Thoughts On Hilton Diamond Status After 2 Stays

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I recently matched to Hilton HHonors Diamond status, thanks to the extremely generous status match promotion Hilton was offering. While Hyatt and Starwood are my preferred hotel chains, neither have the global footprint of Hilton (well, I guess Starwood will soon, with the impending Marriott merger). So whether I love Hilton or not, they’re sure practical to have status with.

Hilton-Diamond-Status-Match

I’ve long said that I don’t find there to be much of a difference between Hilton Gold and Diamond status. And you get Gold status just for having The Platinum Card® from American ExpressBusiness Platinum Card® from American Express OPENCiti® Hilton HHonors Reserve Card, or Hilton HHonors Surpass Card from American Express. And that’s enough for me.

In terms of pure entitlements, the two differences are as follows:

  • Hilton Diamond members get a larger points bonus
  • Hilton Diamond members get guaranteed club lounge access, while Gold members get it based on availability (both of the Hiltons I just stayed at didn’t have a club lounge, though, so both Gold and Diamond members would receive free breakfast)

Resident Hilton fanboy, DCS, always extols the virtues of Hilton, explaining he always gets suite upgrades with Hilton.

Which I can’t really wrap my head around, since Hilton doesn’t even promise suite upgrades in their terms. Here’s what Hilton’s terms say about upgrades:

Upgrades for Diamond HHonors guests may include the next-best available room from the room type booked. Upgrades may also be rooms with desirable views, corner rooms, rooms on high floors, rooms with special amenities, rooms on Executive Floors, or suites, as identified by each property.

HHonors basically gives properties the discretion to upgrade people to suites if they want to, which is very different than Starwood’s policy of offering suites based on availability, where you receive one as long as it’s available. The Hilton Diamond benefit doesn’t have the same “guarantee,” as it’s within the terms for a hotel to have a dozen empty suites but not upgrade a Diamond member. Because the terms don’t promise suites based on availability, but rather say a hotel may upgrade you to a suite, and that each hotel identifies which rooms they want to upgrade guests to. Those are two very different things.

Nonetheless I asked DCS how he always scores suite upgrades with Hilton, which he kindly shared with me. To me it seems like he’s just really persistent.

So after two stays as a Hilton Diamond member, I figured I’d report back on my experiences, and specifically about whether or not I scored suites.

Hilton Auckland

This is one of the better hotels in Auckland, and has amazing views of the harbor.

Hilton-Auckland-View

We arrived late at night, and were greeted by the super friendly duty manager/night auditor. He seemed to be the only one working, and went so far as personally walking outside to help us with our bags, which I thought was a nice touch.

The check-in conversation went something like below. And let me say that I was trying to be as firm but nice as possible, in the interesting of experimenting to see how Hilton suite upgrades really work.

“Thank you for being a Diamond member, we have upgraded you to a deluxe harbour view room.”
“That’s very kind, thanks so much. I hate to be annoying, but do you by any chance have a suite upgrade available?”
“We have already upgraded you one category.”
“And I appreciate that. I know many hotels will upgrade Diamond members based on availability to a suite. The reason I ask is because I work mostly at nights while he is trying to sleep, so it would really make a huge difference if you have one available.”

That last part was a DCS method, since he explained that he mentions why a suite upgrade would be valuable to him.

He typed away for maybe a minute, and seemed to make a good faith effort to check availability. Before check-in I noticed they were still selling at least two suites for the night. He said “there is nothing available, sorry.” He seemed to be making a good faith effort, and I wasn’t going to push it further.

Hilton-Suite-Availability

Now, I suppose in this situation DCS would have pointed out that he saw they were still selling some suites on the website. And while that’s something I used to do with Starwood, nowadays I just don’t like that level of confrontation, so I stopped there.

What’s the moral of the story for this stay? I think I probably could have gotten a suite if I pushed it a bit further, but that was beyond my comfort zone, especially for a program which doesn’t promise/guarantee suites based on availability.

