I can’t help but notice the trend lately whereby new hotels publish an opening date, accept bookings, and then later delay the opening date.

For example, last year the St. Regis Mauritius delayed their opening date, and they gave those that were booked a couple of options. One option was to be put up at a comparable hotel during the same period along with some other benefits, but the most intriguing option was that they’d host you for free at a later date for the same length of stay you booked, plus they’d pay up to €250 to help change your flights.

Now I’m a total idiot because I made a booking there but canceled it literally a few days before they announced the delayed opening, so I gave up a “free” stay there at a future date, I guess.

We’re now seeing the same thing at the Andaz Maui, which was supposed to open in mid-August, but that has been pushed back. They offered people with reservations either a refund of points and a booking at a comparable hotel during the same time period, or a double refund of points for cancellation (meaning if you paid 22,000 points per night you’d get 44,000 points per night back).

Anyway, really makes you wonder. Maybe I’ve been playing this game wrong all along. Maybe the key to free travel isn’t earning points through credit cards, but rather speculatively booking hotels before they open? ;)

  1. August 26th, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    Gene said,

    Excellent idea!

  2. August 26th, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    Grant said,

    That’s a very intriguing idea. Definitely makes you think.

  3. August 26th, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    phil said,

    Construction delays happen all the time in every industry. My Vet is currently looking at big problems because his new clinic will not be done on time. Hope he built in a penalty clause.

  4. August 26th, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    Joey said,

    A lot of hotels are scheduled to open in Sochi before the start of the winter olympics but I highly doubt they’ll all be finished by then.

  5. August 26th, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    fauxblogger said,

    @phil Penalty claws

  6. August 26th, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    DWT said,

    Yes and no. Keep in mind with the recent delays at the Andaz Maui, that the cancellation policy at that property is 21 days, which is on the high side for Maui. Many of those impacted by the most recent delay (myself included) were only given a week or two advance notice, so we were already within the cancellation period and could not have cancelled if we had wanted to.

  7. August 26th, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    Matt B said,

    Same thing happened to me with the Rosewood opening in Vancouver about 2 years ago (Hotel Georgia). They gave me a month or two notice at least, but I didn’t any offers of compensation. Then again, I was on an industry rate so may not be relevant data point.

  8. August 26th, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    jmd001 said,

    Regarding the Andaz Maui, their web site is accepting reservations for rooms starting Sept 1st. Not too bad of a slip … unless of course you had booked flights and a room in the last two weeks of August.

    However, their web site does state that opening of the Morimoto Maui restaurant will be delayed until “Fall 2013″.

  9. August 26th, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    gobluetwo said,

    Gary just went through that… http://boardingarea.com/viewfromthewing/2013/08/21/how-i-wound-up-with-an-absolutely-free-ocean-suite-at-the-hyatt-regency-maui/

  10. August 26th, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    Kevin said,

    Sweet – I’m waiting for the Andaz Papagayo to open in December… unfortunately haven’t been able to book it yet!

  11. August 26th, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    Michael said,

    I sense a new blogging opportunity. Any suggestions for a name (eg, “How Soft Is Your Opening?”)

  12. August 26th, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    lucky said,

    @ Michael — ROFL!

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