When hotels change brands, it often happens suddenly. Paid reservations are generally honored. Award reservations are sometimes honored. In either case, though, elite members of a loyalty program should not expect new management from a new brand to honor the benefits guests were entitled to in that other program.
Sometimes hotel chains do a good job re-accommodating guests with points bookings that are displaced. Sometimes they don’t do a very good job. However even when they do it can be stressful for the guest. And for employees.
The Park Hyatt Goa, for instance is leaving Hyatt next month. A spokesperson tells me that they’ll be contacting guests with stays booked through Hyatt. The hotel website says it’s unclear what happens to redemptions and upgrades at this point.
[R]eservations made for stays, business conferences and for any other functions at the hotel beyond 18th September 2018 will be handled by the management team then in charge of the hotel. As soon as we have more information, we will update those individuals with reservations for stays on or after 18th September 2018, including options for individuals with stays with rates based on World of Hyatt membership and with stays and upgrades based on World of Hyatt point redemptions. In addition, World of Hyatt members will not be able to earn points or enjoy program benefits at the hotel after 18th September 2018. We will update this message as soon as we have more information to share. We deeply regret any inconvenience that this may cause to you.
Park Hyatt Goa, Credit: Hyatt
Reader Jason shares correspondence about uncertainty at the W Las Vegas. The W is a part of the SLS Las Vegas complex. It’s the SLS’ rebranded ‘LUX Tower’. The SLS itself is the old Sahara. The entire project has struggled since re-opening and the SLS was sold earlier this year with plans for investment of about $100 million to revitalize the property. At the time new ownership indicated they’d keep the hotel branding for a year while they evaluated its future. It has a ‘working name’ of Grand Sahara.
Sahara Hotel, Credit: mrak75 via Wikimedia Commons
Since Jason received a confirmation indicating that he’d be staying at the Tribute Portfolio SLS, rather than the W, he reached out to Starwood for clarification. The W was expected to be folded back into the SLS on July 20. Starwood indicated though that his reservation at the W, but shared they weren’t sure if that would continue.
W Las Vegas’ 289-room tower is in the works of being acquired by new property Ownership from Marriott International. The new Ownership Group has acquired the SLS Las Vegas in a closing deal this past April and is pursuing W Las Vegas’ share of the property. The deal was supposed to go through last Thursday, July 19th however we still remain in place with our own W Brand Management Team until further notice. The deal will go through, but we are unclear on a timeline.
If the deal goes through before your stay dates, both properties as a whole may very well depart the Starwood/Marriott Group.
Credit: W Las Vegas
W Las Vegas branding remains, though, and the hotel continues to accept reservations under that name.
Employees are really uncertain about their future. Jason asked if it was still possible to earn points with his November booking, whether he’d receive elite recognition — and if it was possible to let him know if anything changed, the reply he got was they can’t promise to let him know because they might lose their jobs in too big of a hurry.
Because of the uncertainty with the Brand’s partnership – I cannot guarantee anything in regards to future reservations.
If you are looking to guarantee points accrual and SPG Membership recognition I would from personal prospect book at another property within Las Vegas. Being I am uncertain of security with my own proprietary position; I may not have time in lieu of notice to advise you of the change. Right now, I would be able to cancel your reservation at no penalty if need be.
This is true of course, though much more candor than you usually expect in this sort of situation.