The cost of London hotels using HHonors points can vary significantly depending on the month you travel. Analysis of summer rates for the first weekend in July and August 2013 shows your money and points go much farther for August travel.
HHonors pulls up 34 hotels in a search of London. About ten of these hotels are in outlying suburbs and the airports at Heathrow and Gatwick.
My analysis of London hotels initially looked at only one weekend, Friday July 5 to Sunday, July 7, 2013 and that weekend looks like a high priced weekend compared to other dates in July and August. The lower August 2-4 rates in the table appear closer to average room rates for these two months.
After compiling the data I checked the seasonal reward calendar for Hilton to see 8 of 24 hotels listed for London dropped in reward cost for August compared to July. [Note: HHonors reservations shows 34 hotels for London area. There are only 24 hotels shown on the website for checking seasonal points rates at hotel rewards in London.]
A difference in this London analysis from my U.S. cities survey is I did not examine Premium Room Rewards at the London hotels. Several hotels listed in the table only offered Premium Room Rewards. These reward types generally offered poor redemption value under $3.00 per 1,000 points.
HHonors Reward Rates and Room Rates for London 2013
Observations from Hilton Brand Hotels in London
The generally high price and high reward cost for hotels in London in July is apparent. The rates at several London hotels drop by half for August. Hilton London Hyde Park is $323 in July and $163 in August. DoubleTree Tower of London is $288 in July and only $151 in August.
The high cost of reward nights in London combined with lower cost weekend nights in summer means this city provides relatively poor Standard Reward redemption value for many of the hotels. Reward rates are high in London where most of the Hilton brand hotels are in HHonors Reward Categories 7, 8 and 9 with published room rates mostly in the $180 to $300 range. New York is another city where most Hilton brand hotels are in these high reward categories, however, the higher cost of New York hotels, nearly all over $300 per night, makes NY a reasonable place to burn points.
19 of 34 hotels checked in London returned Standard Reward redemption value rates under $4.00 per 1,000 points for reward stays in July and August. Paying cash for rooms is the better option when points value for rewards falls below $4.00 per 1,000 points.
Points & Money Rewards show far more availability in London than any of the U.S. cities I analyzed: Boston, Charlotte, Minneapolis, New York and San Francisco.
Some Points & Money Rewards offer high redemption value like Hilton Euston and Hilton London Docklands Riverside where reward redemption value approaches or exceeds $10 per 1,000 points spent for a reward stay.
Hilton London Canary Wharf offers one of the poorest Points & Money redemption values seen with a reward cost of 24,000 points + £62 for this category 8 hotel with a room rate August 2-4 of £79 per night. That is $1.08 per 1,000 points. Four nights would cost 96,000 points to save $108.
Hilton brand hotels are widespread across London. 34 hotels in the London area compared with only a couple of hotels in Paris makes Hilton a reasonable brand choice for a UK holiday.
London hotel rates have a large price range. This is a city where a leisure traveler can redeem points stays as a good option during high rate dates and book cash rooms as a good option for a leisure traveler with the option to plan a vacation over low room rate dates. Spend HHonors points in London if you have to, however, seeking low rate dates for your visit can make London much more affordable while saving HHonors points for places where they provide better value.
Five U.S. Cities HHonors Survey Results