Free evening cocktails and drinks for Hilton Honors Gold and Diamond Members!

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For Hilton Honors Gold and Diamond guests staying at (some) Hilton Hotels, there’s great news! Free cocktails, along with wine and beer, at Hilton Honors Hour! As the sign says, Cocktails on the house for our esteemed Gold and Diamond Honors members! 6pm to 8pm

One slight snag though… This isn’t (currently?) chain wide. The new Hilton Honors Hour has apparently only been launched at a handful of Hilton hotels in India (sign here spotted in Bangalore). So, right now, unless you’re a Hilton Honors guest at a Hilton Hotel somewhere in India, then this promotion won’t cover you.

However, all is not lost! Elsewhere in the world at Hilton, you may still get some free drinks for your status.

First up, for Diamond guests, there’s the Executive Lounge benefit:

If you’re a Hilton Honors Diamond guest staying at a Hilton / Conrad / Doubletree or Tapestry hotel with an Executive Lounge, you’ll get access no matter what room or rate you book.

Quite what “Executive Lounge” means, however, varies a bit… Breakfast is certain. In North America, that might mean a small room with few bags of crisps in the evening and a private bar with paid drinks, if you’re unlucky and staying at a hotel with “Plastic Diamonds” (Diamonds by US Credit Card Spend) or “Road Warriors” (people in a Hilton most nights) by the boat load. At a luxury hotel in Asia, that might mean self-pour Champagne, high-end spirits and amazing things to eat (interesting canapés, light dishes, and desserts etc). The difference between a US big-City Hilton and an Asian Conrad is pretty stark!

If you’re Honors Gold, and if you’re upgraded to an Executive Room, you might get Executive lounge access too. At an “elite light” hotel in Asia, where they don’t get many status guests and treat everyone well, your chances are good. At a US big-city hotel where they’ve got more people with Diamond status than with no status, it’s unlikely… In Europe it’s a mix, but I’ve got lucky a few times when I was gold.

I’m not a free drink, but I am pretty!

As a Diamond guest somewhere in Europe, at a nice Hilton or Waldorf Astoria, a free drinks voucher is quite likely but not promised. At many properties without a lounge, at checkin you’ll be offered a voucher for a free drink at the bar. Mostly it’s just a house wine / draft beer / basic spirit, but sometimes it’s a little more. The Waldorf Astoria in Versailles near Paris offered me two glasses of lovely Champagne last time I was there, for example. In theory, it’s only the one free drink no matter how many are in the room, though often the bar staff take pity on couples and offer you both one.

The odd Hilton hotel will even go the extra mile, especially it seems for repeat guests. In the last few years, I’ve (as a Hilton Diamond) had a half bottle of wine at one hotel, a whole bottle of Spanish sparkling wine (delivered with ice bucket!) in another, and some very nice local liqueur with snacks. It’s not brand standards, but some hotels do like to try hard, and it’s very much appreciated when they do!

Otherwise, if you want to be sure of a free drink on arrival, you need to ditch Hilton! Accor offers a free welcome drink to all its Elite status guests. IHG will, at most properties now, offer you a choice of a Welcome Drink or Points, with the number of points and type of drink depending on your status with them. With both Accor and IHG, you’ll generally only get Champagne in France though, but normally the house wine tend to be decent.

That said, who knows what the future with Hilton may bring. Perhaps next year we’ll see the Hilton Honors Hour free drinks at non-Indian hotels.


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