Posted by Ric Garrido

Hilton HHonors reduced the cost of Category 1 hotel rewards to only 5,000 points earlier this year. With the current 4x points promotion, a non-elite member can earn 45 points/$1 in hotel spend. Add Amex Surpass credit card payment and this can mean 57 points/$1.

October 10-January 31, 2014: More Nights, More Points

  • Double Points (20 points/$1) for 2-night stays.
  • Triple Points (30 points/$1) for 3-night stays.
  • Quadruple points (40 points/$1) for 4-night or longer stays.
  • Registration at HHonors.com/more.

Loyalty Traveler post: Hilton HHonors More Nights, More Points Q-4 Promotion only rewards extended stays September 30, 2013.

That is a free category 1 hotel reward room night for every $88 in hotel spend.

So where are these category 1 hotels?

There are 35 Hilton HHonors category 1 hotels in 10 countries.

Egypt, Mexico and China are the main international locations, yet there are other scattered properties in Argentina, India, Malaysia, Oman, and Turkey.

The United States has 5 hotels and United Kingdom has 2 hotels.

Hilton HHonors Category 1 Hotel List

Argentina has one category 1 hotel.

Hilton Garden Inn Tucuman Rates around $100 to $115 per night.

Tucuman is in northern Argentina and the 5th largest city in the country. The city of 500,000 people is considered one of the cultural capitals of Argentina. Located 800 miles from Buenos Aires. This location sounds like a totally different experience than Buenos Aires.

Egypt has seven category 1 hotels.

100,000 points can provide a 3-week vacation in Egypt. A place like Hilton Pyramids Gold Resort has room rates around $200 per night in January. The Pyramids and Sphinx are ten minutes away from the resort.

Alexandria, Egypt hotels are only around $100 per night room rates.

Hilton Dahab has very low rates around $50 to $60 per night. Located on the Red Sea in a windy region known for good windsurfing.

Hilton Hurghada on the Red Sea has three pools and a private beach. There are eleven restaurants and bars on site. Hotel offers scuba diving school. Rates around $50 per night.

Hilton Sharm Dreams Resort is located in Sharm El Sheikh. Resort has nine pools and private beach access. Rates around $100 per night.

Hilton Sharm Waterfalls Resort is on the shore of the Red Sea with onsite dive center. Seven outdoor pools. Rates around $110 per night.

There are some deals to be found as a tourist in Egypt if the political and civil unrest does not frighten you to stay away.

China has six Category 1 Doubletree Hotels.

 

DoubleTree by Hilton is the growing business center hotel around China. Rates look to be around $100 per night or less at these hotels.

Malaysia has one Category 1 Hilton Hotel on the island of Borneo.

Back when I had around 1,000,000 HHonors points in 2001, I planned a trip to Borneo to stay at the Batang Ai Longhouse Resort when rates were around $30 per night. I tried to get relatives to travel to Borneo with me to stay in Kuching, the Batang Ai Longhouse and then travel to Sandakan to stay in suites at the Renaissance Resort using about $2,000 in Marriott Gift Certificates.

Even before 9-11-2001, my trip to Borneo was taken hostage by terrorism. Foreign tourist hostages taken in Sabah by Philippine guerillas made the international news headlines and everybody bailed on me for a trip to Borneo. I cancelled my trip.

Batang Ai Longhouse is in the rainforest of Borneo near the Batang Ai National Park. This is the place for jungle trekking, orangutans, snakes and bugs. Rates currently in the $50 to $70 per night range.

 

Oman has one category 1 hotel.

Hilton Salalah Resort rates are around $200 per night for a 450 square ft. room.

Relax by the Hilton Salalah Resort's infinity pool overlooking the white-sand beach and Indian Ocean. Browse the shopping arcade, work out in the gym or unwind in 6 restaurants and bars. Children will love the kids' playground and pool. The hotel is 20 minutes away from the airport by free shuttle.

This is probably as close to Yemen as you might want to get.

Hilton Oman map

 

Turkey has two HHonors category 1 hotels.

