Couple of LoyaltyLobby readers emailed me this week regarding their stays at the now former Hilton Papagayo Resort & Spa in Costa Rica.
As all the hotel chains have adopted asset light strategy, they have very little saying when property feels that they are not getting their franchise fees worth and decides to reflag or go independent. Unfortunately, the loyalty program members are often losers in situation such as this.
Here are some previous articles about reflags:
There is a short story on Caribbean Journal’s website about this (access here) and below is an excerpt:
Apple Leisure Group’s AMResorts subsidiary is expanding its footprint in Costa Rica.
The company announced this week that it had opened a second resort in the country, following last year’s opening of Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica at the end of 2014.
AMResorts said it had assumed management at the former Hilton Papagayo Resort and Spa on Feb. 28.
The property will operate as the Papagayo Resort and Spa until May 2015, when it will be closed for six months to undergo renovations.
The 202-suite project will eventually debut as the Secrets Papagayo Resort and Spa.
And here’s a question from a reader:
I am Hilton Diamond and I have reservations for 2 rooms currently booked at the Hilton Papagayo in Costa Rica from July 2-11 (one a reward stay and one paying for).
Today on my account I noticed there was no hotel listed next to the confirmation number for those reservations. I then saw a news article saying that Hilton had sold the resort effective February 28th and that the resort is no longer a Hilton and will be closing in May for 6 months of renovations.
The gentleman at the Diamond desk tonight told me to call guest assistance tomorrow as he did not know what to do as it was a quite unique situation. I already have flights booked (on Delta, I’m Platinum) and was wondering if you have any advice on things you may have heard of Hilton doing in the past for a situation like this.
The problem here is that the resort will be closed for the duration of the visit. Even if Hilton had reached an agreement with the new operator/owner that award reservations will be honored (paid ones always are), there is not much that can be done if the resort is not open.
Are the airplane tickets cancelable/changeable/refundable?
If not, the reader must make a decision whether try to make a booking at another resort in Papagayo or nearby OR just forgo the entire trip and just eat the loss.
There is no hurt asking Hilton to deposit significant number of points to reader’s account for the inconvenience.
It is really unfortunately that the guests are the party that are the most hurt during these reflags.
Often there is no preannouncement none whatsoever that the flag is going to change overnight and that award reservations may no longer be honored.
If there are other readers in a same situation, please let me know what Hilton is proposing you.