hilton categories

Discussion in 'Hilton | HHonors' started by d0nk, Mar 31, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. d0nk

    d0nk Active Member

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    hey guys, thought this may be useful for some people, its a list of the hiltons categorized by roughly hotel category and rough locations.
     

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  2. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Extremely useful! The beauty of having the categories in Excel is that one can do a sort by, well, category, by brand (which you did), by location, etc, to make searching much more convenient.

    The summary of the list that you provided at the bottom that shows how many hotels are in each category also forcefully drives home a point that I tried to make when everyone was rushing to jump ship or burn their HHonors points because of "devaluation". By "devaluation", it simply meant that some hotels were raised to newly created category levels, from 7 or 8 to 10. My contention all along was that only very few, extremely high-end properties, became unaffordable. Now we can quantify it thanks to your summary, reproduced below:

    HH-CATS.png

    Let's sum up the number of hotels above category 7 (those that might have been raised on D-Day): 96 (cat 8) + 47 (cat 9) + 10 (cat 10) = 153; that is 153 out of 3961 (removed 15 uncategorized) = 3.8%

    That is right, out of 3961 properties only 3.8% are categorized above level 7! Fully 69.5% of the hotels are at the still affordable categories of 4 and 5.

    Sorting the list by categories allows one to quickly see which ones to avoid. There are exactly 10 Cat 10 HHonors properties (0.25%), la creme de la creme, most of the over-the-water bungalow type. Here they are:

    Over-the-water-properties.png

    Avoid them and there is no "devaluation"! ;)
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2014
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  3. blackjack-21

    blackjack-21 Gold Member

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    Aren't you oversimplifying a bit? The big initial outrage at the devaluations also was because some of the properties that were fives or sixes were now listed as sevens or eights, and that along with the "sliding scales" of points now needed for different times of year for the same hotel added to the disappointment at the time. Hilton tried to soften the blow by offering booking for five award nights for four nights worth of points (one night "free") but it didn't really replace the GLON rewards loss or other changes in recent years.

    I'm still sticking with Hilton for various reasons, but the changes caused by the devaluation have caused a change and rethinking of our travel plans and HHonors accumulation methods. For us anyway, the Cat. 10 or even 9 awards hotels will never be needed, but those intermediate category changes do come into play for our future travel.
     
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  4. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Not oversimplifying at all. All the loyalty programs out there did make adjustments. Marriott had expanded the number of categories. All Hilton did was to bring their program inline with other programs. SPG already had seasonal rates (i.e., "sliding scales"), and Cash+Points for unaffordable properties. It was no different than what Hyatt did subsequently when they created category 7 and stuffed 6 of their top properties in it, making them unaffordable and then creating the C+P option as a way to afford them. In fact, 6 Cat 7 properties of out ~500 is roughly 1.2% of all Hyatt properties, while only 0.25% of all Hilton properties are in Cat 10 and only about 1.4% are in Cats 9+10. However, the reception that the huge "devaluation" at GP, including loss of too-good-to-be-true suite upgrade policy, received was relatively muted compared to the outcry about the purported 'devaluation' of HHonors points. The numbers I just put up paint a different picture...

    Cat 9 & 10 properties are a waste of points for most people. For anyone who wants a nice place to stay while on the road there are plenty of HHonors properties to choose from. Importantly, things are not worse at Hilton. HHonors still offers some of the best elite perks around, and for those who are not looking to book reward stays at Conrad Koh Samui, the HHonors points remain very competitive. Really!:)
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2014
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  5. blackjack-21

    blackjack-21 Gold Member

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    Of course all the others followed or lead with their devaluations. But by not including the larger numbers from Cat. 5 to Cat. 7 properties of which some had gone higher, and which include all the different types of properties in the mid-range group and only taking the 8/9/10 category properties for your figures, you're leaving out the majority of Hilton's portfolio of hotels and locations. And comparing Hilton's totals for higher properties' groupings to Hyatt's, who have less total properties to begin with, certainly would give Hilton a lower percentage rate in the higher groups. Yes, I saw that you've mentioned ALL vs ALL, however just looking to compare the higher groups of other chains doesn't show the entire picture.

