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  • Amy C 358 posts

    Wondering if it’s just me who never gets the extras at a VIP access property?
    Or in the case of a ‘free spa service’ has to go and badger someone for it only to find it’s something rubbish worth 10€.
    Currently at a VIP property in the Canaries.
    Didn’t get the room upgrade (rooms are available)
    Didn’t get the early check in (see above)
    Didn’t get the spa service (without bother of tracking down guest services and having to explain in painful detail).

    Don’t need late check out so I won’t find out about that. Same happened last year in Maldives. They had zero idea what I was on about. Every time I’ve stayed at one it’s the same and this time I tried to get ahead of the game by emailing the hotel 3 days before arrival to point it out.
    Not a major deal but annoying none the less.

    RasMas 12 posts

    Have tried once out of maybe 10 VIP Property gold stays to receive a bottle of wine proactively by the hotel, which was promised as part of the VIP benefits. The hotel actually mentioned the hotels.com/Expedia gold benefit when they delivered the bottle.

    No other hotel stays have led to any offer such as room upgrades or late checkout. For late check out it seems they just treat you like any other guest which luckily for my stays have just led to granting late checkouts by an hour or 2.

    I promised myself on future stays that I would be more adamant with the hotel to receive my benefits, especially regarding early check in and room upgrades (or late check outs as well if they deny them).

    However, my next few stays at VIP properties ended up not being VIP stays, as the properties apparently weren’t VIP properties anymore by the time I actually stayed there… and we will see about several future stays a few months out..

    JDB 4,167 posts

    Why rely upon some anonymous OTA to provide benefits? What incentive does the hotel have to offer them to you if you have booked via Hotels.com? If you are genuinely interested in obtaining these perks which are at the very lowest end of third party booking benefits, you would be better to book directly.

    Amy C 358 posts

    I’m not relying on them as such but if they are listed as a perk of booking that property over another then the hotel should honour it and be aware of it. While this time it’s a leisure stay, I stay in a few hotels for work and have to book them directly. It’s rare I get any perk in doing so. Hilton is the only one I see give me any recognition/upgrade and that’s for being Gold via Amex.

    BuildBackBetter 705 posts

    I’m not relying on them as such but if they are listed as a perk of booking that property over another then the hotel should honour it and be aware of it.

    Your contract is not with the hotel. It’s with the OTA. the hotel may not even be aware of such perks.

    can2 337 posts

    I’m not relying on them as such but if they are listed as a perk of booking that property over another then the hotel should honour it and be aware of it. While this time it’s a leisure stay, I stay in a few hotels for work and have to book them directly. It’s rare I get any perk in doing so. Hilton is the only one I see give me any recognition/upgrade and that’s for being Gold via Amex.

    I was wondering what would happen if you raise these issues to hotels.com — perhaps some extra points or nights?

    I disagree with the suggestions so far: hotels.com is big, part of expedia so they are not just random OTA.
    And it is honestly not our problem how they will pull it or what kind of deal they have with individual hotels to offer these perks. They promise them, they should deliver them.

    But I agree, in my experience hotels.com perks are complete rubbish and Hilton seems to be the best…

    Amy C 358 posts

    I’m not relying on them as such but if they are listed as a perk of booking that property over another then the hotel should honour it and be aware of it.

    Your contract is not with the hotel. It’s with the OTA. the hotel may not even be aware of such perks.

    Hotels.com would not be able to promise such things without collusion with hotel management. Therefore they should be aware and certainly are if I go out of my way to alert them some days before my visit.

    I doubt hotels.com would give the slightest toss if I moaned about it to them so I probably won’t bother. I’ll just not favour VIP hotels anymore and be grateful for the free nights while I still can.

    dougzz99 603 posts

    I’m don’t fully understand the relationship between hotel and booking agent as such. Is Hotel X really any worse off if you book via Expedia/booking com than if you book through their chain. If it’s a Hilton for example what loss is there for them in an Expedia booking over a Hilton one?

    In terms of Hotel com gold I don’t expect much, but agree with @Amy C that mentioned benefits don’t typically materialise at the hotel. I have found calling hotel com and offering this is much more likely to get a favourable outcome than speaking directly to the hotel.


    @JDB
    The incentive is that the hotel agreed the benefits with the OTA as an method to drive bookings to them. So isn’t the right thing to honour that agreement. Unless you’re saying that OTA created a benefit offer the hotel was unaware of?

