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Dubai – the place where your Hilton HHonors points do have some value!

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Since the 2013 devaluation, the value of a Hilton HHonors points – when used for a premium property – has fallen to around 0.3p.

It is, to put it mildly, not great.  You can do better than this if you can find a hotel offering ‘cash and points’ (where you often get nearer 0.5p per point) or for a low-scale property (where you can get nearer 0.75p at times) but neither of these are common scenarios.

Out in Dubai last week, however, I was reminded that this is one part of the world where you can still get a deal.

Whilst Dubai has many world-class beach hotels, the best ones are not part of the major reward schemes.  The Starwood options are a little dated, as is the main Hilton Jumeirah resort.  IHG does not have any beachfront hotels.

The stand-out option from one of the major chains is the Waldorf-Astoria on the Palm, which opened a couple of years ago.  This is a luxury beach resort.

Waldorf Astoria Palm Jumeirah Dubai

Dubai beach hotels can be eye-wateringly expensive at peak times, which are usually over UK school holidays.  Let’s take a look at the Waldorf-Astoria Dubai in the week before Easter next year:

Daily rate (fully prepaid, no refunds, including tax):  Dh 2,184 = £388

Daily rate (cancellable, as a redemption would be, including tax):  Dh 3,000 = £533 

Hilton HHonors ‘cash and points’:  32,000 points per night + Dh 600 (£106) inc tax

Hilton HHonors ‘all points’:  80,000 points per night

Using the refundable rate as the basis of the calculation, you would be getting:

1.33p per Hilton point based on ‘cash and points’

0.66p per Hilton point based on ‘all points’

Even 0.66p is, in my book, an excellent deal for a Hilton HHonors redemption.  Getting 1.33p is exceptional.  Remember, for example, that American Express Membership Rewards points convert at 1:2 into Hilton HHonors – this would mean you were getting 2.66p per Amex point!

Even a conversion from Virgin Flying Club into Hilton looks good value at 2:3 when you are getting this sort of return.

It is worth noting that the smallest room at the Waldorf-Astoria in Dubai is a chunky 55 square metres, as you can see in the image above, although maximum occupancy is 3 people.

The only downside of redeeming for Waldorf-Astoria hotels is that you do not get free breakfast if you have Hilton HHonors Gold status.  As this is a resort, with no walkable alternatives, you will probably have to pay up.  If you are Hilton Diamond, recent reports suggest that they have recently started giving lounge access which would include the lounge breakfast plus all-day snacks.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  To see our complete list of promotions from the major chains, click here to visit our ‘Hotel Promos’ page or use the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (34)

  • Boi says:

    OT: We booked 2 rooms in the midlands one under my name and the other under hubby’s to take advantage of the IHG accelerate promo. Can I call IHG to make sure the give us rooms next to each other or would that lead to us loosing the stays?
    (both of us qualified for 1 free night with 2 stays, booked 2 rooms, 2 hotels, 2 nights on 2 accounts to get 2 free nights instead of 1) .

  • theidlescouser says:

    Any ideas for Abu Dhabi ?

  • Rob says:

    Good news! Looking at Flyertalk, it seems that a recent policy change at the W-A means that Hilton Diamond members now get free club lounge access.

    This means that, as well as the club lounge breakfast, you would also get access to free drinks and snacks throughout the day. This would represent a substantial saving.

  • What's the Point says:

    The evening snacks and drinks at the WA are top notch, and I would imagine the majority of people could actually just eat there rather than spend any money in the restaurants.

    Just like we did!

    • Jason says:

      I’m trying to do that here, but my wife keeps wanting to order bl**dy room service just to p*ss me off 🙁
      Sorry for the swearing 🙂

  • Geoggy says:

    Thanks for this Rob.My wife and I had a free night each from the Hilton Visa.

    We are going next Easter and whilst I have a reservation for Dar Al Masyaf I have decided to reduce the nights there due to £’s saved.

    Now I need to work out how to get Hilton Gold before next Easter as mine expires on Dec 2105.

    • Rob says:

      Hopefully the Amex Plat free HH Gold will launch soon and you will be able to get a Plat for just long enough to trigger bonus and get the hotel cards.

      As we always do day flights to and from DXB, another cost saver we have done in the past is to do first and/or last nights near the airport, eg CP Festival City. If you are landing at 10pm or flying at 9am, paying for a beach hotel for the extra nights can be excessive.

      • Jason says:

        We do the same, but also try and fly overnight, if possible, as the kids sleep well on a flight and you don’t have to entertain them plus you save a nights accommodation win win 🙂

  • Stuart says:

    We were in Dubai two weeks ago and stayed for 3 nights at the Doubletree Jumeriah. 72,000 points and £150 resulted in top floor 1 bed suite, free breakfast, private beach and good location. Rooms were going for £300+ in the same week. Worth remembering that WA is right around the palm. Factor in another 15 mins drive to get on off the palm etc. Plus, free breakfast was a real clincher for us at the Doubletree.

    • Rob says:

      Doubletree does look interesting – not much feedback on it but location and the fact it has the private beach looked good, albeit not a ‘resort’ hotel.

  • InsideFlyer Tom says:

    I love the cash and points option. It always needs a bit of maths to figure out the relative values of cash/full points/cash and points payment, but – as you rightly note – there are real bargains to be had.

    Somewhat niche, but it has always worked to excellent effect for me at the Conrad Istanbul.