No changes in between Gold and Diamond Status 2015 & lounges.

Discussion in 'Hilton | HHonors' started by HiltonHotelFans, Feb 13, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. HiltonHotelFans

    HiltonHotelFans Silver Member

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    Dear HiltonHotelsFanclub,

    Thank you very much for your enquiry in recent tweets to Michelle Pike and Lucy Kemmitz regarding our lounge policies.

    We have not made any recent announcements concerning changes in policies relating to lounge access between Gold and Diamond members or a return of food lounges. Should you have any further information on the matter, please do not hesitate to forward it on to us as we will be more than happy to review it for you.

    As always, thank you very much for taking the time to contact us. We highly value your patronage and look forward to welcoming you back.

    Kind regards,

    J.Craig
    Specialist, Guest Assistance
    Social Media

    [​IMG]

    North America:1-888-240-6152 (toll free) or + 1-972-866-5976

    Europe: Tel. 00800 66445866 (Toll Free)
     
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  2. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    Thanks for the post and update, but what about "food lounges"? Could you please elaborate?
     
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  3. HiltonHotelFans

    HiltonHotelFans Silver Member

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    Food Lounges = Hilton Executive Lounges with hot breakfast.

    There are rumors that Hilton will stop with access to their lounges for Gold Members. They have some test running (Golds who are upgraded to the exec lounge will no longer have access. Golds can only get access by paying with NOR-1 or booking an exec room. We've already seen proof of this here: (http://www.sanfranciscohiltonhotel.c...ve-lounge.aspx).
     
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  4. uggboy
    Original Member

    uggboy Gold Member

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    Thanks for the update. I hope however that Golds will get access should they be upgraded to a Club room. We will see what Hilton plans or not. I would find it odd when as a Gold we would get an upgrade to a Club room but no Club Lounge access. Shouldn't happen this way.
     
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  5. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Even though I have been a HH Diamond for a while and would very likely continue to be for the foreseeable future, I think that it would be a mistake to take away the free breakfast perk from HH Golds, especially since Marriott -- HHonors' closest competitor -- just formalized free breakfast as a perk for their Golds.

    HHonors might be responding to the constant and wrong claim by travel/loyalty bloggers -- and by some HH Diamonds who have bought into the bloggers' canard -- that HH Diamond is only marginally better than HH Gold, based only on the fact they both get free breakfast and free wifi. However, when HHonors introduced suite upgrades in early 2012 along with other on-property perks as HH Diamond-only benefits, they did seem consciously to try to put a good distance between Diamonds and Golds -- and many of us had said so at the time -- because of the HUGE monetary value associated with suite upgrades. In my book, suite upgrades are the ultimate top elite perk. I take for granted perks like breakfast (I often skip it), free wifi (can't be without it) and late check-out (was granted a request to check out at 6 pm at Hilton EZE 3 times in as many stays) because I always get them. Suite upgrades are in a completely different class and I hope they won't ever be made a written HH Gold perk because then it definitely won't make sense to work hard to make Diamond. Currently, HH Golds still experience anxiety about whether or not they would be upgraded to the exec floor so that they could see the inside of an exec lounge, while HH Diamonds have no such anxiety since they are guaranteed lounge access without precondition. That is another difference between the two levels. Some time soon, I will illustrate HH "Diamond Force", which many thought had gone away, but is still alive and well even for award stays, and may even be better than before because it has been automated since 2012 as I had tentatively pointed out then. Under the new stealth "Diamond Force" HH Diamonds no longer need to call Diamond Desk to "force" (hence Diamond "Force") availability of a standard revenue or award room in an otherwise overbooked hotel that shows no availability unless one is logged in as a Diamond. The "Force" is now always with HH Diamonds and shows up automatically whenever they need it. That is powerful and no HH Golds can lay a claim to the mighty DF!!!

    In short, regardless of what travel/loyalty bloggers, who seem to be repeating in their echo chamber a claim that may have been somewhat valid before early 2012, may say HH Diamond is a much better elite status than HH Gold. Therefore, to see things like the following from the link in the text I quoted above is just sad:

    Access
    • Book an Executive Level guest room, located on floors 24 through 27
    • Hilton HHonors® Diamond members
    • *Hilton HHonors® Gold members receiving complimentary upgrades to an Executive Level Room may not receive access to the Executive Lounge.
    Please continue to let HH Golds have the goods when they get upgraded to the exec floor. It makes the program better and ensures loyalty, especially among travel/loyalty bloggers who believe that HH Gold is the only HHonors status worth having (;),;), :D).
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2015
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  6. msv
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    msv Gold Member

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    As a gold HH member for many years it is the occasional hotel that has an executive lounge that I can access that makes me so Hilton loyal. I have a few very memorable stays in Europe and that really were over-the-top! With a stay in just a few weeks and in Europe, on my quest to keep my status during the off-peak, if I would not have access to the executive lounge I would be so disappointed. As a solo traveler most of the time enjoying the view in many properties is really what makes them special.
     
