Even though Hilton gave away Diamond status a few months ago, I didn’t really have any plans to take advantage of it. I only decided to take the match at the last minute before the offer expired. I recently had a trip where I couldn’t find any availability without breaking the bank at my preferred hotel chains (SPG, Hyatt, and Marriott a very distant third only due to RewardsPlus). I found a decent price for a Hilton, so I figured it would be a good opportunity to try out my new status.
I used to hold Hilton Diamond status, but after various rounds of devaluations, I decided to focus my loyalty elsewhere, and in general, I haven’t looked back. As noted above, I was given a free upgrade to a Deluxe Suite. Not bad, but after a little research, it seems that upgrades are extremely common at this property. There is a high percentage of suites. I’m not complaining at all, it was nice to have the extra space, even for my brief time in the room.
As a creature of habit, it was a bit weird to be slightly out of my comfort zone, but I appreciated several things I experienced there. The free buffet breakfast in the restaurant was nice (this may have been a perk via my corporate rate at this hotel, I think diamonds normally receive only continental). I also got a free drink, but didn’t actually take advantage of this benefit, since I didn’t receive the cards for breakfast and the drink until I woke up, as they were slid under my door. They were delivered to my room only after calling before I went to sleep.
Also, I utilized the digital key using my phone, which worked well most of the time. Certainly better than in my very limited experience using this at Starwood. For my own sentimental reasons, I was pleasantly surprised by the artwork in the hallway on my floor that featured photos from my beloved alma mater.
I’m not planning on changing my hotel loyalty based on this one stay. Still, it was refreshing to see what else is out there. I had another new experience on this trip. I got there flying OneJet nonstop between Milwaukee and Indianapolis. That was my first time on a jet that small. Daniel has done a nice detailed review of OneJet’s service. The price wasn’t that much of a price premium, and there was no service on the short flight, but the convenience of such a small plane, and the nonstop worked great for this trip.
How about you, do you sometimes venture away from familiar patterns when traveling? I enjoyed the experience, although not enough to change my preferences.