What do my recent Hilton redemptions say about the value of a HH point?

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I’ve done two Hilton HHonors redemption stays in the past week – my first visits to Hilton properties since our impressive stay at Hilton St Georges Park when we visited Thomas (the Tank Engine) Land last year!

I thought I would look at these two redemptions in the context the ‘0.3p per Hilton HHonors point’ valuation (0.5p for ‘cash and points’) which I often quote on Head for Points.  Does it stand up to scrutiny?

Hilton London Syon Park

The first stay was last Saturday night at Hilton London Syon Park.  I will write a full review of this property in a few days.  We needed to get out of the house for a night due to over-running building work and I was keen to see how the hotel had changed since it was downgraded from a Waldorf-Astoria in 2013.

I need to confess something.  I screwed up this reservation.

We only decided to go on the Thursday when it was clear the builders were not going anywhere.  I looked on the Hilton website and saw it was still in the Summer Sale at £160 per night or 60,000 points.  We needed two connecting rooms so that was £320.  Using cash was a no-brainer.

However, if I paid with my Hilton credit card then I would get 2,500 bonus points (your first four stays in your first year of the credit card earn this bonus).  I put off booking until I got home and could get the card number …. only to find the sale rates pulled.  Disaster.

I was now looking at £240 or 60,000 Hilton HHonors points per room.  That works out at 0.4p per Hilton HHonors point, so a little more than my 0.3p valuation.

However … some Hilton properties offer a 2nd room for children at half-price if you call.  If that had been available – I didn’t ring to ask – it would have brought the total cost for two rooms to £360 or 120,000 points.  That is exactly 0.3p.  It would also have been 0.3p of value based on the sale rate which was pulled literally 2-3 hours before I booked.

At the end of the day, I was happy to use points for this one.  There was a psychological barrier to paying £480 for a sub-24 hour stay at a hotel 7 miles from my house!

The photograph below is not the hotel.  It is the conservatory in the hotel grounds.

Hilton London Syon Park

Reichshof Hamburg, Curio Collection by Hilton

On Tuesday night, I was in Hamburg.  Being on my own, and not arriving until 5.30pm, I wasn’t keen to spend cash but I also wanted something smart.  The hugely expensive refurbishment of the art deco Reichshof hotel seemed to fit the bill.

I had written about the Reichshof and the new Hilton ‘Curio Collection’ here.  The opening date was meant to be May but got pushed back to August.  However, I found out over the weekend that it had now opened.

Even better, ‘cash and points’ rates were showing.  The best cash rate was €149 – which itself is low as the hotel has just opened and needs to attract visitors.  The ‘cash and points’ rate was €47 plus 12,000 Hilton HHonors points.

This was a good result.  I was getting 0.85 Eurocents per Hilton point.  You can’t complain on that basis.

(0.85 Eurocents is, not coincidentally, in line with the 0.5p per Hilton point I often quote as my target on a ‘cash and points’ redemption.)

You can learn more about the Reichshof on its website here.  My review is on the way.

Reichshof Hilton Curio Hamburg


Whilst these were two totally different redemptions, they justified (roughly) my target valuations of 0.3p per Hilton HHonors points for a ‘full’ redemption and 0.5p for a ‘cash and points’ redemption.

Before anyone asks ….. were my Hilton Gold benefits provided?

Syon Park– no upgrade (claimed to be busy with a wedding, but I’ve never been to a wedding where the guests booked all the expensive rooms and left the cheap ones behind!), free breakfast provided (and they do an impressive spread), 4 x £10 free drink vouchers provided (2 per room), 2pm check-out given on one of the two rooms we booked.  Overall view – happy.

Reichshof – upgraded to a large room (but was told it was ‘because we not full’, my Gold status was not mentioned!) and later to a Junior Suite after some ‘issues’, free breakfast provided, 2pm check-out provided.  Overall view – happy.

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  1. Miles Down Under says:

    Agree with your valuation.

