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A few weeks ago I wrote about a number of Hilton Honors hotels costing far more points than they previously did – without any announcement being made. Since then, a lively Flyertalk thread has been pointing out the dozens of hotels that have increased in price… overnight… without warning!
I’ve made this point before but I’ll repeat it yet again. If companies want to earn the loyalty of their customer base, they need to avoid these no-notice devaluations. Members who stay with a hotel chain expect to earn points that they can spend on free nights. But if they don’t know how many points they will need, then what is the point of earning points in the first place?
That said, this post isn’t intended as yet another rant against Hilton Honors’ no-award-chart policy of “we’ll charge you as many points as we feel like”. But instead, I wanted to point out how to react when faced with the disappearance of one’s favourite sweetspots… by finding another!
The Hilton Honors Points Explorer
Although some bloggers have valiantly tried to put together lists of “low category” Hilton Honors hotels, I prefer to go to the source – the Points Explorer – you can reach it by clicking here.
The Points Explorer isn’t updated that frequently, and often gives silly results. Pretend they might… but the Hilton Paris Opera is never going to be available for 20,000 points per night…
But if you order the results from low points to high, you can find those hotels that cost relatively few points. Unless you are a geography master, or have a great deal of patience or interest in getting off the beaten path, you will probably struggle whilst scrolling through hotels located in places in China, Turkey, Mexico that you cannot imagine ever visiting.
The Doubletree Penang, Malaysia
As I was scrolling through the list however, I stumbled across the Doubletree hotel in Penang, Malaysia. Apparently this hotel became a Doubletree in 2018, which is possibly why I wasn’t previously aware of it.
I’ve never been to Penang, but I understand that the UNESCO World Heritage Site of George Town is worth a wander around. In addition, Qatar Airways offers a direct flight from Doha, meaning that you can likely find an interesting Business Class fare and earn yourself 560 Tier Points.
But for those readers for whom earning and spending points is a priority, the main attraction of this hotel (besides its waterfront location) is this…
For 10,000 points per night – or 40,000 points for a five-night stay – this would be a perfect way to tag on a cheap, yet good quality, beach holiday to a trip around Southeast Asia.
There doesn’t appear to be an Executive Lounge, but you can easily receive free breakfast by undertaking one of the simple Gold or Diamond fast tracks or status matches on regular offer.
I’ve already spent most of my Hilton Honors points, but hopefully I can earn another 40,000 points before this sweetspot is enhanced away overnight…
What do you think about Hilton’s award policies? Have you been caught out by the recent devaluation? Let us know in the comments section…