Hilton-Auckland-Room

I do think the key to even getting them to consider a suite is to point out that you appreciate the (one category) upgrade, and ask if there’s any chance they’d consider upgrading a Diamond member to a suite.

Hilton Queenstown

This one was much easier. We had been upgraded to a suite before arriving at the hotel, at least that’s what the website showed. That might have to do with the fact that the hotel was totally sold out, and it sure seemed like a majority of guests had booked as part of a package tour. So in such an instance it’s only logical to upgrade a Diamond member when you need to make space in base rooms.

Hilton-Suite

Hilton-Room

Hilton-Queenstown-View

What do I take away from this?

If you don’t mind being annoying persistent, maybe getting Diamond suite upgrades almost all the time is possible. Personally that doesn’t make me comfortable. I know what I’m entitled to as an elite member, and will always stay firm on that.

But I also know what I’m not entitled to, and at Hiltons I’m not promised a suite as long as it’s available. Instead I’m offered a suite at the hotel’s discretion. So in the future I don’t mind asking for a suite, and I think it will increase my odds. But unless I’m willing to truly “go to battle” with the hotels, I don’t see myself getting suites a vast majority of the time.

Still, my overall experience with Hilton has been much more positive than in the past.

Unrelated to the loyalty program, but why are Hilton beds so damn uncomfortable? I’ve noticed this at the handful of Hilton properties I’ve stayed at in the past year. While Westin and Sheraton have super-luxe beds, Hilton has flimsy mattresses which you could totally remove from the bed with one hand. The bed in Queenstown even had a terrible “spring” in the middle of it.

Does Hilton have a brand standard of terrible beds? I don’t get it!

Bottom line

I’ll surely be using my Diamond status more over the coming year, and am curious to see how my experiences are. Overall I’m generally more optimistic about Hilton than I was in the past, and maybe that’s partly because HHonors has really improved significantly over the past year.

Am I ready to dump Hyatt and Starwood for Hilton? No way, but I could see myself staying with them more often, and long term maybe spending $40,000 on the Citi® Hilton HHonors Reserve Card to maintain Diamond status.

To other HHonors Diamond members, what have your recent experiences been like?

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Comments

  1. I just had my first stay as a Hilton Diamond, and I wasn’t even offered a better view. I had to ask about an upgrade. We did get the upgrade (to a suite), so that’s good, but the fact that I had to ask is unsettling. Either it’s a benefit or it isn’t, and if it is, then I’d hope that it would always be honored. Am I nuts?

  2. The same thing happened to me as (gold) in booking a hotel in Italy. I was told there was no upgrades available. I proceeded to book the suite using the hilton app. Either the app doesn’t work, or they have some (hidden) spend requirement to give upgrades out. I switched to club carlson, and I get upgraded every time!

  3. I recently had a 2 night stay at the Westin SF Union and arrived the first night around 3am.. Inquired about a suite which was still for sale and he basically told me the same as what you heard. I was just testing out the new Diamond so didn’t really care for the first night as I was by myself. My friend joined me the 2nd night so I inquired again after breakfast and voila got the largest suite type in the hotel without any pushback.. though at first they gave me a suite with someone still in there lol (same suite type)

  4. I know in your case you arrived late so maybe they had already sold/upgraded someone else into those rooms.

    Maybe this is a question for DCS, can the front office say “We are still hoping to sell those suites for the evening, if they are not sold by 9pm, we would be happy to move you over”?

  5. Diamond Status is REALLY useful in Asia. I stay at the Conrad in Hong Kong and its great to be guaranteed lounge access in a hotel with such a beautiful lounge. Same thing with Conrad Singapore. In both properties I get a suite 50% of the time if I ask and I feel if they do not give it to me It is just because they do not have it. I would say in 40 stays with Hilton last year I got 15 suites, 10 times that was in Asia. thats much better than Hyatt (only 4) or SPG. I feel like since Hyatt guarantees 4 upgrades per year they do not feel the need to ever upgrade you outside of that.

  6. These experiences weren’t really representative on a regional basis of course, can’t wait to see your experiences in the US at standard full service Hiltons!

