Hilton HHonors announced hotel reward night category changes effective January 14, 2015 for 12 hotels increasing in category and 5 hotels dropping in category. More useful is a list of 63 new Hilton brand hotels and their standard reward category placement.
Why Hilton HHonors category changes are mostly irrelevant
Hilton HHonors hotel category assignment has limited usefulness in determining the exact price of reward nights at any specific hotel. An HHonors reward category only provides a range of possible prices, except for fixed reward prices at the lowest category hotels for reward categories 1, 2 and 3.
There are 14 hotels of the 63 newly opened Hilton brand hotels worldwide with standard room reward pricing in categories 1 to 3 at fixed reward rates.
All other hotels require a check of the monthly calendar rates on HHonorsPointsSearchTool.com to know the standard reward price for a Category 4 to category 10 hotel. Even the price on the HHonors Points Search Tool is dynamic. In this post I show how the Waldorf-Astoria Amsterdam increased its reward rates between July and December, even before the new category 10 change takes effect in two weeks.
Loyalty Traveler – Hilton HHonors 39 award category changes and 56 new hotels (July 3, 2014)
5 Hotels Decreasing in HHonors hotel reward category
Five hotels decrease in category on January 14, 2015 with Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort in French Polynesia dropping from category 10 to category 9 which means a drop from 95,000 points to 80,000 points per night at peak rates. This is meaningful since every month is currently priced at 95,000 points per night. Get ready to book this property on January 14, 2015 when a 5-night stay drops in price from 380,000 points to 320,000 points.
Hilton Waikoloa Village is currently a Category 7 hotel with a reward price range from 30,000 to 60,000 points. This hotel drops to category 6 on January 14, 2015 with a new price range from 30,000 to 50,000 points. Currently this hotel is 50,000 points per night for every date over the next year, except for December 27 when it rises to 60,000 points for one night. The only certainty with the hotel category change dropping to HHonors Category 6 is the December 27 date will have to drop to 50,000 points as a Standard Reward. Of course, there may only be Premium Room Rewards available for that date and then the price can be upwards of 100,000 points per night. The drop of Hilton Waikoloa Village to category 6 does not indicate whether the reward night price will drop from 50,000 points per night for any dates in 2015.
DoubleTree Breckenridge drops from category 8 to Category 7 on January 14. This is a hotel to book for a discount as soon as the reward category drops to 7 since reward rates are currently 70,000 points per night through March 2015. On January 14 this hotel should drop to 60,000 points per night for ski season dates through March 2015.
DoubleTree Ocean Resort & Spa North Miami Beach is another hotel to book on January 14 when the category change from category 9 to category 8 means rates drop from their current pricing of 80,000 points per night to 70,000 points per night for stays through March 2015
12 Hotels Increasing in Hilton HHonors Reward Category
There are 12 hotels increasing in HHonors hotel reward night category.
Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam
An example of dynamic pricing is Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam, a hotel I used as an example in July 2014 to explain the HHonors Points Search Tool. In July, the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam was 70,000 points for every month through February 2015, except for October and November 2014 when the reward night price increased to 80,000 points.
A check of HHonors Category 9 Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam today shows reward rates are 80,000 points for December, January and February. At some point between July and December the reward rate increased by 10,000 points for these three months.
Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam rises to category 10 on January 14, 2015 when the price range will be 70,000 to 95,000 points. Within this range are three distinct price points at 70,000 or 80,000 or 95,000 points. The price for February can remain at 80,000 points or rise to 95,000 points or even drop to 70,000 points. You won’t know the price until you try to book the hotel. All dates in 2015 look like they currently price at 80,000 points.
DoubleTree Edinburgh City Centre
(mislabeled as The Point Hotel, its former name)
This is one hotel to definitely consider booking before January 14 since it is currently listed as HHonors Category 4 at 30,000 points per night for 2015 and its new Category 6 means rates can rise to 50,000 points.