It seems to me every week I read about some new fantastic Hilton brand hotel opening in an exotic travel destination or major urban center. And then the other day I saw a TV report criticizing private equity funds for buying up companies and dismantling them to the detriment of the employees and pension funds. The one group praised in the report was Blackstone Group for its role in growing Hilton Worldwide.
My interest is hotel loyalty programs and honestly, I have minimal knowledge or interest in the financials of Hilton, but the numerous press releases in the past couple of months on new hotels to the Hilton brand tell me some exciting destinations are being opened for HHonors members.
Here are just a few of the new hotels available for HHonors loyalty travelers.
Doubletree Olbia-Sardinia, Italy – You may not be familiar with Sardinia but this island in Italy is famous for its jetsetter scene. Starwood Hotels has only fifteen top level Category 7 award properties in the world and four of these are at Porto Cervo on Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda. Years ago I read a description describing the yachting scene of Sardinia as the place to be if you want to meet European royalty. Granted the truly rich and possibly famous may not be hanging out at the Doubletree Sardinia (HHonors category 5 award at 35,000 points per night), but the price is right for us plebeians who want to glimpse the social summer hotspot of the Mediterranean.
I am a real Tour de France cycling fan and this past year I watched the February Tour of Sardinia cycling race on TV. The first stage of the race started in Olbia. I’ll keep the Doubletree Olbia-Sardinia in mind for 2011. Rates at the Doubletree Olbia-Sardinia for February 2011 are only 76.50€ (about US$100) when I checked today. August 15-18, 2010 rates start at 101.50€. A top floor 73 square meter suite is 200€ per night.
Hotel Petrizzi, the cheapest of the four Starwood Hotels on the Costa Smeralda runs 690€ per night for the same dates in August and Hotel Cala di Volpe starts at 1,505€ per night. You can just Doubletree your hotel and rent a bicycle and ride to the beach if you can’t afford the Costa Smeralda hotel location.
Doubletree Kos-Helona, Greece
The first Doubletree hotel in Greece is located on an island in the Aegean Sea. The location on the southern coast of Kos in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece is aptly described in the press release as an outstanding leisure and incentive destination. The one-bedroom suites at this property feature a private swimming pool. There are 21 private and shared pools at the hotel. The property also has villas. I was just talking to my wife and sister yesterday about taking a trip to Greece. This property is an HHonors category 2 award for 12,500 points per night.
This hotel has rates at 44.50€ (under $60) including free breakfast for Sep 6-12. With rates this low you might as well splurge for a 44 square meter (473 sq ft) suite at 94.50€ per night, also with free breakfast.
Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa in French Polynesia was named the “Top Hotel for Romance in the World” in the 2010 TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice Awards. This resort has just completed an $11 million renovation for the 106 bungalows with the addition of plunge pools. Two Garden Pool Suites at the resort are 1,700 square feet of room space. This hotel property is an HHonors Category 7 award at 50,000 points per night. (This property was formerly the Sheraton Moorea).
Rates for October 4-10, 2010 start at 32,300 XPF (US$350) per night for advance purchase to 60,000 XPF (US$622) for an overwater bungalow.
This property is a great use of HHonors points.
Waldorf Astoria Syon Park, London
This 137 room property in west London is scheduled to open in November 2010. The property looks across the River Thames onto Kew Gardens. Syon House and its 200 acre park is the ancestral London home of the Duke of Northumberland. This hotel will be a luxury parkland retreat allowing guests use of the park grounds and exclusive access to Syon House gardens.