  7. Been a HH Diamond for several years now, just because of hotel locations, but I also don’t see the point in it. Have only been upgraded once & that was after I complained about multiple stays, @ the same FS Hilton, as a Diamond w/no upgrade. Since upgrades are at the discretion of the property I think the only ones who are going to get them are those travelers who are willing to be pushy about it & like the author, that’s not my style. Therefore, to me, being a Diamond means nothing. Whatever will get me free breakfast & internet is enough for me, especially since I’ve never been impressed w/the FS Hilton lounges.

    That being said, I also agree about the bedding in the FS Hiltons-terrible from the mattress’ to the fact that most still use flat sheets on the bottom which end up in a wadded up knot under my back the first time I turn over. For a Hilton property, the bedding @ ES, HGI, & DT’s are much better. And some of the DT’s even have lounges which are better than the FS Hilton lounges.

    Given a choice, as a Hilton Diamond, I would stay @ a FS Hilton only if there is nothing better available & by better that means ES, HGI, DT, FS Marriott, Renaissance, or Westin.

  8. I tried this at the Hilton Portland and Executive tower last week and they told me that it would be a $150 upcharge.

  9. You are right about the Hilton beds. They are actually one of the main reasons why I avoid them, apart from their program. The Conrad Tokyo was spectacular but man, those beds were hard and lumpy. So are the beds at the Hilton Toronto, the Hilton Times Sq, the Hilton Millennium, the Waldorf Astoria in Maui and in NYC and sadly, the list goes on…

  10. I also just status matched to Hilton Diamond, and tried them out at their flagship NY Midtown Hilton last week. It started out great. I was contacted the day before and asked to choose my upgraded room. I chose a North-facing room on the 31st floor that I knew would have a great view of Central Park because it was across from a low-rise theatre. When we arrived we were told that the room we had reserved was not yet ready (at 9:00 pm, the time we told them we’d arrive), and that we’d been given a room on the 13th floor facing South that was “just as nice.” When we got to the room and saw how awful it was, I phoned down and explained I’d hoped for a high floor room with a view and lots of light. The Diamond rep claimed that none of their rooms had views, and that NY in January never had light that reached the rooms. Also, no welcome gift, no mini-bar. I should have stayed at a Kimpton!

  11. I hope ya’ll do stay away from Hilton and this tier. Its annoying to us who actually earned it and want it.

  12. Generally I find being a HHonors Diamond quite rewarding outside the US.
    My last three stays all ended up with suites. Istanbul, Panama City Waldorf and Singapore Conrad.
    Both the Istanbul and Panama stays were the best rooms in the house with two bedroom suites, kitchen, office, and huge living rooms.
    I agree that Hilton does not always have the most exciting properties, but in some cities they do have fantastic offerings.
    I also agree that domestically Diamond often does not mean too much, though I am still happy with the points earning and redemption the program has.

  13. We have been HHonors member since 1992 and Diamond members for the past 5 years. It’s never have an issue in getting upgraded to a suite in Europe or Canada. Always problematic in the US…

  14. It’s interesting you don’t like Hilton beds, I think they have the second best (to Hyatt) out of the major chains. Westin, W and Sheraton beds I can not stand. I think they are awful, but that’s just me.

    Since getting Hilton Diamond status I have had two stays as well and one time upgraded without asking to a suite. Second time I asked if there was anything available and after a minute they gave me an upgrade.

    I get that some people don’t like asking (judging from the comments) but it’s always worth it. Even if you don’t have the highest status and it doesn’t matter what chain. Sometimes you can just ask in passing and get upgraded, that has happened to me at Hyatt hotels several times in the past and I am only a plat member because of the credit card.

