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When the Executive Lounge is no longer the Executive Lounge...

When the Executive Lounge is no longer the Executive Lounge...

Old Jan 4, 12, 12:41 pm
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When the Executive Lounge is no longer the Executive Lounge...

Passing through Memphis last week and staying at the Memphis Hilton, I journeyed up to the executive lounge to find that it had been apparently closed for several days to serve as the University of Cincinnati's hospitality lounge for their fans attending the Liberty Bowl on New Year's Eve. Not to mention that the noise coming from that place was unbelievable, even at midnight. Complained to the front desk to get "you're staying at the University of Cincinnati's official hotel for the Liberty Bowl, what did you expect" as an answer. I sure as heck didn't know that when I booked my hotel stay! Glad to see that Hilton apparently endorses fraternity-like parties in their executive lounge and though a diamond business traveler in the minority in this hotel, my value to Hilton in getting a good night's sleep was less important than making sure they catered to a hotel full of rowdy football fans who likely spend only 1-2 nights for the year in a Hilton property. Still pretty ticked!
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Old Jan 4, 12, 12:50 pm
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Originally Posted by jsmith50 View Post
my value to Hilton in getting a good night's sleep was less important than making sure they catered to a hotel full of rowdy football fans who likely spend only 1-2 nights for the year in a Hilton property. Still pretty ticked!
How many nights per year do you spend in this particular Hilton?

How many rooms will they rent out to University of Cincinnati fans?

I think you will find that they made the only possible business choice.
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Old Jan 4, 12, 12:56 pm
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Originally Posted by Dovster View Post
How many nights per year do you spend in this particular Hilton?

How many rooms will they rent out to University of Cincinnati fans?

I think you will find that they made the only possible business choice.
I spend approximately 20 nights/year in this particular Hilton (sometimes more). While I agree with your logic, booking 200 rooms as a college hotel for a bowl game benefits them in the short term, my 200+ nights a year in Hilton properties is a sizable loss if they tick me off and I go back to Marriott and take the business of my consulting firm with me (>1000 nights/year in Hilton properties). Point being that it was mostly college kids, including the entire football team that has no status with Hilton and who likely stayed there only because it was the school hotel.

The response from the front desk was unacceptable. They could have offered to move me to another room or found some other solution rather than insinuate that it was my fault in knowingly booking the Hilton while they were host to a special event (which was not at all the case).
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Old Jan 4, 12, 12:57 pm
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Plus 1

Originally Posted by jsmith50 View Post

The response from the front desk was unacceptable. They could have offered to move me to another room or something other solution rather than insinuate that it was my fault in knowingly booking the Hilton while they were host to a special event (which was not at all the case).
I agree.
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Old Jan 4, 12, 1:05 pm
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Originally Posted by jsmith50 View Post
my 200+ nights a year in Hilton properties is a sizable loss if they tick me off
Not really. Most Hilton properties are franchises. It doesn't matter in the least to the Hilton Tel Aviv how much money the Hilton Dusseldorf or the Hilton Airport Atlanta earn.

You mentioned going back to Marriott -- it is not at all uncommon for one corporation to own both Hiltons and Marriotts, often in the same city. A company like this wants you to stay at one of their properties and does not care at all which chain it is associated with.
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Old Jan 4, 12, 1:10 pm
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Originally Posted by Dovster View Post
Not really. Most Hilton properties are franchises. It doesn't matter in the least to the Hilton Tel Aviv how much money the Hilton Dusseldorf or the Hilton Airport Atlanta earn.

You mentioned going back to Marriott -- it is not at all uncommon for one corporation to own both Hiltons and Marriotts, often in the same city. A company like this wants you to stay at one of their properties and does not care at all which chain it is associated with.
While it may not make much different to the franchise owner, assuming this is a franchise property, I assume that it would make a difference to Hilton corporate. Especially since they worked for over a year to lure our business away from Marriott!
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Old Jan 4, 12, 1:18 pm
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When did the Memphis Hilton (re)open the Executive lounge? Last few years that I've been there, there was no lounge.
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Old Jan 4, 12, 1:21 pm
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Originally Posted by jsmith50 View Post
The response from the front desk was unacceptable. They could have offered to move me to another room or found some other solution rather than insinuate that it was my fault in knowingly booking the Hilton while they were host to a special event (which was not at all the case).
I agree. They should have offered you compensation as well in the form of a voucher for an appetizer or some drink chits for the lounge not being accessible and discounted the room rate a little if you had all that noise to put up. I had to deal with a teen dance convention once at the Palmer House and that was a real pain.

