When hotels aren’t making the award space available to members that they should I’ve had good success getting the loyalty program to intervene. I’ve had especially good success with Hilton, such as with the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem and the Waldorf Astoria Grand Wailea on Maui.
So I had high hopes reaching out to Hilton Honors about the new Conrad Punta Mita. I asked Hilton why the Conrad Punta Mita wasn’t offering awards any night of the year. Initially I was told that “[the hotel isn’t slated to open until May so it might be a lag in getting all of the rates up and running.” However I pointed out that,
- The hotel had been offering redemptions and appeared to stop
- They’re selling rooms for cash, and program rules require that if standard rooms are available for cash they should also be available on points.
After a couple of days they confirmed, “Hilton Honors redemption has been added to Conrad Punta Mita.” And indeed availability is wide open for standard room redemption:
In most cases Hyatt and Hilton have been pretty good about getting non-compliant hotels in line – although Hyatt’s Andaz West Hollywood, Andaz Maui , and Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach are exceptions.
Neither IHG nor Marriott, of course, actually promise that all standard rooms will be made available as award nights to begin with. In fact Marriott just moved to further restrict award redemption at its legacy Starwood brands. So Hyatt and Hilton deserve double recognition – first for their availability policies, and second for policing those policies.
Readers reach out to me all the time with award redemption problems and I do my best to get them solved, week after week.