So we booked a night at a local Hilton Hotel (Hilton Hotels are the official hotel chain of The Lamb Family) using HHonors points we earned from other trips and from using our Hilton HHonors VISA from Citibank. We've stayed at this hotel before - it's a very nice hotel. Last time we stayed there, they put us on the very top floor - we had a balcony and a really large room that was decorated in the style that made us think of a luxury room on the Titanic or something. Really nicely decorated with a real period feel to it. It was awesome.
I know I shouldn't hold my breath - I won't always get the upgrade to first class, the town car instead of the shuttle van, the 800 sq ft suite instead of the 200 sq ft room I paid for (all things that have happened to me), but there's a small part of me that hopes to get such a nice room again this time. I know there's no guarantee, but you still hope. We don't get to get out much and it's nice to feel for a few hours like we're wealthy elite who get nice things.
But then I saw this on the confirmation... a link to what they call "eStandby". Here's a shot of part of the website:
This is a disturbing trend I'm seeing with hotels and airlines lately... it's the implication that they will put you in the worst possible room/seat they can - unless you're willing to shell out more money.
So now you have that bad taste in your mouth from the solicitation. If you do pull the trigger and agree to the shakedown, it might not be enough - you might not get an upgrade. Now you've gambled and lost, asked for a favor of your host and been turned down, treated like a lesser guest. The room you agreed to at the price you agreed to now feels like a letdown, a rip-off.
Exactly the opposite of the impression you'd think a company like Hilton is trying to cultivate. (The only reason we do not own stock in Hilton is because it's not currently a publicly traded company. I highly recommend "Be My Guest" by Conrad Hilton - a great read I apparently never reviewed on my blog.)