How Hilton Golds are treated.

Old Nov 15, 17, 7:44 am
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How Hilton Golds are treated.

We are Golds for Marriott, Starwood, and Hilton. Our Hilton status was earned by paying for many hotel rooms over the past ten years or more, not as a perk from another source. We were very disappointed at our treatment recently at a Hilton in Europe, because we did not book via the Honors website. We’ve heard of this Hilton policy in the past, but frankly don’t understand why a hospitality company would not want to always warmly welcome their elites, regardless of how they show up at your door. We booked our stay via JPM Ultimate Rewards and advised the Hotel via email of our status. While we were “granted” some benefits such as free breakfast, other bennies were denied. A hotel manager explained that the corporate policy is NO elite benefits if you don’t book via their website. In contrast, we booked a Marriott Autograph Hotel in Berlin via the same way, and were treated like royalty during our entire stay there. In both stays, as usual, we spent cash every day in the hotel lounge/restaurants.

Our hotel selection in the future will be skewed towards Marriott/SPG.
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Old Nov 15, 17, 7:52 am
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Wait, you emailed the hotel and told them you were gold?
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Old Nov 15, 17, 7:54 am
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Originally Posted by don731 View Post
We’ve heard of this Hilton policy in the past, but frankly don’t understand why a hospitality company would not want to always warmly welcome their elites, regardless of how they show up at your door. We booked our stay via JPM Ultimate Rewards and advised the Hotel via email of our status.
Well for starters the main reason is booking through a third party is a lower revenue booking to the hotel because of the commissions they pay, so they try to incentivize people to book direct. Also for the record, SPG has the same policy as Hilton. https://www.starwoodhotels.com/prefe...efits.overview

Disclaimer:1SPG member benefits are subject to availability and certain eligibility requirements. Reservations booked through third parties and online booking sources are not eligible.
To add to confusion, from what I could find, I believe Marriott DOES offer full elite benefits on third party bookings. https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/marr...-bookings.html
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Old Nov 15, 17, 8:02 am
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Originally Posted by guller View Post
Wait, you emailed the hotel and told them you were gold?
Yep. We were told that the Gold benefits they gave us (breakfast) was a favor, and that other benefits such as a room upgrade would not be offered due to corporate policy.
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Old Nov 15, 17, 8:15 am
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I posted in the other thread about the 3rd party booking...basically what krazykanuck said.

However, you got breakfast, which is the main Gold benefit there is. You didn't miss out on the Presidential Suite - you weren't going to get it anyway. HH Gold mainly ensures you don't get the room next to the elevator or the ice machine; it typically doesn't yield huge upgrades.

Diamond doesn't even yield huge upgrades.

Marriott Gold won't yield a lot of Presidential Suites either. Good rooms, often a bit of a bigger room in Europe (where the base rooms can be very small), but switching to Marriott in hopes of swimming in upgrades is going to leave you disappointed.

The high tiers of Starwood Plat, staying at heritage-Starwood brands, may still do a bit better. Who knows how long that will last.

Hyatt (assuming you can reach top tier) is where you need to go if upgrades are important to you. Downside? Less total coverage globally. I find Hiltons and Marriotts in places where there are no Hyatts.

Source: I'm MR/SPG Gold, HH Diamond, and Hyatt Noob.
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Old Nov 15, 17, 8:16 am
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Which Hilton was this, if you don't mind sharing?

I've got a stay at the Berlin Hilton booked. It's technically two stays from two bookings -the first night was through the Chase UR portal, second and third are point stays booked through the Hilton website. Wondering if I should not expect Breakfast from the first stay.

I'm Gold also, if it matters.
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Old Nov 15, 17, 9:54 am
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Originally Posted by lss250 View Post
Which Hilton was this, if you don't mind sharing?

I've got a stay at the Berlin Hilton booked. It's technically two stays from two bookings -the first night was through the Chase UR portal, second and third are point stays booked through the Hilton website. Wondering if I should not expect Breakfast from the first stay.

I'm Gold also, if it matters.
It was in Brussels. The Marriott Autograph Collection in Berlin was the am Steinplatz. Steinplatz treated us like royalty. Outstanding service, wonderful upgraded room, outstanding free breakfast, great restaurant and bar where we spent hundreds of Euros over a week's stay. Extraordinary high level of staff to customer engagement.

I would email the hotel (like we did) explaining your bookings, and noting your status.

Full disclosure: Before my 30 years in airline flight operations, I was an executive with Hilton Hotels in Washington DC. I can tell you that we had a different perspective on our elites (Preferential Card) back then. They were highly valued and warmly welcomed even if they were just stopping in for a cocktail. My wife was a global traveler in her profession for 40 years, and has gold/plat/lifetime status with many travel entities.
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Old Nov 15, 17, 9:58 am
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Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
I posted in the other thread about the 3rd party booking...basically what krazykanuck said.

However, you got breakfast, which is the main Gold benefit there is. You didn't miss out on the Presidential Suite - you weren't going to get it anyway. HH Gold mainly ensures you don't get the room next to the elevator or the ice machine; it typically doesn't yield huge upgrades.

