Hotel elites get perks as a result of their hotel stays or through some other magic done with a combination of spending large amounts on co-branded hotel credit cards, status matching arbitrage and something about running around with mattresses.
Personally, I don’t chase status and hardly pay attention to it. However, I applied for a Citi Hilton Honors Reserve Card before it went away for good. I had never gotten the card before but wow, that sign up bonus: you earned 2 weekend night certificates good for use at most Hilton properties after spending $2500 on the card.
Since the card was going away, I decided to snap one up. I mean, we could always use two weekend nights somewhere and the list of excluded properties (listed here) is pretty small. Staying for two weekend nights anywhere but those few places will still be worth the $95 fee.
Sharon and I both had Gold status from our credit cards. Our problem was that when Sharon cancelled the Citi card and didn’t open one with AMEX, they dropped her status down to a basic member. However I still have Gold through my AMEX Platinum card. We had plans to stay at the Casa marina, a Waldorf=Astoria Resort. I emailed the hotel a week before our stay and gave them the reservation number, Sharon’s Honors account info and my Honors account info and explained what happened.
They wrote back within a day and said they would gladly extend my Gold benefits to our stay. They noted the room type we would like (we wanted to stay in the old historical part of the hotel, not the newer wings). Finally, they noted our reservation for our early arrival. Here’s what we got at check in:
A whole big bunch of nothing.
I went back to the room, pulled up my email conversations with my personal concierge, and went back downstairs to show them to the hotel’s concierge. Amazingly, there was a letter at check in for us but it wasn’t given to us. Neither were the vouchers for the breakfasts. I was later told the mix-up was because the reservation was under Sharon’s name and hers was only a basic member so they didn’t look for any elite recognition documents. Here was our prize:
I decided to take them up on the offer for continental breakfast as I’d value that more than 1,000 Hilton Points. The vouchers we received were for $15 off for each person.
At the Waldorf Astoria, there is a $40 a day resort fee (waived when booking with points) which gives all of these exciting extras.
We did drink the bottled water and use the basic in room internet. Not sure it was worth $40 a day but I just was glad we didn’t have to pay it.
The moral of the story is to know what you should/might be eligible for. I never would have pushed for these benefits. Sharon’s status was reduced so she didn’t have an obligation to get these perks. However, we were staying at the top of the line Hilton Flagship property and Sharon previously was a Hilton Diamond until last year. What I’m trying to say is you need to stand up for yourself and ask for the perks you know you’re entitled to. If you don’t get them, politely ask why. If they give a reason, remember it for when you speak to a manager or file a comment later. After all, what good are all these benefits hotel promise to provide if they don’t supply them to guests?
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