While Hilton Honors doesn’t have an award chart, the program has historically charged no more than 120,000 points for a free night in a standard room. It looks like that maximum has now been increased by up to 25%.
Waldorf Astoria Maldives charging 150K points per night
As noted by View from the Wing, the Waldorf Astoria Maldives is now charging up to 150,000 Hilton Honors points for a free night award in a standard room.
As a point of comparison, up until recently the hotel charged no more than 120,000 points for a free night award in a standard room, so that’s a pretty significant increase. Interestingly some dates are still pricing at 120,000 points per night, so I’m curious to see how that evolves.
For some context:
- Prior to the Waldorf Astoria Maldives opening in 2019, Hilton’s most expensive free night awards in standard rooms cost 95,000 Honors points
- Then when the Waldorf Astoria Maldives opened, Hilton increased that cap to 120,000 Hilton Honors points, but initially only specifically for this property
- Just a short while later, Hilton also started charging 120,000 Honors points for the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal, though since then we haven’t seen any other properties priced above the 95,000 Honors points per night level for a standard room.
The Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos costs up to 120K points per night
This change isn’t a glitch, and a Hilton spokesperson justifies it as follows:
We’re pleased to offer Hilton Honors members standard redemption rates at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives. The resort is uniquely set up with an all-villa offering with a private pool in each villa and, priced at a premium rate, is also one of the most highly sought after properties in our global portfolio appealing to Hilton Honors members.
The resort has seen steady traction in occupancy and offers rates of well over $1,000 per night for standard rooms, even amidst a challenging period for the global travel industry and this has resulted in a higher price cap for the resort. In addition, across our luxury properties which have a number of specialty room types, the number of rooms classified as “standard” varies across each hotel. We are pleased to share that members will still be able to enjoy the 5th Night Free benefit as well as redeem free weekend night certificates, providing our members greater value at this award-winning resort in an iconic destination.
The Waldorf Astoria Maldives now costs up to 150K points per night
The bigger problem with awards at this hotel
While it’s a shame to see this hotel increase award costs, I’d argue that the much bigger issue is how little award availability this hotel offers in general. In theory all standard rooms at Hiltons should be bookable with Hilton Honors points at the standard award cost, but when you look even at the very end of the calendar, there’s not any award availability.
As you can see, pricing is over a million points per night, which reflects Hilton’s dynamic award pricing when standard rooms aren’t available.
The hotel sometimes has last minute award availability, presumably due to cancelations. On top of that there are widespread reports that the hotel seems to open up some availability far in advance every few weeks, but one has to wonder what’s going on when the schedule opens and there are no standard rooms available.
No matter how you slice it, this hotel is playing games with award availability, and often there’s not a single period of a few days in the entire coming year where there’s any standard room award availability.
The Waldorf Astoria Maldives plays games with award availability
Hilton Honors now charges up to 150,000 Honors points per night for standard room redemptions, representing a 25% increase. This applies specifically at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives.
That’s no doubt a bummer, though arguably the bigger problem at this hotel is the lack of standard room availability. It doesn’t matter all that much whether the hotel charges 120,000 points or 150,000 points per night for a standard room if they’re so rarely available.
Here’s to hoping that the Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos doesn’t move up to the 150,000 points per night level, and for that matter that more hotels don’t move to the 120,000 points per night level.
What do you make of Hilton increasing the maximum standard room award cost at the Waldorf Astoria Maldives?