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How does Hilton’s ‘guaranteed connecting hotel rooms’ feature work?

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The inability to guarantee connecting hotel rooms has been a MASSIVE bug bear of mine. It is no longer such a big issue as our children get older and can look after themselves, 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.

Hilton connecting rooms at Motto

It isn’t just budget and mid-range hotels which struggle with this. In my 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. Hotels don’t like annoying Virtuoso agents because of the profile of their client base, so it gets done. (This isn’t special treatment for me, by the way. He will do it on your bookings too.)

Hilton has pulled off the necessary IT investment, and you can book connecting rooms at many hotels via the website.

How do Hilton’s connecting rooms work?

The trigger for launching this 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.

Rhys was at Motto Rotterdam, the first Motto hotel in Europe, recently to check it out and you can read his review here.

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.

This is how it works. Make sure that you select ‘two rooms’ in the hilton.com booking system and then proceed to book as usual.

You need to book at least 72 hours in advance to take advantage of guaranteed connecting rooms.

When you select your chosen hotel from the various options, you will see a little box you can tick:

Hilton connecting rooms

If you don’t see this, your hotel is not currently offering the service.

Tick the box and it will remove room types which cannot be connected:

Hilton connecting rooms

You can then go ahead and complete the booking as you usually would, selecting from those room options which can connect.

An extra benefit for Hilton 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. However, reader feeback in the comments below suggests that some hotels add a small price premium if you choose connecting rooms and pay cash – points prices are unchanged.

You can find out more about connecting rooms on this special page of the Hilton website.


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Comments (63)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • shd says:

    We used this for a family stay in York recently, and while we did get the connecting rooms we’d booked, I called the hotel a few days beforehand to check some stuff and they were keen to point out that while connecting rooms were requested in the booking, specific rooms – including connecting rooms – could never be “guaranteed”, such as if a room has to be taken out of service at short notice.

    YMMV. Which kind of always applies when travelling.

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      Well they can’t say much else really. Plumbing failures and room vandalism happen; the hotel may burn down the night before. Nothing can be provided with absolute 100% certainty. At least with this you will have an interconnected room allocated by the room management IT system and it will take something going wrong to mess that up, while many hotels seem to take it as a vague preference that is ignored by the room management system and they’ll only consider when you walk up to the desk.
      My success rate when booking Hilton’s guaranteed interconnected is 100% which is WAAAY better than before it existed or for other travel generally, so it’s hard to argue that it’s not doing what it’s meant to.

  • Kevin says:

    Don’t forget that Hilton also charge a premium on booking connecting rooms.

    • Rob says:

      No they don’t – except to the extent that there may be cheaper room categories that don’t connect.

      • Dan says:

        I see about a 10% increase in price for the same room type and rate when I tick connected rooms…first noticed this surcharge about six months ago

        • Rob says:

          Odd. I did digging into this when it launcched and there was no change.

          • lcylocal says:

            Yep. And then subsequently they did some testing to see what people would pay and settled on a c.£5 per room per night uplift in rates.

            If paid for I don’t see how the ‘it’s not guaranteed’ comments above can be justified. I suspect you would have a hard time getting the uplift refunded if not delivered.

          • The Savage Squirrel says:

            lcylocal; depends how you define guaranteed – nothing can ever be truly guaranteed. You can book the Presidential Suite at a hotel and they can reserve it for you, but one plumbing disaster or similar issue – or if the President turns up at short notice 😀 – and you’re not getting it.
            If the interconnected rooms are reserved for you on the computer system then it’s 99% guaranteed which is as good as you’re ever going to get. I actually reckon your chances of some recompense or service recovery if this is not met are pretty good – infinitely better than if it was just an informal booking request – but I’ve never had to test it as it has always worked so far.

          • Dutchy says:

            I’ve seen this on booking with points too, where they charge a premium for connecting rooms

      • Froggee says:

        Yep – 100%. I suspect it varíes by hotel but most jack up the cash rates for guaranteed connecting rooms. Using points tends to get round this.

      • The Savage Squirrel says:

        Yep. Nearly everywhere. The extra charge wobbles around a bit but is between 7 and 9% in my experience. Points prices are unchanged.

    • Kate says:

      They sure do! The only exception is when the hotel offers a “family” option of connecting rooms as a single room booking. We got this at the Conrad in Istanbul last Dec.

  • masaccio says:

    There was a guest having a good old moan at staff about this just as we checked into the T5 Sofitel last night. Was ‘guaranteed’ at booking, confirmed at check in and then he got rooms miles apart. Boggles the mind why hotels can’t do this.

    • meta says:

      Most hotel staff have no clue where rooms are located and room numbers are not always logically (sequential) assigned. So you could have let’s say 509 and 510 at totally opposite sides.

      I do have a problem with staff not knowing about room locations.

      • RussellH says:

        At the DT Coventry just last night, in room 170. Our side of the corridor was 165 to 175. The other side of the corridor was 100 to 110.

      • Bagoly says:

        It would seem a pretty trivial thing to learn.
        If you are working in a monster then there may be many rooms, but probably only a few rules of numbering to learn.
        Perhaps the problem is that so many staff are not employees of the hotel, but ZHC employees of a labour-providing-company so end up working at lots of different places.

    • Bagoly says:

      Indeed – even without fancy computer systems doing it.
      Computer systems are good at holding data, but not at decisions.
      Just have a permanent manager review once a week all bookings scheduled to arrive in the next week filtered by those who have requested connected rooms (it’s not a high percentage).
      Inspect the room numbers allocated, and change by mouse the necessary room allocations.