    Hilton does also offer very solid benefits for elite members. They seem to be getting better. For example, in a major backtrack by hotel management, HHonors Diamond members now receive complimentary full breakfast in the Hilton Sydney’s restaurant Glass once again: http://www.milesdownunder.com/2015/07/hilton-sydney-backtracks-on-diamond-breakfast-cut/

  2. Stuart says:

    Is it possible to combine one night cash and points and one night as a reward redemption? Would have to do this on the phone as it’s not available online?

    In general do both redemption options stays count towards status? Obviously not two stays on one booking but in general?

    • mark2 says:

      You have to book a reward redemption by phone (I assume you mean from credit card).
      I have booked two reward notes and a paid night consecutively (3 nights) at a hotel and asked the call centre to put a note on the first night to avoid changing rooms. Make the paid night the first especially if better than basic room and/or you have status.
      Redemption stays do count for status.

  3. mark2 says:

    In my very limited experience, the value of a point depends on how you obtain it and how you spend it.
    In the last promotion I bought 30,000 points for USD300 (£193.74 @ 1.5485 and no FX charge on Lloyds Reward + 2 Avios per £). I received additional 30,000 points free.
    We have just used those 60,000 points for seven nights in Hampton Inns (5 @ 10,000 and 2 @ 5,000 in four stays); nothing special, but quite acceptable. Because of Hilton promotions I got 5,000 points back for the first three stays in late June/early July and 2,500 per each of three stays from Barclaycard (I missed spending on one stay). So you could argue that I only bought 7,500 points; irrespective I have still got 22,500 points for further stays. Three of the stays were ‘real’ and I did go and stay the night in Newport specially.
    Thanks again to Rob for all the information augmented by the other contributors.

    Having got a Hilton credit card I was already Silver (thanks Rob). On advice on here I got a Gold challenge via HRG and as a result of these stays I received notification of my Gold status, ironically alongside this email from Rob.
    It seems to me that in 50,000 point hotels it is barely worth buying points even on BOGOF and would not be economic at normal rate. If you earn them by spending etc. the sums are very different.
    The value of a point also varies according to whether it is the first or last one you get. Points are worthless until you have enough to exchange for something; we all must have a small number of points in various schemes which will never be worth anything. The last few points to achieve a longed for flight or stay, however, are priceless.

    • mark2 says:

      Of course, their is no benefit in having Gold status when you stay in a Hampton Inn.
      In Sep/Oct we are staying in ‘real’ Hiltons in Toronto and Quebec City and it will be interesting to see what extras, if any, we receive. Although, of course, we shall not know what we would have got as Silver.

      • Jason says:

        I did a similar thing, on a HRG challenge, and gold was effectively free. 4 nights, for both of us, at the Hampton Corby( 3 mattress runs and 1 stay) for 5000 pts per night, during the 5000bonus per stay.
        Intending to use the statues for free breakfasts at the Conrad Rangali next year, saving $840 in breakfasts. Would be very handy if they honoured both gold holders + 2 kids in our room 🙂

  4. OT, however, I spent a very pleasant 7 nights at the Hilton Salahah in Oman last week. At only 5K per night, it really is worth it. It’s a decent hotel and there’s plenty to do in the area. I hired a car for the week which I think was the best course of action. It’s only 90 minutes from Dubai or Muscat and it’s about 10°C cooler, perfect for an expat trying to escape the heat!

    My next stop is Dubai in a few weeks time. I’ve gone down the route of full redemptions for the DoubleTree in Al Barsha. Not quite as glamorous as the beach front properties in Jumeirah but close to Emirates Mall and the metro line. Managed to get a studio room (with kitchen) for 30K per night.

  5. James says:

    Recently bagged a last minute cash + points stay at the Hilton Rome airport for a solid 0.8p per point – I was very happy with that! Also got upgraded to an exec room with lounge access on arrival, result!

