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Diamond room upgrades. What is a "preferred room"?

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kpc

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I'm sure the Hilton Ts and Cs previously stated that Diamonds could be upgraded to suites if available but on checking the Hilton website today, it states the following:"Space-available upgrade to a preferred room'
So the Q is: "what is a preferred room?":confused: Are suites included?
 

Danger

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The big Hilton devaluation of about two or three years ago saw the wording change from something like 'upgraded to an executive floor room if available' to this pathetic "preferred room". It totally and utterly leaves the preferred part up to the hotel. The hotel might offer a room on a higher floor (even if your profile is for a low floor), a room away from the elevator (even if your profile is for a room close to the elevator), a corner room etc, from a queen to a king etc. The upgrade benefit really is a non-benefit now, I believe.
 

serfty

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Note that upgrades to suites were specifically excluded as being a HHonors Gold/Diamond benefit until around 2012.

(Although that did not prevent individual properties from providing upgrades to suites back then :cool:.)

Anyway, while getting an upgrade to a suite is nice, I have this philosophy that you "cannot eat a view". Guaranteed lounge access for diamonds is where it is at for me.
 
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anat0l

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Post 2012ish, as serfty explained pre, I don't think suites were ever guaranteed for Diamonds. You could be upgraded into one - naturally only if one was available - but it was never a guarantee. Of course, it never stopped people from pulling the old "check if you could book the room online" at check-in trick.

That said, suite upgrades did become more commonplace in the said new era anyway.

In the same transition, Golds lost their "guaranteed upgrade to Executive level" (if one was available). They were merely changed to 'preferred room' as well.

"Preferred room", I would guess, means any room which can be arguably better than the room you booked. As stated, this doesn't necessarily imply an improvement in the room type, but could simply be a room which is located better in the property.

It would be more likely that a HH Gold may only expect an upgrade to a better located room, whereas a HH Diamond should likely expect an upgrade of room type (e.g. a Standard to an Executive). That said, upgrades into suites (e.g. even if you had booked an Executive level room and the only grade of room better than this is a Suite) may be asking for much at some properties, or at some times.

In the end, it's a nice set of weasel words for a property (or HHonors) to be able to give a rather limp upgrade without much legal repercussion. This is unlike other programmes where an upgrade to a suite or a set number of levels of upgrades is regimented for elites (though those programmes are also without their particular problems with respect to executing this benefit).
 
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ozscot

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In 3 years as Diamond I got two significant upgrades: one in Orange County Ca and one in Sydney. This year I dropped to Silver and am typing this from the lounge at the Sheraton on the Park. They were much cheaper on the day. Hilton's loss I suppose - I'll just go on best deal now.
 

serfty

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More about those changes here: http://www.australianfrequentflyer....rs/confirmed-diamond-get-all-myway-35920.html

Post 2012ish, as serfty explained pre, I don't think suites were ever guaranteed for Diamonds. You could be upgraded into one - naturally only if one was available - but it was never a guarantee. Of course, it never stopped people from pulling the old "check if you could book the room online" at check-in trick. ...
No, the T&C's had text that specifically excluded upgrades to suites from being a benefit.
 
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drron

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Though in 2006 I got upgraded to the Governor's suite at the Hilton Anchorage.Note that was before Sarah Palin became Governor.
It was an unusual situation though.A storm had cut the road and rail to Denali and the hotel was full with Princess Cruise pax.I had booked a junior suite as it was mrsdrron's birthday.So as the highest paying diamond I got the Governor's suite.:D:cool:
 

kpc

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So the Q is: "what is a preferred room?":confused: Are suites included?
Been doing some further research. Found this:

At Waldorf Astoria® Hotels & Resorts, Conrad® Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, and DoubleTree by Hilton™ properties, Diamond HHonors guests will receive upgrades to preferred rooms, based on availability at the time of check-in (excludes Napua Tower at Grand Wailea and Imperial Floor at Rome Cavalieri). Upgrades for Diamond HHonors guests may include the next-best available room from the room type booked. Upgrades may also be rooms with desirable views, corner rooms, rooms on high floors, rooms with special amenities, rooms on Executive Floors, or suites, as identified by each property. Upgrades exclude executive suites, villas and specialty accommodations (which may include, but not limited to, "Vista" and "Villa" accommodation types), subject to the discretion of the hotel. Group reservations and certain rates are not eligible for suite accommodations and may not be eligible for complimentary upgrades. All upgrades are granted on a space-available basis for the entire stay, as determined at the time of check-in. Preferred rooms are identified by each individual property and may vary within each brand. Upgrades will be given only for one room for the member, regardless of additional rooms the member may have purchased at or after the time of booking. The following brands do not offer complimentary upgrades: Embassy Suites™, Hilton Garden Inn®, Hampton Inn & Suites®, Homewood Suites by Hilton®, Home2 Suites by Hilton®, and Hilton Grand Vacations®.
Scroll down to "Diamond Elite membership":HHonors Terms & Conditions
 

JMFK

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In my experience it very much depends on the individual property and they are free to interpret it as they wish. Some properties go above and beyond, some properties have an unwritten 'one category above what's booked' rule, and some properties do sweet fa.

