last edited by yoyo; Oct 12, 11 at 9:57 am
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Old Oct 8, 11, 6:19 pm
  #22  
 
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Originally Posted by deant View Post
Two points you must remember in this situation:
1. It appears that for at least Moorea and Bora Bora, there are NO "standard" rooms available at ANY time. Impossible to believe they have sold out of "standard" rooms. SPG at least requires some "standard" rooms to be sold.

2. The SPG "premium" room only requires a relatively small increase in points. For Hilton, to go from a standard room to a "standard room plus" requires double or triple the number of points. To go to an "executive" room may require 3 to 5 times the normal rate.

I fully understand and agree with the SPG approach. The Hilton approach where a hotel can ELIMINATE all standard rooms in order to charge 3-4 times the "standard" is insane.
The Hilton Bora Bora on previous stays had the Twin Lagoon view and King Lagoon View on the exact same rate. Now, they have categorized the Twin LVS as the "standard" redemption room and the King LVS as a "premium" redemption room. They have further degraded redemption possibilities by not having any Twin LVS availability for the next 2 years!
Why doesn't HHonors call "Points for Upgrades" exactly what it really is? Another giant devaluation of HHonors points!
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Old Oct 8, 11, 8:08 pm
  #23  
 
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Originally Posted by jasonvr View Post
Incorrect, but it is hard to find. If you put in a date and then hit the "Use Flexible Date" button, you can scroll thru the next two years for Bora Bora. In addition, if you select a date from that flexible date view and then hit "Change", the calendar on the page that comes up will allow yo to select specific dates up to 2 years out.

I noticed some other hotels do not have their availability out that far (I think the Cav was one).
You are right...I also came to realize this change only occurs to hotels with the best deal for award stay, such as Hilton BBN, and Moorea. In contrast, category 7 hotels elsewhere, such as Los Cabos and Whistler, remain 50K points redemption.
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Old Oct 8, 11, 8:40 pm
  #24  
 
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Have sent an email to [email protected] and asked them for information relative to the non-availability of "standard" rooms. Will be interesting to see if they respond.

As for SPG, if you look at the Bora Bora room details, it states that rooms are "one bedroom" with a separate living room. Assuming this is the case, I can understand the separate category for those SPG hotels. This does not appear to be the case at Hilton. I know that it is not the case for the ADT where they did not have any standard room availability 11 months out (however after I complained they have changed the availability to show "standard room" availability for most dates).
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Old Oct 9, 11, 2:06 am
  #25  
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
Neither HHonors nor SPG defines a 'standard room' as is to be available for award redemption. If the programs have a minimum fraction of rooms to be defined as standard, I don't recall seeing it identified on the forums. The official Starwood Lurker has identified a property where only about 15% (I'm doing this from memory) of total room inventory is categorized as standard. SPG beat HHonors to the premium room for more points punch by years.
It's not defined. In the Hilton Ops manual (or franchise agreement) it simply states 5%, doesn't specify room type.
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Old Oct 11, 11, 2:38 pm
  #26  
 
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Originally Posted by benzemalyonnais View Post
Pretty sure I saw this same problem looking Hilton Kuching a few days ago...I was just glancing to take a look at the property, but they definitely weren't allowing redemptions for the lowest category for the random dates I checked for prices. This isn't exactly a high-end hotel either....maybe it's an Asia bug?
Very possible. IT bug. The other day I was checking couple of Asian hotels and noticed that sometime they multiply points per night with number of nights, then right before checkout they multiply it with numbers of nights again! So I got something like this: "You need to purchase 1,xxx, xxx points with 8x, xxx.xx dollars!"
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Old Oct 11, 11, 5:43 pm
  #27  
 
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Called a few diamond desk clerks - they said " all standard rooms must be sold out". When I told her that all standard rooms could not be taken for the next year at both Bora Bora and Moorea - she agreed but could offer no answers. I really think she was ashamed of the answers she had to provide.
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Old Oct 11, 11, 8:32 pm
  #28  
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Originally Posted by lewende View Post
You are right...I also came to realize this change only occurs to hotels with the best deal for award stay, such as Hilton BBN, and Moorea. In contrast, category 7 hotels elsewhere, such as Los Cabos and Whistler, remain 50K points redemption.
Coincidence? I don't really think so.

These properties most likely have special reimbursement rate negotiated with Hilton HHonors. When I stayed one of these properties, the nightly reimbursement rate from Hilton was $360 to the property.

Would it be possible for Hilton to come clean on this? Are properties doing this to game the system for not wanting to have guests stay using points, or is this something that Hilton HHonors has initiated to lower the costs of redemption for the program?
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Old Oct 11, 11, 9:15 pm
  #29  
 
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this is an obvious and hilarious software problem and i am surprised HH has let it go on so long. Doubletree NYC at NYE is over 400,000 points/night, ten times the Hilton NYC which must have a few regular rooms left. Iceland Hilton has no regular 35,000 point rooms 6/23-25, but you can get a "Queen plus" or "twin plus" for 97,654 points or an executive room for 120,232. as others have pointed out it must be tied to then current rack rates and nothing to do with the original category 1-7 of the hotel. Some have had the benefit of an undervalued upgrade (e.g. 23,345 points) viz the category, but those seem to be in the minority. yes this is a scam, because HH must know this "good idea" is out of whack, yet it continues. spg upgrades-at-booking are a few thousand and rarely more than double the category rate, a rare instance of spg being more user friendly than hh. wise up hh.
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Old Oct 11, 11, 9:24 pm
  #30  
 
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Hilton finally sent an actual email about the Premium Room Rewards, Room Upgrade Awards, and Points & Money programs.

BIG NEWS FROM HILTON HHONORS

Now you can use your points to book any room, anytime, anywhere*

As one of our most loyal members, we are pleased to introduce three new ways to use your Hilton HHonors™ points to book reward stays at hotels and resorts worldwide.

Use Premium Room Rewards(1) and Room Upgrade Rewards(2) to book or upgrade to any room, including our most luxurious suites.

Get away faster than ever with Points & Money Rewards™. Use fewer points to book a reward stay when you combine points and money to book a standard room.(3)

With more ways to book reward stays than ever before, Hilton HHonors helps you transform points into unforgettable experiences.
And the fine print

*Room availability for any option depends on availability at participating hotels.

(1)As long as a premium room or suite is available at the time of booking, it is yours to book using points. The number of points required to redeem Premium Room Rewards varies by room, hotel and booking date.

(2)If there is a premium room or suite available when booking an upgrade, you can use your points to guarantee your upgrade to the premium room or suite with no blackout dates. The number of points required to redeem Room Upgrade Rewards varies by room, hotel and booking date.

(3)Availability of Points & Money Rewards and points required varies by participating hotels and stay dates at time of booking.
I can already see the falsehoods in this email. "Any room, anytime" - so how does Hilton explain base rooms being available for cash at WA Beach House but having no point redemption available?

--------------------------------------

Email sent to [email protected], [email protected] and [email protected]

Standard Room Rewards now that Premium Room Rewards are available

Myself and several other Flyertalk members have noticed a disturbing trend with regard to Premium Room Rewards. At several properties the trend that seems to be developing is a complete lack of availability of standards awards, even if the base category of room at the hotel is available for purchase.

Some prime and specific examples of this are:
Hilton Bora Bora - 12/12/2011-12/13/2011 - This hotel lists a total of 10 room categories on its site. On these dates, all ten room categories are available for purchase. However, every room has a point value that is far above the 50,000 points that should be required for a Category 7 hotel. The lowest point redemption shown on these dates is 138,447 points which is almost 3x the standard redemption rate.

Hilton Moorea - 12/12/2011-12/13/2011 - This hotel lists a total of 7 room categories on its site. On these dates, all seven room categories are available for purchase. However, every room has a point value that is above the 50,000 points that should be required for a Category 7 hotel. The lowest point redemption shown on these dates is 93,185 points which is almost 2x the standard redemption rate.

Waldorf Astoria Beach House Maldives - 12/1/2011-12/2/2011 - This hotel lists 6 room categories on its site. It is unclear which category is the "standard room" category for redemptions, however it is clear that it is not the "Grand Water Pavilion" nor the "Grand Beach Pavilion" since there seems to be only one of each of these. On these dates, all four other room categories are available for purchase. From the cash rates listed, it appears that the "King Water Villa" is the "standard room" category for redemptions since it has the lowest rate, $875. However, that room category has no point value listed meaning it can not be reserved with points. The lowest redemption rate listed for the other three room categories is 250,582 points. The standard redemption rate for this hotel is either 50,000 or 80,000 points per night, depending on high or low season. That means that the lowest redemption offered is between 3x and 5x the standard rate depending on season.

This pattern is repeated over and over thru they entire 1-2 year redemption availability listed on the website. These hotels list absolutely no nights where a room is available for redemption at the standard point rate over the next 1-2 years.

I would like to know if these situations are glitches in the Hilton reservation system, or a sign of things to come - the complete inability to redeem for standard awards at certain properties. This would seem to contradict several taglines that Hilton has been promoting:

"If there’s a standard room available at any Hilton Family hotel or resort worldwide, you can redeem points for it. No exceptions, no fine print. It’s that simple." - The availability at the Waldorf Astoria Beach House Maldives seems to contradict this since the standard room is available but it can't be redeemed for points. Source - https://www.hiltonhhonors.com/landingpages/nobods.aspx

"Now you can use your points to book any room, anytime, anywhere" - Again, the availability at the Waldorf Astoria Beach House Maldives contradicts this since a room is available and it can't be redeemed for points. Source - http://hhonors1.hilton.com/en_US/hh/...BOlLMCB8dwOAl7

I would very much like to hear Hilton's response to this serious issue and seemingly large degradation of benefits for loyal HHonors members like myself.

Respectfully,
jasonvr
HHonors Diamond #xxxxxx

Last edited by jasonvr; Oct 11, 11 at 10:49 pm Reason: Self Merge
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