Gold Devalued again

Discussion in 'Hilton | HHonors' started by rosscoe68, Nov 2, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. rosscoe68

    rosscoe68 Silver Member

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    Just checked into the Hilton Cairns. Upgraded to only the next room category ( Spa Room ) when asking about being upgraded to Executive room and lounge, was told the rules have been changed earlier in the week. Gold no longer get executive rooms or lounge access, only Breakfast , Internet and next room upgrade only .

    Just wanted everyone to know

    N
     
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  2. astraveln

    astraveln Silver Member

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    I wish Hilton would put in another tier. They make is so that anyone can get gold in 4 stays, if they know how the system works...... other people actually spend many nights to get gold... That is why i think some of the hotels pull back benifits.

    Stayed at the Hilton Cairns many years ago, nice lounge.....try to ask again!
     
  3. Jaimito Cartero
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    Jaimito Cartero Silver Member

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    I am always quite pessimistic when a hotel tells me that benefits have been reduced "Just last week". 95% of the time it's wrong, or just an excuse not to give you lounge access.

    This is what the Hilton website says:
    If you are an HHonors guest with Gold status, you and up to one additional registered guest in the same room will be granted complimentary access to the Executive Floor Lounge only if you receive a room upgrade to the Executive Floor or an upgrade to a room type that confers Executive Floor Lounge access benefits.
     
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  4. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    This isn't a change. Lounge access has never been a guaranteed Gold benefit - it's based on how heavily the Executive Floor is booked.

    Often the restaurant breakfast is better than the lounge offerings, so I don't see why it is a big deal. I wish they'd give Diamonds the option of the restaurant breakfast instead of the lounge
     
  5. Minnesota Bruin
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    Minnesota Bruin Silver Member

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    The change (and it started last Spring IME) is that properties can choose to interpret the upgrade policy as one level of room class (e.g. Standard to Premium) or any level to Executive. At those properties, you can still get upgraded to Executive but you must book the one level below Executive.

    I would be OK with this if Hilton communicated which hotels follow which policy. But they do not.
     
  6. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    But the upgrade to Executive Level was never a sure thing anyway, and it's non-obvious which would be the room type just below Executive Level anyway. In any event, unless I'm pressed for time, breakfast in the restaurant, which usually includes the full buffet, is better anyway.
     
  7. Minnesota Bruin
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    Minnesota Bruin Silver Member

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    No, never a sure thing but I never missed an Executive floor upgrade at an international Hilton until I was "made aware" of this policy at Hilton Berlin earlier this year (when I was still Gold). Hilton HQ replied that the single level upgrade is permittable under their rules and we should check with individual hotels regarding the upgrade policy.

    I really like international ELs so I was not very happy. Domestic ELs are fairly mediocre.
     
  8. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    Agree that international lounges are significantly more worthwhile. Many have nice evening offerings, often including drinks.

    I have heard that the Berlin Hilton, which is in a fantastic location at Gendarmenmarkt, is particularly stingy with elite benefits.
     
  9. TRAVELSIG
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    TRAVELSIG Gold Member

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    Never had any real issues in Berlin. The location is as you have noted excellent. Since the relocation of the lounge a couple of years ago there is not much to miss anyway.
     
  10. restlessinRNO
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    restlessinRNO Silver Member

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    I agree. Gold should require 16 stays. :)
     
  11. Minnesota Bruin
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    Minnesota Bruin Silver Member

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    A Gold+ tier with guaranteed EL access sounds like a good reward for earning Gold the hard way. But it sounds pretty similar to diamond...
     
  12. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    Free breakfast and Internet are the Gold benefits rather than any other elite recognition. Diamond isn't really all that much more other than lounge guarantee.
     
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  13. BuckleandBoots

    BuckleandBoots Silver Member

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    I've gotta side with Seacarl. I would almost always take the breakfast buffet over a lounge breakfast. That said, the lounge at the Hilton Bellevue is/was great!
     
  14. astraveln

    astraveln Silver Member

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    I do alot of international travel, so the Lounge.....means a ton to me! Yes, Wine and Apps are a huge benifit for me as a Diamond on most properties. Also, agree that the restaraunt breakfast at All the locations I stay is better than the lounge. Most porperties let you choose whichever you prefer....especially Asia. US Properties dont hold up on relative comparison, as I take an Embassy Suites over most Hiltons.

    I think that free breakfast and internet after 4 stays, is Very good compared to other Hotel program(and the chance for EL access). Once again, its the issue of 4 stays for Gold then it jumps to 28 stays,60 nights or 10K to get Diamond.

    Some of the other chains are starting to add the additional level for benifits. IE further suite upgrades ect. I dont think Top Tier should be given away for Credit Cards either, but lots of programs are starting to do this.

    I stay 80 nights a year to get diamond and the guy checking in next to me, simply charged 40K to his business credit card!! The hotel cant tell the difference were both the same! Just like the Gold who stayed 4 times vs the GOLD that stayed 16. .......(Ok, that ends my Rant)

    Many people earn Gold the hard way and Yes I do have sympathy there.......
     
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  15. rosscoe68

    rosscoe68 Silver Member

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    I earned gold the hard way, six stays away from diamond.

