The Conrad Las Vegas at Resorts World issues its daily food & beverage credit at a sports bar despite 39 other options. I determined to spend every last dime.
Daily Food and Beverage Credit
During the pandemic, Hilton Honors made changes to one of the most coveted benefits Gold and Diamond members enjoy: daily free breakfast. If the property had a lounge, it was offered there, if not, it would usually be in the hotel restaurant. However, the brand introduced the Hilton Food & Beverage credit to replace free breakfast which had become onerous on short-staffed hotels and supply issues during COVID.
Rather than a guaranteed free breakfast, the chain gives elite members $10/guest/day to spend in the designated restaurant at most brands, $25/guest/day at premium hotels like Conrad, Waldorf-Astoria, and LXR properties, and $15-18/guest/day at middle tier brands like Curio.
Determined to Spend It All
While the daily value is said to expire each day, every Hilton I have stayed at rolls the value into one combined credit and Conrad Las Vegas did this as well, a strong point for sure. If I don’t eat breakfast for two days, is it not the same benefit if I did for a big dinner later in my stay?
I was determined to spend every last dime of my credit even if it was at the Dawg House.
First things first, your $25 credit is the minimum for a seat at the Dawg House, the menu is only available online via QR code, one of my favorite holdovers from COVID.
The first night I attempted to use my credit I broke $70 with gratuity. Here’s a basket of deveiled eggs (two eggs, in fact) for $8, a club sandwich with optional truffle fries for $20, and dessert was the most overstated thing I have ever seen.
“The best damned rice krispies treat you’ve ever had – with browned butter, sea salt and white chocolate.”
That’s a rice krispie in the shape of a heart on a skewer. Brown butter? Where? Sea salt? Not on mine. White chocolate, sure, there was a drizzle over the top – but $10? And that’s $10 before all of the onerous Las Vegas fees, if you’re just ordering this and tip 20%, you’re looking at $15.
On the last night of my stay, I attended a hosted dinner, with no opportunity for food. I don’t drink so I had a choice, buy food I could take away for the long flight home in the morning or treat random people to drinks. I chose both.
The benefit of a loyalty program for elite members is to entice them to stay with the brand despite a higher price, less competitive property, or location disadvantages. The benefit is meant to endear those who achieve and maintain elite status, but when a benefit is hard to receive or given with caveats, it does the opposite. That’s what the Conrad Las Vegas at Resorts World is doing. They don’t want to pay out the benefit, so they make it more difficult and less enjoyable in the hopes that guests simply won’t. But rather than becoming my first choice in Las Vegas, it has been pushed to the bottom of the list. I would have been better off at a property where they promised nothing because in this instance I was so annoyed by what they did with this benefit that it had a negative impact on my impression of the property.
That said, the fact that I could only use it in the Dawg House is insulting. The Starbucks across the hallway took $9 from me the day prior (it’s the only coffee shop on property), a slice of pepperoni grabbed another $12 from me the day before that. Neither of those were eligible.
The Dawg House was awesome to watch football games and eat pub food, but is not exactly a family restaurant – where should I bring my daughter? Why is just this one restaurant, with a $25/per seat minimum the only place I can spend my credit? Am I not more likely to return if I think about all of the restaurants that I loved like Carversteak (vendor dinner)? As expensive as the restaurants are, wouldn’t the brand benefit from me dining around rather than finding ways to spend $25/guest/day? Wouldn’t it be more likely if I was eating around the resort that I would exceed that benefit and spend more on-site?
Hilton Honors needs to find a way to enforce the rules of its program, or loyal Hilton Honors members will abandon it. Many that avoid Marriott Bonvoy for its endless caveats and exceptions to the service rules may find themselves departing Hilton as well. When a benefit is given begrudgingly, it’s worse than not giving it at all.
I actually like the flexibility of the new benefit, but the credit is woefully low. There’s no good reason for the Conrad Las Vegas at Resorts World to limit all Hilton food and beverage credit to this one spot when there are 39 other choices from pizza to Chinese dumplings to coffee. It’s insulting to your loyal guests and leaves a net negative impression of the property specifically if not the Hilton brand overall.
What do you think? Do you think this reflects poorly on the Conrad Las Vegas? Do you like the change? Do you think it’s generous?