I could have really benefitted from this FlyerTalk list by SanDiego1K of the Best Hilton Hotels in Europe back when I had one million HHonors points. In 2002 six-nights at any Hilton-family hotel up to Category 5 level was only 100,000 points and in 2008 these hotels are 150,000 points for six night stays using points. There weren’t that many Category 6 HHonors hotels in 2002 when the cost was 150,000, and in 2008 there are many more Category 6 hotels at the rate of 175,000 points for six nights. For stays shorter than six nights the rate is 40,000 points per night.
The Budapest Hilton stay is one I repeatedly rave about as one of the greatest views I ever had at a hotel.
While I have not stayed at the Hilton Dresden, I photographed the hotel last year. The Hilton is located right in the center of the Altstadt, near the newly rebuilt Frauenkirche. This Lutheran church is considered to be one of the most historically prominent cathedrals in Europe due to its association with Martin Luther.
The massive allied bombing of Dresden in February 1945 created a firestorm which destroyed most of the city center and the Frauenkirche. Kurt Vonnegut, the American novelist, was a POW in Dresden at the time of the bombing. As a young teenager I became aware of Dresden through Vonnegut’s novels and the Dresden bombing is a central feature of Slaughterhouse Five.
I visited Dresden in 2000 and again in 2007. The Hilton Dresden is a great resting point for a moving cultural experience in this historical city and surroundings. There has been vast reconstruction in the vicinity of the Hilton this past decade and in many ways it seems like a Disneyland set with old-style new buildings and blackened older facades still tarnished from the 1945 firestorm.
If you make it to Dresden, be sure to allocate time to explore the countryside of Saxony along the Elbe River. Once you leave the main cities of Leipzig and Dresden, the region really has limited international tourism. I was amazed at how few people spoke English when I visited in 2000. I loved it.
The region between Dresden and the Czech Republic border is known in English as Saxon-Switzerland. This is one of my favorite regions of Europe for hiking and biking. Bike paths along the Elbe River make for a great ride from Dresden all the way to the Czech border.