Hotel Elite Perks When Booking Multiple Rooms: My Strategy

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In this post I wanted to address a situation that I think just about anyone who has hotel elite status has found themselves in…

Having hotel elite status & traveling with others

There are different trips for different occasions — sometimes I travel alone, sometimes I travel with Ford, and sometimes our parents are in tow as well. When we’re traveling with family we typically book multiple rooms, and that can complicate things when it comes to taking advantage of hotel elite status perks:

Look, I totally get it, elite perks are generally only for the member and one other guest staying in their room, and that’s not unreasonable. But I also find myself conflicted in these situations:

  • Do I just use the executive lounge and have breakfast without my family? I don’t really want to do that…
  • Do I pay for breakfast and club access for the second room so they can enjoy these amenities with me? That’s a better option than not having them join me, but sometimes it’s just not worth the money…
  • Do I just forgo the perks that I’m usually entitled to, in solidarity?

Fortunately over the years I’ve found that there are better ways to go about things, and in this post I wanted to share my general strategy for getting elite perks when booking multiple hotel rooms.

Best options when booking multiple rooms

Over the past few years I’ve almost always used one of five strategies when booking multiple hotel rooms while trying to maximize the benefits that I get. Here they are, roughly in the order of the frequency with which I use them:

Booking a World of Hyatt Guest of Honor reservation

World of Hyatt Globalist members have a Guest of Honor perk, whereby they can extend their elite perks to other rooms when redeeming their own points.

The person you redeem points for gets all the same Globalist perks you usually would, ranging from free breakfast, to club lounge access, to room upgrades, to late check-out. You can use this regardless of whether or not you’re staying with that other person.

To me this is probably the single best perk offered by any hotel loyalty program. I’m happiest when my family is happy, so when a loyalty program recognizes the value in that, I’m thrilled. It’s one of the many reasons that I love World of Hyatt, and I’ve had nothing but good experiences with this perk.

Your loved ones can get suite upgrades too with the Guest of Honor perk

Using double Hilton Honors Diamond status

Elite recognition for multiple rooms isn’t an issue if multiple people have status, and that’s where Hilton Honors becomes useful:

  • Hilton Honors makes it really easy to earn Gold status or Diamond status
  • Both of these levels offer perks that people may find valuable, like complimentary breakfast and lounge access

Both Ford and I have the incredible Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card (review), which offers Hilton Honors Diamond status and all kinds of other great perks. If we’re in a situation where we need two rooms, I simply book one room in my name and one room in Ford’s name, and then both rooms get Hilton Honors Diamond perks.

Even if you don’t have Diamond status, there are so many easy pathways to Hilton Honors Gold status, so this should be easy enough for most people to do. For example, the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card (review) and Hilton Honors American Express Business Card (review) both offer Gold status for as long as you’re a cardmember.

It’s quite easy for anyone with access to credit cards to earn Hilton status

Booking through Hyatt Privé

When booking multiple rooms at a Hyatt I usually take advantage of the Guest of Honor benefit, but not always. That’s because sometimes paying cash is a better value than redeeming points, based on my valuation of 1.5 cents per Hyatt point.

If you don’t want to redeem points, one can instead get elite-like benefits through the Hyatt Privé program. For booking through the program, you receive benefits like complimentary breakfast, a room upgrade, a property credit, and late check-out subject to availability (exact inclusions vary by brand).

While this doesn’t match up perfectly with Globalist benefits, I’ve found this to be a great solution in many situations.

Breakfast at the incredible Park Hyatt Paris Vendome

Booking through Virtuoso

If one of the above options doesn’t work, my next move is typically to just book through Virtuoso. With Virtuoso, select travel agents can offer extra perks at 1,300+ luxury properties around the world, with benefits like complimentary breakfast, room upgrades, property credits, and more.

In many cases these are independent hotels, so at this point I give up on loyalty programs and instead focus on just having as nice of an experience as possible for my family.

There are other programs similar to Virtuoso that are brand-specific, like Four Seasons Preferred Partner, Shangri-La Luxury Circle, and more.

