Conrad Xiamen Has Opened and is Playing Games with Award Availability from the Start

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The Conrad Xiamen has opened and I thought it might be a good luxury points value as are many hotels in China. Conrad is Hilton’s ‘smart luxury’ brand, whatever that means. There are not too many Conrads around the world and I have not stayed in one.

Xiamen is one of China’s most pleasant and economically developed cities, an early beneficiary of investment and largesse from Taiwan due to cultural connection and ancestry of many in Taiwan. Early in my years in China when I was having breathing trouble from the pollution, a local friend advised, “Go to Dalian [in the north], then go to Xiamen [in the south].” The ferry to Gulangyu with its tradition of producing stellar classical musicians is a highlight.

Advance, nonrefundable cash rates for Conrad Xiamen go for US$165 and up.

Looking at points, we see not a single date over the next year where the standard points rate is available. Standard rooms coded as Deluxe are available throughout for cash rates. The only points availability on any date is in Premier rooms that charge high points rates tied to cash rates.

Conrad Xiamen King Deluxe Conrad Xiamen King Premier

Here is availability for July 2017 when the city is a furnace:

Conrad Xiamen award availability

(Quick Hilton HHonors guide: where you see big round number rates such as 40,000 you are getting a standard rate that can fluctuate by seasonality, if you see rates with odds and ends like 56,803 then you are getting the premium rates.)

Dan’s Deals and View from the Wing have recently discussed Hilton hotels playing two types of games with awards, using the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem as an example:

  1. Declaring as much as the entire year as ‘high season’ to charge the highest standard points rates;
  2. Blocking awards on standard rooms so only premium points rates are available.

Conrad Hilton is doing #2, claiming no deluxe rooms are available for points while every date except holiday blackouts for National Day and Chinese New Year has so-called premier rooms. The premier room

Regarding Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem, View from the Wing wrote:

…reached out to the folks at Hilton HHonors. Hilton doesn’t have blackout dates or capacity controls. When a standard room is available for sale, it should be available on points.

But what about hotels playing games with their revenue inventory? Hotels aren’t supposed to do this. I was told that “standard room type availability should not be restricted for the purpose of limiting redemption availability.”

I have no plans to visit Xiamen, however I will contact Conrad and HHonors to see if they can resolve this for the benefit of other travelers.

Readers, do other Conrads play these award games?

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