The Curse of Diamond

Old Oct 13, 16, 11:37 am
  #16  
 
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Originally Posted by freestay View Post
All I can add is that you never know when being a Diamond can be most important: my husband passed away (peacefully but unexpectedly) at sea between Sicily and Mallorca in September. Upon docking in Mallorca the next day, the port agent had arranged for a hotel for me. It was high season in Mallorca...despite the consulate's assurances that the property selected was 4-star, it was NOT a good place/location for me and they could only keep me for one more additional night. Knowing that there was a Hilton somewhere in Mallorca, I called immediately. They were also full but, as a Diamond, said they'd accommodate me.

The Hilton Sa Torre happens to be a beautiful, serene, magical resort in a 14th century castle...not only did the hotel keep extending my stay for the 9 days I needed to remain in Spain but they assigned me a private casita at a reduced diamond rate and the staff was very helpful and protective. At check-out, the Manager insisted that half of my considerable telephone charges be removed as they knew I hadn't chosen to make the calls but had to. The extensive breakfast buffet was also a helpful Diamond benefit as it was served until 11.

I, too, have been disappointed with diminishing Diamond perks, especially in the US. However, without being honored and assisted as a Diamond so graciously at the Sa Torre, I would not have known where to find hotel space in Mallorca at such a difficult time.

I'm very grateful and will remain a loyal Hilton member.
I'm so sorry for your loss. What a blessing that your Diamond benefits eased the logistics of your unexpected extended stay in Mallorca.
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Old Oct 13, 16, 12:11 pm
  #17  
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I feel the same way.

I received Hyatt diamond via a status match for this year and have been trying to maintain diamond with them by giving them as much of my business as possible but unfortunately there aren't Hyatts in all the locations I go to so I will lose the diamond status 2/1 and will really miss it. The difference between how Hyatt and Hilton treats their diamonds is like that between night and day. Decent lounges, 4 p.m. check out, I don't have to call to have premium wifi removed from my bill and I get a nice welcome amenity

The one area that really ticks me off is late check out. As a no-status with SPG I have no issues getting a 4 p.m. checkout with the Delta crossover program. If they would offer Diamonds a 4 p.m. checkout and a hot breakfast if there is no lounge and a few suite certs a year I'd be happy and it wouldn't cost Hilton anything and the late check out policy has cost them a few stays I've given to SPG and Hyatt when I needed a late checkout.

I obtained my 2017 status by credit card spend instead of stays. The diamond status is nice in Overseas Hiltons that have nice lounges and so is the premium wifi (even though you have to call to have the charge removed a lot) and the diamond desk has always managed to get a cancel penalty fee waived when a flight has cancelled and I can't make it.

Hilton is getting some stays this quarter though due to the MQM Delta program so the program does have some advantages.
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Old Oct 13, 16, 12:18 pm
  #18  
 
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I have noticed no difference at all since I became a diamond. I have only stayed at a Hilton Garden Inn (the same one 4 times) and a Doubletree Suites once. I got a coupon for breakfast at Doubletree, but I was leaving at 4 am so got no use of that. At Garden Inn, I took points instead of anything else. I have gotten an upgrade there once-I think only because the last time I stayed there, I told the manager how nice it would be to stay in one of the rooms with a balcony view of the airport. I got 2 small chocolates for being a Diamond once. There were rooms to be upgraded available, but that never happened. The only difference I have noticed is the number of points. All my stays have been in the US in CT, and I've heard it matters more overseas.
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Old Oct 13, 16, 11:41 pm
  #19  
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Elite status matters far more ex-North America. As a Diamond, I was recently upgraded to exec level rooms in Peru and Hong Kong. An even more recent stay in San Antonio: I got a river view 2 queen room, when I paid for a non-river view 2 queen room. STOP THE PRESSES!!

Bottom line, I like diamond for the non-NA treatment. Hell last year as a gold I got a sweet suite upgrade on a $85 rate in the middle east. And I have multiple stays from now to year end across the ME and Europe.
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Old Oct 14, 16, 4:46 am
  #20  
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Originally Posted by shorthauldad View Post
What does this statement actually mean?

Is it the moment when the check-in agent says "We have your HHons # in our system, I see you are HH Diamond, thank you for your loyalty"?

If so, it's meaningless and I think they should ditch it.
What I meant was, some properties arrange some small complimentary extras like chocolates, fruit, basket, small wine bottle etc etc.
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Old Oct 15, 16, 11:38 am
  #21  
 
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Originally Posted by arlflyer View Post
Were you on explicitly non-qualifying rates at the Crowne Plaza and JW too?

