In my opinion, the Hilton HHonors program has a very unclear late check out policy for their top-tier Diamond elite members. Hidden in the official “terms” as per the Hilton website is this: Late check-out must be requested and is subject to availability.
A few weeks ago my family and I had a fabulous stay at a resort in the Hilton portfolio in Puerto Rico. I can’t wait to share my thoughts about the property because in my opinion, it’s a great resort for families with kids of all ages. From a value-perspective, having Hilton status really comes with a lot of perks at this resort, too.
The one thing that really bothered me though was their inconsistency of their late-check out policy.
At check in, I kindly asked for a 4-pm late check out on the day of departure because we had a 9 pm flight home. For our last day, our plan was to take to the resort’s ferry to their private island for the day, and then return to the room to give the kids a bath, check out, and have a final dinner at the property before our 6-pm ride to the airport.
I thought 4 pm seemed attainable and reasonable, considering that both Hyatt & Starwood have a 4 pm guaranteed policy for their elites.
When I asked for the 4 pm check out, the agent quickly responded that she could extend our check out by one hour… and that 4 pm was available, but for a fee of $100!
Now here I am in an awkward position where I feel like I needed further clarification about a “benefit”. It was just confirmed that the room was available, but now I am being asked to pay for the extra hours?
Perplexed about the “subject to availability terms”, I responded with our plans to spend most of the day at the island, and that if the room is available for 4 pm, shouldn’t it be complimentary until 4 pm for Diamond members?
She didn’t really have an answer so I tweeted to Hilton asking if they could qualify the Diamond late check out benefit. Hilton’s Twitter team tried to clarify on my behalf, but I was told that no one at the hotel answered their call.
In the end, I did receive the 4 pm checkout. Perhaps it was resentfully or reluctantly, but I just thought the whole situation seemed very uncomfortable. I didn’t want to come off as entitled or pushy, but I felt like I was in a weird position.
Ultimately, I know Hilton can’t actually guarantee late checkout, but at least with other programs, the late check out terms are very clear.
I think that having some sort of ball-park of expectations across the board might eliminate confusion and awkward/confrontational conversations between guests and hotel staff.
What are your thoughts? Have you had a similar experience at a Hilton property before?