Hilton HHonors has 15 hotels in five European countries listed as category 2 hotel rewards. These are hotels that can be booked for 10,000 points per night, or for VIP elites (HHonors Silver, Gold, Diamond) for 40,000 points with a 5th night free reward.
Sometimes there is an even better discount for a Hilton HHonors category-2 hotel reward using a Points & Money Reward at 4,000 points and $35 per night instead of the Standard Reward at 10,000 points per night.
Eastern Europe and the UK offer 15 category-2 hotels at only 10,000 points per night.
One of the great changes over the past 14 years since I started following Hilton HHonors closely has been what I term “Category Shift’, whereby each year some hotels in the lowest hotel reward categories are shifted up to higher categories. And new highest hotel categories for reward nights were added. In 2003 there were only six HHonors hotel reward categories and now there are ten categories in 2013.
Over the years the number of hotels in category 1 and 2 were pared down and few hotels remained in these lowest categories, especially for Europe.
There are some surprises like Hilton Newport, UK that was a category 4 hotel in 2010. Most of the European hotels at HHonors Category 2 are hotels that were not part of HHonors in 2010.
Here is a look at some of these European locations in search of locational value for the tourist and secondly for the business traveler.
Hampton Inn Swinoujscie is in a town on the Baltic Sea and the hotel is rated # 1 for the area on TripAdvisor. Reviews indicate the property is nice, but the location is not by the beach which is the primary draw to this place.
Like many of these European category 2 hotel locations, the rates are low $50-$60 in off-season and rise to around $150 per night for summer 2014 dates.
Hilton Sibiu is located in a city of Transylvania with a 1,000 year old history. Sibiu was named a European Cultural City and has sought recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city is one of the most prosperous in Romania with a strong manufacturing base and educational facilities.
Room rates are 50 to 60 EUR in November 2013, but summer months the rates double and this gives a great redemption value at 10,000 points per night compared to hotel rates over $150 USD per night in peak season.
Unfortunately, the hotel is closer to the airport than the old town, yet TripAdvisor reviewers list the Hilton Sibiu as the #1 of 29 hotels in the area. And there is a bus stop by the hotel for the ten minute ride to the old town area.
Doubletree Bratislava is located in the capital of the Slovak Republic in a city situated on the Danube River. The hotel apparently is a long walk from Old Town on the river, but reviews are generally very good of the property that ranks #13 of 86 hotels listed on TripAdvisor for this city of nearly 500,000.
Historic Bratislava has buildings from the 14th and 15th centuries. The low cost of living also attracted many multinational corporations and modern construction to provide a mix of old and new for the traveler.
DoubleTree Bratislava room rates in July 2014 run around 90 to 100 EUR per night ($120 – $135USD).
Bratislava is only 50 miles east of Vienna, Austria so not too far a journey into eastern Europe if your travels take you along the Danube route.
Hilton Newport is in Wales. TripAdvisor reviews state the hotel needs some refurbishing. A friend who was in London last month was saying that London looks great economically while the rest of the country has plenty of locally weak economies. Perhaps that is the case with Newport where this Hilton hotel was HHonors category 4 in 2010.
When it comes to HHonors category-2 hotels in Europe the selection is limited. As a loyalty traveler I have found myself in places that I would have never been if not for spending hotel points to reduce the cost of my vacation travel.
Sibiu, Romania and Swinoujscie, Poland are places I might never have heard of if not for Hilton HHonors. Many travelers are looking for the resort hotels on the road well traveled with Hilton that may run 50,000 to 95,000 points per night. Some people like to travel in high style and a resort vacation is the goal.
Personally I tend to be more interested in the location than the hotel for most of my travels and conserving points by paying as little as 4,000 points + $35 per night or 40,000 points for five nights at a Hilton HHonors category-2 hotels is a desirable lodging option.
In my travels I have found some gem locations around the world following the road paved with points and going to places I might have never considered otherwise.
Have you stayed at any of these Hilton HHonors Category 2 hotels in Europe? Any comments or advice for readers?
- Hilton HHonors Category 2 Hotels International list of 33 hotels (Oct 20, 2013)
- Hilton HHonors 101 Category-2 hotels in USA (Oct 19, 2013)
- Hilton HHonors 35 Category-1 hotels (Oct 18, 2013)
Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.
Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. Check out my page of collated current hotel promotions.