Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

What’s it like using a hotel room as your office (apart from earning points and elite credit)?

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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 Hyde Park London review

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.

Hilton Hyde Park London review

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.

Hilton Hyde Park London review

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.

Hilton Hyde Park London review

Miles and points

Here is the one reason why you might want to use a Hilton day room

At present, Hilton is offering double points and double elite night credits. This HfP article how the ‘Double Rewards’ promotion works and you can register here.

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.

Conclusion

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.

Comments (96)

  • BJ says:

    I have a 1am flight departing Osaka so was exploring day room, lounge etc options there to ‘shorten’ the last day on what will be a hectic trip. Discovered Accor also offer day rooms; just put in same arrival and departure dates as with Hilton to bring options up. From what I could see, rates were only a little less than overnight rates.

  • ChrisW says:

    What are the social distancing rules at WeWork right now? I guess as an independent ‘space provider’ rather than an employer the ‘work from home if you can’ advice doesn’t apply to them?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      The work from home if you can advice went a few weeks ago.

      • Lady London says:

        not for civil servants it seems. I saw somewhere that civil servants in Whitehall are not returning as it’s too unsafe for them to apparently.

        Also never failed to get through to the DVLA before and they have an answerphone on saying they dont have enough people to answer calls and then hang up on you. What British Airways was doing for a while.

        It does make one wonder is there something that protects civil servants more from having to work, than the rest of us

    • Rhys says:

      Same as anywhere else. Keep your distance, one way systems although people don’t tend to stick to them as the offices are so empty you’re unlikely to encounter anyone as you walk around!

      Worst part is no more biscuits!

    • Rob says:

      None.

      I am the only person over 30 who uses WeWork anyway 🙂 Probably something to do with the thumping dance soundtrack that they are pumping out today in all the shared areas.

  • Andrew says:

    The bathroom is disproportionately large because it is a disability access bathroom with a side transfer space from wheelchair to toilet. Standard bathrooms at this hotel are standard size.

  • KBufettA says:

    Why are so many Hilton interiors so drab?
    Hilton Park Lane as an example, prime location, almost flagship and its awful.

  • Jil says:

    Wework’s business model is effectively compensate tenants by Investors’ cash, Hilton can’t beat that.

  • d cumming says:

    “glass surface so my optical mouse didn’t work”

    A small annoyance that i’m surprised they haven’t come up with a solution for, tbh, given they are largely business hotels.

    • AJA says:

      To be fair the hotel desk isn’t an everyday workspace and a glass top is easy to wipe clean and disinfect. But I carry a mouse mat in my laptop case. It is not bulky. That solves the problem.

      • John says:

        Or as Rob says a piece of paper… I use my laptop case. In the past the room service menu etc. also worked but these are all gone now

    • Oh! Matron! says:

      People still use mice? Wow!

      Trackpad FTW 🙂

      • Rob says:

        You can’t actually do certain things in WordPress without a mouse – or so it seems!

      • RussellH says:

        Trackpads are ghastly things. I find them completely unusable for anything serious work. And I know that I am not alone.
        The mouse was one of the great inventions of the last part of the 20 century. What I do not get is why Apple has stuck with their one button mouse. And even Windows makes nothing like full potential of a modern, three button mouse.

        • Rhys says:

          Agreed. Track pads fine if I’m mostly consuming video, text etc online but for writing articles etc a mouse is indispensable.

      • Lady London says:

        more hand strain using trackpad. plus it’s slower

      • Pangolin says:

        In terms of mice, I’m ambidextrous – I can switch the mouse freely from one hand to the other and it doesn’t feel strange or harder to work. Within a minute of switching I’m not even aware of the difference. I taught myself this skill when starting to get RSI pains in my right hand after 10 years as a s/w dev.

        At home I have an iMac with a Trackpad on the left and an Apple ‘magic’ mouse on the right of a Bluetooth keyboard. This is my combo for maximum productivity 🙂

        • Charlieface says:

          That’s a cool skill, I don’t think they teach that in uni CS (not that I ever did it).
          What language/IDE do you use out of curiosity?

        • RussellH says:

          I am envious. There are times when I have used the mouse with my left hand – mostly when running both my desktop machine and my netbook side by side, but apart from the time it takes me to mouse with my left hand, the results are nearly as bad as with a trackpad (though not as frustrating), albeit in a different way, as the buttons are the wrong way round.

        • Bagoly says:

          Similar here.
          My right index finger was getting RSI, probably from playing too much Tetris. 🙂
          Now I switch between left and right hand every few months to keep wear even.
          When on left hand, sometimes I switch the buttons and sometimes I don’t.
          I think my get-up-to-speed time is rather more than a minute but it’s pretty quick.

      • AJA says:

        I’m with RussellH trackpads are awful. I disabled the trackpad because I rest my palms on the pad. I also find laptop keyboards terrible as I work with numbers a lot and hate using the number keys across the top of the integral keyboard. I actually prefer to have a full size external keyboard with the number pad and separate mouse.

        That said the issue of a temporary workspace isn’t a problem for me as I turned the 3rd bedroom into a dedicated office and have two 24 inch monitors and a proper office chair. It’s a better set up than I had at many office-bound jobs.

  • memesweeper says:

    I’ve done three WFH (working from hotel) days recently, all in London. The wifi is good everywhere it seems :-). Part of why I’ve done this between appointments is because coffee shops and hotel receptions are non-starters for a long stays these days.

    For people who live on zoom/teams/meet all day, a private room is pretty convenient compared to shared spaces like WeWork and Regus.

  • Mark says:

    And the check in time was From when in the end?