With many countries planning to welcome back vaccinated travelers in the coming months, we’re inching closer to a sense of normalcy. While the coronavirus pandemic brought travel to a halt, it has also made travel enthusiasts eager to get back out there.
Between generous Hilton promotions and elevated credit card welcome bonuses, many of you have been earning lots of Hilton points over the last year. If you’re ready to start planning future trips using Hilton points, then you’ve come to the right spot. Read on for a list of some of the most aspirational Hilton properties worldwide to start saving your points for, along with some tips to build up your Hilton points balance even while we aren’t traveling.
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Waldorf Astoria Maldives
Points needed for a base award night: 150,000 points
The Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi is the crown jewel of the Hilton portfolio and remains the best property for maximizing your Hilton points. After arriving from Male (MLE) via a yacht transfer, guests will be whisked away to one of 122 private villas spread across three islands.
Hilton recently increased the nightly rate from 120,000 to 150,000 points per night, making it the most expensive award in the Hilton portfolio. But it’s also a once-in-a-lifetime trip for many people, thanks to the stunning turquoise water and abundance of marine life. There’s plenty to do on this isolated island, including snorkeling or scuba diving at the house reef, parasailing, or dining at one of the hotel’s ten bars and restaurants.
Related: The best ways to get to the Maldives on points and miles
Casa Marina Key West, A Waldorf Astoria Resort (Florida)
Points needed for a base award night: 90,000 points
The Casa Marina Key West has been around since the 1920’s, catering to Hollywood stars and titans of industry alike. The rooms may be on the simple side, but the resort’s amenities make up for it. Guests get access to two outdoor pools, a world-class spa, water activities and Key West’s largest private beach.
What’s incredible about this property is that standard room rates go as high as $1500 per night in the summer. Instead, you can redeem 90,000 Hilton points and get a value of about 1.6 cents per point. That’s almost three times what TPG values Hilton points.
Zemi Beach House, LXR Hotels & Resorts (Anguilla)
Points needed for a base award night: 95,000 points
Hilton rolled out its LXR collection about three years ago and continues to go under the radar, despite offering some incredible properties. The Zemi Beach House in Anguilla is one of them. Anguilla is currently not open to Americans, but hopefully that changes over the summer.
When it does, you can expect to redeem 95,000 points per night for a Garden View room that would normally cost you $600 or more per night. These rooms offer ocean views, a private balcony, free daily buffet breakfast and free calls to the U.S. and Canada. These rooms are also stocked with complimentary flip flops and a beach bag – two fewer things to pack.
This is a truly spectacular Hilton award redemption worth bookmarking for when Anguilla opens up again.
Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah
Points needed for a base award night: 47,000-80,000 points
Dubai is currently open to Americans, making it a popular option for travelers looking for sun and fun abroad. Room rates during the summer go well over $600 per night, while award rates are around 80,000 Hilton points. This will get you around 0.75 cents per point in value, which is an awesome redemption.
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A standard award gets you into a superior room, which offers 600 sqft of space, a walk-in closet, and a furnished balcony overlooking the Gulf. Guests also get their own concierge who can arrange everything from restaurant reservations to preferred room amenities.
The nice thing about the Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah is that you won’t be paying a resort fee, which is all the rage at beachfront hotels (and everywhere, really) these days.
ReyKjavik Konsulat Hotel, Curio Collection (Iceland)
Points needed for a base award night: 53,000-80,000 points
The Reykjavik Konsulat Hotel is set to reopen in July, making it a great option for the many Americans headed to Reykjavik this summer. Located in the city center, the hotel is close to museums, shopping and the waterfront.
Guests booking a standard Classic room will get complimentary breakfast, regardless of elite status. This policy applies to award bookings too. Standard rooms go as high as $450 or 80,000 point per night in the summer. That puts you well under the 0.6 cent valuation of Hilton points but might still make a good redemption for free night certificates.
Oceana Santa Monica, LXR Hotels & Resorts
Points needed for a base award night: 95,000 points
The newly renovated, beachfront Oceana Santa Monica offers spacious rooms with luxurious amenities like Frette sheets and cashmere throws. Rooms go for well over $600 per night during the summer, making the 95,000-point redemption rate a bargain.
The hotel is located within walking distance of the Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica Pier. The daily resort fee is pretty steep at $45 and gets you free daily yoga sessions on the beach, a state-of-the-art gym equipped with Peleton bikes and a heated outdoor pool.
Conrad London St. James
Points needed for a base award night: 72,000-80,000 points
The luxurious Conrad London St. James has a prime location in the heart of the UK’s capital city, sitting just a few blocks away from Buckingham Palace on one side and Westminster Palace and the Thames on the other. The hotel’s 256 rooms and suites reflect the hotel’s sleek, modern and luxurious design. While London has a great food and drink scene, you’ll find several famous bars and restaurants at the Conrad, including the popular Blue Boar Bar, which offers a traditional British pub experience in an updated, sophisticated style.
Diamond members will also enjoy the well-appointed Executive Lounge, serving complimentary breakfast, afternoon tea, and evening small plates and beverages. In fact, TPG Senior Editor Nick Ewen describes it as “one of the best lounges” in the Hilton Honors portfolio.
Related: Using points and miles to get to London
How to earn Hilton Honors points
If you’re looking to top up your Hilton Honors account balance, applying for a new credit card is the best way to do so. There’s never been a better time, with the Hilton Aspire offering its highest welcome bonus ever.
- Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express: Earn 150,000 points after spending $4,000 in purchases in the first three months of card membership. Plus, receive a free weekend night award now and every year upon card renewal.
- Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card: Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in eligible purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership.
- The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card: Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership.
Hilton Honors Card from American Express: Earn 80,000 Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors American Express Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, you can earn an additional 50,000 points after spending a total of $5,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 6 months.
The information for the Hilton Aspire Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Any new credit card applications on these products through May 31, 2020 will also enjoy an extra three months to reach the above spending thresholds — one key reason why 2020 may be the year of the cobranded credit card.
Note that Hilton also allows you to pool points for free with up to 9 other members to put you even closer to any of the below awards.
Finally, it’s also worth noting that Hilton Honors doesn’t charge those pesky resort fees when you use your points for a hotel stay. With many luxury resorts and even big-city locations tacking on fees of $50 (or more) per night, this is a great, added savings opportunity for your Hilton award stays — one that isn’t offered by all programs.
So once you’ve earned a nice number of Hilton points, what are some of the top spots to visit in the future? Here are some popular options.
Related: Choosing the best Hilton credit card for you
It’s still too early to say exactly what travel might look like in a post-pandemic world, but many of you are looking to splurge on bucket-list trips. Now is the time to start booking, before any potential devaluations occur.
If you’re looking for some truly jaw-dropping properties to plan your future travels, this list of Hilton hotels is a great place to start.
To start saving, consider adding a new Hilton credit card to your wallet now — especially with extended time to earn a welcome bonus, additional bonus points for grocery store purchases, and flexible free-night rewards with no blackout dates. Any of these cards would put you well on the way toward snagging a top-tier redemption at one of these hotels or another luxury property in the Hilton portfolio.
Additional reporting by Ethan Steinberg
Featured image of the Oceana Santa Monica courtesy of the hotel.
SPONSORED: With states reopening, enjoying a meal from a restaurant no longer just means curbside pickup.
And when you do spend on dining, you should use a credit card that will maximize your rewards and potentially even score special discounts. Thanks to temporary card bonuses and changes due to coronavirus, you may even be able to score a meal at your favorite restaurant for free.
These are the best credit cards for dining out, taking out, and ordering in to maximize every meal purchase.
Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
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