    JDB 4,167 posts

    @can2 nobody is saying that Hotels.com is a random OTA, but if you choose to book through that anonymous route, you will be treated as a random guest. You have also elected to book in a manner that requires the hotel to pay a large commission and they owe you nothing. Upgrades subject to nebulous availability aren’t going to be treated seriously. The hotel doesn’t care and nor does Hotels.com.

    The internet is the greatest boon for travellers but human contact will never go out of fashion.

    meta 1,379 posts

    The way to obtain maximum benefits is to contact hotel in advance before arrival even when booking on hotels.com.
    I got some of the best upgrades with hotels.com when I contacted the hotel in advance.

    You need to engage with the hotel prior to stay if it matters to you. By the time you arrive at the hotel (and that goes the same no matter which channel you booked through), they would have likely already assigned upgrades so it’s too late.

    can2 337 posts

    @can2 nobody is saying that Hotels.com is a random OTA, but if you choose to book through that anonymous route, you will be treated as a random guest. You have also elected to book in a manner that requires the hotel to pay a large commission and they owe you nothing. Upgrades subject to nebulous availability aren’t going to be treated seriously. The hotel doesn’t care and nor does Hotels.com.

    The internet is the greatest boon for travellers but human contact will never go out of fashion.

    I think this summarises our disagreement: hotels/com makes it look like you won’t be a random guest, but a Gold guest. Similarly, I choose not to worry about hotel’s deal with hotels/com, perhaps they volunteered for this and rely on hotels/com to bring more guests, not my problem.

    In this particular case @JDB, you must be mistaken — at least based on @AmyC’s input: she mentions availability of the rooms and lack of spa benefit. that’s a promise not fulfilled.

    Overall, I tend to think hotels/com’s gold/vip is a bit of a scam, I’d rather book via Platinum’s travel services for pretty much guaranteed perks and credits.

    Amy C 358 posts

    The way to obtain maximum benefits is to contact hotel in advance before arrival even when booking on hotels.com.
    I got some of the best upgrades with hotels.com when I contacted the hotel in advance.

    You need to engage with the hotel prior to stay if it matters to you. By the time you arrive at the hotel (and that goes the same no matter which channel you booked through), they would have likely already assigned upgrades so it’s too late.

    Like I said, I did exactly this.

    Lady London 1,954 posts

    For any benefit due but not provided at any hotel, obvs take into account above. But as soon as not provided it’s imperative to contact hotels.com immediately it’s not clear any promised benefit will be provided, immediately and while still in the hotel. Ditto for hotel chain eg IHG, or agent if that was the route that promised the benefits.

    That way they either have to sort it or should compensate.

    JDB 4,167 posts

    @can2 I’m afraid that being a Hotels.com Gold member or booking one of their VIP access hotels is like buying a packet of ‘premium’ sausages; in reality it means nothing. You are just one of millions.

    In my experience, if you value a top hotel experience, you need to make your own luck and not rely upon some global hotel booking engine or some loyalty number, even if diamond and emerald encrusted platinum, to look after you.

    Mouse 154 posts

    I have had very good experiences with getting the Gold benefits. Usually call up the day before arrival or morning of arrival to confirm in advance and hotels have been very accommodating. Having said that, once this new One Key nonsense launches I will abandon Hotels.com as the 10% back was much more important to me than the Gold benefits.

    meta 1,379 posts

    @AmyC I’m sure you did mention the person you corresponded with. Sometimes there is bad management and you can’t do anything about it. You really need to be firm if they promised benefits and then didn’t deliver. Ask to speak to GM.

    RasMas 12 posts

    Why rely upon some anonymous OTA to provide benefits? What incentive does the hotel have to offer them to you if you have booked via Hotels.com? If you are genuinely interested in obtaining these perks which are at the very lowest end of third party booking benefits, you would be better to book directly.

    I don’t think anyone is foolish enough to rely on hotels.com to provide any gold/VIP benefits. It is just nice to get something extra if so promised.

    Also, there are a lot of non chain hotels or smaller hotel chains out there where it wouldn’t pay off to join their rewards program.

    Even if you are part of one of the major programs there are so many gaps in geographic coverage or quality in certain locations or low value propositions for many locations that it doesn’t pay off to be part of those either.

    As a Hilton Diamond. I have a hard time finding value booking a hilton property.

    Example 1: Singapore, 3 hotels. None have saunas or steam rooms and a lot of not only similarly or cheaper hotels offer the same service level, gym standard, room quality and breakfast.

