Hilton Hotels Business Travel News

DoubleTree Corporate Meeting & Events Room

DoubleTree Hilton Hotel Washington DC

The Washington DC hotel features a modern business center and nine meeting rooms. Host an elegant reception or a wedding in 6,700 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space.

Doubletree Boardroom Meeting Area

Business meeting room

Corporate meeting room at the Doubletree in Washington DC

Dinning Area

Doubletree Dinning area

Doubletree Hotel Dinning area

Corporate Events

Corporate meeting and teaching room

Corporate meeting and teaching room

Outside Patio at the Doubletree

Patio for outside events

Patio for outside events in Washington DC

Hotels offering Free Wifi, Business Travel

More Hotels Offer Free wifi with Extras

Hyatt Hotels and Resorts is giving travelers the one thing they’ve said they want the most: free wifi.

hotel wifi

Starting February, all guests at Hyatt hotels worldwide receive free wifi on an unlimited number of devices in both guest rooms and public spaces.

You won’t have to be members of Hyatt’s loyalty program. Nor will they have to book directly with the hotel rather than a third-party site like Expedia or Travelocity.

Hyatt believes the move “doesn’t just help travelers. It helps us just as much,” Kristine Rose, vice president of brands for Hyatt, wrote in a blog item. “We can’t continue to differentiate and innovate our guest experiences when we’re charging some guests for the technology that powers future improvements.”

Hotel chains like Hilton and Marriott have given free wifi to guests at their less-expensive properties while charging for it at their premier brands.

Starting next month, Starwood Hotels and Resorts will offer complimentary wifi in rooms and public areas to all Starwood Preferred Guest members, and those with Gold and Platinum status. The guests will have to book directly through Starwood channels such as its website or mobile app.

Marriott Rewards members will receive free wifi in Marriott Hotels, Renaissance and JW Marriott. Members will be able to pay $5 to $7 a day, depending on the market, for premium bandwidth. The upgrade will be free for Gold and Platinum elite members. Wifi is free in the lobbies of all Marriott International brands.

Hilton offers complimentary wifi to all Hilton HHonors Gold and Diamond members. Several Hilton brands also offer free standard wifi to guests. In 2014, Hilton started a new system that lets guests purchase premium Internet starting at $3.95.

InterContinental Hotels Group, ICH, offers free wifi to its Rewards Club members. Premium service is also available for a fee at select properties.

Wifi Policies at our Major Hotel Chains

  • IHG: Free wifi for all Rewards Club members.
  • Hyatt: Free for all guests. Premium wifi available for a fee (Free for Diamond and Platinum Hyatt Gold Passport members).
  • Marriott: Free for all Rewards members. Premium wifi available for a fee (Free for Fold and Platinum elite members).
  • Hilton: Free wifi for all Hilton HHonors Gold and Diamond members. Premium wifi available on a tiered pricing system.
  • Starwood: Free wifi for all Starwood Preferred Guest members. Premium wifi free for SPG Gold, Platinum, and Partners.

Demands of Business Travel

Where some of us dream of a day at the spa for relaxation, Peggy Fucci looks forward to boarding a plane and traveling thousands of miles to meet with a potential customer.

A long flight to Europe gives her time to take in a movie, clear email and read a magazine without interruptions: “It’s peaceful. My phone doesn’t ring. It’s me time.”
Yesterday’s road warriors have evolved into today’s global gladiators who are not just taking the red-eye across country for business, but across hemispheres and time zones.

They are shaking off jet lag to meet with clients across continents and mastering ways to use extended flight time to their advantage.

Avoiding lost luggage, delays and travel mishaps takes know-how and planning.

Whether she’s off to Sao Paolo or Beijing, Fucci takes only a carry-on, a prepacked, wheel-in-any-direction bag that she refers to as her miracle suitcase. Fucci has found a driver in most international cities with whom she can leave her suitcase and rush straight to meetings.

Most crucial, she has gained global clearance, allowing her to breeze through security checks and bypass long lines. She also uses airline apps to check ahead on her mobile phone for flight delays. “Between that and traveling light, I can gain at least an extra 30 minutes to an hour at home with my family,” she says.

