Success: Waldorf=Astoria Grand Wailea in Hawaii Now Bookable on Points

Hilton doesn’t have blackout dates or capacity controls. When a standard room is available for sale, it should be available on points. That’s true of many hotel programs.

However individual hotels will sometimes playg games with their revenue inventory. They aren’t supposed to do this, but they may view guests on points as worth less than what they might get on the market from a paying customer.

On the whole Hilton reimburses hotels less for reward stays than some other programs do. But they’re hardly the only chain with this issue. Last month I flagged the issue at the Hyatt Regency Aruba and now members can use their points at that resort again.

About a week ago I reached out to Hilton because a reader was having difficulty using their points at the Grand Wailea Waldorf Astoria Resort in Hawaii. I found that it had only had two weeks in the entire upcoming year where it was possible to book a three night award stay (95,000 points per night).

Reader John A. wrote,

I thought Hhonors is supposed to have standard room(s) available at each hotel. That said I’m finding several hotels that don’t have them. Particularly the Grand Wailea on Maui only has premium rooms available (255k pts / night). Even the telephone agent noted it. We couldn’t find a single standard room. Have you encountered this previously? I’ve emailed customer service (several times now), but they don’t seem to care.

Grand Wailea, Credit: Hilton

This is what almost the entire year looked like for reward night availability:

I reached out to the contact who helped me get award space opened up at the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem.
They were out of the office, but they were back promptly upon their return and they promised to look into it.

Now Hilton has let me know “that standard rooms have been opened up at the Grand Wailea and are available for booking.” Indeed reward nights are now available most nights of the year at this property.

I don’t love that they hit members with a $30 resort fee on top of 95,000 points per night. Resort fees are supposed to apply on points and cash stays but not full points stays (which is one reason it’s rarely a good idea to book points and cash at a resort destination).

Which hotel is next for our little game of ‘whack-a-mole’?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I have checked this property several times and it always had availabilriy on points BUT always at 225,000 points per night for a standard room. Of course I never booked so I am wondering why I could see it if you say they were not available.

  2. Very nice Gary.
    I don’t have immediate plans to stay at this property, but I do appreciate you reaching out to Hilton and correcting things.

  3. Hey Gary! Can you see if you can shake the tree at the Conrad Tokyo. After December 20 there are no 95k King Standard rooms available – I think 210k is the lowest offered…


  4. Gary, I am having the same issue with Doubletree by Hilton Seychelles, Allamanda Resort. The hilton website doesn’t show any available days for the entire calendar, for either standard or premium rooms. I called up the hilton customer service number and the guy I spoke to said he was showing standard rooms available for $ so there should be award rooms available. We didn’t get any further as I was just checking what availability was like and didn’t have any specific dates in mind. I was looking to stay there in Oct. 2019 and so was wanting to know how many points it is for this year in Oct. 2018 to get an idea. How can I find out what they charge points-wise in October without calling them up? Is there an award chart somewhere? I looked and couldn’t find it.

  5. Hey Gary – this is amazing. Please can you help us out with the Venice Molino Hilton as well? They seem to be playing the same game.

    Thanks in advance!

  6. While you are at it – The Conrad Bora Bora tries to play the same game, but they do it cleverly – they dont make the base room available. The next room, is no upgrade (just a different bed style) and they charge insane points for it.

  7. Now if you could magically take out the resort fees from properties we are talking! Resort fees are the biggest hotel scam there is.

  8. i was told at check-in that the resort fee was waived on free nights. I’ll let you know when I check-out in one hour.

  9. Just checked out at the Grand Wailea… no resort fee, using 2 Citi free weekend nights.

  10. Gary, thanks! I have a trip planned for May and was really devastated that the 95k awards had suddenly disappeared. When I saw them up again this weekend, I booked right away! So thrilled. Btw, they waive resort fee if you’re staying on points. Only charge for parking.

  11. The Conrad KS and the Conrad Maldives are the only luxe getaway Hilton properties with consistently good award availability. Nice to see a celebrity blogger fighting the good fight and winning. 🙂

  12. @sean A few months ago I had the same problem with the Conrad Tokyo. I tracked it everyday and one day they had rooms at 70k points a night! I hesitated and went to book a day later, and they were back at some ridiculously high level… Stayed in Odaiba at like 30k points a night and was still happy with it.

  13. @Trup – thanks for the info. I’ll check it out… And I am definitely tracking the Conrad 🙂

  14. Now if the man and legend can fix Andaz Maui as well with the
    game playing on points bookings
    We won’t even discuss the abhorrent business behavior with Globalists getting the shaft on suite upgrades
    A property so evil I cut back my business with Hyatt over it

  15. Now if the man and legend can fix Andaz Maui as well with the
    game playing on points bookings
    We won’t even discuss the abhorrent business behavior with Globalists getting the shaft on suite upgrades
    A property so evil I cut back my business with Hyatt over it
    Due to game playing we ended up @ the Marriott Maui and
    had a nicer room then Andaz
    but we liked the public areas better at Andaz

  16. FWIW, the Hyatt Aruba only opened availability for a short period of time – they have no availability all of next fall/winter

  17. “Resort fees are supposed to apply on points and cash stays but not full points stays“ – Gary

    Really? Let me introduce you to Marriott where I’ve been paying resort fees for years at any # of their properties, including Ritz and all SPG properties as well. I’d love for Congress to get involved in stopping this scam.

  18. This is an old thread, I know, but I went book *any Hilton property in Hawaii for a 5 night reward stay in January 2019.

    Not a single property on the Hawaiian Islands showed any availability for months — even for Premium.

    I played with the dates and number of nights and absolutely no luck. What is the best way to handle this?

    Thanks SO much for everything you teach us, Gary =)

  19. Hey Gary,

    I think I am having a similar issue here with the Waldorf Beverley Hill. I was planning to use the Hilton free night certificate on the night of 9/1 (Saturday), but after I phoned with the Hilton customer service, I was told that I will not be able to redeem the certificate since the certificate is only eligible for a standard room and there is no standard room available that day. BTW, it costs 255,000 points that night. Well, seems like Hilton is sneakily restricting their free night certificate…

    Any chance of still using that certificate?? Thanks, Gary!

    Best regards,

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