Hilton HHonors Hotel Category Changes – March 2016

Hilton HHonors does its hotel category changes a little differently to most of the other large hotel loyalty programs. Rather than putting though all the hotel category changes (for a year) in one big sweep, Hilton prefers to publish its hotel category changes on a quarterly basis.  As of 30 March 2016, 24 Hilton properties will cost more HHonors points for an award night while 14 properties will require fewer points – this is a comparatively tame set of changes.

Hilton HHonors Award Chart

The changes to the hotel categories mean little without some context, so here is the Hilton HHonors award chart which shows how many points are required to book a night at each category of hotel:

hilton-hhonors-award-chart

Hilton Properties Increasing In Cost

  • All 24 properties that are increasing in cost are in the United States
  • There are no properties increasing by more than one category
  • There are no big-name hotels affected by the increases
  • 9 properties are moving from Category 5 to Category 6
  • 8 properties are moving from Category 2 to Category 3
  • 6 properties are moving from Category 4 to Category 5
  • 1 property is moving from Category 6 to Category 7

hilton-hhonors-increases-march-2016Click to Enlarge

As a look at the award chart shows, there aren’t any drastic changes being put through by Hilton this time around.

10 properties that have changed categories may not even cost more if you book out of peak season (off-peak costs for categories 5, 6 & 7 are the same)

The biggest changes are happening at the properties moving from Category 2 to Category 3 and Category 4 to Category 5 where award stays will now cost 10,000 HHonors points more from 30 March.

Hilton Properties Decreasing In Cost

  • 11 of the 15 properties that are decreasing in cost are in the United States
  • 2 properties are decreasing by more than one category
  • There are no big-name hotels affected by the decreases

hilton-hhonors-property-decreases-march-2016Click to Enlarge

Overall that’s a pretty uninspiring set of hotels in that list and the movements downwards won’t make too much difference to most people’s HHonors redemptions.

The two properties seeing the biggest move downwards are the Hilton Petaling Jaya in Malaysia (moving from Category 4 to Category 2) and the DoubleTree by Hilton Hainan Qixianling Hot Spring in China (moving from Category 6 to Category 4). In case anyone is as curious as I was to find out where Hainan Qixianling Hot Spring is, here’s a screenshot from Google Maps:

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 22.31.10

Nope, I had no idea that’s where it is either.

Bottom Line

There’s not much to get excited about in this set of changes….unless you want to get excited about the fact that no particularly important properties appeared on the list of changes.

It’s worth remembering that Hilton is, to a degree, putting these changes out by stealth because they don’t actually announce that hotels are changing categories – they just update the webpage I linked to at the beginning of this post. Personally I don’t think that’s a particularly open way for a loyalty program to behave….but then I don’t really get a say!

We can probably expect the next set of changes to be announced around 23 June with the increases/decreases going into effect on or around 30 June 2016 – I’ll makes sure I post the changes when the time comes.