I can’t help but notice the trend lately whereby new hotels publish an opening date, accept bookings, and then later delay the opening date.
For example, last year the St. Regis Mauritius delayed their opening date, and they gave those that were booked a couple of options. One option was to be put up at a comparable hotel during the same period along with some other benefits, but the most intriguing option was that they’d host you for free at a later date for the same length of stay you booked, plus they’d pay up to €250 to help change your flights.
Now I’m a total idiot because I made a booking there but canceled it literally a few days before they announced the delayed opening, so I gave up a “free” stay there at a future date, I guess.
We’re now seeing the same thing at the Andaz Maui, which was supposed to open in mid-August, but that has been pushed back. They offered people with reservations either a refund of points and a booking at a comparable hotel during the same time period, or a double refund of points for cancellation (meaning if you paid 22,000 points per night you’d get 44,000 points per night back).
Anyway, really makes you wonder. Maybe I’ve been playing this game wrong all along. Maybe the key to free travel isn’t earning points through credit cards, but rather speculatively booking hotels before they open?