Hilton’s devaluation effects major cities and aspirational resort properties the most — the kinds of hotels that were previously ‘category 7′ but now most frequently category 10 and which even have category 10 high season prices, thus going from 50,000 points per night to as many as 95,000 points per night.
And while the changes include ‘5th night free’ for elite members being spun as a new benefit, elites previously received a discount on multi-night rewards which are effectively going away. No more discounts on 4 night stays, for instance, you have to stay exactly 5 nights to get the discount.
If you’re looking to burn your HHonors points in a blaze of glory before the category changes go into effect with the March 28 devaluation, then I suggest having a look at the following properties:
- Conrad Maldives
- Conrad Tokyo
- Conrad Koh Samui
- Conrad Hong Kong
- Conrad Sanya
- Bora Bora Nui
The pattern here is that the best values in HHonors were:
Conrad hotel properties, it’s their upscale brand but that isn’t part of the “Waldorf=Astoria” collection of hotels (frankly the original Waldorf hotel in New York isn’t that nice, it’s just a big ‘ol Hilton in my opinion)
Major cities where those Conrads could be found like Tokyo and Hong Kong. The Hong Kong property is hardly the best there but it’s one of the very best values, especially for elites. As a Diamond I had a view of Victoria Harbor, and the club lounge I had access to was absolutely fantastic. Of course other major cities like New York are seeing real devaluations, where even Doubetree properties are getting ridiculously expensive. Those cookies will cost a whole lot of points.
Aspirational resorts. I stayed at Bora Bora Nui as part of my honeymoon, when the property was part of Starwood. The Conrad Koh Samui is an amazing resort, the base level room is a standalone ocean villa with its own pool (I lucked into one of the two bedroom villas). Do know that when you’re on property you pretty much stay in your villa and get everywhere via golf cart, there’s very little meandering around the property. And things there are quite expensive for Thailand, which is why it helped to have status for free breakfast.
Should you burn you points though? If you’re interested in aspirational redemptions or expensive hotels in the world’s top cities, probably yes. You will get much more value out of those points for reservations made prior to March 28 than after.
If you’re using your points for lesser hotels, or small cities, you may do fine and even see point requirements drop.
My usual advice here – devaluation or no — continues to apply. It’s better to use your points now, and earn more in the future, than to say your points for future use.
And I’m going to make a strong case in an upcoming post that it will continue to be worth accruing HHonors points despite the changes, because while the amazing deals of the recent past will no longer be available HHonors — even with the devaluation — will remain a strong program for some of these aspirational hotels, and a better points value even still than Starwood offers on its top properties.