  15. Alright. I just had a 80 min “battle” with a Hilton front desk when I asked for a suite upgrade on Christmas Eve in Fort Lauderdale. Actually before I made my reservation, I called hotel asking about their suite upgrade policy and was told they can free upgrade only to the lowest category of suite if available (this property has many categories of suites BTW). When I arrived for check in, I was asked to pay for the studio suite upgrade and was told the suite upgrade was NEVER in the T&C for diamond benefits. The front desk agent first demanded to see the suite upgrade words in T&C, but then went too far calling HHonors to verify in front of me. When HHonors explicitly stated the suite upgrade is based on inventory, the agent still refused to honor the free upgrade. It’s just very very frustrating. Can’t believe the whole “drama” took over an hour! Such as waste of time!

  16. The NY Hilton correctly noted that they don’t have views. The lounge is on the top floor, however, and has two tables with views — the NE and SE corners. I haven’t been there in years, but I used to love eating breakfast while looking out at either Central Park (NE corner) or the Chrysler Building (SE corner).

    It’s a convention hotel, and always has been.

  17. Just had my first stay as a Diamond in Hilton Prague old town. Got a one category upgrade (no suite). Overall service was excellent and I got different sweet treats daily. Can’t really tell a difference to Gold though.

  18. Long time HHonors Diamond (probably lifetime this year) — suites are always YMMV. Happy to get them but it isn’t a deal breaker if I do not.

    At least it is entertaining to hear people with comped Diamond status, who probably will never qualify by heads-in-bed (in ANY program, EVER), whine about the program’s benefits.

    And look on the bright side, Lucky got to run the PUMP-PUMP-PUMP-PUMP-PUMP-PUMP machinery 6x in just one post!

    Live the dream, be IN “The Hobby”, jajajajajajaja

  19. As with DCS and Hilton, the only way I’ve ever been upgraded as an SPG Platinum was to show them the suites still available for purchase on the app.

  20. Everyone has their comfort level, and, as noted, Hilton does not guarantee a suite upgrade even with availability.

    My approach with ALL hotels where I have top level status (which now includes SPG Plat, Hyatt Diamond, Hilton Diamond, and Accor Plat…as well as Marriott Gold) is to check availability of suites just prior to checking in. If they have available suites, and they haven’t already upgraded me to a suite, then I would try the above strategy–but ALSO mentioning that I see that they do have suites available as per the website. (“I really was hoping for a suite since I work late while my partner sleeps…and I see on your website that you currently have at least 1 suite now available for my stay.”)

    If I am staying only for one night, it matters less to me, of course…but then it should also be easier for the hotel to upgrade me. I pursue the suite upgrade only when the hotel is nice enough to bother or when my stay includes my husband; otherwise, I tend to let it go much like our author above. For Starwood, however, I almost always get the suite upgrade with this approach in the relatively rare cases where I haven’t already received the suite upgrade.

  21. @Lucky — It’s a good start. At Hilton Auckland you got what I call the “Tokyo Hilton Treatment”. That’s where a property adopts the unfriendly interpretation of the HH Diamonds suite upgrade rule, which is that one gets upgraded to the next-best room from the one booked. But if you read the rule carefully, you’ll see that the clauses are not mutually exclusive nor binding ( “An upgrade can be…blah….an upgrade can also be…blah…including a suite”). Therefore, I carry with me a glossy hardcopy of the rule on HH upgrades in case a property gives me the “Tokyo Hilton Treatment.”

    You’ll get the hang of it soon enough, and will be singing the praises of the UNLIMITED/GOOD ON AWARD STAYS HH Diamond suite upgrade, rather than the just 4/yr, highly restrictive HGP DSUs.

    My last two suite upgrades in Asia (WA Beijing, Conrad HKG) were automatic, and I had even predicted that the latter would be. When you get the hang of it, you will be clearing 13 of 15 suite upgrades/yr as effortlessly as I just did this year (or 100% 12 of 12 in 2014)…

    Cheers from ORD on my way to LGA, back in the US after 3 weeks on my highly successful 2015 Year-end Asian Escapade(tm)!

  22. For years I just used the AMEX card, spent the 40k, and used my points for a week at the Waldorf in Park City using the GLON award (I think it’s 5th night free). Every year but one I got a suite upgrade, and that year I had to wait one night in a regular room. It was a nice perk I valued at about 6k.

