Hilton & Small Luxury Hotels Of The World (SLH) Launch Partnership

Hilton & Small Luxury Hotels Of The World (SLH) Launch Partnership

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Hilton has just announced an exclusive new partnership with Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH), which almost certainly means that Hyatt’s partnership with SLH will end in the coming months…

Hilton partners with SLH for boutique luxury hotels

Hilton and Small Luxury Hotels of the World are introducing an exclusive strategic partnership, which will allow Hilton Honors members to earn and redeem points at hundreds of boutique luxury properties around the globe. This will greatly expand the luxury properties that Hilton Honors members have access to.

There’s no exact timeline yet for when this partnership will launch, though we’re told to expect it to ramp up in the months ahead. In order to earn and redeem points, you’ll need to book through Hilton booking channels.

For those not familiar with SLH, this is a group of roughly 560 boutique hotels. What makes SLH different than the other major hotel groups is that SLH as such doesn’t manage these properties. Rather, SLH is essentially a community of independent hotels that don’t have any desire to directly join the major hotel groups.

In other words, SLH has a marketing agreement with these hotels, and soon Hilton will have a marketing partnership with SLH. These properties won’t fully be integrated into the Hilton portfolio, but rather Hilton will be able to get a commission when people book these properties through Hilton, and in turn, the company will pass on some of that commission to consumers in the form of points.

Canaves Oia Epitome, an SLH property

This is certainly the end of the Hyatt & SLH partnership

If the concept of a major global hotel group partnering with Small Luxury Hotels of the World sounds familiar, it’s for good reason. In 2018, Hyatt and SLH launched a partnership, offering points earning and redemption opportunities, as well as select elite perks.

With Hilton and SLH now announcing a new exclusive collaboration, this should spell the end of the Hyatt and SLH partnership as well. In fairness, that has been rumored for quite some time.

Hyatt recently acquired Mr. & Mrs. Smith, a luxury travel agency that markets select hotels. With this acquisition, we can expect over 1,500 luxury properties to soon be integrated into Hyatt’s booking channels. While details remain limited as of now, it seems like the plan will be for members to be able to earn and redeem World of Hyatt points for stays at these properties, and also to receive select perks.

When Hyatt announced its acquisition of Mr. & Mrs. Smith, many assumed that the SLH partnership would end, given the overlap between the concepts, as many hotels belong to both portfolios.

We sure are seeing a lot of hotel partnership musical chairs lately. MGM used to partner with Hyatt, but now partners with Marriott. IHG used to partner with Mr. & Mrs. Smith, and is now owned by Hyatt. And now SLH is switching from Hyatt to Hilton.

Calala Island Nicaragua, an SLH property

Bottom line

Hilton has announced a new exclusive collaboration with Small Luxury Hotels of the World. This means that Hyatt’s partnership with SLH is ending, which isn’t a surprise, given Hyatt’s acquisition of Mr. & Mrs. Smith.

While Hyatt losing SLH is a bit of a loss, I’m happy to see that SLH is partnering with another major hotel group. However, I wouldn’t expect the value to be quite as good through Hilton, as Hyatt tends to do a better job with these kinds of partnerships. For example, Hyatt had SLH properties follow the standard award, which made for some outsized redemption opportunities, while I would speculate that Hilton will use dynamic pricing.

What do you make of Hilton and SLH partnering?

Conversations (21)
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  1. Duckeduck Guest

    Terrible news for those who like SLH. My own experience with a few SLH properties have been subpar at best. Good riddance I say! Hilton is trash in the US - never had a good experience. Hiltons in Asia are the only exception.

  2. Andrew Diamond

    I can't say I'm surprised. I've stayed in SLH two properties, and though the properties were nice, but the benefits were scant, the rewards points never posted without me harassing Hyatt, and availability and pricing were always worst when searching through the Hyatt site.

    Sorry, Hilton!

  3. Ryan Guest

    I have a stay booked at an SLH property for the end of May, using Hyatt points. Any idea if they will still honor this?? Have had it booked for months...

  4. Tom R Guest

    Not sure how this is good news. Judging by some of the rates Hilton ask for their luxury hotels enjoy paying 500k + a night points for this Vs 40k Hyatt points. I saw one Hilton in NYC going for 890k a night recently and that was not even in peak season. It's just getting silly. And yes I'm Diamond but so are a zillion others

    1. eponymous coward Guest

      Nobody is charging 890k Hilton a night for a standard room available for points or FNC redemption . "Enhanced" rooms (some of the "enhancements" might be "better view" not just "suite"), yes. But not base rooms. Hyatt is different in that suite upgrades are pretty reasonably priced in points, unlike Hilton.

