Options other than Bonvoy?

Old Mar 1, 20, 5:59 pm
  #1  
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Options other than Bonvoy?

Probably not the best place for this question as it’s a Bonvoy forum, but I was hoping for some input...

Recently had 2 very bad experiences at 2 different Westin’s in Hawaii. (Theft, bugs, poor customer service)

If I wanted to “take a break” from Bonvoy properties, what’s the next best option? And best way to get a jump on that options’ miles/points via CCSUBs or other?

Thanks
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Old Mar 1, 20, 6:01 pm
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Originally Posted by DVDBob View Post
Probably not the best place for this question as it’s a Bonvoy forum, but I was hoping for some input...

Recently had 2 very bad experiences at 2 different Westin’s in Hawaii. (Theft, bugs, poor customer service)

If I wanted to “take a break” from Bonvoy properties, what’s the next best option? And best way to get a jump on that options’ miles/points via CCSUBs or other?

Thanks
Can you share your experiences and which properties? I exclusively stay at Westin’s in Hawaii and have never been worried. Perhaps I should be!
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Old Mar 1, 20, 6:07 pm
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As an LTT now you've got me worried, as I wasn't aware that other chains were immune from thefts, bugs and poor CS!
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Old Mar 1, 20, 6:21 pm
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Hyatt if you can make top tier - best benefits by far, high quality hotel brand options (but limited footprint, and CC only gets you entry level status)
Hilton if you live in the US and can shortcut your way to top tier via a CC

Other than that...free agent? Airbnb?
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Old Mar 1, 20, 7:40 pm
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I think most people would agree that Hilton is the most similar to Marriott. Huge footprint, lots of brands, wide service-level range from rural motels to luxury properties.

Most people would also say that status tiers mean about the same. That is to say, not much.

I'd consider Hyatt if I thought I could make top tier and mainly needed properties within their narrower brand scope. I'd probably go Airbnb otherwise. The value prop for hotels just seems to get weaker as the loyalty programs become worth less and less over time and the hotel rates aren't falling in parallel with that loss in value. Only reason I'm still in the hotel game is business travel: for leisure trips I either use points or book Airbnb/VRBO/Booking.com.
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Old Mar 1, 20, 9:18 pm
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Status still means a lot in some parts of the world - Asia and Middle East mostly and some Europe for me. I am currently staying at a Luxury Collection hotel in the Middle East for one month as a base for my family as the benefits for me at LTT have been amazing. I booked the cheapest room & have been upgraded to a suite with ocean view that sells for 5-6 times what I am paying. This over a month is huge savings. I keep extending my stay and they keep the suite for me w/o question

​​ In the meantime, I've been staying in Hyatts for side trips & the benefits as Globalist have been amazing. I also booked a few independent properties during this time which were nice except no suite upgrades so had to pay for those

However, if I was mostly US based I'd be a free agent and book through prive, Amex & the such. Their benefits are good. You won't get suites but I've almost never gotten them in US anyway & the suites haven't been that nice anyway

Marriott has made it clear - they don't want really elite loyalists. They're catering more to folks who do 10-30 nights a year. Pretty loyal as they get points and are not that demanding.
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Old Mar 2, 20, 12:51 am
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Used to be loyal SPG plat member, but with the service downhill last year. I gratitude towards Hyatt nowadays, and I can say that Globalist is treated way better than what I get at Marriotts nowadays. The only downside is the limited footprint of Hyatt, therefore I still maintain BonVoy Plat.
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Old Mar 2, 20, 1:01 am
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Originally Posted by DVDBob View Post
Probably not the best place for this question as it’s a Bonvoy forum, but I was hoping for some input...

Recently had 2 very bad experiences at 2 different Westin’s in Hawaii. (Theft, bugs, poor customer service)

If I wanted to “take a break” from Bonvoy properties, what’s the next best option? And best way to get a jump on that options’ miles/points via CCSUBs or other?

Thanks
Actually It's The Best place for this question as so many of us SPG loyalists are mighty upset with Marriott
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Old Mar 2, 20, 4:46 am
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Originally Posted by DVDBob View Post
Probably not the best place for this question as it’s a Bonvoy forum, but I was hoping for some input...

Recently had 2 very bad experiences at 2 different Westin’s in Hawaii. (Theft, bugs, poor customer service)

If I wanted to “take a break” from Bonvoy properties, what’s the next best option? And best way to get a jump on that options’ miles/points via CCSUBs or other?

Thanks
Hyatt of course is great, but depends on where you need or want to stay, as their footprint is smaller, though growing. And expensive.