  • Rich says:

    I love the room selection feature Hilton use for online checkin – it means that I can avoid interconnecting rooms like the plague. Elsewhere I always ask at checkin.

    I hate them with a passion. However good the hotel, you can hear almost everything going on in the adjoining room. Whoever would want that? Great for young families, I get it, but not for me.

    • Harry T says:

      I’m with you, Rich. Interconnecting rooms have ruined otherwise pleasant stays for me before. There needs to be an option to guarantee NOT having interconnecting rooms.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Recently stayed at Hilton the palm where supposedly 80% of the rooms are connecting (it’ll be the same for the Marriott next door)

      And honestly no noise. I guess it’s been done properly.

      • Rob says:

        Dubai hotels often connect via 2 layers of external doors, not internal ones. One door (propped open most of the time) leads to two doors for two rooms and to get between connecting rooms you walk out of the room door and into the next room via what has become a private gangway.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Nope this was a room with your standard two internal doors.

          There were rooms doing the external gangway type ie a standard room could be connected to my suite aswell in that way.

    • John says:

      +1, absolutely hate them; we specifically ask at checkin to avoid them.

    • Bagoly says:

      Agreed, except that I fear I am then missing out on upgrade-on-arrival possibilities.

  • Mememe says:

    Oh dear, 5 star properties from you experience how dreadful for you. Most hotels have fsmily rooms thoigh so what exactly is the issue. Would it have been too much of an inconvenience to have the children in the same room as you? Snob values again

    • Rob says:

      Virtually no high end hotels have family rooms. I’d guess under 5%. Even then, a family room is almost always 2 connecting rooms anyway.

      • JDB says:

        Many do have two bedroom suites which is a better solution anyway. Smarter hotels don’t tend to like the ‘family room’ terminology.

        • Rob says:

          Except the cost of a ‘proper’ 2 bed suite is usually 3x the price of two connecting rooms of the same size.

          Virtually all 2 bed suites are actually 2 rooms which connect and which can be sold separately.

    • Erico1875 says:

      Yes if you want a bit of nookie, which many couples do

      • Rob says:

        Pure practicality for us. I usually work 9pm-1am on holiday after the youngest kid is asleep so don’t want to be in the same room.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Think this reply says more about YOU than Rob

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      Mememe: bitter comment of envy, much?
      The irony is that this site, and correct usage of loyalty points, allows many who otherwise simply could not stay in very high end high cost hotels (and plane seats) to experience them – which is pretty much the opposite of snobbery.

    • Freddy says:

      Connecting rooms are useful if you have 3 children as ‘family rooms’ normally cater for 2

  • Save East Coast Rewards says:

    Emyr is excellent. I’ve only used his services once (as most of the time I use points to book when I stay in the luxury hotels) but he’s so quick to answer requests that he’s worth doing any cash bookings.

  • jj says:

    When our kids were younger, we regarded chain hotels as a last resort for just this reason. We stayed in whole properties (villas, apartments, etc) or small, owner managed boutique hotels where you could discuss room arrangements with the owner before booking.

    Many years and many fabulous holidays later, the habit has stuck. I still regard the big chains as a choice of last resort.

    It’s always been a source of astonishment to me that hoteliers should disregard the family market in this way.

    • JDB says:

      I wholeheartedly agree @jj but it is a rather heretical view on HfP; it appears very difficult for many to step off the chain treadmill.

      As the chains get larger and larger, suck poorly performing independents into their ‘anything goes’ sub brands, and the very top hotels overprice/underdeliver, smart entrepreneurs/hoteliers open hotels of real charm, proper service, interesting locations and individual high quality decor/fittings rather than the concrete corporate designed box and at fair prices.

    • Richie says:

      The family demand isn’t uniform throughout the year because the little ones go to school, I doubt hotels would ever fully embrace the family market.

      • JDB says:

        The point is that the sort of hotels we are both talking about cater for everyone including families. The thing is you get to talk to human beings who have a personal interest in looking after the customer (and do so naturally) rather than corporate automatons who really don’t care. With the chains you are a loyalty number to whom some obligations are owed. Around the Mediterranean, there are just so many good independent hotels that cater very well for families; it’s in their culture.

      • Bagoly says:

        Children’s swimming pools have demand which varies significantly across the year, but that doesn’t mean that no hotels have them.

    • Mikeact says:

      @jj Absolutely, us too, for many years with some fabulous stays outside of the big chains. Can never understand why you would want to revolve your life around Hiltons, Marriotts and the rest.

      • Mikeact says:

        @JDB +1

        • Swifty says:

          It’s a bit of both for us as a family. Chains are handy for the free rewards and upgrades, and cheap stays with family along; but I’m actually in the cutest homeliest friendliest mountain chalet apartment with kitchen, which is a 2* and has a jacuzzi and sauna 40 foot away from the slopes. Best of both worlds 🙂

  • TimM says:

    In my experience, hotels are all-too-happy to give connecting rooms upon prior request. These are the rooms that others don’t want because of poor sound insulation and especially smoking smells from the neighbours.

    That hotels are not able to allocate exact rooms at the time of booking is 1) for their convenience – it is far easier to manage categories than exact rooms and 2) the nature of the business: guests come and go at all times, sometimes they don’t come (no show) and sometimes they don’t go (stay longer). If ever you talk to the front of house manager about the job, you will learn that it is managed chaos. They have an approximation of the level of occupancy a few days ahead, based on bookings, historical averages of no shows and of prospective guests turning up on-spec. When they are over-booked, as they always are at peak times, and don’t have a room available, they will send you to the restaurant or bar and pray that someone checks out early, or else it is forced-upgrade time which is bad for revenue.

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