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Did you know 8 Hilton brands don’t offer upgrades to Gold and Diamond members?

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When we cover Hilton Honors on Head for Points, we usually make reference to the fact that it offers the best mid-tier status in the industry.

Whilst Hilton Honors Diamond Elite status requires a bit of effort, Hilton Honors Gold Elite is relatively easy to achieve:

  • in 2021, you only need to stay 20 nights or 10 stays to achieve it, instead of the usual 40 nights or 20 stays

The key benefit of Hilton Honors Gold Elite is free breakfast at the majority of brands, either given directly or as something you can choose as your ‘My Way’ brand benefit.

Another benefit is some sort of upgrade. These are rarely spectacular as a Gold, but most mid-tier hotel statuses don’t even try to upgrade you.

As a Diamond member, you can expect better – although you won’t get it very often. The rules say that upgrades for a Diamond “may include upgrades up to “junior”, “standard” or “one-bedroom” suites”

Not all Hilton Honors brands offer upgrades

You might be surprised to find that not all Hilton Honors brands offer upgrades.

This is written down, fair and square, in the terms and conditions, but most of the time we don’t know or forget.

These are the Hilton Honors brands which do NOT offer upgrades to Gold or indeed Diamond members:

  • Embassy Suites
  • Hilton Garden Inn
  • Hampton by Hilton
  • Tru by Hilton
  • Homewood Suites by Hilton
  • Home2 Suites by Hilton
  • Hilton Grand Vacations
  • Motto by Hilton

As a UK-based Hilton Honors member, most of these exclusions won’t concern you most of the time.

By far the most important exclusion is Hampton by Hilton. Hampton properties have been springing up across Europe in recent years and I am generally positive about them.

Hilton Garden Inn has also seen UK growth recently, most noticeably with the Hilton Garden Inn Heathrow T2/T3 which we reviewed here. This was the second Hilton Garden Inn at Heathrow, after the rebranded Jurys Inn at Hatton Cross.

Which Hilton Honors brands do give upgrades?

The Hilton Honors rules specifically state that Gold and Diamond members are eligible for upgrades at the following brands:

  • Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts
  • LXR Hotels & Resorts
  • Conrad Hotels & Resorts
  • Canopy by Hilton
  • Hilton Hotels & Resorts
  • Curio – A Collection by Hilton
  • DoubleTree by Hilton
  • Tapestry Collection by Hilton

Does the ‘no upgrades’ rule really matter?

It is debatable whether these rules matter much. Hampton and Hilton Garden Inn hotels often do not have larger rooms to which you could be upgraded.

On the other hand, they definitely do have ‘better’ rooms – perhaps on higher floors, or with better view. Would this count as an ‘upgrade’?

Some hotels will ignore the brand rules anyway, of course. It would be very short-sighted of any hotel to fail to recognise the status of a regular brand guest, as opposed to, say, a tour group or someone who has booked through an online travel agent.

Someone has to be given the better rooms (and the worse rooms, of course) and it would be odd not to reflect status in the daily allocation.


How to earn Hilton Honors points and status from UK credit cards

How to earn Hilton Honors points and status from UK credit cards (June 2022)

There are various ways of earning Hilton Honors points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Hilton Honors Gold status for as long as they hold the card?  It also comes with Marriott Bonvoy Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Did you know that the Virgin Atlantic credit cards are a great way of earning Hilton Honors points? Two Virgin Points can be converted into three Hilton Honors points. The Virgin Atlantic cards are the only Visa or Mastercard products in the UK which can indirectly earn Hilton Honors points. You can apply here.

You can also earn Hilton Honors points indirectly with:

and for small business owners:

The conversion rate from American Express to Hilton points is 1:2.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Hilton Honors points

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

Comments (66)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Fred says:

    And avoid Parc 55 in San Francisco!

  • Tarmohamed says:

    Stayed at HGI LHR T2 as well as HGI AL JADAF DUBAI and was given a higher floor on both occasions.

    HGI Luton gave us a room with a sofa bed. Canopy in Dubai didn’t even acknowledge the status.

  • Anthony says:

    A few years ago I was upgraded to a Presidential Suite at the Embassy Suites Niagara Falls as a Diamond member. I asked for an upgrade at check-in. I didn’t know it wasn’t policy.

    • Oh! Matron! says:

      I think it was a little unfair calling out embassy suites, as nearly every single room is identical! However, places like SFO Embassy suites on Anza have a “bay” view, which you’re sometimes lucky to get if you ask nicely.

    • Bagoly says:

      Looking online (where they remove the window bars) that’s the least Presidential-Suite like room I have ever seen described as a Presidential Suite.
      Do other chains in the USA sprinkle that description around in the same way?

    • Rob says:

      I’ve stayed there – we reviewed it.

  • Josh says:

    As Diamond I had excellent upgrade experience to suite at HGI in Milan and in Malpensa last year. Kudos to them And I’ve sent a few Colleagues there already, No upgrade at Hilton in Milan So I will not be back there soon nor reccomend.

