Lifetime Hotel Elite Status: a Hilton HHonors Proposal.

Today TPG Contributor Nick Ewen begins a new column called The Weekly Wish, where he’ll look at flaws, shortcomings, and room for improvement in the world of travel and loyalty programs. Each hotel chain has its own unique ways of attracting and maintaining profitable customers. These methods can include enhancing on-property benefits, expanding ways to earn and redeem points, and introducing…

Saving Money on Hotels With Best Rate Guarantees

You’ve probably noticed it before, an advert on a hotel website that reads something like: “lowest rates, guaranteed.” Maybe that touted guarantee made you more comfortable with the room you just booked, maybe it convinced you not to devote any more time to shopping around, or maybe you ignored it entirely. In any case, best rate guarantees are ubiquitous in the hotel industry, and…

The Inside Scoop on Hotel Stays From a Front Desk Supervisor

TPG contributor Jason Steele returns today to dish on the ins and outs of how hotels work with one of his friends who has experience working with several national hotel chains.  Why do some guests get upgraded rooms, while others get assigned terrible ones? How can you get fees waived like parking and Internet service, even…

Hilton Launches New Curio Brand of Boutique Hotels

In an attempt to keep up with the Joneses, Hilton just announced the launch of “Curio,” a collection of independent properties that don’t necessarily fit within their pre-existing brands, such as Conrad or DoubleTree. This seems to be in a direct competition to Marriott’s Autograph Collection (including the Blue Moon in Miami Beach), which has a similar aesthetic. Hilton…

Do You Take Surveys About Your Travel Experiences?

It seems these days that after every flight, hotel stay, customer service call that I make, I am immediately greeted by an email asking about my experience. Whether it is coming from United or Chase, it appears that everyone wants to know my opinion on how they are doing. In one week alone, I received five surveys from…

IRS Proposing New Tax Burden on Loyalty Programs

In the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s 2014-2015 Priority Guidance Plan (or business plan), the IRS is currently proposing that travel industry companies pay taxes on the front end of their loyalty program transactions, rather than waiting to pay those taxes until program members make redemptions. This shift in tax timing would mean that travel industry companies would almost…

Andaz Papagayo In Costa Rica To Open On December 15, 2013

Following fast on the heels of the recent official opening of the Andaz Maui, Hyatt has announced that it would be opening the Andaz Peninsula Papagayo in Costa Rica on December 20, 2013, become the brand’s first property in central America. I’ve never been to Costa Rica, but this resort may be the catalyst to…