    Example 2: Cape Town, no Hilton properties except a really poor doubletree with the worst sound insulation.

    Example 3: Bangkok, a lot of competition from other hotels providing better value for money than the hilton hotels, even if I take into account my free diamond breakfast. Room upgrades would most likely be insignificant and not provide any value.

    Example 4: Istanbul, might be one of the ony places I can find value in the hilton chain give a large selection of properties in including some at a decent value compared to competitors as well.

    Example 4: Hanoi, old and worn Hilton (closed down for renovations). Would never stay at such a worn down property.

    Example 5: Nairobi, extremely poor doubletree and the hilton is so old and worn down.

    Example 6: Ho Chi Minh City, no hilton or above properties. Waiting for the Hilton to be built…

    Example 7: Copenhagen, no hilton properties

    Example 8: Madrid, poor value Doubletree property.

    Example 9: USA, not worth booking direct as no real breakfast benefit, no upgrades, only points, so value through hotels.com and cashback better, at least until end 2023 for European based members.

    Example 10: Mumbai: only an airport Hilton..

    Example 11: Hong Kong: Conrad is old (well kept) but the ventilation is so loud and the sound insulation from the hallway is non existent. Thr HGI has no sound insulation at all. So better to book an independent hotel or other chain.

    Many of the above mentioned locations are popular destinations for leisure or business and Hilton doesn’t offer anything competitive in those locations.

    I can mention a lot more. There are course some places that offer value or where hilton has one of the best hotels in the location. I mean why else would I have become Diamond. Just saying it is hard to find or get this to fit with travel and work needs or leisure travel interests.

    Just to end on a positive about Hilton. Some good properties for value and quality include Hilton Bomonti, Conrad Seoul, Conrad Pune, Hilton Chengdu, and Hilton Belgrade.

    BuildBackBetter 705 posts

    Why rely upon some anonymous OTA to provide benefits? What incentive does the hotel have to offer them to you if you have booked via Hotels.com? If you are genuinely interested in obtaining these perks which are at the very lowest end of third party booking benefits, you would be better to book directly.

    I don’t think anyone is foolish enough to rely on hotels.com to provide any gold/VIP benefits. It is just nice to get something extra if so promised.

    Also, there are a lot of non chain hotels or smaller hotel chains out there where it wouldn’t pay off to join their rewards program.

    Even if you are part of one of the major programs there are so many gaps in geographic coverage or quality in certain locations or low value propositions for many locations that it doesn’t pay off to be part of those either.

    As a Hilton Diamond. I have a hard time finding value booking a hilton property.

    Example 1: Singapore, 3 hotels. None have saunas or steam rooms and a lot of not only similarly or cheaper hotels offer the same service level, gym standard, room quality and breakfast.

    Example 2: Cape Town, no Hilton properties except a really poor doubletree with the worst sound insulation.

    Example 3: Bangkok, a lot of competition from other hotels providing better value for money than the hilton hotels, even if I take into account my free diamond breakfast. Room upgrades would most likely be insignificant and not provide any value.

    Example 4: Istanbul, might be one of the ony places I can find value in the hilton chain give a large selection of properties in including some at a decent value compared to competitors as well.

    Example 4: Hanoi, old and worn Hilton (closed down for renovations). Would never stay at such a worn down property.

    Example 5: Nairobi, extremely poor doubletree and the hilton is so old and worn down.

    Example 6: Ho Chi Minh City, no hilton or above properties. Waiting for the Hilton to be built…

    Example 7: Copenhagen, no hilton properties

    Example 8: Madrid, poor value Doubletree property.

    Example 9: USA, not worth booking direct as no real breakfast benefit, no upgrades, only points, so value through hotels.com and cashback better, at least until end 2023 for European based members.

    Example 10: Mumbai: only an airport Hilton..

    Example 11: Hong Kong: Conrad is old (well kept) but the ventilation is so loud and the sound insulation from the hallway is non existent. Thr HGI has no sound insulation at all. So better to book an independent hotel or other chain.

    Many of the above mentioned locations are popular destinations for leisure or business and Hilton doesn’t offer anything competitive in those locations.

    I can mention a lot more. There are course some places that offer value or where hilton has one of the best hotels in the location. I mean why else would I have become Diamond. Just saying it is hard to find or get this to fit with travel and work needs or leisure travel interests.