  23. I have Hilton Platinum having been Gold for several years. When I book a room I usually get an email offering the chance to bid for a custom upgrade. Is there any point in doing this, or – if there is an upgrade room available – do I just end up paying for what should have been a benefit of the Platinum status?

  24. I am now two stays in as Diamond, thank you status match, and I can say, so far so good. At the Hilton LAX the concierge on the 16th floor was super nice and moved us to a nice suite on the 16th floor. He even mentioned, “your diamond, sure whatever you want.” Now for our last night (right now) at the Hilton CDG we had already booked a suite, but they brought up a very nice dessert plate for all of us with a thank you note and even requested the shuttle be available earlier since we leave before there is usually a driver and they are bringing up 4 breakfast boxes, since I am a diamond-which she said out loud- so we are leaving before the restaurant opens and we won’t be able to take advantage. If I knew how to post the pics here I would 🙁

  25. Thankfully most of “us” stay away from a program where one has to (LOL) carry around a glossy hardcopy of your program’s T&Cs.

    It’s clear there’s one outlier out there who forces his way into HH upgrades (more often than not in Asia, easier in all programs for upgrades), and that’s clearly not the norm.

  26. For the hundredth time DCS we know you went to Asia and that you teach at an Ivy league school…give it a rest man.

    And if you have to beg borrow and plead for it is it really worth it?

  27. Recently matched HH Gold and stay at Hilton Reykjavic for 6 days! No upgrade at all but they did give me access to their lounge!

  28. DCS, I appreciate your feedback on Hilton, and have learned from your posts. Thanks for taking the time to share your experiences.

    I do think you sell other chains short on they upgrades they are willing to make. I’m Diamond with Hyatt, and find that at the Hyatts I visit regularly, I am routinely upgraded to suites when they are available, even when not using the four DSUs.

    I tend to use DSUs when I’m staying at a property I have not visited and thus have no special “pull” with beyond Diamond status. I will also use them if the property is very expensive or exotic, and it can be expected that their suites will generally sell out (or close to sell out) at a big premium to their regular rooms.

  29. An insight from the other side of the desk: “on availability” does not necessarily mean “if I have 1 suite available, I’ll upgrade a status guest”. That would be stupid – especially if they have one suite (and only one) available for the duration of the stay. It means “if there is sufficient availability” – as in keeping enough suites open to sell (in many cases that will be at least one for each category).
    So yes, while every chain hotel will be more than happy to upgrade their most loyal customers to a suite if able, that essentially means that even if you can pay for a room in a higher category, you might not get upgraded for free.
    And by the way: guests pointing out that “there is availability because I can still book the room” is something we on the other side of the desk find VERY annoying…we know what we sell on our own websites. There’s nothing worse than a guest trying to talk his way into something he thinks he is entitled to (especially if it culminates in a “I stay 150 nights a year in hotels, I know how this works” – discussion. Keep in might you might talk to someone who spent the last 20 years in hotels).
    So please, for the sake of many many people working in hotels around the world: asking nicely is never a problem, but “no, sorry” means no 😉 That being said: if you are very are a very persistent guest (the “can I talk to a manager” type), and do this each and every time something doesn’t work out exactly the way you want it, it might score you an internal remark – so properties will upgrade you even though otherwise they wouldn’t, basically to keep you out of their employees faces…not a nice approach, but one that works.

  30. I am finally dumping all my HHonors points in one reservation for my family’s summer vacation. Hilton is the Delta of the hotel industry. They could not care less for their loyal customers.

  31. I dunno. We were upgraded to a suite at the Queenstown Hilton and it was one of the most comfortable beds we’ve had the pleasure of sleeping in.

  32. @Gary Leff sez: “These experiences weren’t really representative on a regional basis of course, can’t wait to see your experiences in the US at standard full service Hiltons!”