I've had great experiences with IHG, especially their Asia properties, and even have a number of favorites throughout the US. Similar size and coverage as MR or HH. The IC's have always treated me well, not the same as my RA days, but the price points are great and even if they don't include breakfast they are a good value. Breakfasts are vastly overrated in most domestic properties anyway-as I always say, I'd rather eat at Waffle House than subject myself to most Hilton/Marriott/Holiday Inn breakfast. And, it's easy to get status, pay $200 for AMB and get PLT for free. You get 15k points (not worth much) a weekend IC BOGO (last one I used was at the IC SF and saved $400,) and 10% rebate on all awards (up to 100,000 rebated per year.) 15 nights at a HI or other properties with the 5000 bonus point package puts you into Spire, which rolls over every year with the $200 AMB renewal. Not much difference, but what status is these days.
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Old Mar 2, 20, 4:52 am
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Hilton has three Amex cards - if you can get all three, you can get close to 300,000 points, Diamond status and a free weekend night certificate within a few months. Spend another $600 during a Hilton points sale and you have 400,000 points. Enough for five days at the Grand Wailea with the fifth night free if you can find the availability

Edit - you get at least 350,000 bonus points with the three Amex Hilton cards (75,000 no fee, 125,000 Surpass, 150,000 aspire) - certain links may get you additional points

Last edited by Adelphos; Mar 2, 20 at 5:45 am
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Old Mar 2, 20, 4:58 am
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Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
The value prop for hotels just seems to get weaker as the loyalty programs become worth less and less over time and the hotel rates aren't falling in parallel with that loss in value.
I actually disagree - I have gotten more value out of hotel loyalty programs in the past year or so than airlines by a long shot - across all three major programs (Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott). Redeemed Marriott at over 1 cent per point, Hilton and 0.9-1 cent, Hyatt at over 2 cents. As hotel prices, taxes, and fees go up, points bookings become attractive, especially if the base room is fine for you. And it is easier to earn points via credit cards via sign up bonuses, earn on hotel spend, transferable points or outright purchases. And most importantly, availability for hotels is significantly better than airlines
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Old Mar 2, 20, 5:22 am
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While I realise it isnt the obvious solution on FT as its mainly about maximising the points you earn etc but since all the negative changes with Bonvoy I have actually started taking a different approach and when I look at the location I am travelling to look at the hotel that I would like to stay at, regardless of the attachment it has. I have used Amex FHR for quite a few of these stays and I must say its been a revelation, not the FHR just the fact I am picking properties based simply on their reviews, what people say and how they look no loyalty to any program, just myself!

What I have found is generally the properties that jump to me do so because they have great service and not great service to members of their program, simply great service as a hotel. I am still staying at many Marriott properties because these are properties that always gave good service rather than because they are Marriott
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Old Mar 2, 20, 5:43 am
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Originally Posted by UKTraveller4Fun View Post
While I realise it isnt the obvious solution on FT as its mainly about maximising the points you earn etc but since all the negative changes with Bonvoy I have actually started taking a different approach and when I look at the location I am travelling to look at the hotel that I would like to stay at, regardless of the attachment it has. I have used Amex FHR for quite a few of these stays and I must say its been a revelation, not the FHR just the fact I am picking properties based simply on their reviews, what people say and how they look no loyalty to any program, just myself!

What I have found is generally the properties that jump to me do so because they have great service and not great service to members of their program, simply great service as a hotel. I am still staying at many Marriott properties because these are properties that always gave good service rather than because they are Marriott
Amex FHR is my first stop now when looking at cash bookings. You get breakfast (which so many people on FT seem to whine and mean about constantly), late checkout, early check in, potentially an upgrade and the ability to pick your desired room type. Also 5X earnings if you can prepay. You may even get a property credit or promotion. Amex Platinum is an underrated hotel card given FHR, Hilton Gold (which gets you significantly better earnings on paid stays and free breakfast) and Marriott Gold (which gets me 2 PM checkout consistently and better earnings on paid stays).
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Old Mar 2, 20, 4:43 pm
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Have been Hilton Diamond for the last couple of years (in addition to SPG/ Marriott Platinum). I really don't like that Hiltons don't always guarantee late check-out, and it's often nowhere near as "late" as 4pm (often 1 or 2pm, sometimes 3 when asked nicely).
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Old Mar 2, 20, 7:47 pm
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Originally Posted by Adelphos View Post
Amex FHR is my first stop now when looking at cash bookings.
I've started to do that, too ... those rates, 'tho! (Even when taking into account the $100 credit)
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