      I literally looked up the Conrad NY Downtown for points redemptions this week and the base rooms were 90k per night (for a $500++...

      Nobody is charging 890k Hilton a night for a standard room available for points or FNC redemption . "Enhanced" rooms (some of the "enhancements" might be "better view" not just "suite"), yes. But not base rooms. Hyatt is different in that suite upgrades are pretty reasonably priced in points, unlike Hilton.

      I literally looked up the Conrad NY Downtown for points redemptions this week and the base rooms were 90k per night (for a $500++ room rate).

      I can't believe I am saying this, but where's DCS?

    2. Tom R Guest

      I wish the site allowed posting of pictures. Conrad came up at 161k points for this coming Saturday for me. Another example, random weekend in July in Boston (not near July 4), 227k points for Boston park plaza, 179k points for Hilton back bay.

      Then heaven forbid you go somewhere popular for this time of year like key west. The top 3 results next weekend (16-17) are over 300k per night. Doubletree resort which I'm...

      I wish the site allowed posting of pictures. Conrad came up at 161k points for this coming Saturday for me. Another example, random weekend in July in Boston (not near July 4), 227k points for Boston park plaza, 179k points for Hilton back bay.

      Then heaven forbid you go somewhere popular for this time of year like key west. The top 3 results next weekend (16-17) are over 300k per night. Doubletree resort which I'm sure is far from luxury (compared to SLH) is 309k points next Saturday.

      I was looking at booking in Kyoto in late April (well after cherry blossom season) the LXR hotel there (so a luxury brand) is 336k points per night.

      It didn't take long to find plenty of examples where you're paying 100s of thousands of points per night.

    3. Anthony Diamond

      Tom R - with Hilton, you basically have to ignore the "premium room rewards," which are dynamic and have no cap, and wait for standard room rewards. Standard room rewards come in and out of availability. When adjusting for earn rates (on both credit cards and paid stays), I find Hilton's standard rewards are comparable priced to Hyatt. The easiest way to show this is by comparing the welcome offer on the Chase Hyatt card...

      Tom R - with Hilton, you basically have to ignore the "premium room rewards," which are dynamic and have no cap, and wait for standard room rewards. Standard room rewards come in and out of availability. When adjusting for earn rates (on both credit cards and paid stays), I find Hilton's standard rewards are comparable priced to Hyatt. The easiest way to show this is by comparing the welcome offer on the Chase Hyatt card and the Amex Hilton Surpass. Depending on how much you spend, the Chase Hyatt card will get you about a 45,000 point sign up bonus, which is good for one night at the Andaz Maui. The Hilton Surpass current sign up bonus is 130,000 points - Grand Wailea Maui costs about 125,000 points per night on a standard room. So each brand's card gets you a free night st the brand's luxury Maui property.

  5. Sonny Guest

    Same question as others - I have existing confirmed WOH bookings at SLHs for August. Will these be honored and will I get Hyatt night credits and points?

    1. yoloswag420 Guest

      I spoke w/ Hyatt CS this morning and they said yes. Even if you don't trust that. Think about this from a realistic standpoint.

      As a business, Hyatt has yet to communicate directly to customers, in fact you can still make SLH bookings on Hyatt right now. Even once they do, there needs to be some lead time for the partnership to dissolve. They will not just announce and cancel everything suddenly, as they must...

      I spoke w/ Hyatt CS this morning and they said yes. Even if you don't trust that. Think about this from a realistic standpoint.

      As a business, Hyatt has yet to communicate directly to customers, in fact you can still make SLH bookings on Hyatt right now. Even once they do, there needs to be some lead time for the partnership to dissolve. They will not just announce and cancel everything suddenly, as they must give customers sufficient time to adjust their plans.

      I expect that they are going to slowly deplete their SLH inventory up until a final date, after which no new bookings will be honored.

  6. Jerry Diamond

    Something "moving to Hilton" is never a good thing, and I say that as a decade long Diamond.

  7. Taylor Guest

    Do we think that existing WOH award bookings at SLH properties will be honored? Will be helpful as we plan our summer travel.

  8. Evan Guest

    This is awesome as someone who is lifetime diamond with tons of points and usually travel for leisure to WA or Conrad’s in the Caribbean and Mexico my universe just got a lot bigger.

  9. Powerball Winner Guest

    Interesting that SLH wants to partner with arguably the worst of the 4 major chains. Can't wait to book a night for only 125,000 Hilton points as opposed to 35,00 Hyatt points.

