Yesterday, I was looking to book the Hilton hotel in Colombo (Sri Lanka) where I have been few times in the past. This time, however, the Hilton Colombo and the Hilton Colombo residences were apparently both sold out.
There have been a lot of problems with the Hilton’s website lately. More often than not there are 404 pages, connection issues, and timing outs. Sometimes when the Hilton.com is not working you can use Hilton.co.uk to make a revenue booking. You cannot use the latter website to make an award reservation, however.
First, when I am logged in at Hilton.com and search for availability for April 3rd for one night, there is none.
Then when I check the box for Hilton HHonors availability, it gives an option for Diamond Guarantee room at the Hilton Colombo Residence.
As a matter of fact, it gives an option to choose from three different room types.
But, when I uncheck the Use HHonors points, it shows the room types that are bookable using cash as well, although these were not supposedly first available.
I made the booking and was then presented number of Nor1 upgrade options for cash. I always disregard these. These might be worthwhile if you don’t have Gold or Diamond status with Hilton HHonors. (You can get the Gold status easily by following instructions here or here)
When I checked the reservation today for tomorrow arrival, the hotel had already processed the upgrade to a 3 bedroom business suite.
Then a week later, they have this same suite for 10500 points as a HHonors Special. Makes you wonder?
There is something wrong with the website that doesn’t first show paid availability when you are checking out hotels. As a Diamond member, I have “guaranteed”room availability, if I book at least 48 hours in advance. To get these rates to show up you need first check the box that you are using points and then uncheck it. Also, Hilton has really made using points for hotels like a roller coaster. At this Hilton Colombo Residence the number of required points seems to fluctuate from 10500 to more than 100000 per night.