    And I did mention I'm sticking with Hilton for many reasons, including many more choices of properties and pricing in the locations we visit, and better perks for this perpetually trying to stay gold member (as long as possible anyway), but it would certainly be a breath of fresh air if Hilton, or someone, tried to differ in a better way then their competitors, instead of just following along as most chains and airlines and other companies seem to have relegated themselves to doing in one form or another. Competiton used to be what made for better choices for the public. Lacking it helps no one, even those who may think it helps their company's bottom lines in the long run.

    Yes, the Cash and Points option is helpful at times for the higher priced properties. Wish it were available more often, but we understand that the availability may be subject to a hotel's attempt to keep their rooms filled at slower times.
     
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  6. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    The reason to use percentages is precisely to take out of the equation the differences in the total number of properties and make the comparisons proportionate, but you are trying to make a case that cannot be made with the evidence right in front of you. What you are arguing for is what most people thought had happened without having a shred of evidence other than how outrageous it had gotten to redeem stays at the very top but very few properties. Cat 7 hotels represent just ~5% of 3961 properties. Moreover, all you seem to see are properties going up, while a great number did go down as well. I wish we had those numbers for HHonors, but they do exist for Hyatt's "devaluation": 17 (~3.5%) went down in categories, while 21 (~4.2%) went up. A reshuffling of about ~8% of the hotels. I suspect that the proportions were about the same for HHonors. However, that is immaterial. You have the numbers right in front of you: Categories 1-6 comprise 3,607 hotels. That is 91% of 3961. Supposing all that happened at HHonors was only properties going up to categories 7-10, that would still represent a reshuffling of only 9% of total (close Hyatt's 8%). If one cannot find an affordable hotel when 91% are in the affordable Cats, then one has taken the game of unreasonable expectations to uncharted territory, a whole different level.
    The herd mentality in this and other industries is deplorable but inevitable. Up until D-Day, HHonors had remained the best value for redemption among the loyalty programs but that made them less competitive in the long run. Adjustments are therefore frequent and necessary to maintain the competition and shore up, yes, the bottom line. The system got filled with cheap points from credit cards and other promos so that a course correction was inevitable. Until the next one, let's enjoy what we now have!
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2014
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  7. mtlfire

    mtlfire Gold Member

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    And Iru Fushi left the Hilton brand last year. So technically only 9 to "avoid" :D
     
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  8. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    As far as I am concerned it is like they'd all already left so that I technically have zero to avoid...:D
     
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  9. blackjack-21

    blackjack-21 Gold Member

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    By your taking out the majority of those other groups (categories) you're admitting that the percentages do not represent the full range of devaluations of the entire brand, only those that you're trying to compare, and not, by your own admission of not having the entire brands' upping and lowering some of the entirety, a competely competitive analysis of the reasons for the majority of member's annoyance when it happened. Agreed that the overabundance of credit card offers have caused a course correction (not able to jump on those offers, being in the frozen north as we are), and that's to be expected, although those offers were another way for the chain to try to increase its earnings with new memberships and the hope of brand loyalty which may or may not work out in the long run.

    And yes, we're trying to enjoy what's still there for us as long as possible, before the next "enhancement" and without us being part of the herd mentality. Four nights booked next week at two Hilton properties (2 x 2) to celebrate my wife's birthday with some relaxation, jacuzzi's, good eating out at some fine restauarants, and some fun at the same time. And these are paid nights that will help accrue the additional points I now need to book the London Hilton Tower Bridge in the fall, versus the lesser amounts I needed when I booked a GLON reservation for last fall, shortly before the devaluation last year.
     