Villa Kennedy Frankfurt, a Virtuoso property

Using a World of Hyatt Club Upgrade Award

There’s a third option available to World of Hyatt members, beyond Guest of Honor bookings and the Hyatt Privé program. As part of the Milestone Rewards program, members receive two Club Access Awards when passing 20 elite nights, and another two when passing 30 elite nights.

If you’re a Globalist member you won’t actually ever need to use these, since you automatically get club access on all stays. These can be great when traveling with others, though, since you can use them to get club access for a second room as well.

These are valid on both paid stays and award stays, so this can be a great option. However, I don’t actually end up using this very often, since I typically find that booking through Guest of Honor is the better value (and those booked through Guest of Honor get club access anyway).

Use Club Access Awards to secure lounge access for a second room

Bottom line

Often the stays that we value most are those where we’re traveling with family and booking multiple rooms. Those are also the stays where it can be toughest to take advantage of elite perks.

Fortunately there are some tricks to create a great experience for everyone in these situations:

  • Hyatt is my go-to hotel group in these situations, thanks to the value of Guest of Honor on award stays, the value of Hyatt Privé on revenue stays, and also the potential to use Club Access Awards
  • Hilton Honors can also be great, given how easy it is for multiple people to earn status with the program
  • Then there’s Virtuoso, which is often what I end up booking through when I’m happy to just forgo points to have a great experience

While the above is by no means comprehensive, personally most of my family bookings in the past few years have been booked through one of the above methods.

What’s your strategy for maximizing elite perks when traveling with family and/or booking multiple rooms?

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Comments
  1. I have personally found Hilton to be more lenient with their benefits. They have always allowed the kids in the lounges and have provided breakfast for all of us, even if booking two rooms.

    I have no experience with Hyatt but find Marriott to be most stingy.

  2. Ditto on Hilton. I’ve had free breakfast extended to additional rooms (all booked together) without asking. Most recently, the server just proactively offered to see if she could do it then came back a few minutes later and said all would be taken care of.

  3. Back in the days of Early 2018 my partner and I were staying at a Marriott with my Dad, we both have Marriott Gold through our (she’s an authorized user) Morgan Stanley AMEX Platnum Card and at check in we put one room in my name and one room in her name and got all 3 of us breakfast.

    The situation still feels even more ridiculous because my parents qualify for Premier Access through Morgan Stanley that would get them the annual fee of the Platnum card refunded, but I haven’t been able to convince them to sign-up.

  4. I just booked a Hyatt Prive stay through Ford recently, but did not get the room upgrade after booking. Very easy to book though.

  5. Here’s another vote for Hilton. They consistently upgrade multiple rooms to the executive floor, even when traveling with friends.

  6. Marriott offers points and nights towards status accrual for the member on multiple rooms
    Hyatt allows points on multiple rooms but does not allow nights towards status for the member on multiple rooms (I learned that one the hard way)
    Unsure about Hilton

  7. I’ve booked multiple rooms at Hilton properties in the U.S. and Europe on several occasions and my Diamond benefits were extended to everyone in my party. At the Hilton Zurich Airport, they not only allowed everyone into the lounge, but also invited us to enjoy a full breakfast in the restaurant whenever we felt we needed a change of scenery.

  8. I also reach out to the hotel to see if they will make an exception and allow my benefits for all my rooms. Never hurts to ask.

  9. I’ve asked nicely at the front desk if they could extend the club lounge access or breakfast benefit to the two guests in my second room, and a number of times they did it no problem.

    Sometimes it’s if the front desk employee is high enough managerially, and sometimes they make a quick call or check in at the office behind to desk to ask permission. For high tiered members, sometimes they do it. It actually costs them very little to extend the benefits to one or two more guests to you (especially if it’s going to buffet food that’s already put out and would go to waste if uneaten). It leaves a good impression in the mind of potential future guests, and demonstrates reciprocal loyalty to an elite member.

    In some hotels that are packed to capacity regularly with elites (think Hawaii pre-pandemic), they understandably won’t budge on the lounge access because they already deal with crowds.

