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Hotels.com works for me

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Teejay

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I am a member of Hilton Honors and Priority Club/IHG Rewards and have been a gold member with both but the problem has always been limited choice in some parts of the world - Sydney for example, two or three expensive choices and that's it. In the US, even a small town provides more choice than Sydney or Melbourne because they have so many hotels over there.

So, I started using hotels.com - they have a rewards programme that gives you a free night for every ten nights with regular offers that boost the reward nights. This is not quite the return you may get with HH but it means you can get rewards wherever you are going, with plenty of choice. Their customer service is pretty good - 24/7 and, although based offshore and sometimes a little annoying language wise, they have always resolved any problems, changed bookings, applied refunds and rewards exactly as I expected ... can't ask more than that.

I always compare prices with other sites and they are usually much the same ... so it's a no brainer for me.:)
 

serfty

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Price isnot everything - value is important. Usually there are no elite benefits with third party bookings like those through hotels .com.

So sites like hotels .com are among the last places i check.
 

Teejay

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Price isnot everything - value is important. Usually there are no elite benefits with third party bookings like those through hotels .com.

So sites like hotels .com are among the last places i check.

Your choice :)

For me, a free drink and a bowl of fruit is just window dressing. If I can't get the right hotel in the right area, which is often the case if you stick with a particular chain, no amount of elite benefits can help ... and you can't belong to every loyalty group. I have airmiles and points I will never use because I have tried and failed to stick with particular chains only to find that they don't fly to or don't have a hotel where I need to be.

But you have to spread your bets ... no doubt.
 

serfty

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Sure - there are rare occasions. e.g. SJU Airport hotel is the only one I have booked using Booking.com - as that appears the only way to book it online. Nothing more needed than a bed and shower.

Staying at the Hilton on the Park Saturday night for 50K HHonors points - booked 10 days ago best rate at time started at ~$350 (now down to $319). Since I am Diamond I get lounge access and complimentary full breakfast as per HHonors/Hotel policy - there's the value.
 

kamchatsky

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The problem I have with Hilton is that you need to keep the account active (by some activities) every 12 months. Otherwise you lose your point balance. Also those points get devalued every few years making it worth less. I always burned my HH points whenever I can. Hotels.com is pretty good from that perspective because you have much more hotels to choose from.
 

markis10

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I am a member of Hilton Honors and Priority Club/IHG Rewards and have been a gold member with both but the problem has always been limited choice in some parts of the world - Sydney for example, two or three expensive choices and that's it. In the US, even a small town provides more choice than Sydney or Melbourne because they have so many hotels over there.

IHG has 9 hotels in the Sydney basin, and I am normally in one 5 days a week, paying on average less than $100 a night, or about half what hotels.com, expedia or whatever charge. Hotel points can have significant value if you play the game right, especially when things like points breaks mean a night in an Intercontinental can cost $35. The simple solution is to not have the same solution always, each night the value proposition changes. Last year I requalified Spg gold with a spend of $2K which was 20 nights accom, and the points got me a business class fare to Asia ;)
 

kamchatsky

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IHG has 9 hotels in the Sydney basin, and I am normally in one 5 days a week, paying on average less than $100 a night, or about half what hotels.com, expedia or whatever charge. Hotel points can have significant value if you play the game right, especially when things like points breaks mean a night in an Intercontinental can cost $35. The simple solution is to not have the same solution always, each night the value proposition changes. Last year I requalified Spg gold with a spend of $2K which was 20 nights accom, and the points got me a business class fare to Asia ;)

Pointbreaks? Come on. We all know that IHG does not think Oceania exists these days .... IC on PB would most likely in China, or India or some other developing countries .....
 

markis10

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Pointbreaks? Come on. We all know that IHG does not think Oceania exists these days .... IC on PB would most likely in China, or India or some other developing countries .....

I have booked and used PB nights 10 times this year, all in Oceania, I am happy with that given how cheap they are. And the HI Warwick Farm and IC Double Bay are the only properties that have not been on PB at some stage in recent years.
 

kamchatsky

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I have booked and used PB nights 10 times this year, all in Oceania, I am happy with that given how cheap they are. And the HI Warwick Farm and IC Double Bay are the only properties that have not been on PB at some stage in recent years.

Good to see you managed to use it 10 times this year, even though every time I see it last few years, it usually leads to disappointment. I am just not going to travel to Townsville just for the PBs.

I have never seen IC Sydney on PB, I know it happened to IC Melbourne and Adelaide before, but it was a long while back.

Having said that, I would look forward to see IC Fiji on the list again.
 

JohnK

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Staying at the Hilton on the Park Saturday night for 50K HHonors points - booked 10 days ago best rate at time started at ~$350 (now down to $319). Since I am Diamond I get lounge access and complimentary full breakfast as per HHonors/Hotel policy - there's the value.
Personally I struggle to see value in paying ~$350/night for a bed in a hotel room.