  7. WilliamQ

    WilliamQ Gold Member

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    Think besides Europe, Asia is general great too in terms of Gold and Diamond recognition. @RCTP had a double upgrade from Business to Executive Premier at Conrad (Singapore) and I had a double upgrade from Classic to Executive as well. :)
     
  8. RCTP

    RCTP Silver Member

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    Yeah. Enjoying my afternoon tea at the Conrad lounge now
     
  9. WilliamQ

    WilliamQ Gold Member

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    I actually just checked out today :)
     
  10. flyforawg

    flyforawg Silver Member

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    Can anyone test out the diamond force in San Diego for Comicon weekend? I'd be curious to hear the results.
     
  11. chitownflyer
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    chitownflyer Silver Member

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    I concur. Hilton Gold is one of the best mid tier status levels of any hotel program as it awards free WifI, a room upgrade, free breakfast, and upgrades to the Executive level floors when available. Diamond status allows for upgrades to suites and has the Diamond force option. I scratch my head my there are so many touts for Hyatt when one has to be Diamond in order to even access the Club lounge, and one must pay Hyatt's often highly inflated nightly rates while Hilton's are often much more competitive and a better value proposition. I will grant Hyatt has some spectacular hotels, but their limited locations and inflated rates do NOT make for a good value proposition. Hyatt even got rid of the myelite rate which offered a 20 percent discount to Platium and Diamonds this year.

    Where I have seen a shortfall in Hilton Gold and elite benefits is that some hotels in Europe are only offering Golds and Diamonds a one room category upgrade, so Golds do not get awarded Executive lounge room access and Diamonds do not get suite upgrades only an Executive room floor, as they automatically receive access to the Executive lounges.
     
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  12. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I experienced exactly that a couple of years ago in Cardiff, Wales, UK, where the manager of Hilton Cardiff, a Frenchman, insisted that the HHonors T&C state that upgrades must be to the next best room from the one booked. However, having been given that line before at Hilton Tokyo, I was prepared and fished out of my travel bag a framed hard copy of the HHonors 'Constitution' on Diamond Suite Upgrades ( you all carry one of these with you, don't you? :D):

    HHONORS UPGRADES T&C FOR DIAMONDS.jpg

    I asked the manager if he believed that the content of the above was straight from the HHonors T&C. He said he did. So I showed him where it says that "Upgrades may including the next-best available room from the room type booked" and then the part where it is says that "Upgrades may also be rooms with desirable views...etc...or suites" and asked him why he preferred one interpretation -- the least friendly -- over the other. He had no answer and simply said that 'in any case, we have no suites at the moment." I said it was the worst treatment I had ever received as a Diamond because they'd also claimed to have "upgraded me to exec floor" but it turned out not to be the case. After I returned to the US, I got an email from the general manager, who apparently got wind of my disappointment and promised to do better and that the property would soon get a facelift and she looked forward to welcoming me with the type of hospitality that they are capable of. I can hardly wait...

    I now carry a JPEG of that framed HHonors T&C entry on suite upgrades in my cellphone just in case I run into another manager who prefers the unfriendly interpretation of the T&C. I will be in Europe twice this year (the first time next month) so I will be prepared...
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2015
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  13. HiltonHotelFans

    HiltonHotelFans Silver Member

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    Can you post the JPEG of that framed HHonors T&C entry on suite upgrades? This will be great for all forum readers.
    Greetings.


     
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  14. WilliamQ

    WilliamQ Gold Member

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    I think you misunderstood @NYCUA1K (or maybe it's me :D)
    But I think @NYCUA1K is saying (or telling some properties) that while they are not wrong to upgrade a Diamond to the next class of room, the terms also states that upgrades may be expected all the way to a basic suite (Executive Suites upgrade are specifically exempted). He just "challenges" the properties to interpret the rules in a way to build loyalty and not disappointment amongst the chain's best customers.
     
