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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.

  • brian says:

    Looking at booking two rooms in Dublin for next month and guaranteed connecting rooms would be great. A quick look at its bumping the price up substantially.

    £15 per room per night at the HGI
    £22 per room per night at the Conrad.

    Not sure if it’s particularly worth an extra ~£50 a night just for them to reserve two rooms side by side.

  • C says:

    Does a connecting room affect chances of being granted a room upgrade?

    • Rob says:

      Almost certainly.

    • Billy says:

      Yes, it means that any upgrade would have to be to another set of connecting rooms which narrows down your chances. That said, when I worked in hotel reservations some lucky guests would be upgraded from two connecting rooms to a Two Bedroom Suite!

  • Billy says:

    Having worked in hotel reservations for years, I can say that hotels not guaranteeing connecting rooms is for their operational convenience.

    You book the room, and allocate the rooms at the time of booking. It’s super easy.

  • RussellH says:

    > it appears that hotels cannot run forward room plans.

    Back in the 1980s I was sent on a course to get a teaching qualification in computing.
    One of the programming exercises we had to do was to write a simple train seat, airline seat or hotel room booking program, capable of booking specified seats or rooms, using a BBC B computer.
    Progress!

  • Paul says:

    The small premium is totally worth it.

    Connecting rooms are much cheaper per square foot (even with the premium for connecting) than suites, and if you have small children you need a connecting room (or an Airbnb equivalent) to be able to relax during the holiday given the child will sleep 14 hours a day vs adult 7-8 hours.

    If you have a one year old, there is no point risking non connecting and not being able to watch TV in a connecting room during their nap time. Then it’s not a holiday.

    Also, there is no way you would leave them in a separate room unattended as the key may not work and your small child would be on its own.

    I don’t see why other chains and independents don’t figure this out.

  • E4 Traveller says:

    I am glad if people who need interconnecting rooms can get them.

    As a lone traveller, I loathe them and, if allocated one, will immediately return to the front desk to be moved elsewhere.

  • Julia says:

    Hi,
    I’m a Digital nomad currently dividing my time between UK and wherever it’s warm. I’d like to book another room for work and was wondering how booking connecting rooms would go down with the tax people. My current leaning is towards keeping the bookings separate but if I could get them together then we’d have more private space. Any help gratefully received.

    • Rob says:

      UK tax rules let you write off whatever you want – no issues with a suite (and so presumably not connecting rooms if its done for space reasons). However, as you say ‘we’, you are unlikely to get away with claiming 100% of the cost of a hotel if others staying in at the same time.

      • Julia says:

        Thanks for the help. I think I should get an accountant to guide me through it. As you say I may not get it all back but I should still get a cheap second room.

        • Rob says:

          If you’re not claiming at all for the first room and you pay for a connecting room you don’t otherwise need then that is 100% deductible and no-one is going to quibble with that.

          This assumes, of course, that you are a contractor / freelancer and not employed.

  • Simon says:

    And yet this didn’t work at the Conrad next to St James’ Park in London last summer. Booked connecting rooms online a few weeks before, not long after they launch this “feature” only to discover upon arrival that our rooms were not connecting and non in that category were, even though I showed the check-in staff that I could make a similar booking right in front of them.

    In the end, they didn’t have any interconnecting rooms free at all, nor did they have any suites big enough to accommodate us, so my wife and I had to each stay in a separate room with one of our two sons. Fortunately, we were only staying one night, otherwise, it would have been more of an issue and we would have moved hotel.

    The best they could offer was a complimentary breakfast, so we had our sons try everything they could for breakfast. 🙂

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