Idiot’s Guide: What is The Difference Between A Hilton “Night” And A Hilton “Stay”?

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When the idea of running the occasional “idiot’s guide” was discussed by the Insideflyer writers, for some reason they suggested I give it a go. Anyway, I thought I would begin with one of the questions I get asked surprisingly frequently:

What, exactly, is the difference between a Hilton night, and a Hilton stay?

The answer is simple, really:

  • A Hilton night is any night you spend at a Hilton property.
  • A Hilton stay is any one night, or consecutive number of nights, at the same Hilton property. It doesn’t matter if this is two consecutive nights or two billion – it is one stay.

Some examples:

So, based on the (hopefully simple) explanation above, here are a few permutations.

  • A one night stay at a Hilton hotel is one night, and one stay.
  • A two night stay at a Hilton hotel is two nights, but one stay
  • A 10 night stay at a Hilton hotel is 10 nights, but one stay
  • A  one night stay at a Hilton hotel, followed by a night at home, followed by a night at the same Hilton, is two nights and two stays.
  • A one night stay at Hilton hotel A, followed by a one night stay at Hilton hotel B, followed by a one night stay back at Hilton hotel A, is three nights and three stays.

Why does the difference matter?

It’s a crucial difference, principally in relation to elite status qualification.

For example, in any normal year, you will earn Hilton Gold status with 20 nights, or 10 stays:

(Status qualification for Hilton is currently halved, as a gesture to those unable to travel due to Coronavirus.)

So, for status qualification purposes (but, notably, not convenience purposes), breaking up your Hilton stays between properties can be very worthwhile. Each separate hotel is a new “stay”, which is a hefty step towards qualification. For example, I once rotated between two properties in Las Vegas to great effect.

Finally, note also that any reward night (i.e. nights paid for with points) will count as nights/stays as applicable, per the above.

I fully appreciate the above may be very obvious to many of you, but please rest assured that it’s a common query in our inbox. Hopefully not for much longer…


  1. Symes says

    Thanks for the info so if I book 1 night at the Doubletree then check out the next day. Then check back in is that classed as 2 stays

    • Craig Sowerby says

      No. There has to be a day’s gap in between “stays” at the same hotel. i.e. you can check out on 10 March and then check in on 11 March to get 2 stays. (but not if you check into the same hotel on 10 March)

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