And that is alot of Hhonors points requiring ~USD3,000 spend to earn those points. Or unless you are earning more points on credit card than you can spend.

Sleep and go for $69 will do me just fine and I will bring some Pringles with me for breakfast the next day. ;)
 

serfty

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Personally I struggle to see value in paying ~$350/night for a bed in a hotel room.

And that is alot of Hhonors points requiring ~USD3,000 spend to earn those points. Or unless you are earning more points on credit card than you can spend.

Sleep and go for $69 will do me just fine and I will bring some Pringles with me for breakfast the next day. ;)
No where near $3000; with 2x 3x promos and Diamond 15 HHpoints per $ more like $600 ... and I would have needed to spend that money on accommodation anyway.

... oh - this booking is for 2 people ....
 

cgichard

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hotels.com - they have a rewards programme that gives you a free night for every ten nights with regular offers that boost the reward nights. This is not quite the return you may get with HH but it means you can get rewards wherever you are going, with plenty of choice. Their customer service is pretty good - 24/7 and, although based offshore and sometimes a little annoying language wise, they have always resolved any problems, changed bookings, applied refunds and rewards exactly as I expected ... can't ask more than that.

I've just had a not-so-good experience with hotels.com customer service. I had booked a night in a London hotel near Paddington through them for next July: it was on a no-fee-for-cancellation basis and the confirmation email clearly says "You won't be charged until you check in or check out of the hotel." The CC details I gave were for my UK bank account to avoid any exchange rate issues. Today my monthly statement from that bank arrived in the mail, and I see that the hotel have already charged the full amount to my card.

I expected hotels.com to take it from there and arrange a refund for me directly with the hotel, and confirm that action by email. Waited at least 20 minutes on their 1800 line before I got through to anyone. I realized that because of the time difference they would not be able immediately to contact anyone at the hotel with authority to put through a refund. But no, after much to-ing and fro-ing between the customer service person and their supervisor, they wanted to cancel the original booking and make a new one for me and provide my CC details over the phone to enable them to do so. I refused to do this as the risk of double charging was too high and anyway my patience had run out. They were trying to tell me that it is that hotel's policy to put through the charge immediately when the booking is for only one night, but that's not the hotel's website or the hotel.com confirmation email said.

Is it worth fighting for a refund that retains the booking or should I simply lump it?
 

sinophile888

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The problem I have with Hilton is that you need to keep the account active (by some activities) every 12 months. Otherwise you lose your point balance. Also those points get devalued every few years making it worth less. I always burned my HH points whenever I can. Hotels.com is pretty good from that perspective because you have much more hotels to choose from.

I have been unable to travel since last November. Does that mean that I will lose all my 58, 500 HH points this month? I am currently Gold.
Could I book my son into the Parmelia, HotP or HSW on points? Would I have to make the booking this month? Or would the stay need to be this month?
 

sinophile888

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I rang Hilton Honours and they confirmed what edison posted. I purchased 1000 points so I am fine for another 12 months. A far better option than booking my son into a Hilton. I had no idea that points expired.

So a big thank-you to edison.
 
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whatmeworry

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I rang Hilton Honours and they confirmed what edison posted. I purchased 1000 points so I am fine for another 12 months. A far better option than booking my son into a Hilton. I had no idea that points expired.

So a big thank-you to edison.

You can keep your Hilton points active if have a e-rewards or e-miles account by completing surveys.


Also hotels.com has a Sydney sale with a further 12% off with this code: SYDNEY12
 

Jeffrey O'Neill

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I generally prefer ratestogo and hoteclub.

qwibble gets you 9.8% on every hotelclub booking which helps if there's no current discount code.

i don't like the HH welcome rewards setup. Prefer a $ value to use as I please rather than for just 1 night at a hotel. Hotelclub at least lets you earn their reward $$$ even if you use a discount code.
 

trippin_the_rift

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I generally prefer ratestogo and hoteclub.

qwibble gets you 9.8% on every hotelclub booking which helps if there's no current discount code.

i don't like the HH welcome rewards setup. Prefer a $ value to use as I please rather than for just 1 night at a hotel. Hotelclub at least lets you earn their reward $$$ even if you use a discount code.

9.8% ??
In the process you also lose:
- Flexibility to change and cancel the room.
- points earning, status benefits and the ability to get free nights at major hotels/resorts where the cash cost is huge but points cost is minimal.
- your chances of an upgrade drop to near zero (compared to 80% upgrade rate for high tier members of some chains).
- you are instantly flagged as a non important guest at the hotel. This is important if you want to return in the future.

1 in 8 reservations I manage will get a 20% discount off the lowest possible discounted rate for that room. Let's see any third party site give you this.

I agree if you're staying at a non-chain hotel sometimes an OTA can be beneficial and cheaper, however for major chain hotels - if you're not booking through the hotel directly you are paying too much.
 
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