Hilton promises that two guests always cost the single occupancy rate if you’re a Hilton Honors member. So why are they charging extra points for two guests at the Cavalieri in Rome?
Searching for one night I can get the Cavalieri Hilton, now a Waldorf-Astoria, for 65,000 points.
However if I search the same dates with two guests occupying the room instead of just one the rate goes up to 66,000 points. (HT: Joe Brancatelli)
The paid rate doesn’t change for two guests. The room type is exactly the same. But there’s a second person charge of 1000 points.
The extra 1000 points only applies when the hotel is priced at less than 80,000 points per night. Hilton doesn’t have fixed points pricing for its hotels, they have ranges and maximums. And 80,000 points per night is the current maximum for this hotel.
Cavalieri, Credit: Hilton
Charging extra for two guests would seem to violate the Hilton Honors ‘second guest stays free‘ benefit just for being a member.
A second guest stays free in the Member’s room on qualifying stays at hotels when there are additional charges for double occupancy. This benefit excludes stays at any hotel when the rate includes additional components (e.g., meals, activities, parking), or specialized rates (e.g. package rates, bed & breakfast rates) that are quoted as a per person or per room charge.
- There’s a 7 euro per person occupancy tax that applies [the tax is 4 euros for 2 and 3 star hotels, 6 euros for 4 star hotels, and 7 euros for 5 star hotels]
- The hotel pays this tax on reward nights, and Honors pays them more to cover it
- So they charge the guest more. They argue it’s not a higher rate, just more tax.
- But the cost of the hotel is never more than the 80,000 point current redemption rate maximum for the property.
While descriptions of the tax I’ve seen suggest that this tax must be collected from the guest upon checkout, and is not included even on prepaid hotel rates, Hilton tells me that it is not charged to the guest on reward stays and so the incremental points are charged to cover the extra tax for the second room occupant.
If there was ever any doubt though about whether Hilton Honors had become a full revenue-based program, charging 1000 extra points because of an incremental additional fee for a second guest should help disabuse that.
You should probably just search with the default one guest staying in a room if booking a redemption night at the Cavalieri.