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  10. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    With all due respect, you lost me completely. My analysis is not "taking out" anything. "Devaluation" meant that higher levels were created into which some properties were classified, making them a lot more expensive. What the numbers show is that only 9% of 3961 properties were raised or remained in categories 7-10. But that is too 'generous' because it assumes that before "devaluation" all Hilton properties were equally affordable. Far from it, meaning that "devaluation" actually involved a smaller % of properties (Cat 9&10).
    That is the spirit; if you can't beat'em, join'em! Enjoy your next stays, and I hope they upgrade you into large suites (hint: even Diamonds do not get automatically upgraded without asking, so do not be shy. Tell them about the occasion and ask for a suite upgrade!)
     
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  11. blackjack-21

    blackjack-21 Gold Member

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    Thanks, we've got it all booked and set up. And you'll have to take my word for it that I'm definately not shy about asking for a nice perk when it's a special occassion such as my wife's birdday or our anniversary (and after almost 45 years of her being married to me, she definately deserves them!). Last year for her birrday, as I had mentioned well in advance of arrival, by email, phone, and in the comments section of the website booking, that it was her birthday, we arrived to find our room was a brand new (newly remodeled never used before since the remodel) two bedroom suite with three king beds (for just the two of us???) large double jacuzzi, about twenty or so of those small chocolates scattered over the bedspread, two large pieces of chocolate mousse for us on arrival, a birthday card signed by the entire front desk staff for my wife, and several large bottles of her favorite Voss Norwegian mineral water. Several minutes after we got to the room there was a call from the front desk manager to see if all was okay, and while my wife was thanking her, the whole front desk crew was singing Happy Birthday in the background. At the front desk as we were checking in, large smiles and Happy Birthday greetings for her from most of the busy front desk crew.

    So while I won't abuse the possibility of getting an upgrade without a good reason, still if there's a chance of a better room or perks, I'll always politely inquire if it's available for us. And a smile and thank you usually works wonders, I've found.
     
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  12. WilliamQ

    WilliamQ Gold Member

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    Well, I am impressed! Hilton have helped you gained no small amount of "credit" with your wife too! Whilst I will not be trying this anytime soon, it is heartening to know that Business can (still) be more then strictly Business. :cool:
     
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  13. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Always great to check into one of those now rare "nuggets", especially in the US, where one feels genuinely appreciated!
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2014
  14. blackjack-21

    blackjack-21 Gold Member

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    Thanks, looking forward to the trip, as she certainly deserves the accolades for her putting up with my nonsense for almost half a century.

    On our anniversaries in past years, when I've warned the hotel of our arrival, they've sent us bottles of candied sweets from "Canyon Ranch" in California, boxes of small tidbit sized squares of shortbread cookies from the same maker, and small filled chocolates. In the restaurants we visit to celebrate, since my big mouth invariably gives away the occassion when I call for reservations, she always gets something special, such as a large class of different fruit and whipped cream or a small cake with one candle on it, or similar for dessert, which makes her blush as she's embarrassed over the fuss over her, something she doesn't do often. And it doesn't stop with dinners....breakfast always ends with a large piece of cake (the cheesecake was the best one!) also with a candle on top, because of my comments when we order our meal.

    Of course, it might help that we've been to that hotel frequently over the past few years, and are friendly with a few of the staff, including the two ladies who are front desk managers, who often come out to give us both a big hug when we arrive and are waiting in the HHonors line to check in at this property, a large hotel with almost a thousand rooms in Canada. But we've also had similar warm welcomes at other smaller Hilton properties over the years, both in the U.S. and U. K. So it does pay to treat others as you would like to be treated too, and be polite and friendly when we see them. And my usual shyness and quietitude doesn't apply when it comes to making my wife happy! :D ;)

    GTG, a few errands before we start packing to get ready for the trip.
     
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  15. vickers

    vickers Gold Member

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    Thanks for posting. Very helpful!
     
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