As I explained back when it was announced that the Concourse Hotel LAX would be rebranded as the Hyatt Regency LAX, hotel management contracts can be fascinating.
Quite possibly the most interesting hotel management contract change of the year is at the InterContinental Westminster London, which only opened in late 2012. I guess it really wasn’t working out for them, since the InterContinental Westminster is being rebranded as the Conrad St. James in September. Hotel management contracts are usually for at least a decade, so a lot has to go wrong for them to change so quickly. Rebranding a hotel is a big investment, so it’s interesting that they think switching from an InterContinental to a Conrad will radically alter their occupancy and rates.
Anyway, the Conrad London St. James, as it will be called, is now accepting reservations through their website, for stays starting September 1, 2014.
Their rates are highly optimistic, starting at well over £250++ per night for prepaid rates, and well over £300++ for flexible rates. That’s quite a bit higher than what the InterContinental was charging.
This is supposed to be a Hilton HHonors Category 9 property, making it 50,000 to 80,000 HHonors points per night (in theory the pricing depends on season, though since this is London, my guess is that it will consistently be around 80,000 points).
As of now it doesn’t seem like they’re actually loading any “standard” award rooms, though. Instead, they just have awards under their dynamic pricing model, whereby the number of points required is based on the room rate.
I suspect this is simply because the hotel hasn’t been rebranded yet and because they just loaded room inventory.
Once it actually is branded as a Hilton, this will definitely be my “go to” Hilton property in London. They seem to have a club lounge, which I’m sure will be nicer than the one at any of the Hilton properties in town. This will be a great use of the two free weekend night certificates that come with the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card, and also the annual free night certificate you receive when you spend $10,000 on the card per year.
If you’ve stayed at the property while it was an InterContinental, what did you think of it?
Hopefully the generosity of InterContinental Royal Ambassador benefits carry over to Hilton HHonors Diamond members. Or maybe they just rebranded so they don’t have to give top tier elites complimentary minibar beverages anymore. 😉