    Just to end on a positive about Hilton. Some good properties for value and quality include Hilton Bomonti, Conrad Seoul, Conrad Pune, Hilton Chengdu, and Hilton Belgrade.

    Your first point is the relevant one here. Rest is about availability, missing facilities etc. Nothing to do with getting benefits promised by hotels com.

    As can2 says, ‘vip hotel’ or ‘gold’ status by hotels . Com is just a scam. Nothing guaranteed by the actual hotel.

    Why would the hotel have any incentive to provide benefits if it has to pay 20% commission to OTA? Many people just blindly believe cheapest OTA is the answer to everything.

    meta 1,379 posts

    I’ve been welcomed numerous times as Hotels.com Gold member and offered various benefits including upgrades to really nice suites (at an Abu Dhabi hotel to top suite and they specifically mentioned my Gold status!). It’s the way you approach things – do proper research, contact hotel properly not just shoot an email for the sake of it.

    I like booking via hotels.com as I earn both the reward nights plus 10% cash back via portals. I’ve yet to come across the hotel that has treated me badly because I’ve booked via hotels.com.

    I also find the value in hotels.com Gold membership when things go wrong, especially with independent hotels. Unlike with chain hotels, you have no-one to fall back on other than insurance or credit card dispute if things go wrong with an independent hotels. Hotels.com has a stellar service recovery for Gold members. I know some struggle with hotels.com CS, but I have only positive experience. It’s terrible that they are devaluing, which means I’ll stop using them.

    RasMas 12 posts

    Your first point is the relevant one here. Rest is about availability, missing facilities etc. Nothing to do with getting benefits promised by hotels com.

    As can2 says, ‘vip hotel’ or ‘gold’ status by hotels . Com is just a scam. Nothing guaranteed by the actual hotel.

    Why would the hotel have any incentive to provide benefits if it has to pay 20% commission to OTA? Many people just blindly believe cheapest OTA is the answer to everything.[/quote]

    I was responding to the fact that JBS said people should just book directly and I was giving a reason for why that is less than optimal suggestion

    RasMas 12 posts

    I’ve been welcomed numerous times as Hotels.com Gold member and offered various benefits including upgrades to really nice suites (at an Abu Dhabi hotel to top suite and they specifically mentioned my Gold status!). It’s the way you approach things – do proper research, contact hotel properly not just shoot an email for the sake of it.

    I like booking via hotels.com as I earn both the reward nights plus 10% cash back via portals. I’ve yet to come across the hotel that has treated me badly because I’ve booked via hotels.com.

    I also find the value in hotels.com Gold membership when things go wrong, especially with independent hotels. Unlike with chain hotels, you have no-one to fall back on other than insurance or credit card dispute if things go wrong with an independent hotels. Hotels.com has a stellar service recovery for Gold members. I know some struggle with hotels.com CS, but I have only positive experience. It’s terrible that they are devaluing, which means I’ll stop using them.

    I would agree, except ever since Covid their service has gone down hill, and fast.

    They used to honor BRGs and now it’s a fight every time.

    They also don’t give you the same flexibility on nonrefundable bookings as they used to and they also used to hand out generous vouchers if there were issues.

    RasMas 12 posts

    Your first point is the relevant one here. Rest is about availability, missing facilities etc. Nothing to do with getting benefits promised by hotels com.

    As can2 says, ‘vip hotel’ or ‘gold’ status by hotels . Com is just a scam. Nothing guaranteed by the actual hotel.

    Why would the hotel have any incentive to provide benefits if it has to pay 20% commission to OTA? Many people just blindly believe cheapest OTA is the answer to everything.

    I was responding to the fact that JDB said people should just book directly and I was giving a reason for why that is less than optimal suggestion.

    sloth 315 posts

    Hotels.com gold is a waste of time in my experience… have been that for 3 years and had no benefits derived from it and when I have asked for some help on two separate single night bookings that I’ve had to cancel they have been little help. I use hotels.com for the reward night and 10/12% back on tc b but it’s certainly not my go to

    meta 1,379 posts

    @RasMas Three months ago they put me in another hotel that cost four times more than the original booking due to the closure. Just last week, I got a voucher due to wifi not working at a property I stayed at in Frankfurt.

    I never claimed BRG, they are just a marketing gimmick, not just at hotels.com, but any hotel.

    Regarding non-refundable hotels being refundable – this was just a temporary measure during covid.

    Rui N. 818 posts

    Not true.
    Hotels.com would routinely refund you if you couldn’t make it before covid. Even for silver members.

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