    1. Stan P Guest

      LOL , you made my day . Are you the only on this blog that does NOT know that 35k Hyatts points equals 125k Hilton , even if you buy them ?

    2. Powerball Winner Guest

      Considering most people use Ultimate Rewards to transfer to hotels.. would you rather transfer 35,000 or 125,000 for the same hotel/room?

    3. Luis Guest

      No one that reads this website would transfer UR points to Hilton. If you do, you're doing it wrong, very wrong.

    4. eponymous coward Guest

      "Considering most people use Ultimate Rewards to transfer to hotels"

      Considering that a lot of people get Hilton FNCs that work in nearly ANY property, as opposed to a wimpy Cat 1-4 FNC from Hyatt that won't even get you a Hyatt hotel room in Manhattan...

      "would you rather transfer 35,000 or 125,000 for the same hotel/room?"

      I'd rather earn points with hotel spend at 34x for Hilton spend (with frequent promotions that take it...

      "Considering most people use Ultimate Rewards to transfer to hotels"

      Considering that a lot of people get Hilton FNCs that work in nearly ANY property, as opposed to a wimpy Cat 1-4 FNC from Hyatt that won't even get you a Hyatt hotel room in Manhattan...

      "would you rather transfer 35,000 or 125,000 for the same hotel/room?"

      I'd rather earn points with hotel spend at 34x for Hilton spend (with frequent promotions that take it to 44x or 54x) as a Diamond with an Aspire, rather than at 9.5x as a Discoverist with a WoH card. People do actually do that sometimes instead of endlessly churning Chase Ink cards.

      Even our Lifetime Globalist host has admitted "Hilton has grown on me a lot in the past few years. Many new luxury hotels have joined the Hilton portfolio, and it’s also easy to earn top tier status with the Honors program, thanks to the credit card that I’m about to talk about in more detail."

      https://onemileatatime.com/reviews/credit-cards/american-express/hilton-aspire-card/

      Most SLH properties weren't in the Hyatt portfolio anyway- and Hilton's value prop at the higher end is arguably better than at the middle/lower, where Hyatt tends to blow Hilton away (can't tell you how many times I've seen some middle of nowhere HGI or Hampton Inn be $120 all in and 35,000 points).

    5. yoloswag420 Guest

      That's how Hilton gets you. Take Andaz Tokyo, priced at $800, which is redeemable for 30k Hyatt points at a standard rate. Hilton dyamic pricing would make this about 160k points at usual 0.5 cpp.

      As an Explorist or higher, I can earn 10x to 10.5x w/ the Hyatt card. With Hilton, I can earn 34x as a Diamond, like you stated.

      30k Hyatt points is ~$3k of spend, 160k Hilton points would be $4700...

      That's how Hilton gets you. Take Andaz Tokyo, priced at $800, which is redeemable for 30k Hyatt points at a standard rate. Hilton dyamic pricing would make this about 160k points at usual 0.5 cpp.

      As an Explorist or higher, I can earn 10x to 10.5x w/ the Hyatt card. With Hilton, I can earn 34x as a Diamond, like you stated.

      30k Hyatt points is ~$3k of spend, 160k Hilton points would be $4700 of spend. You see how bad the disparity is now? Even if you say my 160k Hilton estimate is off, $3k of spend is only 102k Hilton points or only worth about $510. On a fundamental level, Hyatt points are about 4x the value of one Hilton point.

      Finally, to your last point, it's not that people ever transfer their MR or UR to Hilton, but the fact that you can still transfer UR to Hyatt is a selling point. If you're short on Hilton points, your luck is up, but at least if I need to top off I can use my UR to snag a Hyatt redemption at a low cost. The fact that you can never efficiently transfer flexible currencies to Hilton is a negative.

  10. Art_Czar Member

    @Ben - any word on how this new partnership might affect existing reservations using WoH points?

  11. Abidjan Gold

    Good news. Will be interesting to learn when this officially begins.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Jerry Diamond

Something "moving to Hilton" is never a good thing, and I say that as a decade long Diamond.

1
Duckeduck Guest

Terrible news for those who like SLH. My own experience with a few SLH properties have been subpar at best. Good riddance I say! Hilton is trash in the US - never had a good experience. Hiltons in Asia are the only exception.

0
Andrew Diamond

I can't say I'm surprised. I've stayed in SLH two properties, and though the properties were nice, but the benefits were scant, the rewards points never posted without me harassing Hyatt, and availability and pricing were always worst when searching through the Hyatt site. Sorry, Hilton!

0
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