Eek – This Hotel Check-In Was My Worst in Recent Memory

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Conrad Las Vegas

Conrad Las Vegas Check In

I’m not a Vegas gambler.  Hotel check-in is probably the biggest unknown for me during my current trip.  From my perspective, no hotel experience hinges on the skill of one employee more than check-in.  The front desk agent can set the foundation for an excellent stay or immediately turn off new guests.  Unfortunately, I had the latter during my recent Conrad Las Vegas check-in.  Here’s how it went down.

A Confusing Arrival

Check-in was packed when I arrived at a bit after 12 noon – no surprise there.  The Conrad’s check-in queue is a bit perplexing with many guests waiting.  A priority check-in line for Hilton Gold and Diamond apparently exists, but it was hard to identify with the throng of new guests.  The sign for this queue didn’t help; it maybe made it worse.  Long story short, it all looked like one big line, but it was actually two.

Conrad Las Vegas
The Conrad Las Vegas front desk in quieter times. This area was packed during my arrival. The signage didn’t help.

Conrad Las Vegas Front Desk Experience

As I waited, I noticed that the half dozen or so front desk agents spent plenty of time with guests, explaining the hotel features and offerings included in their stays.  I was looking forward to a similar customized experience.  After about a 10 minute wait in the packed Hilton Gold/Diamond line, a front desk agent greeted me.

My Check-in

After asking for my identification, the nice-enough front desk agent thanked me for being a Diamond member and offered two complimentary bottles of water.  We’re off to a good start.  Like most any property, he needed a credit card authorization for any room incidentals, etc.  As I inserted my credit card, he quickly said, seemingly under his breath, that I’m also being charged the resort fee.  This immediately struck me.  Either the employee forgot to mention the resort fee earlier, or he was intentionally distracting from it with his fleeting, tardy mention.  I expected to pay this as part of my Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts stay, so not a big deal.  But I noticed the verbal sleight of hand, nonetheless.

Wait, We’re Done?

After completing the credit card authorization process, the agent provided me my keys and explained where the elevators were.  He apparently felt he was done.

Since he hadn’t brought it up, I asked about the daily food and beverage credit as a Diamond member.  He then explained that two guests were entitled to a daily $25 food and beverage credit each ($50 total) at the property but provided no detail on what outlets were eligible.

I then mentioned that I booked this reservation through Amex’s Fine Hotels and Resorts program.  He then blankly looked at me, took a second or two, then decided to check his system.  The agent mumbled as he searched drawers and finally pulled out the Fine Hotels and Resorts summary sheet.  He went through each of the Fine Hotels and Resorts features but failed to address the room upgrade (based on availability) on the sheet.  I asked about room upgrade availability for my Monday stay.  He immediately said none were available, not even bothering to check.  It felt like he just wanted me to leave.

The feeling was mutual.  I had a few more property questions, but in the moment, I just wanted to be done.  I thanked him and went on my way.

Conrad Las Vegas

Conrad Las Vegas Customer Service: Conclusion

Hotel check-in experiences can be a mixed bag.  But this guy seemed to lack the skillset for what the Conrad aspires to be.  I consistently have more skilled and knowledgeable check-in agents at my favorite limited service brands like Holiday Inn Express, Hampton Inn, and Hilton Garden Inn.  The Conrad Las Vegas clearly aims to be a luxury property and somewhat delivers on certain aspects – more on that in a future article.  I emailed hotel management regarding the Diamond food and beverage credit, and they resolved that matter.  Nonetheless, Conrad Las Vegas check-in left a bad taste in my mouth just after arriving.  How was your Conrad Las Vegas check-in experience?

Benjy Harmon
Benjy is a fan of points, miles, and financial independence (FI). An experienced world traveler, husband, and father, he currently focuses on roaming throughout the USA for close to free. He enjoys helping others achieve their FI and travel goals.

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27 COMMENTS

  1. For those curious, these are the most up to date details for Hilton Impresario at Conrad and Crockfords Las Vegas (as of April 2022):

    Impresario Luxury Perks for Resorts World Las Vegas
    Conrad Las Vegas and Crockfords Las Vegas

    –Complimentary Breakfast for 2 daily ($33 per person, max benefit $66 daily) Must charge from applicable outlets to the room folio.
    – Breakfast Details:
    The Kitchen Restaurant
    Breakfast Buffet Included
    A La Carte options available
    Breakfast time: 6:30am to 10:30am
    Also now applicable for Sun’s Out Bun’s Out
    –$100 USD HOTEL CREDIT (Resort Experience Amenity)
    – Resort Experience Credit Details: A one-time $100 US Dollar food and beverage credit to be used at participating outlets throughout the Resort Must charge from applicable outlets to the room folio.
    –Early check-in & Late check-out, based on availability
    –One-tier category room upgrade, based on availability
    –Double Hilton Honors Points
    –Complimentary in-room Wi-Fi
    –[Gold/Diamond] Extra $50 Benefit Daily (subject to HH Terms and Conditions)

