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One complaint you won’t hear from award travel enthusiasts is that there aren’t enough places we want to go. Today, TPG Senior Points & Miles Correspondent Nick Ewen stretches that list even further as he shares his favorite Hilton properties for award redemptions.
To borrow from a well-known phrase, value is in the eye of the beholder. This is especially true when it comes to redeeming your points and miles for flights and hotel stays. The awards you covet might be of little interest to someone else, and vice versa. Still, some properties tend to offer strong redemption options, so I wanted to follow-up on my earlier post on top Hyatt redemptions, and today take you through my list of 8 Hilton properties that are worth every point.
In compiling this list, I utilized a number of factors to determine which Hilton properties offer the “best ” value:
- Typical revenue rates
- Uniqueness (amenities, location, etc.)
In addition, you can extend the value of your award stays even further simply by holding the Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve card or HiltonHHonors Surpass card from American Express, both of which offer automatic Gold status. This gives you bonus points, free breakfast, and possible room upgrades, among other benefits. Hilton HHonors is also the latest program to offer all its members free WiFi when booking through an official channel (which includes award stays).
Of course, you likely have a different way of defining what makes a redemption valuable, so feel free to include your favorite Hilton properties in the comments below! These are my picks:
This first property, though challenging to reach, represents a terrific redemption value. Spanning two private islands, the resort includes a variety of accommodations — TPG stayed in both a deluxe beach villa and over-water villa during his visit back in 2013. Choose from 12 dining options (including the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant), indulge in treatments at one of two spas, or simply relax by one of the two pools. A variety of activities allow you to stay busy, but you can also just lounge on the resort’s pristine white sand beaches.
This is a Category 10 property, requiring 95,000 Hilton HHonors points for a free night. Paid rates in April start at $1,139 a night, giving you a value of 1.2 cents per point.
While many travelers regard Bora Bora as French Polynesia’s best island, when it comes to Hilton properties, I give the edge to the Hilton Moorea. My wife and I stayed there back in 2011 and had a fantastic time. Just a short flight (or ferry ride) from the main island of Tahiti, the resort includes garden, beachfront, and over-water accommodations. Free snorkeling equipment allows you to explore the crystal clear seas, while numerous excursions take you deep into the heart of the island. Visit the overwater Toatea Bar for the nightly shark feeding, or relax at the Moorea Lagoon Spa just steps from the water.
This is a Category 9 property, requiring 70,000 – 80,000 points for a free night. Paid rates in April start at $424 a night, giving you a value of 0.6 cents per point.
On the complete opposite end of the temperature spectrum (at least during the winter) is the luxurious Waldorf Astoria in Park City, Utah. Set at the base of the Canyons Ski Resort just 30 minutes away from Salt Lake City, the property feels more like a private mountain lodge than a brand name hotel. Each of the 175 rooms includes a gas fireplace, and after a day of skiing, you can return to complimentary hot chocolate and apple cider. The outdoor pool is heated to 89 degrees and open year-round, and the nearby fire pit allows you to make s’mores each evening. Use the free shuttle to grab a bite to eat in downtown Park City or visit the other two ski resorts, and don’t miss the award-winning Waldorf Astoria spa.
This is a Category 9 property, requiring 50,000 – 80,000 points for a free night. Paid rates in March start at $499 a night, giving you a value of 0.62 cents per point.
While this property may not give you the best value from a monetary standpoint, it’s still a terrific spot to redeem your points. Just a two-minute walk from Pile Gate and the walls of Dubrovnik, the Hilton Imperial gives you stunning views of the Old Town and the Adriatic Sea. The comfortable accommodations provide contemporary amenities just steps from the ancient city, including a basement fitness center and spa in which to relax after a day of exploring. My wife and I especially enjoyed the breakfast and evening spread at the Executive Lounge, complete with outdoor balcony seating and panoramic views of the water.
This is a Category 8 property, requiring 40,000 – 70,000 points for a free night. This property isn’t always expensive — rates in April start at $126 a night, for a redemption value of just 0.3 cents per point. However, the rate jumps up to $350 during the summer (when awards are also more expensive), giving you a value closer to 0.5 cents per point.
This is another luxurious property that offers a terrific experience. Located in the heart of the city, the 290 guest rooms and suites occupy the top floors (28-37) of the Tokyo Shiodome building. Standard rooms start at 516 square feet and include separate bathtubs, his and hers sinks, and panoramic views of the city or Tokyo Bay. Sample the cuisine from one of four on-property restaurants (including the Michelin-starred China Blue) or escape to the 29th floor Mizuki Spa and its spectacular views of downtown.
This is a Category 10 property, requiring 80,000 – 95,000 points for a free night. Rates in April start at $494 per night, giving you a value of 0.52 cents per point.
You can’t discuss value in the Hilton HHonors program without mentioning the DoubleTree in Kuala Lumpur. An absolute steal at just 10,000 points per night, the hotel is located in the heart of the Malaysian capital, just 10 minutes from the Petronas Towers and a short covered walk from the Ampang Park LRT metro station. Despite having 540 contemporary rooms and suites, the hotel never feels overwhelming. Choose from one of five restaurants (including Makan Kitchen, where complimentary breakfast for Diamonds and Golds is served each morning), or relax in the outdoor saltwater pool.
This is a Category 2 property, requiring just 10,000 points for a free night. Rates in April start at $117 a night, giving you a value of 1.17 cents per point.
If a beach vacation to Hawaii is in your plans, consider redeeming your Hilton HHonors points at the Grand Wailea on the island of Maui. Nestled on 40 acres of tropical gardens on Wailea Beach, the resort offers luxury beachfront accommodations and numerous activities to keep the whole family busy. Kids and teens will love the Wailea Canyon Activity pool, with its multiple levels and several slides, waterfalls, and jacuzzis, while adults can escape to the Hibiscus pool. The property boasts eight restaurants & bars, plus the Spa Grande (voted one of the top 10 spas in the U.S. by Conde Nast Traveler).
This is a Category 10 property, requiring 70,000 – 95,000 points for a free night. Paid rates in April start at $559 a night, giving you a value of 0.7 cents per point.
Yet another Conrad that gives you solid value for your Hilton HHonors points is the London property, where hotel rates are notoriously expensive. In an ideal location for both tourists and business travelers, the Conrad London St. James is (naturally) just steps from St. James’ Park (and the eponymous tube station), and within walking distance of Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, and Westminster Abbey. Each of the 256 guest rooms includes a separate tub and shower, a Nespresso machine, and fully-stocked minibar. You can grab a bite at the Blue Boar, a drink at the Blue Boar Bar (say that three times fast!), or afternoon tea at Emmeline’s, all without leaving the hotel.
This is a Category 9 property, requiring 80,000 points for a free night. Paid rates in April start at $411 a night, giving you a value of 0.51 cents per point.
This list would’ve been much longer (and the values much higher!) before Hilton HHonors’ massive devaluation back in 2013. Nevertheless, there are still some great options for using your points, especially in conjunction with the free night certificates that you can earn with the Citi Hilton Reserve card. If you have a chance to visit one of these properties, take it!
What are your favorite hotels for Hilton award redemptions? This card’s sign-up bonus of two free nights can be worth as much as 190,000 points if you redeem them at top-tier properties like the Conrad Maldives, and it also confers automatic Gold status and the ability to earn Diamond status through spending.
This card’s sign-up bonus of two free nights can be worth as much as 190,000 points if you redeem them at top-tier properties like the Conrad Maldives, and it also confers automatic Gold status and the ability to earn Diamond status through spending.