The inability to guarantee connecting hotel rooms has been a MASSIVE bug bear of mine. To be honest, it is no longer such a big issue as our children get older, but we struggled with it for years.
Is it really so difficult to guarantee connecting rooms? It seems so. Whilst an airline can happily run a seating map for every single flight for the next year, it appears that hotels cannot run forward room plans. They can sell a certain number of rooms per night in each category but are incapable of doing much else.
It isn’t just budget and mid-range hotels which struggle with this. In experience, you are just as likely to have trouble at five star properties. One of the biggest benefits of working with Emyr Thomas at Bon Vivant to book hotels for my personal stays is that he will, if we have requested connecting rooms, call his contact at the hotel on the day of arrival. Because hotels don’t like annoying Virtuoso agents, because of the profile of their client base, it gets done. (This isn’t special treatment for me, by the way. He will do it on your bookings too.)
Hilton has now pulled off the necessary IT, and you can book connecting rooms at many hotels via the website.
How do Hilton’s connecting rooms work?
The trigger for launching this, it seems, was Hilton’s new Motto chain. This is a new budget brand which “offers an expanded connecting room concept where guests have the ability to book up to nine unique connecting room configurations with adaptable furniture and modern design to create the ideal accommodation and social environment for group travel.“
Once Hilton was forced to develop the necessary IT to link rooms together in order for Motto to work, it was relatively simple to roll it out chainwide for bog-standard pairs of connecting rooms.
It is very simple. I have just booked two at the Hampton hotel at Stansted Airport which I reviewed last year and is pictured above. It is a perfectly acceptable property and just a few seconds walk from the terminal building, albeit that you do need to go outside to reach it.
When you come to book on hilton.com, you will see a little box you can tick:
If you don’t see this, your hotel is not currently offering the service.
Select this and it will remove rooms types which cannot be connected. Make sure that you select ‘two rooms’ in the booking system and book as usual. That’s it.
If you are starting with a city-wide search (eg ‘London’, rather than ‘Hilton Paddington’) then ticking this box will remove hotels which cannot guarantee connecting rooms, allowing you choose from those that remain.
Once booked, you see this confirmation message:
An extra benefit for Hilton, of course, is that you need to book direct to get this benefit rather than via an intermediary. It saves the cost of those pesky 22% commissions to Hotels.com etc ….
You can find out more about connecting rooms on this special page of the Hilton website.