    *Certain room categories are not eligible for an upgrade. The Resort Experience Credit is not eligible for use at on-the-fly room service, Eight Lounge, Carversteak, Caviar Bar, Tacos El Cabron, Brezza Restaurant, Bar Zazu & Tiger Sugar. Credits will be applied to your guest folio prior to departure.

  2. What do you want these front desk people to do? Get on their hands and knees and worship the ground you walk on? Absolutely not. As a Diamond member myself I can careless about recognition. If I have a problem I don’t whine about it I get it resolved by making a few phone calls with a calm temperament. Just like the other commenter Jimmy said you are already well aware of the FHR credits from the moment of booking and you are already aware of the HH myway credits from Hilton’s brand standards. Vegas is still dealing with incredible staffing shortages and the last thing they need is your shitty sense of entitlement. Time to get over yourself. “With his fleeting, tardy mention” Lord Jesus you’re Diamond for crying out loud this is not your first rodeo and god knows it won’t be your last. “But I noticed the verbal sleight of hand” shoot me please.

    • Jim the problem is they had restrictions on where you could use the credits that no one could possibly know unless told about it. So that does need to be gone over. Hilton has worded it that properties can specify which restaurants all eligible. Some allow it to be used anywhere, others only at certain properties. Conrad only allowed it at two places and both were closed by mid afternoon. Don’t you think that is valuable information that a Diamond member would want to know?

  3. Stayed late december last year , packed with huge crowds had to use reg member line since diamon/gold is longer with one staff. nevertheless, wait time with 5 agents reg lane still took about 30 min. but at least explained well with FHR plus diamond benefit, i beleive food credit only applies the sunny egg and the main kitchen. No upg avb with fhr/diamond, just higher floor of the strip view.

  4. Regarding the upgrade, I’d have to imagine that the early check-in time had something to do with it, as well as the fact that it was the day of the NCAA basketball final. For my Tuesday 11am check-in, there were no suites available, but my Thursday 3pm check-in did.
    And another thought, the agent might have checked on suite availability with the previous guest they checked in right before you.
    However there is no great excuse for not providing you with the FHR benefit sheet.

  5. I just check in and out of Conrad twice last week APR 2022.

    I loved it! Using Diamond line and my FHR Amex benefits. They desk was nice, explained everything and joked around about the pink elephant art they have. Maybe my best check in and check out experience.

    Once your super nice from the start with the representative, everything is easy. Lastly maybe a new worker that didn’t know the FHR experience much .

    Sorry for your rough check in!

  6. My experience at check in, albeit after midnight on a Wednesday, was quite the opposite. The gentleman was very pleasant and explained all of the FHR and Diamond benefits to me unprompted.

    But after checkout was a completely different story. I knew that I would be charged the resort fee, but to my surprise my folio included none of my daily F&B credits or the FHR credits. And on top of that, they charged me the room rate for the night I stayed (even though I was on a prepaid rate). After about 20 minutes of sorting and the agent speaking to the manager in the back, the resort and food credits were refunded to my card, but I was told that the nightly rate is showing as a “credit on my bill”. They were referring to the line item showing that my Amex had paid the balance, but I decided I would just call the diamond desk to sort it out later and no longer hold up the line.

    Two weeks later I’m still unable to get a refund of that room rate. The hotel sent me a new folio with the rate completely removed, but I have not gotten a refund to my card, and the diamond desk had to leave another message with the hotel. Just a warning to check your folio, even if the benefits are all laid out when checking in.

    • I wish these so called bloggers would do a story on hotels just charging your card for all these food and beverage credits. Prob 80% of the time at nicer hotels like WA, Conrad, St regis whatever. Requires a call after my stay to get them to remove these things off my card. They always say “it was a mistake” wonder if its deliberate and they are hoping people dont catch it.

        • This is a ubiquitous (way, way, way, too common) issue with almost all luxury programs at many properties globally. While I am a huge advocate for using APP check-in (and key drop) — you must review your folio before check-out. My pro-tip is to swing by the front desk at like 3 am after you finish playing dice and grab a copy of your folio and/or review it then. At a minimum, you have a copy to bring to your room to review. TV folio review can also be helpful, but I’ve not done that at RW LV.