  6. Regarding the cc 2500 bonus: Do you have to pay with this credit cardvto get the bonus for your stays? I didn’t see it anywhere on the websites.

    • mark2 says:

      you need to pay for something, not necessarily for the room. I paid for a snack; someone else mentioned a bag of crisps.
      I don’t think it is written anywhere, but otherwise Barclaycard do not know that you stayed. I forgot on one stay but still have one in reserve.

      • Thanks!

      • Jason says:

        In theory, could you walk into a Hampton, buy a drink on your Hilton card, and get the bonus?

        • Raffles says:

          No, points credit with the stay points

        • On my last couple of stays I’ve found that just handing over my Hilton cc at reception for them to preauthorise for extras was enough to trigger the 2500 point bonus

        • +1

        • That’s a great tip, thx!

        • Interesting. I actually handed over a different card in Hamburg as my Hilton was in my bag. Paid on the Hilton card in the end but no 2,500 points. Did get the 1,500 points bonus for staying at a Curio hotel, which ends on the 31st.

        • My 2500 points came a couple of days later than the stay points. It posted separately.
          I was surprised to see them, as my stays were prepaid and I only used the card for preauthorising any extra.

      • Richmond says:

        You don’t have to use Hilton credit card for your hotel booking or spending. I had 4 stays since getting the Hilton card. One stay was cash and I paid with different card I use for foreign transactions, next 3 stays were award stays and I also received bonus points. So got my 10K bonus points without using the card at Hilton.

  7. Brian says:

    I’m not sure you can call 149 euros ‘low’ for Hamburg, particularly if you don’t have Hilton status and thereby free breakfast etc. I go to Hamburg on a regular basis and most of the other upper-end hotels in that category (Renaissance, Meridien, Sofitel) are generally under 150. Plus they have much better locations, unless you particularly want to be close to the station, in which case the Kempinski is, too, and offers views over the lake.

  8. mark2 says:

    Slightly OT
    If I book a Hilton hotel through a third party e.g. Hotels.com or as part of a holiday package I do not expect to get points but would my Gold status give me any benefit please from your experience?

    • It used to – see my review of Hilton Munich. They just changed the rules to stop this but some hotels may still allow it.

      • DW201 says:

        I’ve not been refused benefits as of yet and I almost live in hiltons and often book 3rd party….

  9. mark2 says:

    If my wife (Silver) books a room and I (Gold) go with her will the stay get Gold privilege or just Silver?

    • Kipto says:

      I did this last year. I showed my gold card at the Hilton in Palm Springs and they gave us vouchers for free breakfast. It may vary from hotel to hotel and on who you get at reception !

    • Only if hotel is feeling generous, which they often do

  10. barnaby100 says:

    Do people usually get Hilton upgrades as gold? My husband is diamond and I m gold but probably should put in a bit of effort to be diamond (for example in a Hilton as I type- booked 3 rooms and put all in his name).

    I never get upgrades. He usually does except at the Doubletree Tower where he goes weekly (I think they get complacent with regular bookers). I have never even considered that it should be a gold benefit.

    Jason-I like the Hampton in at Corby! Cant beat having ‘Spoons next door. Better than all of those awful 1980s Hiltons in that part of the country with their ‘interesting’ clientele.

    • Jason says:

      I thought it was a decent hotel, especially considering the cost.
      I thought the beds could be better though and the sofa bed was dangerous as it had a metal protusion sticking out, which both children bruised their legs on.

    • Sebastian says:

      I have been gold for the past nine months and I’ve had the following experiences:

      Doubletree Universal – upgraded to the next category room

      Waldorf Astoria Versailles – upgraded by two room categories on both my rooms, given discounted breakfast

      Hilton Pyramids – one room upgrade and given executive lounge access

      Doubletree Chelsea New York – Upgrade to room with a view

      Hilton Stansted – No upgrade

      So in all I would say in my experience you’ve been unlucky not to get upgraded.