    This is the first time in two years that I have not been upgraded to an EL room. I do prefer the restaurant breakfast over the lounge breakfast.
     
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  16. mht_flyer
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    mht_flyer Gold Member

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    I got diamond last year by a hilton end of year challenge that I was easily able to meet.

    This year, no way I'll come close to diamond, looks like I'll have 47 total nights this year. Less travel this year than last (and actually a couple of trips where there wasn't a convenient Hilton property close) so I'll just have to be happy with Gold -- though I wouldn't mind if Hilton sent me another diamond challenge, but I doubt they will.

    I actually was figuring this out that diamond wasn't likely and had to book a personal trip (1 night) in December in DC and decided that since Diamond wasn't even a possibility, why stay at Hilton in DC... using my MilePoint Premium comp'd Platinum status and staying at Grand Hyatt for only 109.00 vs 134.00 for the Capital Hilton. (And the Grand Hyatt DC looks to be a lot better than the dated Capital Hilton I've stayed at a bunch of times).
     
  17. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    I really completely disagree with that statement but since we (I) have gone down this road multiple times I tire of the discussion.
    Cant say I am unhappy if HH puts some more distance between Gold and Diamonds :)
     
  18. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Those who make this claim either are not Diamonds or are Diamonds who are not fully aware their benefits. Check the following for a concrete example and then read other posts in that thread that debunk this oft heard claim...

    http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/why-are-we-diamond.46912/#post-1694561

    BTW, this very thread is evidence that Gold benefits continue to diminish whereas those for Diamonds have been noticeably enhanced.
     
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  19. dayone
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    dayone Silver Member

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    HHonors is not the only program that is either overtly or subtlety increasing the distinction between top tier and mid tier.
     
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  20. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    Doubletree San Jose this week, 10pm check-in, reservation made more than a week in advance. At check-in time only room offered is a standard room, not on the executive level and facing the freeway, which is the noisiest side. I ask why wasn't I blocked a room on the quieter side. No answer. There is a lounge-area on the executive floor, but it doesn't even have coffee or newspapers in the morning, and isn't considered a club lounge. At breakfast I'm informed it's $10+tax if I want eggs, only the cold items provided.
    That's this week's Diamond recognition experience. The international treatment is much better, especially in Asia. In USA it is hit or miss, and usually it's simply club access in a standard room.
    Not saying that the Diamond award redemptions aren't worth something, just that Diamond recognition isn't great, esp. in Domestic properties. I think Hyatt and Starwood make a somewhat greater on-property effort for their top elite tiers, though of course the Gold benefits at Hilton are strong.
     
  21. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I would agree with one thing: Hilton properties overseas treat elite guests much better than do properties in the US, and there, the difference between Diamonds and Golds is even clearer. I just stayed at Hilton San Francisco Union Square very recently. I was upgraded to a Junior Suite (the property is actually a bit dated) and given coupons for free breakfast, but these were good only for "cold" items on the menu! If I wanted anything else, I had to pay an extra $10. Something like that is practically unheard of at most Asian properties, where every breakfast is a virtual royal feast...at no extra costs. One can choose to have it either in EL or in one of the property's restaurants, with the latter venue providing even more choices.

    However, the subpar service/elite treatment at most US Hilton properties does not support the often heard claim that there are no differences between Diamonds and Golds, especially for some of us who stay mostly at properties overseas. There are tangible differences, which HHonors appears to be trying to magnify even more. As a Diamond, I no longer even bother requesting upgrades to executive rooms. I always get them. After suite upgrades were instituted as a Diamonds-only perk (along with other changes), I have been targeting such upgrades and have gotten them at 5 of 6 properties where I have stayed since...
     
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  22. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    I've been thinking about aiming for Hilton Diamond, but I've decided the only way I would do it is if I got status through CC spend and redeemed points exclusively for international properties. I've never seen the value in their program for domestic travelers.
     
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  23. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    Hilton has about five times as many properies as SPG and more than 10 x Hyatt. They also have more lower cost options. So when you need to travel somewhere where SPG & Hyatt aren't represented or not at a reasonable cost, it is good to have Hilton brands as an option. But I agree that the program is less compelling otherwise. International recognition is better for all chains.
     
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  24. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    The new Citi HHonors Reserve Card, which I just applied and got approved for comes with a complimentary HH Gold membership for as long as I have the card (this is another way that Gold has been devalued) and then makes you Diamond after a $40K spend, like the AMEX Surpass. I got this Citi card mainly because it awards 10 bonus HH points/$ spent at Hilton properties, meaning that I will get 2.5x HH points for every one of my stays (10 base HH points + 10 HH bonus on the Citi reserve card + 5HH Diamond elite bonus)/$.

    Another MAJOR advantage of the Citi HHonors Reserve Card is that, unlike the Surpass, it has no foreign transaction fee. This is a Big Plus for me because of my pattern of traveling.
     
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  25. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    But usually in that situation, I'm deciding between a Hilton Garden Inn or a Holiday Inn Express, which is cheaper by either cash or points. I've seen lots of $100 Hiltons that want 30-40K points a night. AXON and GLON awards for higher tiers are such a better deal.
     

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