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  15. WilliamQ

    WilliamQ Gold Member

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    In fact, a Gold member can in theory ask for the same thing (upgrade to a basic suite) since the wordings are similar but naturally, a property should be more inclined to treat a Diamond member better than a Gold member.

    upload_2015-2-16_14-19-55.png
     
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  16. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I could not have said it better. That is precisely what I meant...
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2015
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  17. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Actually, the T&C just stopped short of including 'suites' for the golds, but if I were a gold, I would still argue for the more "loyalty-building" interpretation. If a suite is available and not likely to be occupied, why not upgrade a loyal gold member since it would cost nothing -- ( well, maybe a little wear & tear)?
     
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  18. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    The picture in my post is a JPEG. Just right-click and save it as an image.:)
     
  19. WilliamQ

    WilliamQ Gold Member

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    Yup. @RCTP got the Centennial Suite at Conrad (SIN) just this weekend as a Gold.
    Surely it must have made him a happier customer and return more often to the chain. (Right?) :)
     
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  20. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    That's what I'm talkin' 'bout!

    It would be harder to pull something like that in the west, especially in the US, however.
     
  21. RCTP

    RCTP Silver Member

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    Yeah. It was awesome. Requested for late check out and was told they can accommodate my late checkout request till 6pm.

    So I checked in on 14Feb 1pm and checked out on 15Feb 6pm.

    Last year Vday as part of their service recovery (an earlier stay had me discovering a layer of icky substance in their bathtub and sent a feedback to them), CCS sent me an email stating that they will upgrade me to a suite with any room reservation. So I booked a basic room and was upgraded to their Chancellor Suite, which is about 30%-40% larger than their Centennial Suite along with a complimentary bottle of red wine, a (bigger) box of Conrad chocolates and a nice plate of strawberries withe whipped cream and honey.

    Also last year, booked an executive room at Hilton Singapore, and was upgraded to their Presidential Suite (which I was told there was only one in the hotel).

    All Hilton properties are customer oriented, some are more customer oriented than others. :)

    To be fair, I stay at Hilton properties in Singapore once a month and alternate between CCS and HS, showing equal love to both of them. And have been receiving their love back too. When I'm travelling around the Asia Pacific region I'll also try to stay at Hilton properties.

    So other than my first Gold coming from P2, I have since requalified Gold based on stays and points.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2015
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  22. chitownflyer
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    chitownflyer Silver Member

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    As a Diamond, I encountered an attempt to upcharge me to a 55,000 Yen nightly rate when offered a paid suite upgrade at the Tokyo Hilton. I thought this to be uncouth and took an Executive floor room.

    I have also seen in Germany where the Hilton check in staff tells Gold members that HHonors changed the terms and conditions of the program to only allow for a one room category upgrade.Diamonds are also told about the one room category upgrade policy and given Executive floor rooms. When I enquired about larger rooms, everything was based upon an surcharge to the basic room: the greater the upgrade, the higher the surcharge. When a hotel is heavily booked, I understand that Golds may not get Executive floor room upgrades and even Diamonds may only get a room on the Executive floor. However, Golds and Diamonds should get the best possible upgrade. Golds should get executive floor upgareds when a hotel is lightly booked, and Diamonds should get suites, especially if they are available during a low occupancy period.

    I would like to see a countertrend against some Hiltons offering the bare minimum in terms of upgrades and offer their elites the best possible upgrade. When I had a stay at the Waldorf Shanghai on an eleven night stay, I was upgraded to a junior suite and received free breakfast every morning, so some Hiltons go above and beyond what is required. I should also carry a copy of the Hilton Elite Constitution along with me for my travels.

    Your further advice and inputs are always welcome here in the Hilton and United forums NYCUA1K.
     
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  23. WilliamQ

    WilliamQ Gold Member

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    At that kind of frequency, it is no wonder they treat you with love :)
    That said, I hope you did not spent 20 nights each at the two hotels but instead the 40 nights had included overseas vacation nights :)
     
  24. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Western mentality garbage! The T&C on Diamond or Gold upgrades have not changed at all. Western and westernized properties prefer the unfriendly interpretation when they really have nothing to lose but a lot to gain in goodwill by adopting the more friendly interpretation!

    Here's the language in the T&C that went into effects last month on January 2, 2015.
    It remains identical to the language in the 3-year old T&C I framed and JPEGed above.
    Cheers! I learn from you guys as well. I recall that you are the one who first brought us the great news in 2012 that suite upgrades were a new Diamond perk...;)
     
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  25. RCTP

    RCTP Silver Member

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    Nah it was a mixture of everything. So I had 20plus stays in total for 2014. But apparently insufficient for a targeted offer. Heh.
     

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