It's best not to expect anything. I'll always ask politely at check-in if suites are available, but like Serfty, the main benefits for me as a
Diamond is guaranteed lounge access.
 

Danger

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Been doing some further research. Found this:

Scroll down to "Diamond Elite membership":HHonors Terms & Conditions
It might as well say the upgrade may include 300 square metre penthouse suites and whole executive floors. The operative word is may. Previously, the wording ensured Diamonds got executive floor/rooms (subject to availability). Now, it's a room with a partial view of the parking lot, instead of a total view of the parking lot.
 

drron

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Back in 2007 was the year I decided whether to keep HH diamond or go for SPG plat.Before that as diamond I had been denied exec lounge privileges at Hiltons Adelaide,Dubai Creek and KL-and then even though upgraded to exec floor.To top it off that year I stayed at the Waldorf Towers in NYC which would give you access to the Astoria lounge.In August the exec lounge privileges for diamonds were introduced so on the 1st of August the Astoria lounge began closing at 1300.No compensation for Towers guests.
That was the last straw so it doesn't surprise me that the nickel and diming has started again.The cynic in me says that the suite upgrades was a Blackstone initiative to sweeten the Hilton IPO and now that is out of the way it is back to the old habits.
 

anat0l

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More about those changes here: http://www.australianfrequentflyer....rs/confirmed-diamond-get-all-myway-35920.html

No, the T&C's had text that specifically excluded upgrades to suites from being a benefit.
I think I had not written my post clearly.

What I meant to say is you correctly pointed out that pre-2012, there had been the exclusion there. After 2012, the exclusion had been removed (or rather been clarified, as kpc has found), but there is still nothing in the T&Cs which specifically says a Diamond is entitled to a suite. It only says you may get a suite (or rather, of the range of rooms you could be upgraded to, these could include suites). This is unlike some other hotel programmes which state that their top tier elites are entitled to suites, viz. even if you had booked an entry level room, if you are a top tier elite and there are suites free, your benefit states you are entitled to such a suite.

Been doing some further research. Found this:

Scroll down to "Diamond Elite membership":HHonors Terms & Conditions
An interesting part as pointed out here is that an individual property is entitled to designate what they believe are the preferred rooms. From here, I would think a valid interpretation from the hotel's perspective is that they could state that only a subset of the rooms are preferred rooms; e.g. a property with 10 suite rooms may designate only 6 of them as "preferred rooms", which in turn means that only up to 6 of those suites may be released for upgrades, with the remaining 4 not specifically earmarked (although of course a property could easily override this as they wish).

I suppose a property may also unilaterally not designate suites as "preferred", thus removing them from the upgrade pool.

The length of a stay can really affect whether one receives an upgrade or not. If you checked in on the Monday for a stay checking out on the Thursday, and if a suite is not available for all three nights of your stay, then you get no suite upgrade. Even if a suite were available on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, or Monday and Tuesday nights, no upgrade, even if you consented to switch rooms mid-stay (unless you could make such an agreement with the management).

Then you always wrestle with other factors, e.g. 3 Diamonds and 1 Gold check-in on the same night where the loads are such that there are only 2 suites available (all others are purchased). The Gold has purchased an Executive room (only one grade under a suite) and registered a NOR1 upgrade to suites. There is 1 Diamond who has purchased an Executive room but not registered a NOR1 upgrade. The other 2 Diamonds are booked in standard rooms, both on paid rates. One of the Diamonds on the standard room rate has stayed at this property four times as frequently as the Diamond on the Executive room rate. So who should get what?
 
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I take preferred room to mean whatever they want to give you. Lovestotravel has stated that one of their "upgrades" was to an accessible room.......hardly an upgrade unless one does desire the features offered by an accessible room.

Having said that, in my limited number of Hiltons that I stay at, I think only HSYD is the only disappointment (and this is only because many of their rooms are basically the same little dog boxes). I guess at the end of the day, if you want the room you booked over the room they offer, all you need do is ask for it.
 

Anna

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Anyway, while getting an upgrade to a suite is nice, I have this philosophy that you "cannot eat a view". Guaranteed lounge access for diamonds is where it is at for me.
I'm the complete opposite :). I love getting a suite, and I'm really not fussed about lounge access cos it just encourages me to eat and drink more than I need to.
 
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