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  • Dean Waye 12:06 am on September 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Department store, , Hilton Worldwide, , , , , Vending machine   

    Dear Hilton, Why Aren’t You Selling Me Anything? 

    Hilton Brand Logo

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    Dear Hilton,

    I am at a new hotel near the Raleigh Durham airport right now. And it is the same, hotel room experience as always.

    Which started me thinking… why is it always the same experience, everywhere?

    I mean, you have me here and there, at hotels all over this country (and others), and what do you sell me besides a benign experience? Why do you only ever try to sell me the same thing, for the past decade(s)?

    –  A pay per view movie? I can get movies and TV shows from a lot of different places now. This is 2010, not 1990.

    –  A spa-something? Never been interested. And only offered at a fraction of locations anyway.

    –  Internet access? Well, now it is free. Thanks for that. But let’s be honest. It is uniformly lousy. Have you seen that iPhone commercial where the person in the hotel is using the video conferencing on their phone? That could never happen with any hotel wifi anywhere.

    Can you please think about selling me any of the following?

    –  On demand fast-as-blazes wireless Internet. Sometimes I need a g.d. fast connection.  This is doable. Honest. I’ll pay for it. If only because it would let me watch TV and movies from the sources I prefer anyway.

    –  Something in the vending machines besides stuff that could have been put there last year.  Because I get hungry at night.  I work a lot. And I can pay for real food.

    •  Car detailing … since I am leaving it in your parking lot all week. And it is dirty.

    –  Freemiums.  People in hotel rooms are bored (sorry, in case this is news to you).  There must be a ton of other companies that would be interested in your guests. Internet services and very small sizes of things would be the logical first step since I already packed without making room for more stuff. And national brands would work best, I suppose, or items that are not location-dependent, since I might not ever be back here. Anything I would buy using a laptop can work.

    … A hotel room is one of the last places where that sort of shopping or sampling can be done privately.

     
  • Dean Waye 12:00 am on September 1, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Conrad Hotels, , Hampton Inn, Hilton HHonors, Hilton Worldwide, Homewood Suites by Hilton, , ,   

    Dear Hilton, A Key That Works at Every Hotel 

    Hilton Brand Logo

    Image via Wikipedia

    Dear Hilton,

    The other day, as I was checking in, I wondered… why do I have to check in at all?

    Avis didn’t make me stand in line to get my car: I walked to it, got in, and left. And unlike a hotel room, I could actually take a car. Away.

    The airline (!) didn’t make me stand in line for a boarding pass, I printed it before I left home.

    Why can’t I check in on my smartphone before arriving at the hotel and skip the line? Why can’t I use my free Hilton HHonors membership card as my room key at all Hiltons? I don’t carry it today, because it’s useless, but I’d carry it if it opened my door wherever I stayed (especially this one).

    Instead, I have to wait in line, again, even though I have stayed at this same hotel several times, as recently as last week, on the same days of the week. And again, the guest  in front of me has apparently never stayed at a hotel before, and doesn’t understand why things are the way they are.

    On that, fellow traveler, we agree.

    The takeaway: If your hotel membership card was also your door key wherever you stayed, wouldn’t that be a game changer? If your favorite chain had that feature, and the other chain didn’t, wouldn’t that help keep your loyalty?

    Related Articles

     
  • Dean Waye 10:23 pm on August 26, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Hilton Worldwide, , Hotels and Motels, , New York City, , Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, Waldorf-Astoria Orlando   

    Dear Hilton, Thanks for the Points 

    Logo of The Waldorf=Astoria Collection

    Image via Wikipedia

    Dear Hilton,

    Thanks for the points. Seriously.

    My kids are young enough that staying at a hotel (even one around the corner) is a treat, and if you asked them to name their favorite meal, they would say “hotel breakfast!”. So thanks for the points, because I get a ton of them, they don’t expire, they rarely suffer from inflation (2010 being an exception), and all those accelerators I have (Double Dipping, the Amex Surpass card, staying at a different hotel every night of my trips to hit Diamond faster) all make for a much better customer experience than I ever got from airline points.

    One suggestion… is there ever an opportunity to use money + points for an upgrade, the way airlines do? Just asking…

    Speaking of upgrades, I used points to stay at the brand new Waldorf-Astoria Orlando this month, and it was WONDERFUL. One of the best hotels I have ever seen, and definitely worth 50,000 points (Low Season). My family is looking forward to the ‘real’ Waldorf-Astoria in December. Look out, NYC.

     
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