While I have been a Hilton Honors program member for almost 20 years, I haven’t stayed as much at their properties as at some of the other chains. Most recently, I stayed at the Hilton Kuching on points (read my review here). It is one of the best know hotel brands around the world, so here is an overview of the brand to get you oriented:
Who are they? Hilton is the flagship brand of Hilton Worldwide. Of the 4,875 hotels in the group, there are 570 Hilton hotels in 78 countries on 6 continents. That gives you a broader reach than most brands, regardless of where you go!
In their own words, “Hilton Hotels & Resorts stands as the stylish, innovative leader of hospitality. As the most recognized name in the industry, Hilton remains synonymous with the word “hotel”.”
Wow, Hilton certainly has a great deal of confidence in their brand. While I agree on the leading brand recognition, neither stylish nor innovative come to mind when thinking of my Hilton hotel experiences….
What Experience to expect? Hilton is an upscale, global brand and you will find them so frequently that they are the go-to hotel for many business travelers. They are full-service hotels, so you will find usually find a restaurant, room service, gym, pool and other amenities. The Hilton brand with an Average Daily Rate (ADR) of $167) is positioned below the luxury Conrad brand, but above the Doubletree conversion brand or the mid-scale Hilton Garden Inn.
Unfortunately, their brand standards are not as tight as Marriott or Accor and the quality of the properties can vary greatly, from a run-down airport hotel in the US to a stunning beach resort or modern marvel in Asia (like the Hilton Kota Kinabalu)! Make sure to read reviews before booking a Hilton hotel for the first time! Also, keep in mind that outside the US the Hilton’s are often priced above local competitors, so they might not be the best value for your cash or points.
The Hilton hotels, of course, participate in the Hilton Honors frequent guest program. The program has earned many awards over the years and remains popular, despite some recent, very drastic devaluations of their points currency. If you are US based and travel frequently on business, it’s a good program to have. It’s a very broad program with many ways to easily earn points, including several credit cards. With 4,875 hotels to choose from, you shouldn’t have a problem finding a room on points when you need it! The program also offers some of the best mid-level perks, like free internet and breakfast, so you can make your stays a little more comfortable.
You can read reviews of some Hilton hotels here:
Hilton Kota Kinabalu