- Booking Barcelona: $747 Round-trip in AA Business Class
- Booking Barcelona: A Hilton Points Dilemma
- Booking Barcelona: Citi Prestige + Hilton Diamond at Alexandra DoubleTree
I was super looking forward to visiting Barcelona.
From the initial disappointment of not getting the best deal (but still a very good deal) on the flights, to wondering which hotel to stay at, to finally getting a Citi Prestige card and choosing the Alexandra Doubletree, it was a bit of a ride.
In the end, I was able to book 6 nights via Citi Travel Concierge with Hilton’s Winter Sale rate and 4th night free.
Here’s how it all shook out.
Booking by the numbers
The final total was ~$692 for 6 nights, but I’ll get back ~$116 on the next billing cycle (the cost of the 4th night). So in the end, I paid ~$576 for 6 nights in Barcelona. Jay and I split that, so it came to ~$48 per person per night – a fantastic deal no matter how you slice it.
I was one of the many peeps matched to Hilton Diamond elite status (and one of the unlucky ones who missed out on Hyatt Diamond elite status – I’m still not over it).
This stay was my first as a Hilton Diamond member.
I’ll do a separate review of the beautiful and extremely well-located Alexandra Barcelona, a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel.
When I checked in, right off the bat, I was given an upgrade to a Suite that would’ve cost ~$1,660. And I only paid ~$576 for it!
Upgrade to a Dream Suite at Alexandra Barcelona
Our flight was a red-eye that landed around 7am. We headed straight to the hotel and got there in about 30 minutes.
I never expect to check in that early, ever. I ask if I can drop my bags off, and then head out to explore. I come back after lunch (like I did at the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome) and the room is usually ready by then.
The desk agent was so accommodating and friendly. He pulled out 2 envelopes – a welcome letter and breakfast certs – and said, “No problem, your room is ready. And it is a very nice room,” he added.
Cool! I wasn’t expecting it, but it was certainly appreciated. He typed for a minute or two, and handed us the room keys.
I booked the most basic, cheapest Queen room. But walked into the Dream Suite – the biggest room available at the hotel.
It was a lovely corner room with lots of ornate details, like the original Modernist mosaic-tiled floor. It also had an alcove overlooking La Rambla, and a private balcony over Mallorca Street.
I logged in to my Hilton account, and saw the new room type. Dream Suite. Here’s the description:
Then, I plugged in the info to see how much a 6-night stayed would’ve cost out-of-pocket.
~1,537 Euro or ~$1,660. Awesome!
Considering the nightly rate can sometimes be much more, I was blown away by the incredibly generous gesture.
I’m certain it had everything to do with my Diamond status. I really don’t think this upgrade would’ve cleared, even as a Gold.
In the picture above, Hilton has the Bed and Breakfast rate at 20 Euro more than the non-breakfast rate. So OK, they value breakfast for 2 at 20 Euro.
By that yardstick, our breakfasts each day saved us another 120 Euro, or ~$130.
Was it the best breakfast? Not really, but they had coffee, cold cuts, fruit, pastries, and juices (the basics). And it was nice to get something in the ol’ tummy before heading out each day. Even still, I consider that an added value.
We got 2 bottles of water replaced in our room each day, in-room Nespresso coffee pods, and premium wifi. We also got a very early check-in, and were offered a late checkout even though we didn’t need it (our departing flight took off at 10am).
All of these little things add up. We drank the bottled water each day, had coffee in the evenings after our disco naps, and enjoyed saving time with high-speed wifi.
I’d say all told, these things (including the breakfast) added another ~$150 to ~$200 in value to the overall stay.
And, it made me want to look forward to my next stay with Hilton. I’d love to stay at a property with an Executive Lounge to compare/contrast with this experience.
I had a
great fantastic experience checking-in for the 1st time as a Hilton Diamond guest.
While I won’t get my hopes up for future Suite upgrades, this one was certainly appreciated.
January in Barcelona is a very off-peak time to visit, but I don’t think I would’ve been extended such a generous upgrade even as a Gold member. And when traveling during peak times, I don’t expect the upgrades will be as frequent, or lucrative.
All that being said, wow. The quality of the stay at the Alexandra Doubletree in Barcelona (Barcy) far and away added a nice base to our overall visit.
I’d love to hear from peeps more in-tune with Hilton and their upgrades.
Have you received a Suite upgrade? If you stay often, at what percentage would you ballpark the upgrade possibility?* If you liked this post, consider signing up to receive free blog posts in an RSS reader and you’ll never miss an update!
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