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:

    How busy are these wework-type places? Ignoring current circumstances, was supply exceeding demand? With many places going out of busiress in the highstreet I’m just wondering if there might be a good business opportunity here for small ‘offices’ in key locations?

    • ChrisW says:

      I imagine a lot of small-ish companies with London offices with 10 – 30 people won’t bother renewing expensive office rents if they come up between now and the end of the year.
      I can definitely see a boom in companies like these booking shared office space for, say, one full day each week or fortnight next year, having their teams meet, plan and talk in person. staff would work remotely the rest of the week.

      I would have thought these unleased offices could be converted into flats, but if people aren’t going into the city to work each day they’re probably not going to want to live there either!

  • Freddy says:

    £450 per month for hot desking – jeez! No wonder the press is banging on about the exodus from London if these are the options

  • Alex M says:

    “…a bed at the Hilton but I don’t value that!” – but if you decided to have a quickie at a lunch brake, surely your valuation would be very different? 😉

  • riku says:

    The worst thing about working in a hotel room during the day is the noise the housekeeping staff often make. The worst are the ones who slam the door repeatedly as they go in and out cleaning a room. If they slam each door five times and there are thirty rooms on the floor then you will hear the doors slam 145 times. Plus yapping on the phone or to their colleagues standing in the corridor. Only in a couple of hotels I have seen them put a thick rope around the door handles to stop this relentless door slamming.
    If you have a suite then things are a bit better since you can work in the bedroom with a whole room between you and the noise from the staff.

  • Lady London says:

    could also help if you let.your secretary arrange the room?

    • Peter North says:

      I used to do that regularly, which worked fine until my wife found out. Fortunately I divorced the old cow, and have been living with my former secretary very happily for the last 15 years.

      • Lady London says:

        Er… I was more meaning the ‘booker’ programs hotel groups have that incentivise the booker as well as the person staying.

  • Lady London says:

    What happened to Moorgate? did it close?

    • Rob says:

      Still there (!) but we don’t need it at the moment. WeWork insisted that all tenants continue to pay during lockdown so we let it lapse and will pick it up again in a couple of months.

  • Joe says:

    Where are you going to move to when Wework goes bust?

    • Rob says:

      WeWork will be fine. You need to separate WeWork the business from WeWork the concept. The concept works. If you’ve never spent a day in one you won’t understand, but it is a hugely impressive concept which works well for a large number of companies. Many big companies use it too – Amex has a large chunk of Victoria for example. People who use it really like it.

      Now … the business itself may be a financial dogs dinner, I agree. However, the business model is sound and put it through a pre-pack and you’d have a sustainable long term business.

      This assumes, of course, the underlying pricing works – eg they break even (office income vs their underlying lease cost) on around 70% occupancy.

      • Chrisasaurus says:

        The business itself is still horrible leases and we work spending bajillions increasing the value of someone else’s assets.

        It’ll likely stay afloat because SoftBank can’t afford for it not to but that’s more sad than anything else

      • Erico1875 says:

        So the concept works by basically going bust, bumping all its creditors and buying it back for a quid to start fresh.
        I would just love them to put their numbers through Shark Tank or Dragons Den to see the reactions of Mr Nasty or Duncan Banantyne

        • Rob says:

          Yes, but that puts it substantially ahead of (say) House of Fraser, Debenhams, New Look, Byron, Pizza Express etc etc which don’t make underlying profits. You can add BA and Virgin to that list at the moment too.

          In Watford, the locals started a petition to give John Lewis free rent on their department store to stop them closing it. What they didn’t realise is that John Lewis doesn’t pay any rent on its Watford store (it was given the site to encourage other retailers to come into the same centre) and they are STILL closing the shop down because it loses money.

          • mutley says:

            Not quite true, and slightly patronising on the good citizens of Watford. There was a petition on face book and in the local paper, but they did realise that JL paid no rent as this was widely reported at the time, and confirmed early on by the local council. Confirmed the store is closing, as has Debenhams.

  • Jerrry Butler says:

    Alternatively , you could work from home. Which costs nothing.

    The advantage of a hotel over Wework/Space/Regus is;

    1) You can go for a dump with no interruptions.
    2) Potential free brekkie for status members.
    3) If there’s a free mini bar, you can pissed for nothing.
    4) You can sleep on company time should you feel like it
    5) Errr that’s it.

    • Rob says:

      The idea that most people can work from home shows a total misunderstanding of how people, especially those under 30, actually live.

      Ironically we are on the other end of the spectrum – I am effectively forced out of the house because my wife has taken the office and there are too many people around for me to get anything done!

      • old bob says:

        Also if your not working from home which most people can do if they really need to, another advantage of using a Hotel is the lounge if you have status. Unfortunately I don’t but invariably I bluff my way in for a free trough and several beverages.

        I recently had stayed in the Watford Hilton (which is a dump by the way) , there was no lounge, fortunately there was an Asian wedding show on in the Hertford suite, so I availed myself of the generous spread on offer despite me being neither Asian nor interested in weddings being of pensionable age myself.

        • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

          It’s amazing that the Watford Hilton is so lacklustre when it’s just round the corner from Hilton’s EMEA headquarters and presumably a regular destination for global management. The McLean one is/was by comparison scrupulously well-drilled.

          • old bob says:

            Quite agree, its a little known fact that the Watford Hilton was the setting of the Linton Travel Inn for the Alan Partridge series and the nearby Costco entrance featured in the episode that Michael and Alan were messing about with traffic cones. Sadly the Hiltons offering doesn’t come with an eat all you like breakfast, which it goes without saying I would exploit with my own oversize plate

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      Just to be clear, I’ve been in a few weworks (though never leased one) and can confirm you can in fact use the lavatory solo