    • Lady London says:

      Malpensa HGI was really well run on my stays there too. It’s considerably further from that airport than some others (there are some dogs there) but pretty much felt the best offering overall.

      Non-chain Villa delle Rose was quite nice too – good at their job.

  • Ian says:

    In a few hundred hilton stays I can’t recall not being upgraded or recognised etc.

    Of course some hotels don’t really have better rooms, but where I was unable to pick my own room I have been given a good view and suchlike.

  • Doc says:

    I have stayed in about 4 different HGI as well as one Hampton and one Homewood suites and was upgraded to a “better” room each time for being a Diamond although not a massive upgrade. So never say never.

  • Ryan says:

    A River view, in a room on a higher floor is often offered to me at HGI Glasgow. At the now permanently closed HGI Aberdeen, a suite was often the default room offered here.

    It may or not be a result of the diamond status held, but I often found I was not placed in an interconnecting room (a pet hate of mine due to being able to hear all sorts….) at the Hampton Belfast also.

    • chabuddy geezy says:

      I agree the interconnecting Rooms in the Hampton Belfast are noisy, otherwise a nice hotel.

      • Lady London says:

        I hate interconnecting rooms and generally travelling alone do not think I should be placed in them as a single female.

        Quite a few times the door in between is found to be open on my arrival or occasionally – worse – left open by housekeeping during my stay.

  • SG says:

    Morning all
    Is it the case that all Hilton hotels will ask for a proof showing the reason you stay until 17th May?
    I have got a stay in London the coming bank holiday weekend which does not really class as business,would attending a religious service(Ortodox Easter) a good enough reason in case they ask?

    • John says:

      No, not all hotels ask.

      The allowed reasons for hotels to open are people staying for work, death bed visits, funerals, medical appointments, elite sports, volunteering, charity, caring, elections, moving house, donating blood, or if you live in a hotel. I don’t see any exemption for religious services.

    • Memesweeper says:

      I called a Hilton in London last night and their policy for this weekend was business travel, key workers only — despite a plethora of other legal reasons for staying they didn’t want the booking unless evidence of business travel was shown on check in.

      • tony says:

        This is interesting. I stayed at the DT Tower Hill last week on business and they got really sniffy over “proof” of my reason for travel. I did get an e-mail from them a couple of weeks earlier suggesting it was a self certification type affair. I have no issue with what they were trying to do but if hotels want this, they should spell it out clearly ahead of the guest’s arrival.

        In the end I just gave them my business card. And moved my next booking to a different hotel.

        • Gavin says:

          This was exactly my experience at Double Tree St Anne’s Manor and Hilton Reading.

    • Red Flyer says:

      Only if you promise to go to Confession afterwards!

    • WaynedP says:

      This from my experience as an ordained deacon in the Western Latin Rite. Principles should be similiar enough for your own Hierarchy and practice under Archbp Nikitas and his office.

      If you are serving in a liturgical capacity, then Archbishop’s House can issue you with a letter confirming your official standing as an office holder in the Church including references pointing to Church instructions & guidance compliant with Govt regulations in England & Wales. This should contain an assurance of covid-safe practice in the location you are serving at. This should meet hotel proof requirements.

      If you are not serving in an official capacity, then you should be one of only a handful of fortunate worshippers to receive limited access to an Easter Service, with an official ticket (e.g. Eventbrite) or email confirmation which should also clearly state the covid restrictions on your attendance (e.g. limited numbers, face masks, social distancing). This might suffice for any hotel proof requirements with a fair wind and some explanation on your part.

      If you don’t fall into any of the above, then as an observant Orthodox Christian, you will know that you are bound by conscience and by the authority of the Patriarchate to consider the impact of your choices on the health and welfare of everyone else on earth. We don’t get to choose our behaviour based on personal whim or convenience alone.

      Given the virus risks involved in travel and overnight stay plus your vaccination status (remembering that vaccination still doesn’t appear to prevent mild infection and onward transmission), you will know that you should examine your conscience regarding whether or not it is strictly necessary to travel and overnight to attend Easter Services in person this year.

      We had to turn away over 80% of our regular congregation for Easter services.

      There should still be a dispensation in place from Archbp Nikitas on physical Mass & Holy Day attendance obligation. That certainly still remains the case in England & Wales for the Latin Church. Safe Internet streamed alternatives are available. Not a perfect substitute, but endurable for another year.

      Wishing you a fruitful remaining Tessarakosti and a safe and blessed Easter.

      • Anna says:

        Good to see a responsible attitude from a religious leader, there have been some quite unbelievable demands for worshippers of all faiths to be exempt from covid safety precautions. “Where *2 or 3* gather in my name, there I will be”.

      • Chris Heyes says:

        WaynedP But surly “God” is your saviour, as such you will only get Covid if “God” wills it so.
        Also you will only die from Covid if “God” needs you at an higher place
        Put your trust in “God”
        For he is the one and only “God
        (unless there is more lol)
        Sermon from a “Atheist”

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