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Hilton - Good hotels; superb loyalty scheme!
Hilton in general
Member Name: andymcf
Hilton in general
Date: 26/11/02, updated on 26/11/02 (130 review reads)
Advantages: Hilton Hhonors is a superb loyalty scheme, You earn hotel points AND Air Miles, Generally good standard of accommodation
Disadvantages: Well - it's a hotel chain..., ....but that doesn't REALLY bother me!
People like me are gradually becoming more and more willing to trust and embrace on-line booking services. Secure web sites and improved reliability have helped to encourage us to use on-line booking. Hilton's web site - and their superb back-up service - is absolutely superb. I use it with complete confidence.
I remember, some time ago, finding a fantastic rate on-line at the Holiday Inn in Lubeck, North Germany. Still a relative newcomer to this, I plucked up the courage and booked on line. Everything seemed to be just fine - until we actually arrived, after a long journey, to discover that they had no knowledge whatsoever of our booking. I was horrified. The room rate advertised behind the check-in desk was well in excess of the rate I'd booked - and we needed somewhere to sleep. Fortunately, Amanda, my wife, has a degree in German and she managed to get them to honour the deal we thought we'd booked (we even had a confirmation number etc); but it was a really horrendous experience. Not one which I'd like to repeat - a hotel stay is meant to be relaxing from start to finish, after all.
More recently, I have discovered Hilton. Their web site is clear, attractive, efficient and I have never experienced any such problems when booking rooms with them; they inspire real confidence. Just so that I don't come over as being too biased, I would comment on the downside that, although they provide a "comments" box so that you can leave important information for the hotel manager (such as "We need a cot for our 11 month old baby, and could I request a room upgrade because I'm a Gold VIP Hhonors member"), this only allows a small amount of text and certainly wouldn't cope with the example I've just quoted. It's just a small quibble, though!
Booking on-line is by far the best way to go with Hilton, too. You really should sign up to their superb "Hhonors" (sic) loyalty scheme and you
earn 1,000 points (currently only 500, though) simply for booking on-line. You also earn 10 points per US dollar spent on your bill (accommodation, food, drinks, etc) and these points very soon add up. To put that in perspective, you can get a free night for as few as 6,000 points - although 21,000 will get you a top 5* hotel in London. I've earned an extraordinarily large number of points within only a few stays and am already looking at some free stays in some very nice accommodation. OK - I might have been a little cheeky with them at times but - hey - they've been very helpful.
Obviously, booking on-line is a rather impersonal activity, but we're all getting far more used to it. With Hilton, you get an instant, and very clear, e-mail confirmation of the booking which you can take along with you to the hotel and their customer service (which is extremely important to me) is, in my view, second-to-none. I really do mean that. I cannot fault them. I've had reason to deal with them on several occasions and one thing that stands out about the (extremely friendly) service is that your communication is always handled by the same person. It may take a few e-mails before a situation is resolved, but you can have complete faith in the fact that this operation is very personal and extremely customer-friendly.
I cannot recommend this service too highly. The operation is efficient (even if the site can be slow to load). The reservation system works flawlessly and reliably. The Hhonors loyalty scheme is superb, allowing you to earn Hhonors points and air miles simultaneously. Above all else, the customer service is friendly, very human, reliable and immensely confidence-inspiring. Maybe I've just been lucky in being directed towards a star-performer in Casey Deaton (who really deserves a mention), but then I have dealt with several employees in offices as far as part as Texas and Glasgow and I have always been more than satisfied.
You really can't go wrong - and the hotels which I have stayed in have always been of a more than satisfactory standard. At the end of the day, that is what really matters. What more can you ask for? I'm staying at the Langham Hilton in London next week - and can't wait! I'll review it before my stay at the Hilton Aberdeen Treetops the following week. Oh - and I don't spend ALL my life in hotels, before you think I'm trying to be too flash!!!
By the way....the Holiday Inn Lubeck, mentioned earlier, is now a "Scandic" Hotel and is thus part of the Hilton group.
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