 

India has two HHonors Category 1 hotels.

United Kingdom has two HHonnors Category 1 hotels.

Mexico has eight HHonors category 1 hotels.

USA has five HHonors category 1 hotels.

This is the list of 35 Hilton HHonors category 1 hotels for reward nights at 5,000 points per night or 20,000 points for 5 nights for elite members.

This is kind of a reality check for loyalty program overviews pointing out the low rate of Hilton HHonors reward nights for only 5,000 points.

These properties are Hampton Inn hotels in five select southern U.S. cities and towns. Mexico has six Hampton Inn and two Hilton Garden Inn Hotels.

Northern Argentina has a Hilton Garden Inn and that location sounds like one of the more attractive locations to visit.

The Hilton Hotel in the Borneo rainforest of Malaysia is exotic and certainly  a cheap vacation week for 20,000 points to stay 5 nights. That should leave plenty of cash for excursions.

Hilton Salalah Resort in Oman is probably the best value for the cost of a hotel night in points compared to cash rates.

Egypt could be a three week vacation on 100,000 points if you have the desire to vacation in a place kind of hot on many levels.

India and Goa might be a go.

All the other hotels sound like they are more business center hotels in China, Turkey and UK.

 

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. Check out my page of collated current hotel promotions.

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12 Responses

  1. such an analysis for cat 2 hotels would be great

  2. Let’s posit 57 points per dollar. I’m Diamond, but I don’t have the Surpass at the moment, so maybe its close. Is this Mattress-run worthy?

    At $85/night for four nights (to get the 4X) that’s $340. 57X is 19,380. Great. But I regularly spend 60,000 to 80,000 points per night for a Hilton room for vacations. Sure its a nice room, probably goes for $600 or something, but at 19,380 points I’d have to do this four times at many times the cost of a nights stay in cash.

    Nope, no mattress run here. Move along.

  3. @Ric, one more Cat 1 in the US, the Doubletree @ Richmond Airport is also a Cat 1 hotel.

  4. Thank you for a useful report Ric. One more 5K will be soon opened in Warsaw, Poland. I am planning to spend a few weeks there. The splendid Polish breakfasts alone are worthy those points.

  5. @Pablo – DoubleTree Richmond Airport is currently listed as Category 2 hotel.

    @Mark – Hampton Warsaw shows opening May 2014, but no category is listed yet on the website. Might be a good idea to book reward nights if they are going for 5,000 points now.

    Who knows what the Hilton HHonors hotel category will be in six months?

  6. Great analysis! Could you do this for the next category too? Thanks!

  7. @asar @Jenny I will cover HHonors Category 2 hotels. I see 133 hotels with 101 in the USA.

    That will require a few posts to cover.

    I will likely put the category 1 and category 2 HHonors hotels in a spreadsheet.

    Gets much harder to cover category 3, 4 and 5 with many hundreds of hotels.

  8. Ric,
    I am interested in going to Borneo. Do you have a write up of how you got there and where you went that I can read. I realize it was in 2001 but I would still be interested. Also, do you know of a blogger that has gone more recently?

    Comment by iwantmoremiles on October 18th, 2013 at 7:58 am
  9. Good analysis, the Borneo property looks fascinating. Given the current promotion, better to pay and earn the bonuses or stay on points for these Cat 1 properties?

  10. Interesting article Ric. Its interesting how Hotel Chains especially Hilton Honors change or eliminate the Category rather than increasing the number of points. Case in point. Thirteen years ago the Hilton Gateway, Newark, New Jersey was Category 1 (its now Category 6).
    I stayed at the Hampton Inn, Gastonia, North Carolina (nice property) when it was a Category 1. I believe its now Category 3 or 4.

  11. […] Loyalty Traveller has done an analysis of all of the 5,000 points per night properties. […]

  12. I’ve stayed at the Hampton Inn Jacksonville-I-95 South dozens of times. Rates have risen this year, previously would hover in the ~$55-$60 range.

    Didn’t realize it was only 5,000 points. Will do a few mattress runs to requalify for Diamond.

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