    • I’ve personally never seen much difference between being gold and diamond (having been both and visited a fair few hiltons) – been upgraded at Rome cavalieri, Moscow, Prague old town, London tower bridge – all as gold.

      Went back to cavalieri as a diamond, similar upgrade. No free breakfast there for elites these days though 🙁 and it’s one fantastic breakfast.

    • Sideysid says:

      As a gold, with your room confirmation booking email it will have an option to request an upgrade that is sent to the hotel. I’ve always been upgraded using this method except in Hilton Croydon when the Liverpool football team was staying and had taken all the decent rooms!

    • Stuart says:

      I stay regularly stay in Hiltons primarily in Europe and pretty much always get upgraded. Sometimes to a better room but often to executive floor if they have one.

  11. I stayed at the DT Burlington road Dublin on Tuesday and being Gold wasn’t upgraded. I asked if I’d been upgraded at check in but they said, “Sorry all of our Executive rooms and suites have been taken by Diamond Card holders and it’s very busy”. I found that hard to believe but I still got free breakfast. And to be honest, If I was upgraded to a bigger room or suite that’s all I’d of taken advantage of because the Ex Lounge looked very quiet in the morning and looked very small so I’d of used the main restaurant anyway. Overall though, for 20000 points I used for the room I was happy. The main bar is an oval shape with tv’s and is very nice.
    I’m going to be checking into the Hiton by Curio in Providence RI in about 6 hours.

  12. Mrtibbs1999 says:

    Did anyone else get instant gold offered through KLM. Only lasts til October but can be extended to March 2017 by making 3 stays?

    • I got this offer from Alitalia.

      • Apprently there is a also TK version of the offer. However, I have not received any offer despite being member of all of them. I suspect this is because I am already Gold?

        • I’m already gold too. Just randomness I guess..

        • Richmond says:

          You can use the code received by someone else, modify the link and benefit from promotion. I did it with link from Alitalia to keep Gold for next year. After enrolling onto promotion, Instead of missing 6 stays, it changed to 3 stays. Stay that was in progress counted to the promotion and now I’m missing only 2 stays to keep Gold for another year.

  13. Rob what did you think of Syon Park? Would you recommend for a weekend family stay?

    • It is definitely worth doing once, even though it is NOT in the countryside (obviously)! Reasons to do it once:

      * You can visit Syon House
      * The gardens are astonishing and there is a private entrance for you, accessed with your room key
      * Best rooms of any Hilton in the UK and possibly the world (not saying much, of course!) – and we weren’t upgraded. I’ve stayed in the better rooms before and they are even better (!).
      * Free breakfast if Gold
      * If you have little kids there is a soft play centre 60 seconds walk away!
      * There is a garden centre next to the hotel (!). Big restaurant where you can eat with the kids at lunchtime. There is also a fish shop (ie pond fish!) which my kids loved.

      * Pool hours for kids are restricted to 9-11 and 4-6

      However, it is NOT Four Seasons Hampshire. You can’t go fishing, clay pigeon shooting, horse riding etc etc! You get a garden centre instead ….

      • avstar says:

        in your opinion what do you think being diamond will get you at hilton syon?

        • In the Waldorf days, they used to give us – as Gold – the rooms on the top floor on the side. There are a handful which overlook the Duke of Northumberland’s private garden (which you can access with your room key).

          Note if there are weddings going on then anything can happen as there are two separate areas used for functions and they will keep you away from those. The good news is that the soundproofing, because the hotel is directly on the Heathrow flight path and feel like they are landing on your head, is outstanding!

      • Richmond says:

        Interesting comment about rooms. It’s probably 7miles from my home too, so never have reason to stay there. Are there any good restaurants in walking distance? If I have to go back to Richmond for food, I would prefer to stay on Richmond Hill.

        • Isleworth (the nice bit by the river) is right outside Syon House – not sure if there is anything decent but there is a large pub.

