Last Thursday, I decided to try an experiment. Instead of hot desking at WeWork Victoria, which is my current residence of choice, I thought I would try booking a hotel room for the day.
Whilst there are specialist websites that let you book day hotel rooms, these are third party bookings and so don’t earn points or night credit. Hilton has been leading the pack here for years, allowing you to book day rooms online simply by selecting the same day as check-in and check-out.
Hilton London Hyde Park fitted the bill. It was by far the cheapest options at £47.50. This compares to $50 (£39) for a WeWork hot desk. Time-wise, both are 30 minutes walk from my house. Queensway tube station is next to the hotel.
How to book a Hilton day room
Whilst Hilton does let you book these online, it still has some way to go to make the process seamless.
When you bring up a list of day rooms, you are not told the exact times you are allowed to have the room. 8-5? 9-5? 9-6? You don’t know at the point you book.
The booking confirmation said check-in was 3pm and check-out was noon, which was clearly nonsense.
In terms of price, some hotels are quoting silly sums. Many in London want well over £100 – the Waldorf Hilton is £239. Some are charging MORE for a day room than for an overnight stay. £70 – £80 seems to be the sweet spot.
Bizarrely, at some properties it would make more sense to book an overnight rate, check-in the day before and take a Diamond 4pm late check-out. The only snag here is that late check-out is not a guaranteed benefit, albeit hotels are not exactly full at the moment.
Diamond benefits at Hilton Hyde Park
I was hoping to get a free breakfast as a Diamond member. However, the hotel is not currently offering breakfast – I guess overnight guests get some sort of doggy bag. This may explain the £47.50 price compared to other hotels.
There is also no lounge, although I think most are currently closed in the UK.
I did get upgraded from a single room to a queen room (normally £10 extra). That was the extent of my status recognition.
A queen room at Hilton Hyde Park
….. was fine. I was overlooking the park albeit that also meant overlooking the busy road.
The room was old fashioned but on closer examination wasn’t actually old. It seems to have been deliberately refurbished in a weird 1950s style. The bathroom was disproportionately large.
The desk – which was the important thing for a day of work – was good for plug sockets. However, it had a glass surface so my optical mouse didn’t work. The room had been stripped of all paper, but luckily I had a bank statement in my bag so my mouse went on that.
Wi-fi was good.
Earning miles and points from day rooms
I earned 2,761 Hilton Honors points and 2 elite night credits for my stay.
This consists of:
- 587 base points
- 587 bonus points
- 587 Diamond status bonus points
- 1,000 Diamond amenity benefit points
I value these at £9.11 based on my 0.33p per Hilton Honors point valuation. You would receive less than this if you were not a Diamond member.
Hilton has used an exchange rate of £1 = $1.30 which is close enough. It’s always worth checking that you are not being ripped off in schemes which use the $ value of your stay to calculate your points.
Was it better than a hot desking environment?
Not really, if I’m honest.
Let’s do a quick trade off. In terms of price, location from my house, wi-fi quality and provision of free tea and coffee, WeWork Victoria and Hilton Hyde Park are roughly equal.
Your belongings are marginally more secure in a hotel room than in a hot desk environment. However, WeWork locations require key card entry and I’ve never heard of any issues with items left unattended for hours.
WeWork is a far funkier and livelier place to be. Obviously, in a hotel room, you’re alone. If I’m not being joined by Rhys or Sinead, I am ‘alone’ at WeWork but surrounded by lots of people doing interesting creative stuff. It has a buzz.
In theory hot desking means being cramped on a table with other people. However, with WeWork running far below its usual capacity, you have all the space you want. I tend to get an 8-seat table to myself when I go in.
WeWork is obviously far better if I need to meet the rest of the team that day.
Obviously I get a private bathroom and a bed at the Hilton but I don’t value that! If the hotel had a pool or a good gym then this could swing it for me.
My Hilton ‘day’ ended at 5pm, in theory, although no-one seemed to care that I actually left at 5.30pm. A WeWork hot desk day technically ends at 6pm but no-one throws you out beyond that. The extra hour makes a difference if you’re busy.
Whilst the price is roughly the same for a one-day visit, it’s worth noting that a permanent WeWork Victoria hot desk pass is £450 per month. This would be roughly £20 per day vs £47.50 at Hilton Hyde Park if you used it daily.
If you are VAT registered, you need to remember that the Hilton rate only includes 5% reclaimable VAT at present. WeWork charges the standard 20% so there is more to claim back.
Neither WeWork or Hilton let you leave items overnight if you are hot desking on consecutive days.
Miles and points
Here is the one reason why you might want to use a Hilton day room
Day rooms earn elite night credit as I proved.
With two elite night credits per day, for stays between 8th September and 31st December, you could quickly push yourself towards Gold or Diamond status.
It also important to remember that Hilton is rolling over elite nights from 2020 into 2021. The two nights credit I got from my stay will carry forward.
I was not convinced on the benefits of hotel day rooms vs WeWork hot desking. However, I am lucky in having both options within walking distance of where I live which is unlikely to be the case for most readers.
That said, I WILL try a couple of other locations over the coming weeks. It will allow me to check out a number of different Hilton hotels in London which I’ve never got around to visiting.
The Hilton Hyde Park website is here if you want to learn more about this particular hotel.
Thanks to Andrew for the suggestion.