When it comes to redeeming our points for hotel stays, there is often an unknown element to our redemption. If you have not personally stayed there before, you will not know exactly what to expect during your stay. Of course, hotel reviews on blogs and sites like Trip Advisor certainly help to form an expectation, but it can’t tell you what your stay and experience will be.
In forming an expectation of a hotel stay and in selecting my hotel, there are a few things that come into play. One of them is certainly going to be the hotel brand. For example, I am going to expect a higher level of service and focus to detail at a Park Hyatt than I would at a Hyatt Place hotel. The same is true for SPG’s Luxury Hotel Collection vs their Four Points by Sheraton properties. There is certainly nothing wrong with those brands (and I have stayed at them several times). It is just that my expectations for the upper tier brands of a hotel chain to be of greater comfort and luxury than their lower, cheaper brands.
Another part that comes into the role of forming expectations is the value – what type of value am I getting from the point redemption vs price or am I getting a better hotel brand for fewer points? One example is the Park Hyatt Seoul. It is a Category 4 (which can be stayed at using the annual certificates from the Chase Hyatt card) yet is also one of Hyatt’s hotels in the upscale Park Hyatt brand – a great hotel at a great value.
But, what about a hotel that offers a great value in points redemption at a hotel but is not a very nice hotel (brand)? Do you expect more out of a hotel because of the value it represents (say, the actual cost of the room vs the points necessary to stay) or are you satisfied enough with the great value that your expectations of the quality of the stay does not figure in? One example is when I saw the one low brand hotel (during the Super Bowl) was at a stunning $999 per night – but it was available on points for only 30,000 points for the night! It was a hotel that I normally would never spend more than $80 for, so if I had stayed there on points during that weekend, I would not have expected to be getting an incredible stay. My expectations are very much tempered, in such a case, by the brand.
So, I would say that my expectations on a hotel stay are certainly tied more to the brand than the value. If I get a great value on my points at a low tier hotel, I am happy enough with my redemption that my expectations are not going to be too high. But, if I redeem my points for a high-end brand hotel, no matter what the value is of the stay, my expectations are certainly going to be higher because of the brand.
What about you? Are your expectations for hotel stays based on the value you are getting from your points or based on the brand you are redeeming at? Or is it a combination of the two?