          • It is a common issue and I agree that if there is ever an offer or discount you need to see a bill before checking out to ensure it was done properly. So much easier getting it fixed on property versus calling later.

          • @mark, I agree, but so much in the travel world, today requires we check and double-check things. I believe there are very positive internal efforts (at RW) to fix some of these issues. Even setting aside credits and applying credits, I agree 100% — you do have to review your folio before check-out at all hotels. Why people would consider checking out without a review is beyond me (and perhaps, a bit naive and too trusting).

          • Indeed! In that vein, I check on such matters at check-in and before check-out. It might be more work than a traveler wants onsite, but it usually pales in comparison to unwinding erroneous stuff after a stay.

          • @benjy, I’ll argue the check-in if there is a wait and a key-drop/app check-in is available. I don’t wait in lines (for the most part) when technology is available. Waiting >15 minutes for check-in is unacceptable to me. I prefer to “research” and be informed before arriving. If booking a luxury program, your travel agent should be able to advise you or answer all questions before check-in. This includes FHR. Don’t forget that you are paying a substantial annual fee for the privilege to use FHR. There is no reason any client who uses any agency should not be “armed” with all details about credits and such prior to check-in (of course, if they desire to be “armed” with those details).

  7. We stayed last month. My experience was good but not best. Didn’t understand why HIlton gold/ diamond lane was being bypass for non members! The hotel billing was a hot mess! Had to call the hotel multiple time after leaving because they fail to give us our hilton food and beverage credit! Our Amex FHR credits was awarded in the bill, thank God for that!

  8. I found my experience at Conrad quite positive for the most part. The wait was likely the worst of it. FHR, Diamond. And alright, Hilton doesn’t have a way to waive the resort fee. (So it’s inevitable for it being freaking Vegas).

    Went in December when it was lower occupancy and the rooms felt new. Unfortunately while it easily became my favorite Vegas hotel… your experience tells me they aren’t able to scale services at higher occupancy and that sucks.

  9. Sounds like I had the opposite experience as you! I stayed there twice in February and all of my interactions with staff (check-in, concierge, dining, check-out) was excellent. The concierge even pointed me towards the VIP/Invited Guests desk to check out on my second stay to make sure my bill had all of the appropriate Diamond and FHR credits applied without having to wait in the normal line.

  10. There’s no Marquis of Queensbury Rules for things of this sort. Next time, burst into tears and see what happens.

  11. My Conrad diamond experience check in was not that great either. The regular line moved faster than diamond line. They told me about food n bev credit but forgot to take it out of my bill at check out.

  12. Service companies jettisoned their most experienced (highest paid) employees during the pandemic while accepting government handouts designed to keep them on payroll. Who knows where the moneys went…

    Las Vegas is an early example that shows the result of too few experienced employees to teach the new employees how handle their job responsibilities and treat guests well during the process.

    We are only seeing the beginnings of the service breakdowns. The stresses on the systems will become cumulative as things become more busy, and the breakdowns more apparent. The summer is going to be hellish…

  13. I stayed at the Conrad in November and was really early arrival before 10AM just expecting to leave my bags then kill time before check-in but they had a room ready and gave me an upgrade. Other than where I ate breakfast, the restaurants were a little too foodie for my simple tastes.

  14. I repeat this narrative multiple times a week. Associate your Hilton Honors number to the reservation and use HH app check-in and key drop. It works; it avoids the front desk and lines. Upgrades are highly unlikely; the rate for my clients via Impresario and Diamond is about 20% – and they are all done in advance on the app. I can’t figure out a good reason to visit the front desk. ALSO, even if you do app check-in and are NOT pleased with your room for some reason — THEN you can get in line at the front desk. (to try to change rooms) So, no loss and probably a LOT of gain. There is also a VIP desk that is sometimes open towards the elevators to the left of the concierge desk. But, still, trust me, try to do app check-in. It saves the hassle. Yeah, it’s a sorry state of Las Vegas now at 100%+ occupancy on many days. Heck, even Encore Tower Suites had large lines for check-in last Friday night. So, you have been warned!

  15. Oof, not looking forward. I’m Diamond and booked for August. Hopefully since it’s low season it won’t be bad. I find that a lot of agents are terrible about letting people know about the Diamond benefits. Even the Hilton website is very lame.

  16. I feel like this has always been an issue for companies but more so now with the turnover in so many positions, I think the staffing challenges have led companies to just accept putting people in positions without the proper training. I have noticed this at hotels, restaurants, call centers, etc. I hope over next year as pay has increased that turnover will improve and people will get back to being at least a little more experience in their jobs, at least the ones I interact with!

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