    I will respond for the hundredth time just I have on your blog or other venues where you keep making that comment. Here are some of the properties where I was upgraded to a full or junior suite in 2015. My 7 of 13 suite upgrades (i.e., 54% or a plurality) out of 15 stays as HH Diamond were at these properties…

    — The Drake Hotel Chicago – December 2015
    — Hilton Berlin – October 2015
    — Hilton Orlando Buena Vista – October 2015
    — Hilton Sandton (a suburb of Johannesburg, SA) – September 2015
    — Hilton Milan – August 2015
    — Hilton Toronto – May 2015
    — Conrad Chicago – April 2015

    The last time I checked, none of those cities/properties were in Asia. 😉

  33. Mark O sez: “For the hundredth time DCS we know you went to Asia and that you teach at an Ivy league school…give it a rest man.”

    All of those things are true: I went to Asia, I teach an Ivy League school (actually 2 Ivy League schools), but why are you bringing it up and then asking me to give it a rest? On the “sauce” again, ey, man?

    Mark O sez: “And if you have to beg borrow and plead for it is it really worth it?”

    I assume that is meant to suggest that I have to beg/plead for my suite upgrades. Well, not any more than @Lucky had to in his post above. The rules are the rules (@NYC-UA, that’s for you too). I play by the rules as established by the program and I get upgraded left and right, while people who do not have enough gray matter “upstairs” to figure out how to play this simple game come here and bitch about how they have never gotten a single suite upgrade at a Hilton property as a HH Diamond. For your and their edification: that says more about how stupid you are than how stingy or terrible HH is as a loyalty program.

    It seems that it YOU who needs to give it a rest…

  34. I just got Diamond status. Xmas week at Sedona no upgrade. Xmas eve at SF Union Square got an upgrade but not a suite. I wouldn’t stay at Hilton Sedona again but Union Square I would. Great location, fabulous view. Lots of points earned for those stays.

  35. Just became a new Diamond member to try out Hilton brand. (Have been a Hyatt Diamond for 5 years and have great experience with front desk upgrades/request accommodations). First stay with Hilton was last week at Hilton Barcelona. Had booked standard room and was given Executive (difference is a small work desk). Asked 2x for a little larger room and was denied. Told only way to get a larger room was to buy up. Hotel was basically vacant and suites still available via website. When 80% vacancy, then Front Desk should have flexibility. Upon check in, was not greeted as a member.

  36. Pity – the bow suite at AKL Hilton is stunning – but not actually a suite in that its just one big room…

  37. I finally heard back from Hilton this past week. I have 961 paid nights and 14 years as Diamond. You need 10 years and 1000 paid nights for Lifetime Diamond! I want that dam Titanium card HA!

    I am back working in Asia now. Conrad Singapore I am 30% on suite upgrades. They are sold out often. Hilton Singapore less 10%. Conrad Hong Kong 50%. Conrad Bali almost 100% with a massive outdoor spa. Beijing has been hit and miss. Would like to try Conrad Seoul and Beijing soon.

  38. The most frustrating thing is that so often you have to ask for an upgrade. It’s suppose to be provided if available. When you ask, many times an upgrade is available but you can tell no one made an effort to upgrade you in advance. I don’t mind asking, but I also don’t want to be “one of those people”.
    Or, when you ask for an upgrade and get a story that none are available (and often that they are just saying that – you can tell if they really care/know or not) but then mention you are Gold/Diamond (because you know they are not aware) and they “look” a little more and find one.
    This shouldn’t be this hard – I don’t want to be difficult but want to just be offered what I am apparently suppose to be offered.
    Also, even more frustrating. Online check-in? For me, that basically means guaranteed no upgrade. Everything says you will be upgraded if available but when you arrive and ask, often an upgrade is available. Then why didn’t you do it automatically like I was informed so many times online!!!
    The whole process is just very frustrating.

