Stupid Tip of the Day: Hotel Hopping to Elite Level Status — But…

B enefits such as bonus points, executive lounge access and room upgrades are only some of the reasons why frequent travelers strive to achieve elite level status in frequent guest loyalty programs.

Sometimes you can qualify for elite level status for the following year based on the number of nights which you stay; sometimes you can earn a certain amount of base points per dollar spent; and sometimes you can qualify based on the number of stays…

…but if you are staying in a city for a week at one hotel property, you would earn either seven nights or one stay or the number of base points based on how much you spend for your stay — not including taxes and fees, of course.

Stupid Tip of the Day: Hotel Hopping to Elite Level Status — But…

Hotel hopping is the practice of purposely switching from one hotel property to another — typically of the same lodging company — at the same destination in order to qualify for elite level status for the next year more quickly. With most frequent guest loyalty programs, when you stay at one hotel property for two consecutive nights, that counts as only one stay towards elite level status — even if you check out of the hotel property and check back in; and even if each night was booked as separate reservations at different times…

…but if you stay at one hotel property one night and at a different hotel property under the same lodging company the next night, that counts as two stays. Playing around with your itinerary on at which hotel property on which date can save you money.

Hotel hopping also gives you the opportunity to try out different hotel properties if you are unable to decide at which one you would like to stay.

Potential Problems — and Solutions

One potential problem with hotel hopping is that not only are you changing hotel properties; but so is your luggage — and if the two hotel properties are located in the same area but at a distance from each other, schlepping your luggage around with you can be a significant impediment to enjoying yourself during the day. This can especially be possible if the latest you can check out of one hotel property is several hours before you can check into the other hotel property.

One solution is to pack light enough so that the impediment is kept to a minimum — which is not always an ideal solution.

Fortunately, many hotel properties will store your luggage free of charge — or perhaps for a small fee. You will still have to return to the first hotel property to pick up your luggage; but that is usually a preferred alternative to having to carry it with you wherever you go during the day.

Another potential problem is that one hotel property may not be ideal for you — perhaps it is significantly more expensive; or it does not have the amenities you seek; or its location is less than desirable as three examples — and therefore might not be worth hotel hopping..

…but if the stays transition from during their week to over a weekend, room rates can drop significantly enough to give that hotel property another look — and if you are fortunate enough, that other hotel property can sometimes actually be less expensive than the one in which you originally planned to stay.

Summary

I do not recall ever having been charged by a hotel property to have my bag stored for the day — in fact, just before writing this article, I picked up my bag after it had been stored all day; and I was not charged a single penny for the service.

Hotel hopping is not for everyone, though. There are people who would prefer the convenience of leaving their belongings at one location for seven days rather than stay at as many as seven different hotel properties — or, at least, alternating stays between two hotel properties.

The best way to hotel hop efficiently is to ascertain how many stays you will need to achieve elite level status for next year; then choose when and where the hotel hopping should occur. Hotel properties located closer together are desirable for hotel hopping — especially if they are within walking distance, as evidenced by this FlyerTalk discussion as an example — and climate can play a role as well.

Photograph ©2008 by Brian Cohen.

One thought on “Stupid Tip of the Day: Hotel Hopping to Elite Level Status — But…”

  1. Kitt Katt says:

    Shockingly, the Grand Hyatt New York in Grand Central Station does charge to hold your luggage…whether you come early, before check in time or if you check out and want to leave your luggage. Perhaps this has changed since the last time i was there about 6 months ago…at that time fees were waved for diamonds

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