I dont know how we had a "non-qual" rate, until i realized that it was booked through our local office in china... it was a very good deal for the QingDao hilton during the beer festival... so i am not complaining, but it did seem very inconsistent. Next up is singapore orchard road, we shall see how this is these days.

I typically stay at the intercontinental in s'pore, but we have a group that prefer the Hilton... Havent stayed in this property for about 15 years...
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Old Oct 15, 16, 3:57 pm
  #22  
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All my hotel stays so far at Hilton in 16 have been domestic. I can only think of a few cases where it was an advantage of being diamond over gold.

1. The Chicago Hilton will give diamonds vouchers for the full buffet if they complain about the lounge being overcrowded. Right now all Gold's get lounge access for breakfast (I was told Memorial day weekend that was changing very soon and golds would be getting some kind of voucher, not sure if it did yet or not) and they wouldn't give the vouchers to gold's or others that complained and they had to suck up the big crowds.

2. The palmer house lounge was overcrowded a couple mornings in August due to a couple big groups who were given lounge access. For diamonds only they were giving out a breakfast voucher for the full buffet, golds on the exec level had to deal with the crowds and golds on non-exec got just the continental.

3. A couple SF properties give diamonds a lot better breakfast option. Both the Parc 55 and SF Hilton offer diamonds a nice continental buffet with the option to upgrade for $10 at Parc 55 and $8 at SF Hilton (a lot of times the server will just waive off the charge) where golds get a $10 credit for food at SF Hilton and some continental to go bag at Parc 55.

I think Hilton treats their golds a lot better than most competitors treat their mid-level tier and the status is easy to get and maintain. However with Diamonds the competition treats their top tiers a lot better
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Old Oct 16, 16, 2:28 pm
  #23  
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Originally Posted by jamesteroh View Post
I think Hilton treats their golds a lot better than most competitors treat their mid-level tier and the status is easy to get and maintain. However with Diamonds the competition treats their top tiers a lot better
Absolutely. This tips a good chunk of my business Hilton's way as a Hilton Gold instead of shooting for SPG Gold, Marriott Silver or Hyatt/IHG Platinum. Which I presume is what they want. Water that down enough and I'll just book the cheapest 3/4 star off of Hotels.com with a cashback link and not care who it is with.

I simply won't ever be doing 50+ nights in any hotel chain, but HH Gold has a sweet spot of bennies plus achievement...
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Old Oct 16, 16, 3:39 pm
  #24  
 
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I've literally spent a year now getting absolutely no benefit from being a diamond in Europe. 2 upgrades in last 10 properties, most completely blank the status.

It's all gone downhill very rapidly. I was much happier as a Gold.
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Old Oct 17, 16, 4:11 pm
  #25  
 
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Different experience

I been a Hilton Diamond since 2008, every year. There are countless times that my family have been upgrade to excellent rooms and suites. In the last 4-5 years, off the top of my head in U.S.: Bentley Miami Beach, Waldorf Astoria NYC (multiple times), Curio Diplomat, FL, San Diego Mission Bay, Hilton at Huntington Beach, Hilton Waikoloa Village, Hilton Hawaiian Village, Hilton Sonoma, AZ, Hilton Washington D.C. In all cases we upgraded to either high end rooms or most of the time to suites, including Presidential Suite at Huntington Beach. As for outside of U.S., upgrades to great rooms or suites in Curacao, Amsterdam, Bali, Niseko Japan, Singapore, Tokyo, Macau, Berlin, Jamaica, etc. Again, great upgrades, lounge access and great treatment.

I honestly don't know why this is the case, maybe it's not a typical FT experience, but Hilton has just been fantastic to us, and to my family. It should be noted, I almost always send an email to the GM and tell them about us coming to his or her property, we have a very warm welcome.

Just my experience. I value Hilton Diamond status, and of course a guaranteed access to Conrad lounges in Asia is just an excellent perk.

Cheers,

PedroNY
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Old Oct 17, 16, 5:31 pm
  #26  
 
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Originally Posted by PedroNY View Post
I been a Hilton Diamond since 2008, every year. There are countless times that my family have been upgrade to excellent rooms and suites.
Given the properties you list, I'm guessing you're a big spender. The point of this being that a Diamond isn't a Diamond isn't a Diamond. OnQ shows a heckuva lot more than just status level. The properties know who the whales are.

