How to Get More than One Check-in Amenity During Your Hotel Stay

Reader Barry writes,

In the midst of living at [a hotel and] I happened to notice if you book a series of one-day award reservations, you get a new fruit plate and bottle of wine each day. By the time I leave I’ll have a fully-stocked cellar.

This doesn’t actually have anything to do with award reservations per se.

Whenever I stay at a hotel where I have elite status and I book multiple rates during the stay even if it’s the same reservation number I will wind up with multiple amenities.

Say that I book cash and points one night, a paid room the next night, and full points the following night. Invariably the hotel has three separate bookings for this (Marriott may be different — in July 2012 they deceptively introduced ‘cash and points’ which is really just combining paid rates and reward nights into a single booking, so not what you think cash and points is).

I’m frequently asked for each ‘stay’ which is really just a separate reservation in their system whether I would like ‘the amenity’ or ‘the points’.

While I almost always take the points, the correct answer to this question is ‘the amenity’.

That’s because if you select points, no matter how many reservations the hotel attaches a points amenity to the hotel chain will in my experience only give you the check-in points bonus once. But if the hotel gives you a new in-room amenity each day of your stay, they don’t come looking to take it back.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Related to this, do the chains consider you to be gaming the system if you book back-to-back one day reservations to qualify for elite status on the basis of stays?

    I’ve not done this, but it seems like it’d be easy to qualify for Hyatt Diamond on the basis of 25 stays that way. Or do back-to-back reservations at the same property get merged for elite qualification?

  2. @Jered, in my experience SPG separate bookings on points count as separate stays, and Marriott paid stays count as well. With Hyatt and Hilton it doesn’t work and they will get merged.

  3. I have similarly booked a Virtuoso rate at a Hyatt on the first night of a stay and award nights for the remainder but been able to get free breakfast every day. I just told the desk that I had a Virtuoso rate and they took them all off the bill. However, YMMV.

  4. @Jered –

    A couple of things on that. First is that it is, technically, a violation of the T&Cs, so you could wind up with zero points and status.

    Second is that some of the programs not only count multiple sequential reservations at a hotel as one “stay” for elite qualification, they count sequential reservations in the same metropolitan area as a single stay, so even switching hotels isn’t going to get you where you need to be.

  5. @mallthus can you give a specific example? I can’t think of any hotel chain I’ve stayed at where stays at two different nearby hotels count as one. I’ve literally walked across the street at some Marriotts and have also hopped Hyatts and SPGs in different cities and they have all counted as separate stays.

  6. Hubby and I just stayed 2 nights at the Radisson Blu Chicago. I still have my Club Carlson card, so gold status.

    I laughed when Hubby was impressed that we got a couple bottles of sparkling water and a can of gummy bears. Maybe I shouldn’t have burst his bubble, but he doesn’t read your blog. I had to tell him that we are in fact peons. 😉

  7. Just stayed at the Grand Hyatt Amman in two suites. Not only did not get two welcome amenities (which I shouldn’t have), but lost the one I did get when there was a problem with the room and I had to be moved and the chocolates did not follow me!

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