How 20,000 Hilton points got me a 60-minute couples massage and a 4-course dinner for 2
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
From a romantic garden picnic in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to cocktails under the sea in the Maldives, you can redeem Hilton Honors points for various experiences through the Hilton Honors Experiences program.
There are two types of Hilton Honors Experiences: ones you can redeem for and ones you have to bid on. As I write this story, there are 51 experiences you can redeem for straightaway and six experiences you can bid on.
The Hilton Honors Experiences program isn’t new. But I recently used the program for the first time when I found two redemptions I couldn’t resist:
- 10,000 points for a four-course meal for two at the Conrad Bengaluru in India.
- 10,000 points for a 60-minute massage for two at the Conrad Bengaluru in India.
These experiences reminded me that I should check the Hilton Experiences program more frequently, even if I don’t have plans to stay with Hilton. So, here’s how and why I booked these Hilton Honors Experiences and whether I think they were a good use of Hilton points.
Sign up for our daily newsletter for more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox.
How and why I made these redemptions
I was already in India on an almost three-week trip when I thought to check whether there were any appealing Hilton Experiences in the cities my husband and I planned to visit. As soon as I saw the three Hilton Honors Experiences available in India, I was curious about redeeming Hilton points for at least one of the experiences.
I’d decided not to visit Goa on this trip, but I did plan to spend four nights in Bengaluru (also known as Bangalore) at the end of my trip, checking out the club level at The Ritz-Carlton, Bangalore and getting inexpensive Hyatt elite nights at the Hyatt Centric MG Road Bangalore. A quick search showed that the Conrad Bengaluru is just a six-minute walk from the Hyatt Centric MG Road Bangalore, so I was sold.
Initially, I only planned to redeem 10,000 Hilton points for one experience. But as I chatted with my husband, we decided to splurge on both. After all, we’ve struggled to redeem Hilton points for stays at or above TPG’s valuation of 0.6 cents per point. And these redemptions seemed like they’d provide memorable experiences.
When redeeming, I noticed that these experiences are available for redemption until Nov. 30 and for use by Dec. 24. So, there’s still time to book these redemptions if you’d like.
After I clicked “Confirm Purchase,” I saw the following message.
The experiences appeared in the Hilton Honors Experiences history section about four minutes after confirming both redemptions.
The experience terms state you must redeem Hilton points at least seven business days before you want to have the experience. This is because the Hilton Honors Experience team will email you within two business days of your redemption to confirm your contact information.
Then, a representative for your experience will reach out within five business days to organize your experience. In our case, a representative from the Conrad Bengaluru reached out via WhatsApp (which is the go-to method for communication for many tourism providers in India). We organized both the dinner and the massage with little hassle.
60-minute couples massage for 10,000 Hilton points
Massages are typically less expensive at luxury hotels in India than at luxury hotels in the U.S. But, redeeming 10,000 Hilton points for a 60-minute couples massage at a luxury hotel in India is still exceptional. After all, based on TPG’s valuations, 10,000 Hilton points are worth about $60.
We booked a 6:30 p.m. massage slot on a Monday. We arrived about 30 minutes early to have time to change and enjoy the relaxation areas.
The person coordinating our Hilton Honors Experiences at the Conrad met us at the spa reception and led us to a relaxation room. He asked us to send him the confirmations from Hilton and confirmed that we wanted our massages in the same room instead of separate rooms.
Then he brought us the spa menu and essentially said we could choose any of the 60-minute massages that cost 4,300 Indian rupees (about $56) before taxes and fees.
We both opted for the Swedish massage with medium pressure. We then filled out spa intake forms before spa staff members led us to the changing areas.
The spa staff gave me a quick tour of the changing area for women, including the showers, lockers, changing rooms, sauna, steam room and ice shower. She encouraged me to change and use the steam room shortly before my massage.
The massage rooms at the Conrad Bengaluru are beautiful and I appreciated the heated beds. My massage had good pressure and was relaxing, although I found it somewhat strange that the spa didn’t have any hair ties for women who’d arrived without one.
After our massage, we were led back to the changing areas. I showered to get the massage oil out of my hair and went to enjoy tea and raisins in the relaxation room.
Was it worth it?
Our 60-minute couples massage was certainly worth 10,000 Hilton points (plus the cash tip we gave the masseuses). After all, TPG’s valuations peg the value of 10,000 Hilton points at $60. And I’d happily pay $30 for my half of the couples massage.
But experiences are worth what you’d pay for them. So, I hesitate to calculate a value based on the going massage rates at the Conrad. However, the spa menu listed the Swedish massage I got at 4,300 Indian rupees (about $56) — and that’s before taxes and fees. Using this value and TPG’s valuation of Hilton points, we got over $112 in massages for $60 worth of points.