The executive lounges at a lot of hotels are starting to go downhill the way Airline lounges are. Nothing exclusive or tranquil about them anymore. The Palmer House lounge on weekends reminds me of being in Romper Room at times.
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Old Jan 4, 12, 1:54 pm
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Having just negotiated a contract for a large event at a Hilton property, I can tell you that everything is for sale, and the upcharges are not cheap, and once you sign on the dotted line, you are obligated to bring in those bookings. So the OP's University partiers probably asked the hotel months ago (perhaps as long as a year) for the whole place, or at least a substantial chunk of it, and no hotel in the world is going to turn down a guaranteed sale of dozens and dozens of rooms just to attempt to preserve the tranquil atmosphere. When you have a contract in hand, you take it. Not to mention the ton of free advertizing you get by being the "official hotel" of anything.

That said, I do think that the Hotel, and the Hilton chain, owe the OP an apology and a small token of goodwill--- if they want to give a free night, that's great customer service, but if they want to give a gift card for $25 (covers breakfast and a drink when the lounge wasn't available) and some points to make up for the staff's flippant remark (which hopefully was one of those things that was meant with the best of intentions and just didn't come out right) that would be reasonable.

But I'd also like to give the OP a reality check: sometimes you're going to end up in the middle of the party, without being invited to it, and it's never fun to be the only sober one around. Hilton, like many if not most hotels, is a bit lenient with the large groups, especially when one group flat-out dominates the whole place. Yes, your good night's sleep is really important, but it's also important that these folks have a good time at their annual most-important-social-event, and the hotel is not going to want those folks telling their friends "That hotel sucks because they kept hassling us!" And with a big event like the Liberty Bowl happening on New Years Eve, you'd have found the same scene at the Marriott or pretty much any hotel in town.

Focus on the things that the staff really could have done better: been more responsive and more professional when handling your complaints, and something to make up for the lack of lounge access. I think it's reasonable to expect a party atmosphere if you're in a college town that close to New Years, or really any town, because that's how people celebrate New Year's: they get a hotel for a few nights, they drink their faces off, and they run around the halls making a lot of noise. New Years Eve + major sporting event = freakshow, and the closer you get to the 31st, the drunker the drunks get.

Just be glad you weren't in the Embassy Suites Parsippany last year during the Juniors Ice Dancing finals. Whole hotel was full to the rafters with 9-and-10-year-old girls, running everywhere, their parents self-medicating at the Manager's Reception (I can completely understand that crew driving you to drink), one of the kids found a referee's whistle and was conducting relay races around 3 different floors in tandem, and at that age, little girls have those shrill shrieky voices but can still be really really loud... and there's an echo in that ES....
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Old Jan 4, 12, 2:10 pm
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Don't get me wrong, I have been in plenty of hotels in the past 10 years while traveling heavily where there were other events going on in the hotel and frequently noisier than I would prefer, but here is what's bothering me about this...1) It would have been easy for the Memphis Hilton to put a note on their website or mentioned during booking that it was hosting the entire University of Cincinnati traveling party and fans for a football weekend so that I would have known to direct my hotel stay elsewhere, 2) The executive lounge in Memphis is on the 26th floor (which is theoretically key card access only), the top several floors are "Hilton Honors Floors." It seems that if they had a huge party atmosphere like that, they would have found a more accessible location (conference room, perhaps) for a hospitality suite, 3) An offer to move to another room would have been nice (I know they had empty rooms), 4) An apology (rather than a flippant, unappreciative-type comment), an offer of some token of appreciation at this point for brand loyalty would have been a nice gesture and I probably would have taken things in stride a lot better, 5) In addition, the internet code stopped working half way through my stay and they told me that they didn't have another one to give me so I charged it to the room and then had to fight to get the charge removed on check out (which didn't leave a great taste in my mouth either). It was really a comedy of errors all around and I have experienced much better from this property in the past!

I recognize that anything is for sale, but I didn't realize this included rudeness to very frequent Hilton Honors members!
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Old Jan 4, 12, 2:23 pm
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One time I stayed at the Hilton NY Times Square during New Years Eve, there was a loud party and a lot of people that kept me up past midnight. Who do I contact to get compensation?

I'm never staying there again, not even at a $20/night mistake fare.
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Old Jan 4, 12, 7:21 pm
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Originally Posted by justhere View Post
When did the Memphis Hilton (re)open the Executive lounge? Last few years that I've been there, there was no lounge.
+1...
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Old Jan 4, 12, 9:26 pm
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Originally Posted by jsmith50 View Post
The response from the front desk was unacceptable. They could have offered to move me to another room or found some other solution rather than insinuate that it was my fault in knowingly booking the Hilton while they were host to a special event (which was not at all the case).
Did they refuse to move you to another room when you asked?
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Old Jan 4, 12, 10:03 pm
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also stayed ay palmer house stsay away from that place if u want some quiet ive been to frat houses that have more manners
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Old Jan 4, 12, 10:08 pm
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I would assume you would get the exact same treatment at any nearby hotel on a bowl game weekend. I'm sure there are people who stayed at the Marriott saying never again they are moving to Hilton.
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