For international travelers raising children, balancing work demands with the family’s needs takes extra coordination. Embracing technology and using international data apps help.

United Pay with Miles, Starwood Marriott Hilton Hotel Updates

Marriott and Hilton Announce Last-Minute Penalties

The airline industry has generated billions in revenue by charging fees on top of base fares. Now the hotel industry has the same idea.

Marriott Resort Cayman Islands

2 hotel companies, Marriott and Hilton, recently announced that they would increase their fees by tightening rules on last minute cancellations. Business travelers have been accustomed to being able to cancel a reservation at many hotels, without charge, some as late as 6 p.m. on the day of arrival.

Effective now, at the Marriott and Hilton hotels. Both companies say if you don’t cancel your reservation the day before your scheduled arrival, you’ll be charged a penalty of 1 night’s room rate.

Pay with Miles at Newark Airport

You maybe used to cashing in your frequent flier miles for a free flight, but now you can use them at the airport to buy a steak dinner, a neck pillow or perhaps a glass of wine?

United passengers flying through Newark Liberty Airport’s Terminal C can now pay for food and merchandise with miles they’ve earned through the airline’s loyalty program, instead of cash.

The new payment system kicked in at a few airport restaurants last week, and United and partners, OTG Management, believe this marks the first time a terminal has allowed the use of miles to pay for purchases.

Open Hotel Doors With Your Phone at Starwood

You leave your plane, get a cab, and arrive at your hotel, and stand behind a travel group as each tourist checks in one at a time. Starwood Hotels & Resorts is working toward a day when you’ll skip the front desk and simply open your door using your smartphone.

The service, called SPG Keyless, rolls out to Starwood loyalty customers on Nov. 5 at 10 in hotels across its Aloft, Element, and W brands, including Aloft Beijing, W Hollywood, and Element Times Square. The hospitality company tested the program earlier this year and plans to make it available in 150 hotels around the world by early 2015.

Hotel room reports Hilton HHonors updates

Business travel

The Hotel Room of the Future: Using Your Smartphone to Customize Your Room
In the next decade, hoteliers may be using technology to tailor your room to your preferences right down to the lighting, air conditioning and perhaps even the color of the room.

According to the ITB World Trends Report, you´ll be able to enter your own profile, either via a PIN on your smartphone or by using biometric authentification, and the room will automatically adjust variables to suit your preferences.

The hotel room of the future will be designed to aid relaxation, according to the study, with curves instead of sharp edges, smart energy beds and wall displays whose screens let guests connect with different communications channels. Business travelers could work via these screens. (Source: ITB press release).

U.S. Hotels Report Rates, Occupancies Continue to Rise
The USA hotel industry saw occupancy increase 9% to 53.3% in November, according to STR, which provides global hotel performance data. Average daily rates rose 2.5% to $96.70.

And revenue per room rose 11.8%. Room rate growth accelerated across most hotel segments, with the luxury segment showing the greatest increase: 5.8%. PKF-HR´s Hotel Horizons industry forecast said that while ADR has grown, it will continue to lag the recovering. (Source: STR, PKF press releases).

Hilton HHonors Offers Up to Quadruple Points
Hilton HHonors guest loyalty program, which includes more than 3,600 hotels, is running a new global promotion: More Nights, More Points, through March 31. Members can receive up to quadruple points for stays in participating hotels. Stay two nights, earn double points. Stay three nights, earn triple points.

Stay four nights and earn quadruple points. Members can earn both HHonor points and airline miles for the same stay at participating hotels. (Source: Hilton press release).

Wyndham Baltimore Peabody Court Hotel, located in historic Mount Vernon Square, has opened a new chapter in its legacy. The 104-room hotel has become the city´s first hotel in five years to fly the Wyndham flag. Major upgrades to the rooms include the latest HD flat panel TVs and the upgraded Wyndham amenity package.

InterContinental Hotels Group, has roots in Venezuela tracing back to the early 1950´s, announces the opening of the InterContinental Maracaibo. It will be IHG's 21st InterContinental Hotels & Resorts property in Latin America and the Caribbean. The InterContinental Maracaibo has picturesque views of Venezuela´s famous Lake Maracaibo, and is located near the city´s newest commercial and residential districts, within walking distance of business centers, banks, corporate offices, shopping and recreation.

Wyndham Hotels and Resorts announced the completion of the first phase of the 322-unit Koloa Landing at Poipu Beach Wyndham Grand Resort, the brand´s first new build project in Hawaii. Phase One includes the opening of 85 villas, lagoon pools, and fitness center.

When completed, the resort will feature a central pool with water slide, poolside bar and grill, sand bottom area, cascading waterfalls and swim-through grotto, lagoon-style pools, several hot tubs, fitness center, day spa, covered parking and semiprivate elevators to each front door.

Business Travel in the Spot Light

Business travel continues its rebound, according to the Business Travel’s 2010 third quarter Business Travel Monitor North America. Pricing power is shifting toward suppliers, leading toward higher prices for both air and hotel. Airlines have been especially successful in limiting capacity and increasing fares.

  • Year over year, average domestic fares are up six percent.
  • Average international fares are up eight percent.
  • Hotel rates are up three percent domestically.
  • U.S. cities with the highest year-over-year rate increases: New York, New Orleans, Washington, D.C., Las Vegas and San Francisco.
Source: Business Travel press release.

Hotel News updates for Carlson Hotels and Hilton HHonors

Travel News
How the New Age of Austerity Impacts Your Use of Hotels

You’ll probably make fewer, shorter and cheaper business trips this year and opt for basic efficiency and good service from the hotels you do stay in, according to a report by travel technology company Amadeus for the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Increased scrutiny of how business—any business, not just those using TARP
money—spends money means companies want to make business trips as productive as possible.

Gyms and restaurants count for little. Fast internet access is the most important  amenity;  efficient check-in is also key. The report predicts a “flight to trusted brands” and expectations of a certain level of good service no matter where you are in the world. (Source: Amadeus press release).

Hotels Make Loyalty Programs More Attractive
Hotel companies are enhancing their loyalty programs. Hilton HHonors has launched a new premium credit card, the Hilton HHonors Surpass Card from America Express, and enhanced the existing Hilton HHonors Card. Both cards let you earn points fast and offer generous awards.

The new Surpass card awards 9 points for every eligible $1 spent at Hilton Family hotels; complimentary standard membership in Priority Pass, which gives card members access to more than 500 airport lounges worldwide; and the ability to earn Hilton HHonors’ Diamond VIP status with an annual spend of $40,000, Hilton HHonors Card enhancements include upping bonus points (6 up from 5) for spending in an expanded list of double point categories, and special perks such as discounted and upgraded chauffeured car service.

Carlson Hotels Worldwide is offering its guests “3 for 3” – an additional 3,000 bonus Gold Points for members of its goldpoints plus loyalty program who stay three nights at any global Carlson Hotels from now through April 30. (Source: Hilton, Carlson press releases).

PKF Forecasts Declining Room Rates

Drawing on data that it’s collected since 1937, PKF Hospitality Research says that the U.S. has experienced 11 economic recessions since 1937; they lasted anywhere from six to 16 months. Some of the results were obvious, but there were some surprises, too.

As expected, during nine of the 11 downturns, occupancies fell, but that did not automatically mean average daily rates (ADR) fell. In fact, in eight of 11 recessions, they increased. For example, in the 1973-75 and 1980-82 recession, caused mainly by inflation, rates increased and hotels still were able to make some minor profit gains.

This time around, however,

  1. PKF expects ADRs to fall. PKR forecasts that lodging demand will decline a cumulative 4.2 percent from 2007 through 2009
  2. That, coupled with a 5.6 percent increase in supply, will produce 9.1 percent decline in occupancy to 57.2 percent,
  3. The result: a 4.6 percent drop in ADR, continuing the discounting that began in the fourth quarter of 2008. Source: PKF press release

Hotel rewards and Car Rentals news

Riu Resort Cancun Mexico
Hotel Occupancy Rates Drop, Putting Pressure on Room rates
There’s more room at the inn for U.S. travelers, with the U.S. hotel industry finishing 2009 with an occupancy rate that was 4.2 percent lower than at the end of 2007, according to hotel consulting company STR.

