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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)

  • ChrisW says:

    If the hotel wasn’t full I doubt they would have cared (or noticed) if you’d stayed until midnight. By 5 pm housekeeping has gone home, so unless someone is checking into your room that evening, it’s unlikely anyone is going to need the room until housekeeping come back the next morning. I’ve had some very generous check-in and check-out times at empty hotels around the world in the past – some approaching 36 hours in the room for just one nights stay!

    • John says:

      I checked in to the Conrad Bangkok at 6am and the next day I stayed in the lounge until 6pm (they said I could have stayed in the room if I wanted, but I didn’t need to)

  • Save East Coast Rewards says:

    This definitely feels like a slow news day article. I don’t think I’d ever get a hotel for the sole purpose of working, but when you stay in a hotel because of work I’ve found it handy sometimes.

    Last year I was working a lot in Bournemouth and my office was about 5 minutes walk from the Hilton. Most of the time I worked in the office, but sometimes if I needed to escape the distractions I would walk back to the Hilton and either use the lounge or my room to work from in peace. Even the bed was useful if I was doing something that involved more reading than typing, it could be nice to lie down.

    I could never think of booking a day room though, the hours just seem too restrictive. But it’s nice if you already have a room booked and you need to escape from the office (same applies though if your house is close to the office).

    In fact, if you’re working from a hotel day room then surely it means as you’re not staying overnight then you must be close enough to home, then why not just work from home?

    Once normality returns then I can see a benefit if lounge access is included. Just go to the lounge before your time runs out and then you can finish any work there and take advantage of the evening drinks and snacks.

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      I pitched the article, so I’ll expand a bit on the thesis as I see it:

      – A lot of people don’t have a good working environment at home. I’m lucky enough to have an office, but lots of my colleagues (especially more junior ones) are in bedrooms or on kitchen tables. There’s a lot of options to work out of the house in public places, but it’s more limited if you want a private space for calls, working on sensitive data or just because you prefer that environment.
      – With the current Honors double nights and rollover promotions, and low room rates, this is a great mattress run alternative if you are chasing Diamond in 2021. Even if you did just one day a week for the rest of the year you’d make a massive dent in your qualification requirement
      – You may be able to get some combination of bed, breakfast, pool/gym, drinks, which is a bit different to home, office or a coffee shop

      • Tariq says:

        I think the H&S implications of WFH in unsuitable environments will certainly be something that starts to bite companies going into 2021…

        • Andrew says:

          Some are on top of that, some aren’t.

          My brother’s firm supplied all of their staff with an office chair that ticks all the boxes for the usual adjustability back in April. They’ve now sent everyone two monitors and a hydraulic dual monitor arm to upgrade from their laptops screens. Still not ideal for their staff who are working on a kitchen table though.

          It’s the GDPR issues when dealing with personal data and business secrecy in shared premises. My neighbour has been working from home, he’s in mergers and acquisitions. Unfortunately his employer’s mobile contract is with O2 who have a truly rubbish signal, so he’s out in the garden with absolute zero spatial awareness booming away on the mobile – completely oblivious that his voice doesn’t stop at the garden fence.

      • Rob says:

        All true. For example, for the last couple of months HFP has been paying for a 2nd room in the house that Rhys shares, because it is the only way he can get any space to work.

        • Save East Coast Rewards says:

          That’s a good approach to the situation. Unfortunately many people have employers who are unwilling to assist in making the working life easier for their employees. I’d like to see the home working option remain for those who prefer it, so I hope more employers realise their obligations.

        • The Savage Squirrel says:

          That’s a sensible (and generous!) move. Less far-sighted employers I’m aware of insist employees work from their home location and just get on with it, no matter how small or unsuitable.

          • Lady London says:

            Not so much generous, as legally required.

          • memesweeper says:

            +1

            before we start nagging employees who want to work from home to return to the office we should mandate that employers provide those that *dont/cant* work from home a place to work! The kitchen table for nine months isn’t on.

    • ChrisBCN says:

      I consider it was a good idea to have this article, for the reasons Andrew says. Not every article can be geared towards everybody everyday…

      • TGLoyalty says:

        Tbh it’s not even the H&S aspect there’s something for a change in scenery and you might even book this before an evening out and a late train home.

        Really depends on the day rate vs the night rate.

  • jamie says:

    Hilton day room is brilliant where there is an exec lounge, you can even check in early enough to get breakfast in the lounge, Hilton Tower Bridge is fab with a view of the shard. Sadly not so good with no Exec lounges open, hopefully that won’t be forever once the government get their act together and focus on vulnerable groups and stop this power mad imperative of keeping the general population under the cosh

  • Nick says:

    Fantastic idea for an article in the current climate… I look forward to more similar ones. Covid isn’t going away any time soon and adapting to show alternatives for work and leisure during this time is spot on.

    As an idea, I’m very tempted to go away somewhere, hire a flat for a month, and work from there. But have no idea where to start with the idea, whether it’s feasible/stupid/reasonably priced/etc. The theory is to explore a new place in the evenings/weekends to avoid the humdrum WFH and ‘walks in my local town‘ experience. Am I alone in wondering this? Maybe an opportunity for Rhys to try out?

    • ChrisW says:

      Do you mean go somewhere abroad for a month, or stay in the UK somewhere? Plenty of people left the UK for mainland Europe as soon as the travel corridors were announced in early July to work remotely for the rest of the summer. Portugal is a great option because its the same timezone as UK and very affordable.

      • Rhys says:

        ….and back on the quarantine list, too! Although less of an issue if you’re staying longer…..

    • Lady London says:

      +1 have often needee to find spaces to work when ar home or on the move everywhere. Especially if need to do confidential calls.

      I welcome any articles on this topic in the future, I think many of us are waking up to this need.

      Helps domestic peace too.

    • Alex M says:

      It is not a stupid idea at all – when else would you have an opportunity like this to explore the world?

    • @mkcol says:

      AirBnB?

  • Andy says:

    Not sure about the website but the app allows you to see the times you’re able to have a day room. Click on ‘rate details’ after selecting your room type. Info is there & has been for years.

  • David says:

    Guessing that there would be a disproportionate amount of work involved for the hotel. Albeit the labour is already paid for and probably under-utilised.

    If you just sat at the desk all day, maybe taking a break to sit on the bed and watch some TV, and use the toilet a few times, presumably the whole room would have to be cleaned and the bedding changed as if it were an overnight guest?

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      I would hope so. Even if the room looks clean you can’t be certain what the previous occupant has used it for so the room should be cleaned fully

  • chabuddy geezy says:

    Where can you see a breakdown of your hilton points earned in your hilton account? I could not find it.

  • John says:

    The Hilton promo is double nights not double stays so a day rate posts as a stay and doesn’t help?