Hilton Hotels: excellent response to Coronavirus crisis.Back to Forum
I am a Diamond member with Hilton and fully agree with the general consensus here of Hilton being ‘good guys’.
At present I am ‘stuck’, for want of a better word, here in Riyadh but am on a ‘long term’ stay, as I have a project to run here, although since yesterday this project has been suspended due to the imposition of a 24hr local curfew (we can only travel within the local district and also only for essential reasons), however originally I was in The Garden Inn (does make me smile every time I see the word ‘Inn’ here in KSA – there is also a SOHO Club and a branch of ‘Scotch & Soda’ the clothes shop here), there remained up until about 2 weeks ago just 6 of us, so they closed that hotel down and transferred us to the Doubletree, where there are 38 rooms occupied only out of 230 (35 of those rooms occupied by foreigners) and now yesterday, they informed me that as of today, they will transfer me to the Hilton Resort. So from a 3* to 4* to 5*, not that this means anything here, as all public areas are closed and food is by room service only. Furthermore as anyone knows, other ‘privileges’ here in the holy kingdom are strictly forbidden.
Therefore a hotel here, is actually merely a bed and a bathroom, that’s all that matters.
This ‘mess’ has always been handled courteously, professionally and retaining in all cases my rate and privileges.
I respect the fact that the owner (Al Hokair Group) is losing bucketfulls of money daily in these troubled times and with the onset of summer (yesterday here touched 38’c), there is an obvious need to shut down A/C systems etc and close down operations. Its fully understandable.
For me like I said, to agree with the general view here, Hilton Hotels (and their franchises) are a very professionally run and customer oriented company.8 Apr 2020
I was wondering what Marriott were going to do in light of Hilton’s generous move.
I received an Email from Marriott last night.
It looks like they have decided to emulate what Hilton have done and have carried over status to the start of 2022.
This definitely takes the pressure off for the rest of 2020
For Our Marriott Bonvoy Members
I also want to take a moment to address our Marriott Bonvoy members. Like many of you, frequent travel is a way of life for me and most of the Marriott team. It is the way we connect, get inspired and evolve our business every day. While it is the right thing to do, it’s been hard not to be able to travel. We know that when you get back in the air and on the road, your points and status will be important to you.
Status Extension: We want you to be able to enjoy the status that you earned in 2019. With that in mind, the status you earned in 2019 will be extended to February 2022.
Points Expiration: To provide you ample time to redeem points, the expiration of points will be paused until February 2021. At that time, your points will only expire if your account has been inactive for at least 24 months.9 Apr 2020
Must say I have been very impressed with how easy Hilton made cancellations and refunds.
I was also very grateful for the extension of my diamond status for a further year.
I had 10 days booked in the US for a holiday and a further 10 days booked in Asia in July.
Given the grief and delays provided by airlines such as UA and BA Hiltons handling was a breath of fresh air.14 Apr 2020
If anyone is interested – see my initial praise of HILTON above on 8th April.
I was asked to change rooms – late one evening after 10pm, with all sincere apologies from the Duty Manager, who said that due to very late Saudi government activity /requirements. I had to vacate my top floor suite, as this floor, has now been taken over by KSA Government for coronavirus suspects in quarantine.
Was given a corner suite lower down, but however, I must say that throughout this ongoing mess, and it also cannot be easy for the Hotel staff either, I was treated with the utmost respect by Hilton Hotel management.
Also I heard that the Doubletree, where I was prior, was NOT closed down as I had previously surmised, but is also now full of Coronavirus patients/suspects.
Here, I went for a walk around midday today, and found even the Police present in the Lobby and various corridors/thoroughfares blocked off.
It’s NOT fun at all here at the moment in this ‘paradise’ called Saudi Arabia ……… and in about 10 days time, anyone have a guess what is starting ????14 Apr 2020
Their response was good, but their website seems totally overwhelmed. It takes an age to make, or cancel, a booking, and has done for a couple of weeks.17 Apr 2020
In an update to my post on 14th. The hotel has been completely taken over by KSA Government now.
Was asked to move to ‘The Residences’ (serviced apartments) yesterday (16th) afternoon and given 1 hour notice.
When re-locating an hour later at 5pm, even in the 8th floor lobby 3 police were present – Becoming somewhat scary here in this ‘paradise’ called Saudi Arabia!
The Hotel is now I believe completely shut to guests, but I have to say, once again, the Guest Relations Manager(ess), Hanan, a Saudi lady, was extremely courteous friendly and professional.17 Apr 2020
Interestingly my partner booked 3 nights at a new Hilton in London for May, we still haven’t heard from them even though they have now pushed the opening back to July. Although we can cancel up to 24 hours before arrival it just seems strange that there has been no contact.18 Apr 2020