Next time I’m in Bengaluru, I’ll check whether I can still redeem 10,000 Hilton points for a couples massage at the Conrad Bengaluru. If so, you’ll find me getting another massage at the Conrad.
4-course dinner for 2 for 10,000 Hilton points
Redeeming 10,000 Hilton Honors points for a four-course meal for two felt like less of a bargain than the couple’s massage. But, we decided to also give the four-course meal redemption a try at the Conrad Bengaluru.
You can choose between lunch and dinner at either Mikusu or Tiamo. After looking at photos and reviews of both restaurants, I choose the poolside Tiamo for a 6 p.m. seating.
However, when we arrived, none of the restaurant staff seemed confident about the inclusions of our Hilton Honors Experience. And the person who we’d spoken to via WhatsApp wasn’t working on the day of our dinner.
As you can see in the above screenshot, the experience was a “4-course set meal” consisting of “soup, an appetizer, main course, dessert and soft drinks.” But we struggled to get a definite answer from the server or the manager regarding whether we needed to order from the specific four-course set meal on one side of the menu or whether we could order four courses from the a la carte menu.
Eventually, we just ordered. We figured we’d see what happened when the bill arrived. I stuck mostly to the four-course set menu on one side of the menu, only asking to switch out the soup for a different soup on the a la carte menu. Meanwhile, my husband ordered four courses from the a la carte menu.
Our set meals came with soft drinks, but I also ordered a cocktail. The bartender sent over two complimentary drinks for our table as well.
I ordered the paprika chicken skewers as my appetizer, while my husband ordered the homemade grilled cottage skewers. I enjoyed both appetizers but especially liked the seasoning on the chicken skewers.
Next up, we got our soup course. I tried the Peruvian asparagus veloute while my husband went with the minestrone a la Tiamo. His soup was flavorful and full of vegetables, while mine was creamy and savory.
I ordered the spatchcock chicken for the main course while my husband opted for the stewed tomato fettuccine. I tried an olive from his dish but otherwise focused on the deliciousness of mine. The chicken was cooked just right, the vegetables were crisp and the corn porridge was creamy and full of flavor.
Our last course was dessert. I opted for the tiramisu while my husband tried the baklava. I enjoyed the creaminess of the tiramisu but found the filling of the baklava a bit off. And awkwardly, the server insisted that my husband pull up Tripadvisor to leave a review as we were trying to enjoy our desserts. His insistence on a positive review mentioning him by name felt out of place at a luxury hotel.
We found charges for one soda and my cocktail when the bill came. Our four-course set meal included soda, but we didn’t complain as the soda only cost a few dollars, the staff had seemed unsure about the inclusions of our experience and there were no other unexpected charges.
In hindsight, the other restaurant you can choose for this Hilton Experience, Mikusu, might make for an interesting four-course set meal.
We stopped by Mikusu after eating at Tiamo to check the menu. The host initially said Mikusu doesn’t do set menus for groups of two and hence didn’t have a set menu we could see. But, when we clarified that we were interested in the Hilton Experiences set menu, he said there isn’t a menu but that we’d instead get the chef’s selection of courses.
Was it worth it?
I feel less confident the four-course set meal was worth $60 of Hilton points. Based on the menu, the four-course set meal at Tiamo was 2,499 Indian rupees (about $32) per person before taxes. My husband and I could have easily ordered two entrees and an appetizer off the a la carte menu for less than $60 and been satisfied if we wanted to try Tiamo.
Plus, the stress of not getting clear answers to our questions regarding the experience inclusions and the awkwardness of our server demanding a Tripadvisor review really detracted from the experience. Regardless, I’ll likely give Mikusu a try on my next visit to Bengaluru if I can do so for 10,000 points.
How to earn more Hilton points
You don’t need to earn many points to book the two Hilton Experiences I tried in India. But, if you need to earn more Hilton points, here are some options:
- Sign up for a new Hilton credit card and meet the minimum spending requirements to earn the welcome bonus.
- Buy Hilton points, ideally during a points sale.
- Stay with Hilton (be sure to book directly with Hilton), ideally during one of Hilton’s bonus points offers.
- Earn Hilton points through a partner, such as Hilton Honors Dining.
Buying points is the quickest way to earn more Hilton points. But if you don’t need the points quickly, the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card currently offers a welcome bonus of 130,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, you can earn up to $130 in statement credits on eligible purchases made on the card at any of the Hilton family hotels in the first 12 months of card membership. This offers expires on July 6.
Most Hilton Experiences cost more than 10,000 Hilton points. So, you’ll need to calculate whether it’s worth redeeming Hilton points for experiences. But unique experiences often appear, ranging from golf tournament tickets to concert tickets. And if you find yourself in Bengaluru or Goa, consider checking Hilton Experiences to see whether 10,000-point massage and dining experiences are still on offer.
Featured photo by Katie Genter/The Points Guy.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees