Hilton Award Availability

Discussion in 'Hilton | HHonors' started by sharris503, Jan 1, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. sharris503

    sharris503 Silver Member

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    Is it difficult to find Category 7 award redemption options? I am planning out my churns for this year and I was going to focus on Hilton points but now I am rethinking that because when I look at award availability of the category 7 hotels in places like London the hotels are quoting 150k+ per night to redeem an award.
     
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  2. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I have not had difficulty finding affordable Cat 7 redemption options. Hilton SFO 50K HH/night; Conrad Hong Kong 50K/night; Waldorf=Astoria Shanghai on the Bund 62K HH/night. Maybe I have been fortunate. You might consider doing Points and Money...
     
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  3. gemac
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    gemac Silver Member

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    I am booked at the Conrad Brussels in a couple of weeks at 34K points per night. I have a GLON at the Waldorf Hilton in London in May, 6 nights at 37,500 per night (although I am looking at converting that to points + cash, as that seems like a somewhat better deal). Probably depends on when you are going. Remember that London hosts the Olympics this summer, that may affect things during the Olympics and for a while before and after.
     
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  4. Toula
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    Toula Gold Member

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    I think with this one you have to look every day to see what is going on. We did a recent trip to London on short notice, a couple of weeks out the redemption rates were ridiculous. However, a few days before we left the Paddington moved from being sold out to having rooms at 50k a night and we were able to get a free upgrade as well.
     
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  5. RAPC
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    RAPC Silver Member

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    Not had this problem with London properties. With the exception of the Olympic period this year, I've not noticed too much in the way of limitations for category 7 standard awards. Any specific dates in mind?
     
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  6. upgrade

    upgrade Gold Member

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    Have you factored in the 30% rebate on points & money stays under the ongoing promo?
     
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  7. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    The 30% rebate is on both Points & Money and Premium Rewards, but it comes after the stay, so that @150K/night, it might be tough to afford anything. I just did 4 Premium Reward nights at Waldorf Astoria Shanghai @62K HH/night for a total of 248K HH points. When the points for the stay posted, I got back about 70K HH points as part of the 30% back promo. If I had to pay 150K HH/night, I would not have been able to afford the stay, as the rebate is at the back end. I would have needed 600K HH points upfront, which I did not have at the time.
     
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  8. gemac
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    gemac Silver Member

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    Yes, thanks, I have. That makes it a bit more advantageous to do the points + cash. I booked it before the promo, and then points was better.
     
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  9. upgrade

    upgrade Gold Member

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    Yes, I'm aware of that, but a) Premium Rewards are a bad joke, with some minor exceptions and b) more importantly, gemac said he's looking at GLON (= standard room) or P&M.
     
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  10. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    The "bad joke" must be on me... In fact, I just went from Points and Money to all Premium Reward to stay at Hilton Singapore going from a regular King to a King Executive simply because I can now afford it after I got points back on the 30% back promo. I probably would have been upgraded to it but, hey, I now know for sure I have it.

    Please enlighten us as to why Premium Rewards are a "bad joke."
     
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  11. particlemn

    particlemn Silver Member

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    Was the avaiability of hotels in london using 2 people per room or was it by adding a child to the reservation. I have found that the hotels in london only have standard rooms for 2 people when you add a third they only have premium rooms at near 150k per night. If you are looking for london rooms wiht a family the cat 6 metropole has some at standard room rates
     
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  12. deant
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    deant Milepoint Guide

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    You look at the premium rates for many hotels and they are completely out of line with the difference in cash rates. For example, in NY, the NY Hilton is a Cat 7 and goes for 50K per night (reduced if you use AXON or VIP rate). For Feb 10-12 the cash rate is $309 per night. Upgrading to a "deluxe" room increases the cash price by $20 to $329 per night. However, the point requirement goes up to 80,604 per night which can not be reduced by AXON or VIP.

    So without considering the current 30% back bonus, you would be "paying" over 30,000 points PER NIGHT for a room that goes for $20 more. Even considering the 30% back, you would be paying 6,400 points for a $20 increase in room rate.

    The problem with the "Premium" awards is that they are based on a FIXED value per point. So any hotel that is a "good value" for a standard award will almost always be a bad value for a Premium award. Conversely, when a room is a not so good value for a standard room, it may be a good value for a premium room.This can lead to some outrageous award rates. For example, on some days a "King Deluxe" room at the Paris ADT goes for 321,887 points PER NIGHT.

    Since most of us are looking for the best value possible out of a standard award, the premium awards will, for the most part, look very, very bad.

    Hope this helps.
     
  13. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    It does help a great deal, thanks! I think that the key will be to keep watching the rates. They keep fluctuating almost daily. In my view, to finally locking in a premium reward at Waldorf=Astoria Shanghai on the Bund for 62K/night was a bargain. I will do a trip report soon but for that kind of points, you will be hard pressed to find better service, luxury, value, etc, including the fact that I was upgraded to an incredible room with a view on the riverside. From the moment I set foot on the property, I knew I was in for a great experience.

    The bottom line: I would now consider anything more than 70K/night not worth it....

    Cheers!
     
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  14. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    Here we go again with the "(only) the examples to fit the theory":rolleyes:

    So lets blow this one away .. yet again.
    First hotel looked at
    Hilton Madrid Airport for tomorrow night 4/1/2011

    Hilton Guest Room ( ie Standard award room) Rate 119 euro, award 30000 points.
    King Hilton Deluxe Room - Premium Room award Rate 139 euro, award 25171 points
     
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  15. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Shhhhh! I just wanted to be the only one in on the secret! I was certain that the notion that premium rewards are a "bad joke" was simply misguided (to put it gently). Why so? I am staying at some of Asia's best properties and in each case, I found incredible premium reward values. Conrad Hong Kong; Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund; Conrad Millennium Singapore; now about to leave a SUITE at Double Tree by Hilton Kuala Lumpur, where I paid 74k points for 3 days (compute the daily points!); I am returning to stay at Hilton Singapore (45 min away on SQ), where I just decided (see above) to do a premium reward to go from a king (P&M) to a king executive because it it so affordable.... ON TOP OF IT ALL, I am getting 30% of the points back!

    It might change when HH catches on, but the notion that current premium rewards are a "bad joke" is the bad joke!

    If you see no good value, be patient; just keep checking. You can book and then keep changing as the value improves until the day before you check in!
     
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  16. deant
    Original Member

    deant Milepoint Guide

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    Please don't take me wrong. It all depends on the value you associate with a HHonors point - where the standard award is a poor value, the Premium rooms will probably be a relatively good value. In fact the premium award may be less than a standard award. In Hawaii the standard awards tend to be on the very low end of what I find to be acceptable so the Premium awards tend to be a better value. Key is looking at the cash rates vs the number of points required.

    If you were to book a room at the HWV this summer the cash rate is about $230 USD - with the standard award being 50K points. However at the ADT, the cash rate is on the order of $390 yet the same 50K points per night. As you can tell, the ADT is a much better "value" than the HWV when you are looking to book a standard award. However, when you look at the Premium awards, things change significantly. At the ADT the "patio view room" (with a cash price of $413 USD) goes for 58,000 points per night (with no VIP / AXON discount). Compare that to the premium room at HWV which goes for $254 per night or 35,560 per night.
    As you can see, the HWV Premium awards are a very good value compared to the standard award. At the ADT however, the premium award is, if anything, worse than the standard award.

    Bottom line is that you can not make any absolute statement on the value of the Premium awards.

    It all depends on the value you associate with a HHonors point.
     
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  17. Muerl
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    Muerl Gold Member

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    Those double tree rates on the suite are plain stupid. Or a good joke.

    That was a wonderful place to stay. I agree with your sentiment, but it seemed that the people in Europe did not feel that way and made the "premium" redemption far out out line?
     
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  18. RAPC
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    RAPC Silver Member

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    I can understand the comments from both sides of the argument about the Premium Rewards pricing. A select number of hotels appear to be playing the game unfairly and are restricting standard room availability by either re-categorising rooms, or just hiding inventory. The same properties are then only making Premium Rewards available, which are priced at levels that make them unbelievably bad redemption value. HHonors really need to look in to these cases where hotels are gaming the system AND pricing the premium rooms at silly levels as this is giving a lot of fuel to the argument that the Premium Rewards are a joke.

    The flip side is that a number of hotels offer premium rooms for close to, or less than the price of standard rooms. We've redeemed at a few properties on this basis, with notable ones being Hilton Kuala Lumpur and The Conrad Istanbul. Add in the 30% rebate and I'm more than happy to pay circa 23,000 points per night for an Exec Room at the Conrad.

    There are 3 (crudely grouped!) types of properties from what I can tell:

    1) A minority of hotels gaming HHonors and restricting standard availability whilst over pricing Premium Rewards
    2) The majority of hotels with standard and premium inventory priced in a linear fashion
    3) A minority of hotels offering great value premium inventory on some rooms

    Those trying to redeem in group 1) are naturally rather vocal in their disapproval. Those trying to redeem in group 3) are not shouting too much about it in case HHonors change it. The vast majority are not seeing too much difference, or a slight improvement due to the points and cash options coming in for some properties.

    Ultimately HHonors need to address the small minority of hotels who are gaming the system (in our eyes at least) and they will suddenly find that people will be seeing their current 'enhancements' as genuine enhancements. Until then, things will continue to be rather cloudy with good and bad examples of how the changes have impacted on the program.
     
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  19. upgrade

    upgrade Gold Member

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    Apparently the phrase "some minor exceptions" doesn't mean what I thought.
     
  20. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    No wiser words have been spoken on this issue. I am not sure how much power HHonors has to ensure uniform implementation of the program across the properties, but that it is what it will take. As a frequent TPAC traveler, where most of the properties seem to be of type 2 or 3 above, my feeling has been that the premium rewards and money&points options have been great enhancements. There is NO way I would have been able to afford two and half weeks of stays at Conrad or WA or in a suite without the flexibility that these new enhancements provide.
     
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  21. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    Agreed ... herein lies the problem that those that encounter the type 1's above are much more vocal on the topic...one only has to see what has occurred on FT to see that anytime those who try to present an opposing view, they are pretty much shouted down have and consequently (and quite understandably) they have withdrawn from the discussion and so the type 1 detractors have the board all to themselves:rolleyes:

    So whenever the topic comes up here we get a plethora of extreme examples (mostly usually involving properties that were difficult to get awards in the past anyway) and those who havent taken the time or just cant be bothered to look into the situation as it actually stands, find it easy to just chime in with their agreement to the prevailing " doom and gloom"
     
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  22. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    I have no idea what you thought ... and I certainly dont recall you giving any examples.:)
    But to be absolutely clear... IMHO, describing the situation as having "some minor exceptions" is nothing short of a distortIon of the facts
     
  23. deant
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    deant Milepoint Guide

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    In my opinion, Type 1 hotels are actually split into two categories. Only one of which is an absolute problem. The first subcategory, which is where there is a legitimate issue, are the hotels like Bora Bora and Moorea where they have absolutely reassigned rooms from "standard" to "premium" and eliminated the majority of the standard award inventory. This has caused it to be almost impossible to get a standard award.

    The second subcategory comes about because the premium room awards are based on an absolute point per dollar scheme. Hilton has made a decision that for premium awards, they will calculate the point requirement based upon the current cash price for a room. I don't believe individual hotels have anything to say about what the rate per point is. This flat price per point will, in some properties, cause an apparent disconnect between what would be a normal award and a premium award. As I stated before, if the standard redemption value (points per dollar of cash room price) is very good then it will cause the premium rate to appear out of line. Conversely, when the redemption value is fairly poor, the premium rates will look very good.

    To me, I can live with the second subcategory but the first category is what I am completely against.
     
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  24. RAPC
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    RAPC Silver Member

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    A valid point and I completely agree with you. I did say my categories were crudely formed, so let's make it 4 categories then :D
     
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  25. particlemn

    particlemn Silver Member

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    I am not sure if this is entirely correct since the hilton wiakoloa village specifically sates on their website that premium rooms may sometimes be avaiable at a reduced rate. We are staying in early may the satnard room is 50k or 37.5k with the 7 night stay. the premium room rate for partial ocean view was 35,790 but the bar for this room was 349/night. this premium room rate allows the hotel some flexibility in sholder season to offer discounts. and the discounts get even better when you combine the 35,790 room with the 30% rebate bringin the total to 25,053 per night for a pretty fantastic hotel. I suspect (but have no real knowledge) that the cash value points for premium room was the baseline that hilton set up but allowed the properties to modify to fit thier needs, hopefully more will take the HWV way and offer discounts when there occupancy is low.
     

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