    I’ve often said something like, “It’s the first time my wife’s family has traveled with me and I want them to have a great experience with [ hotel chain name ] “, or, “It’s my wife’s family’s first trip overseas and I want them to have a great experience”, etc……

    Remember, it’s a friendly request, that you would greatly appreciate if they could do it. It is never a demand or an expectation or an entitlement, don’t make any ultimatum, and never make a nasty scene. If they give you to you, be sure to thank them dearly. If they make an attempt to get approval but can’t, then at least thank them for trying and accept it and just finish your check-in politely and with a smile.

  10. PLEASE STOP idolizing Hyatt so much or explain us why it is so cool.
    Their global footprint is ridiculous compared with Marriott or Hilton.
    There is absolutely no reason to chase Elite status with Hyatt unless your trips are paid by your employer or if you only travel within the US.

  11. Ritz Carlton visa card offers three club level upgrade certs each year, so I’ve used two of them to book two rooms for my family. With IHG, I booked a club room and a regular room at Intercontinental in Tokyo, and they allowed all of us to enjoy lounge together, which offered superb food.

  12. Have recently had great experiences with Hilton. Most hotels will upgrade our second room and/or allow executive lounge access. Hilton Kiev even offered to let my adult son, who was staying in a cheap hotel nearby, come for breakfast and happy hour. Unfortunately he declined (shrug).

  13. @DCS
    Have you booked multiple Hilton rooms if one is a gold and other is a Diamond? I would like to hear from your Hilton knowledge source of wealth!

  14. Ben — I literally posted this question 5 minutes ago on your Hyatt suite upgrades post (which I had bookmarked), before seeing this article. Can a Globalist reserve two rooms (including one for extended family or guests), and then use (2) suite upgrade awards to guarantee suite upgrades for both rooms?

  15. Thanks for taking up this topic, it’s a real issue I’ve come across many times. I agree with many that Hilton is generally rather lenient, in particular if they see that the Diamond member (me) has been Diamond for many years and also stayed in the particular property many times before. And if not, your work arounds have worked for me, too.

    However, I really struggle with Marriott and Accor. Any hints for them?

  16. If I have status, I usually call the property & ask THEM what they can do. Instead of 2 rooms, for instance, often they can arrange a King Suite for me & my husband and adjoin another room so we all share the common areas but still have privacy. Sometimes the Suite is even upgraded free, depending on availability.

  17. @James London there are so many ways to get to Hyatt Globalist status if you’re creative. The reason it gets talked about so much is because it truly is the best top tier status in the game.

  18. When I book multiple rooms with Hyatt as a globalist, while suite upgrades can only be offered for one room, club access/breakfast is usually offered to both rooms.

  19. @DCS
    Have you booked multiple Hilton rooms if one is a gold and other is a Diamond? I would like to hear from your Hilton knowledge source of wealth!
    – Wilbil

    My experience booking multiple rooms is limited but consistent with what others already reported. Each time breakfast extended to guests the additional rooms, which got upgraded to the exec floor, with exec room access privilege.

  20. Ungodly hours and yet fully awake:
    “Each time breakfast was extended to guests in the additional rooms, which got upgraded to the exec floor, with exec lounge access privilege.”

  21. …there are so many ways to get to Hyatt Globalist status if you’re creative. The reason it gets talked about so much is because it truly is the best top tier status in the game.

    Hyatt Globalist is the most expensive top status in the game, which self-anointed “travel gurus” have decided to crown, against all objective evidence, “the best top tier status in the game.”

    A top status that does not get the ‘fifth night award free’ perk, unquestionably the single most valuable perk in the game, cannot be claimed to the best in game. Period.

    G’day.

  22. Your post focuses on Hyatt. It would be nice if the same were true with the other alliances if you redeemed points for someone else they would get all of the benefits not just the room. Your reference to Hilton applies to any brand. If the other person is also a high status member that room can enjoy the perks too. Nothing new. So, this is basically a Hyatt ad.

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