        • 1nfrequent says:

          It’s not fine dining but the London Apprentice is about a 15 minute walk from the Hilton Syon Park – overlooks the river and does good traditional pub food for reasonable prices. It does tend to get very popular in the summer though.

  14. Matt_Shoreditch says:

    I recently took advantage of a cash + points offer at the Conrad Algarve for the beginning of October. The standard room rate was €268, vs the c+p offer of €68 + 20,000. I booked for a week.
    A decent return for one of Conrad’s newer hotels for some late summer sun.

    • Stuart says:

      What did you think of the hotel? Were additional costs high, eg drinks, food etc?

      • Matt_Shoreditch says:

        We’ve stayed there a number of times Stuart. It’s only 3 years old and still looks pristine. Rooms are quite large and all have a big balcony. Both swimming pools are fantastic and service is usually spot on.
        Prices are typical of a 5 star hotel. The main restaurant is reasonable value. The fine dining restaurant Gusto is expensive but is up to Michelin star standard. There are loads of other restaurant options nearby covering all budgets.
        We tend to go in April and October when it’s quieter and not over run by families. I’d certainly recommend it, especially if you can nab a decent cash and points deal.

        • Stuart says:

          Thanks. Is it child friendly? We have a 3yr old and 4.5 month and looking for October

  15. What are people’s experiences of using online check in with Hilton? I’m staying at the Hilton Olympia a night or two each week at the moment and usually do check in online. Once (out of around 10 stays) I’ve been upgraded to a suite but nothing in the other stays (I’m HH Gold).

    Do you think checking in online limits your chances of an upgrade?

    • Sebastian says:

      Out of every stay I have had at Hilton, the one and only time I checked-in online, it resulted in me not getting a room upgrade so I wouldn’t suggest it, however I am working off my own experiences.

    • I never bother. If everyone else checks into the standard rooms it means they have to upgrade me!

    • mark2 says:

      I have never understood the logic of checking in online to a flight or a hotel, particularly the day before. You may have every intention of turning up but you could be prevented from doing so for any number of reasons beyond your control.
      I think choosing your room is over-rated too. I did book in online this week at Hampton Inn Liverpool Airport (so I am now a jet-setter). I would have liked a room overlooking the runway but the plan to choose from only showed the rooms, not the surroundings of the hotel.

      • DW201 says:

        It makes no sense to me either. I only do it for flights where I want to choose my seats and dont have status with that airline. With hotels it is the most pointless feature ever as far as I can see….

  16. Apologise for the slightly OT question.
    I was wondering if anyone else having any kind of tracking issues with TPC Hilton bookings.

    Recently all of my pending but tracked transactions have been reduced to penny, these are all booking for Thailand, so I was wondering if anyone else has come across similar problems?

    • DW201 says:

      this was supposed to say 500…..

      I go with ebookers when its around 15-18% or hotels.com at 10-12%

  17. Sebastian says:

    Where is this so called grey market? I ask as I am happy to pay 0.3p a point as I value them higher due to the way in which I use them.

    • Can honestly say I’ve never seen one!

    • It’s not possible to trade the points, but some people sell reward nights.

      • DW201 says:

        I thought about this but what if you sell a night in a hilton hotel (assuming you would just put the buyers name on the reservation as the 2nd person in the room) and the person that bought the night trashed the room……

  18. Geoggy says:

    Always worth doing these challenges. I asked HH for a Diamomd status match against IHG plat ambassador and they made me gold and set me 21 nights to make Diamond.

    I never did, but the gold stayed on and is still there despite this being May 2014

  19. mark2 says:

    I asked previously about Hilton silver/gold etc. cards and many had never received one.
    Last Saturday I received an email advising that I had achieved Gold.
    This morning in the post came a thick envelope from Hilton in Chicago; Ah I thought this could be my Gold card (ever the optimist). When I ripped it open, however, it was a welcome to Silver status with a card! So around the beginning of next year I should receive the Gold card.
    I am not too worried since the status comes up on the hotel’s screen on checkin.

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