Quarterly Hilton HHonors Hotel Category Changes

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  1. BoardingArea

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    A few months ago I received an email from Mark Weinstein, the Vice President of HHonors and Partnerships at Hilton, announcing some slight changes to hotel categories, along with some insight into how the program would be handling category changes going forward (emphasis mine):


    …In addition, we will be shifting away from the cycle of annual reward category announcements. I believe that through transparency in our communications, we can develop a greater level of trust, which is critical to a healthy relationship with our members. To that end, we want to give members full visibility into any hotel category adjustments – including the introduction of new redemption hotels – so we will be sharing an updated list of adjusted hotels on HHonors.com on a periodic basis. HHonors members will be able to see which hotels are changing categories, as well as the category assignments for new hotels. This list, the Standard Room Rewards Update, can be found on theHHonors.com Using Points page under Standard Room Hotel Categories…

    In looking at the calendar, that email came right at the beginning of the second quarter, and about a week prior to the effective date of the last round of category changes.

    It appears that in moving away from annual category announcements Hilton has decided to make quarterly changes, and posted updated charts to the Hilton HHonors site earlier today.

    It appears as if these changes will apply for bookings made beginning next Wednesday, July 9, 2014, which means you have less than a week to make bookings at the current rate.

    24 hotels will be moving to a higher category:

    HOTELS WITH CATEGORY INCREASE
    Hotel Name

    City

    Country

    Previous Reward Category

    New Reward Category

    Effective Date
    Hampton Bakersfield Central Bakersfield CA US 2 3 July 9, 2014
    DoubleTree Itasca/ Elk Grove Village Wood Dale IL US 2 3 July 9, 2014
    Hampton Inn & Suites West Point West Point MS US 2 3 July 9, 2014
    Hampton Inn Plano Plano TX US 2 3 July 9, 2014
    Hampton Inn Killen Killeen TX US 2 3 July 9, 2014
    Hampton Inn Chesterfield Chesterfield MO US 2 3 July 9, 2014
    Hilton Houston Southwest Houston TX US 3 4 July 9, 2014
    Home2 Suites by Hilton Nashville Vanderbilt Nashville TN US 4 5 July 9, 2014
    Hilton Garden Inn Lake Buena Vista/Orlando Orlando FL US 4 5 July 9, 2014
    Hilton Garden Inn Atlanta Midtown Atlanta GA US 4 5 July 9, 2014
    Homewood Suites by Hilton Atlanta Midtown Atlanta GA US 4 5 July 9, 2014
    Hilton Garden Inn Lincoln Downtown/Haymarket Lincoln NE US 4 5 July 9, 2014
    Embassy Suites Anaheim-Orange Orange CA US 4 5 July 9, 2014
    Hampton Inn & Suites Nashville-Vanderbilt-Elliston Nashville TN US 5 6 July 9, 2014
    Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista Lake Buena Vista FL US 5 6 July 9, 2014
    DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel Orlando – Lake Buena Vista Orlando FL US 5 6 July 9, 2014
    Homewood Suites by Hilton New Orleans New Orleans LA US 5 6 July 9, 2014
    DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Nashville Downtown Nashville TN US 6 7 July 9, 2014
    Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach – a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Fort Lauderdale FL US 5 7 July 9, 2014
    Homewood Suites Nashville Downtown Nashville TN US 6 7 July 9, 2014
    Hampton Inn & Suites Lake Placid Lake Placid NY US 5 7 July 9, 2014
    DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Grand – Key West Key West FL US 6 8 July 9, 2014
    DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Breckenridge Breckenridge CO US 6 8 July 9, 2014
    Embassy Suites Napa Valley Napa CA US 7 8 July 9, 2014

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    The DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Grand in Key West will move from a Category 6 to Category 8

    Meanwhile, 15 hotels will be moving to a lower category:

    HOTELS WITH CATEGORY DECREASE
    Hotel Name

    City

    Country

    Previous Reward Category

    New Reward Category

    Effective Date
    Hilton Surfers Paradise Gold Coast Australia 8 7 July 9, 2014
    Conrad Beijing Beijing China 8 7 July 9, 2014
    Fiji Beach Resort Nadi Fiji 8 7 July 9, 2014
    Waldorf Astoria Panama Panama City Panama 6 5 July 9, 2014
    DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Orlando Airport Orlando FL US 4 3 July 9, 2014
    DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel Omaha Omaha NE US 6 4 July 9, 2014
    Hampton Inn Greenfield Greenfield IN US 6 4 July 9, 2014
    Hampton Inn Indianapolis/Fishers Fishers IN US 6 4 July 9, 2014
    Homewood Suites by Hilton Springfield Springfield VA US 6 5 July 9, 2014
    Hampton Inn Akron-Fairlawn Akron OH US 6 5 July 9, 2014
    Embassy Suites Syracuse East Syracuse NY US 6 5 July 9, 2014
    Hampton Inn Columbia-Downtown Columbia SC US 7 6 July 9, 2014
    Hilton Columbia Center Columbia SC US 7 6 July 9, 2014
    Hampton Inn Glenwood Springs Glenwood Springs CO US 7 6 July 9, 2014
    Capital Hilton Washington DC US 8 7 July 9, 2014

    Ultimately these are minor changes, and I don’t have any issues with the increases or decreases themselves.

    What is irritating, however, is making these changes under the pretext of being more transparent. This wasn’t announced via any of the Hilton or Hilton HHonors social media channels, nor have members been notified via email — or at least I haven’t. So I’m puzzled as to how this approach builds trust and loyalty, as changing rates with a few days notice seems a bit sleazy, particularly if this is now going to happen quarterly.

    What do you think?

    (Tip of the hat to Loyalty Lobby)

    The post Quarterly Hilton HHonors Hotel Category Changes appeared first on One Mile at a Time.

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