That being said, you also listed a lot of properties that are, in fact, known for good Diamond treatment. Most of the complaints about Diamond not being distinguished from Gold come from folks who spend most of their stays at low or mid-tier properties in the U.S., UK, or Europe. Higher-end properties and properties in regions generally known for service (the Middle East, Asia) tend, in my experience, to take care of their Diamonds much better to begin with.

My mantra with Diamond has always been "Earn it in the U.S.; enjoy it internationally."
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Old Oct 17, 16, 6:41 pm
  #27  
 
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[QUOTE=

My mantra with Diamond has always been "Earn it in the U.S.; enjoy it internationally."[/QUOTE]

I totally agree, since 1999 I have earned my status in the US then used the points to stay somewhere nice. In 16 years of reward trips I can't remember one instance where my wife and I were not given some sort of special treatment. It might have just been a room near the EL or a nicer view; I hope things don't change we have a 2 week trip to NZ coming up and are using points for Auckland, Lake Taupo and Queenstown.
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Old Oct 17, 16, 6:49 pm
  #28  
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Originally Posted by arlflyer View Post
Most of the complaints about Diamond not being distinguished from Gold come from folks who spend most of their stays at low or mid-tier properties in the U.S., UK, or Europe.
What exactly are you supposed to get at the Hampton Inn in Dubuque, anyway? Caviar and Krug in the executive lounge? The Chairman's Suite with Swarovski crystals and original artwork? Or just the Diamond parking?

This also tends to be my stay pattern; I'm not dropping four digit hotel bills at the Waldorf Astoria when I travel. So not surprisingly I am quite fine with 1k extra points as a Gold at the Hampton Inn or HGI. I'm not really averse to limited-service midrange properties.

Originally Posted by arlflyer View Post
My mantra with Diamond has always been "Earn it in the U.S.; enjoy it internationally."
Gold isn't horrible overseas, either.
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Old Oct 17, 16, 6:50 pm
  #29  
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Originally Posted by PedroNY View Post
I been a Hilton Diamond since 2008, every year. There are countless times that my family have been upgrade to excellent rooms and suites. In the last 4-5 years, off the top of my head in U.S.: Bentley Miami Beach, Waldorf Astoria NYC (multiple times), Curio Diplomat, FL, San Diego Mission Bay, Hilton at Huntington Beach, Hilton Waikoloa Village, Hilton Hawaiian Village, Hilton Sonoma, AZ, Hilton Washington D.C. In all cases we upgraded to either high end rooms or most of the time to suites, including Presidential Suite at Huntington Beach. As for outside of U.S., upgrades to great rooms or suites in Curacao, Amsterdam, Bali, Niseko Japan, Singapore, Tokyo, Macau, Berlin, Jamaica, etc. Again, great upgrades, lounge access and great treatment.

I honestly don't know why this is the case, maybe it's not a typical FT experience, but Hilton has just been fantastic to us, and to my family. It should be noted, I almost always send an email to the GM and tell them about us coming to his or her property, we have a very warm welcome.

Just my experience. I value Hilton Diamond status, and of course a guaranteed access to Conrad lounges in Asia is just an excellent perk.

Cheers,

PedroNY
The Bentley in Miami and the Washington Hilton used to both treat diamonds great but lately their treatment has gone downhill.

Bentley still gives a nice breakfast benefit to diamonds but that's about it. They used to send up a nice cheese/fruit plate and a bottle of wine with a handwritten note and don't do that anymore. Before they had the resort fee that included beach umbrella and chairs they used to provide that to diamonds and used to provide complimentary cheap champaigne or bottled water. When they started the resort fee they waived it for diamonds and now they charge it on paid stays. Staff is great though and cheap point redemption so that's why I will still stay there on points.

Washington Hilton used to be great too. Before suite upgrades were a benefit they would upgrade me to a suite if available. I never had an issue with a 4 p.m. check out up until a couple years ago and when I would ask they would say no problem since I was a diamond. They use to also give diamonds breakfast buffet coupons. Last stay I didn't even get upgraded to the Exec Level, was told I had to take breakfast in the lounge and what really pissed me off was the lastest checkout they would give me without a charge was 2 p.m. (and I had to fight for that) and they charged me to store my bags. All my future DC business will be going to the Hyatt or SPG where I'm guaranteed a 4 p.m. checkout.

Waldorf in NYC no longer gives the starbucks voucher.
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Old Oct 17, 16, 6:53 pm
  #30  
 
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
What exactly are you supposed to get at the Hampton Inn in Dubuque, anyway? Caviar and Krug in the executive lounge?
Did I ask that question? No. I stated an observation. Why so argumentative/sarcastic?
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