  39. As for my own experiences ONLY (or mainly) in the Middle East for a couple of years, as Hilton Diamond, Hyatt Diamond, and SPG Plat, my stays with Hilton was as much satisfying as those with Hyatt and SPG, including generous suite upgrade. Absolutely no complaint about Hilton “at least” in this region. Also good Diamond recognition while being back home (East Asia). Look forward to your Hilton Diamond experience review, if possible, at Waldorf Shanghai ! 😉

  40. My new (comped, shaddap) Hilton Diamond status will be tested across four properties starting this Saturday. I’ve never had too much drama getting suite upgrades at Starwood properties as an Ambassador Platinum — once I was upgraded to a W Stupendous Plutonium or whatever for a stay that was maybe 12 hours and larger than my home, but so far the emails from the first two properties still indicate Gold status, so I guess I’ll see what happens when I show them my Diamond status.

  41. Not sure how full that Auckland hotel was, but I think it’s in the best interest of all properties if they have a decent amount of capacity to upgrade their top members. I was at the Stephen F Austin Intercontinental right after Christmas as a Platinum Ambassador was upgraded to their one bedroom suite. I booked the lowest category of rooms so a one category upgrade would have been a marginal upgrade view wise. The hotel was at no more than 50% capacity, so it was an easy upgrade and made me happy.

  42. Hilton match club Carlson silver to hhonnors gold. Either because they see them as equivalent status or because the few Hilton stays I had last year average over $400 a night.

    First Hilton stay next week so let’s see if it does anything.

  43. I booked a Hilton down the street from my office today as I knew I would be working late on a deadline and was of the essence. Put a note in my reservation that I need a room with more work space die to deadline. Checked in at 4:30, offered an upgrade and then a subsequent upgrade to a suite when she read the note. She was very nice, gave me info on the Executive Lounge, Internet, and bottled water. Diamond treatment was far better than what I have received with MR as plat as of late…. but then my expectations may be low. 😉

  44. I have been a Hilton Diamond for several years and I find, like others, that the upgrades and benefits are inconsistent and relatively poor. I rarely get a real upgrade domestically in the US. In fact, I am rarely even acknowledged as a Diamond, which is truly annoying. Hilton really does not have that great a presence in China and overall in the international cities to which I travel. When there is a property, like the Wangfujing Beijing, the treatment of Diamonds is truly outstanding. I am off to Milan in a few weeks and I will see how I am treated at the Milan Hilton, which is only a so so property. I have decided that Gold is really sufficient in this program.

  45. Stayed at Elara in Vegas, (a Hilton property), and was upgraded to an unbelievable suite (paid an extra $70, when booking). It had a fantastic bed that I tried to get name off of, but it was a “manufactured for Hilton” brand so no name.

  46. I just spent 4 days at the Hilton Austin (downtown) When checking in I followed DCS advice and politely asked about upgrade due to my Diamond status. I was told I was getting a corner room as an upgrade. I explained that my partner would be in the room all day working while I attended a convention and more space would be great…and got…the nice corner room.. We offered to wait as long as might be necessary …we were checking in early in the morning…and got ….the corner room–nothing.There didn’t appear to be any suites for sale on the booking website so I dropped it. Two days later I was talking to a friend who told me she got a suite upgrade when she checked in for the same convention “because she’s Gold with Hilton”. There were still no suites showing for sale but I went back to the front desk and told them that my Gold friend got a suite upgrade and Diamond me— did not…was there a way to fix this situation ? And suddenly I got a suite. Seems way to arbitrary to me.

  47. I just was match to Diamond Status, based on IHG Platinum Status. Later
    this year I will be staying at the Miami Hilton, Hilton Waikiki, Hilton Tokyo Bay,
    Hilton SF Union Square, Millennuim Hilton Bangkok.

    Will post my experience after my trip is concluded.

  48. Hilton has been diluting Diamond status since at least 2013 (the great point devaluation). Since then it has opened the floodgates with ‘fast-track’ to Diamond members all over the place and wide open status match. Since Hilton owns fewer than 20% of their hotels, their ability to maintain consistency across their brands is weak, at best. Quite a few owners and franchisees are openly contemptuous about HHonors in general and Diamond members in particular. If your after upgrades to suites, my formula has been to stay at individual properties as much as I can and to cultivate a relationship with the right in house manager.

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