Just got this email from Hilton:
Introducing standardized My Way VIP benefits worldwide. Now you can select high-speed internet access as your VIP on-property benefit, and we’ve updated our Gold and Diamond VIP Executive Lounge access policy.
My Way On-Property VIP Benefit Options
Choose any one of these on-property VIP benefits at Hilton®, Conrad® Hotels & Resorts and Doubletree® hotels worldwide, effective August 15, 2008.
Option 1. Receive a space-available room upgrade, including breakfast. You will be upgraded to an Executive Floor room (where/when available) at time of check-in. If an Executive Floor room is unavailable, you will be upgraded to the next best available room from the room type booked. Upgrades exclude suites, villas and specialty accommodations. At hotels with Executive Floor lounges, if an Executive Floor room upgrade is available, you will also receive access to the lounge. In addition you will receive complimentary Continental breakfast for you and up to one additional registered hotel guest each day of your stay. See below for details.
Option 2. Enjoy complimentary high-speed internet access. Each day of your stay. At hotels that already offer a choice of a standard or higher-speed connection, you will receive access to the higher-speed connection at no cost. If a hotel does not offer high-speed internet connectivity, simply choose another option.
Option 3. Earn 1,000 Hilton HHonors® bonus points per stay. A great way to maximize your points earnings.
You are automatically defaulted to Option 1 above unless you make a different selection at HiltonHHonors.com/myway. You can even change your selection for every HHonors stay.
Executive Lounge Access Policy Changes at Hilton, Conrad Hotels & Resorts and Doubletree
Please note, if you select Option 1 above, the following policy will apply effective August 15, 2008.
If you are a Gold VIP, you’ll be given access to the Executive Floor lounge when you receive a room upgrade to the Executive Floor. If an Executive Floor room upgrade is unavailable, you’ll still receive daily complimentary Continental breakfast in lieu of lounge access.
If you are a Diamond VIP, you’ll enjoy access to the Executive Floor lounge, even if you don’t receive a room upgrade to the Executive Floor, including daily complimentary Continental breakfast.
At hotels without Executive Floor lounges, Gold and Diamond VIPs will receive complimentary Continental breakfast for themselves and up to one additional registered hotel guest each day. If breakfast is included in the room rate, you’ll receive an alternate welcome amenity that varies by hotel.
For those not too familiar with the Hilton program, the change here is that before August 15 a Gold could get club access without having a room on the club floor, although it was not guaranteed. Now Gold members can’t get lounge access anymore if they’re not on the club floor. Diamond members, on the other hand, are now guaranteed access to the lounge, even if they don’t have a club room.
Even as a Gold, I think this change makes sense. There simply wasn’t enough of a differentiation between Gold and Diamond status, and this is at least something. I don’t take the doom and gloom approach that some take in thinking Gold members will never get club access again, as I don’t think that’s the case.
In addition, you can now always choose 1,000 points or internet as an in-hotel benefit, including at Conrad hotels (which wasn’t the case before).
Overall good job Hilton (even though it will hurt me a little)!