Diamond doesn't even yield huge upgrades.

Marriott Gold won't yield a lot of Presidential Suites either. Good rooms, often a bit of a bigger room in Europe (where the base rooms can be very small), but switching to Marriott in hopes of swimming in upgrades is going to leave you disappointed.

The high tiers of Starwood Plat, staying at heritage-Starwood brands, may still do a bit better. Who knows how long that will last.

Hyatt (assuming you can reach top tier) is where you need to go if upgrades are important to you. Downside? Less total coverage globally. I find Hiltons and Marriotts in places where there are no Hyatts.

Source: I'm MR/SPG Gold, HH Diamond, and Hyatt Noob.
Understand and agree with all you stated. However, it's the attitude of "You're not a real elite today." that disappoints us, and will drive some of our hotel choices in the future. We book almost exclusively through JPM Ultimate Rewards site these days, so I am sure we will encounter some of these issues again in the future.
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Old Nov 15, 17, 10:13 am
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Originally Posted by don731 View Post
Understand and agree with all you stated. However, it's the attitude of "You're not a real elite today." that disappoints us, and will drive some of our hotel choices in the future. We book almost exclusively through JPM Ultimate Rewards site these days, so I am sure we will encounter some of these issues again in the future.
I know...I've certainly gotten it on my own 3rd-party stays. I think I subconsciously avoid Priceline for the middle-range hotels (regular Marriotts, Hiltons, etc.) because of this. Happy to stay at a Fairfield Inn or a Ritz-Carlton without benefits, since it doesn't really matter much either way. Also happy to book boutique hotels through other sites (Citi Prestige, etc.) since the concept of status isn't used against you, either at all or to a much lesser extent.

But I do hate the feeling of being at a place where everything is driven off of status and *I* don't have it. Maybe I've been on Flyertalk too long??
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Old Nov 15, 17, 10:21 am
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Originally Posted by don731 View Post
Understand and agree with all you stated. However, it's the attitude of "You're not a real elite today." that disappoints us, and will drive some of our hotel choices in the future. We book almost exclusively through JPM Ultimate Rewards site these days, so I am sure we will encounter some of these issues again in the future.
don731 - Have you considered booking through the Hilton web site then?
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Old Nov 15, 17, 10:34 am
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I'm not sure to understand.
From one side you are saying that you know the business, you are gold for years. Then you feel disappointed because you did not got the upgrade, even if the hotel gave you a free breakfast that was not due?
Were you not aware of he basic rules?
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Old Nov 15, 17, 10:47 am
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Originally Posted by MP001 View Post
I'm not sure to understand.
From one side you are saying that you know the business, you are gold for years. Then you feel disappointed because you did not got the upgrade, even if the hotel gave you a free breakfast that was not due?
Were you not aware of he basic rules?
Actually we were not aware of the Hilton "rule" that you must use their website to book if you want your elite status recognized, as until the last year we had usually reserved either through their website, or personally by the individual hotel's staff. We are not sure why this rule makes any sense. Either your loyalty is valued every time you walk through their door, or it is not. Not about the upgrade, just about being treated differently than we would have been if we had booked via the website.

Oh, and our next stay with Hilton is next week. Will report back!

Last edited by don731; Nov 15, 17 at 10:55 am
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Old Nov 15, 17, 10:55 am
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Originally Posted by restlessinRNO View Post
don731 - Have you considered booking through the Hilton web site then?
Sounds like he's redeeming UR. You have to book it through their portal.

Since the hotel gets paid like any other stay, I can see where guests think elite benefits should apply. When I book airline tickets through the similar Citi portal, my AA miles, status, upgrade priority, etc. are not impacted.

But clearly Hilton *doesn't* do this, which means Don is probably better off redeeming Marriott stays out of the Chase portal.
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Old Nov 15, 17, 10:55 am
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Originally Posted by don731 View Post
Understand and agree with all you stated. However, it's the attitude of "You're not a real elite today." that disappoints us, and will drive some of our hotel choices in the future. We book almost exclusively through JPM Ultimate Rewards site these days, so I am sure we will encounter some of these issues again in the future.
I'm genuinely curious what your sample size is that you're basing all this off of. Personally I wouldn't base everything off 1 poor Hilton and 1 great Marriott experience because it could be flip flopped on a different trip. Bear in mind hotels are generally independently owned and operated (Hilton, Starwood, Marriott, etc don't own many of the hotels that carry the brand name), so it's reasonable to expect some level of variation in service from one property to another.
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Old Nov 15, 17, 11:13 am
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Originally Posted by krazykanuck View Post
I'm genuinely curious what your sample size is that you're basing all this off of. Personally I wouldn't base everything off 1 poor Hilton and 1 great Marriott experience because it could be flip flopped on a different trip. Bear in mind hotels are generally independently owned and operated (Hilton, Starwood, Marriott, etc don't own many of the hotels that carry the brand name), so it's reasonable to expect some level of variation in service from one property to another.
We are in hotels either domestically or internationally every month this year. Just trying to compare and contrast recent experiences via the same booking method.
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