The industry saw a decent start to the year, but became extremely negative during the past four months. Although occupancies fell, average daily room rtes actually increased by 2.4 percent. STR says the hotel industry will stay at this level for the next few months, but will see some improvements in the second half of the year.

Only two cities saw occupancy go up—New Orleans 8.6% and Houston 2.6%. Rates actually went up in many major cities, including Houston 9.4%, Denver (6.3 percent), San Francisco (5.4 percent). Ultimately, however, declining occupancies are going to put considerable pressure on hotels to lower their room rates, according to Lodging Econometrics, which covers hotels.
(Source: STR Global press, Lodging Econometrics press release)

Starwood, Hilton Add Bonuses to Loyalty Programs
Starwood is celebrating the tenth anniversary of its Starwood Preferred Guest
program and Hilton is kicking off the 22nd year of Hilton’s HHonors loyalty program. Both are offering bonuses until spring. Starwood is offering members 10,000 bonus Starpoints for every 10 nights stayed now through April 30. Hilton HHonors, whose members can earn points and miles for the same say is offering double base points at the more than 2,400 participating Hilton family hotels through April 6. Register for the program at HiltonHHonors.com/globaldoublepoints.com
(Source: Hilton, Starwood press releases).

Car Rental Avis Budget Introduces Satellite TV in cars You can keep backseat drivers occupied with ATT CruiseCast, a new satellite television service that brings news, family, sports, comedy and music channels to the back seat of your car. Starting later this year, the service will cost $8.95 per day or $62.65 per week. It stores p to there minutes of content so obstructions such as overpasses or tall buildings will not interrupt a program. Channels include MSNBC, CNN Mobile Live, the Disney Channel, Comedy Central and many others.
(Source: Avis Budget press release)

Expense Management in Tough Times

A recent travel study of Fortune 500 companies and their expense management practices found one of the most effective strategies—and the least expensive to implement—was holding employees accountable for their corporate spending. There were three simple ways,

  1. Communicate: make sure employees know what a company’s spending policies are.
  2. Educate: tell employees the financial implications, for both employees and the company, for disregarding those policies.
  3. Enforce: offer carrots and sticks to encourage employees to adhere to policy.

Source: press release

Hotel Information March 2008

Sheraton and Four Points by Sheraton will implement a smoke-free policy at more than 300 properties in the U.S., the Caribbean and Canada.

Both brands expect to be completely smoke-free in the U.S. and Canada by Dec 31. The two Starwood brands have begun converting all smoking guest rooms to nonsmoking rooms in preparation for the new policy.

Major Hotel Chains´ Internet services

Best Western
Free Internet is a standard in the United States. The brand is working on making it a standard in Europe.

Carlson Hotels
Began phasing in free Internet service as an in-room amenity at Radisson Hotels & Resorts in 2005 and into Latin America this year. Some lobbies offer free WiFi.

Extended Stay, mid-price brands offer free Internet access. Individual upscale properties offer free access.

Upscale properties generally charge for Internet access. Midprice Hyatt Place offers free WiFi throughout hotels.

Holiday Inn offers free Internet access. Extended stay brand Staybridge Suites made WiFi a free amenity in both the lobby and in rooms this year. Upscale properties generally charge for in-room service, although some offer free lobby Internet.

Introduced free high-speed and WiFi to guest rooms three years ago at its midprice and extended stay brands and this summer announced that it is eliminating WiFi charges for guests in public areas. Upscale and luxury brands still charge for Internet Service.

Among the first upscale brands to make free WiFi a brand standard

Four Points by Sheraton offers free wired and wireless Internet access. Many W Hotels offer free WiFi access, but in-room Internet connections usually carry a charge.

Free Internet access for mid-priced brands. Select upscale properties give Wyndham ByRequest members access.