Q2 2015 Hilton HHonors Hotel Category Changes

As of April 2014, Hilton HHonors has shifted how they make award category changes. Rather than having massive hotel category adjustments every so often, they’re doing quarterly adjustments. That’s to say that they’re not changing the number of points required for each category every quarter, but rather are shifting which hotels belong in which categories.

Ultimately I favor anything which isn’t an award chart massacre like what we saw with HHonors in early 2013, so I guess that’s a good thing overall.

Rather than emailing members when there’s a big award chart change, they now have a website where Hilton lists the category changes. That sounds great in theory, except I’m not sure how a vast majority of members are expected to know when these changes happen.

Q2 HHonors category changes

HHonorsRepresentative on FlyerTalk has indicated that 24 HHonors properties will be changing category for bookings made as of April 8, 2015 — 10 properties will be shifting down in category, while 14 properties will be shifting up in category.

Here are the Hilton properties which will be decreasing in category as of April 8, 2015:

  1. DoubleTree by Hiton Qingdao / Chengyang (Qingdao, China) – New Category: 3 / Previous Category: 6
  2. Hilton Mainz City (Mainz, Germany) – New Category: 4 / Previous Category: 5
  3. Doubletree by Hilton Resort Zanzibar – Nungwi (Zanzibar, Tanzania) – New Category: 4 / Previous Category: 6
  4. Doubletree by Hilton Kusadasi (Kusadasi, Turkey) – New Category: 4 / Previous Category: 6
  5. Hilton London Syon Park (London, United Kingdom) – New Category: 7 / Previous Category: 9
  6. Hampton Inn & Suites Center TX (Center, Texas) – New Category: 3 / Previous Category: 4
  7. Hilton Garden Inn Shreveport (Shreveport, Louisiana) – New Category: 3 / Previous Category: 4
  8. Hampton Inn Waldorf (Waldorf, Maryland) – New Category: 3 / Previous Category: 4
  9. DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Williamsburg (Williamsburg, Virginia) – New Category: 4 / Previous Category: 5
  10. Hilton Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa (Henderson, Nevada) – New Category: 5 / Previous Category: 6

Exterior
The Hilton Mainz will switch from a Category 5 to Category 4 property

Here are the Hilton properties which will be increasing in category as of April 8, 2015:

  1. Hilton Vienna Plaza (Vienna, Austria) – New Category: 7 / Previous Category: 6
  2. Hilton Garden Inn Glasgow City Centre (Glasgow, United Kingdom) – New Category: 5 / Previous Category: 4
  3. Hilton Glasgow Hotel (Glasgow, United Kingdom) – New Category: 6 / Previous Category: 5
  4. Hampton Inn & Suites Atlanta / Duluth (Duluth, Georgia) – New Category: 3 / Previous Category: 2
  5. Hampton Inn Jacksonville-9A & Baymeadows (Jacksonville, Florida) – New Category: 3 / Previous Category: 2
  6. Hampton Inn Bryant (Bryant, Arkansas) – New Category: 3 / Previous Category: 2
  7. Hilton Garden Inn Richmond Airport (Sandston, Virginia) – New Category: 4 / Previous Category: 2
  8. Hampton Inn & Suites Salt Lake City/Farmington (Farmington, Utah) – New Category: 4 / Previous Category: 3
  9. Hampton Inn Morgan Hill (Morgan Hill, California) – New Category: 5 / Previous Category: 3
  10. Hampton Inn Marquette Waterfront (Marquette, Michigan) – New Category: 6 / Previous Category: 4
  11. Hilton Garden Inn San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge (Emeryville, California) – New Category: 6 / Previous Category: 4
  12. Embassy Suites Santa Clara – Silicon Valley (Santa Clara, California) – New Category: 6 / Previous Category: 5
  13. Hilton Santa Clara (Santa Clara, California) – New Category: 7 / Previous Category: 6
  14. Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa (San Diego, California) – New Category: 8 / Previous Category: 7

Why aren’t more hotels changing categories?

Hilton has over 4,000 properties around the world, so only 24 properties changing is hardly a big deal. And in this case 10 properties are going down while 14 are going up, so it’s only a net increase in price for four properties.

As I wrote this post I thought to myself “hmmm, they’re changing very few categories, something is a bit suspicious.”

And then I realized it’s not actually suspicious. Hilton’s categories are just so damn broad that they don’t need to change them very often! Hilton already has nine categories of hotels, and within each category there’s a huge amount of variance in the pricing.

HHonors-Categories

In other words, a Category 7 property can cost anywhere between 30,000 and 60,000 points per night. So if the cost of all 30,000 point per night Category 7 properties doubled, we would never hear about it. Yet in many cases even when a hotel changes category the price doesn’t actually change. For example, if a hotel charges 50,000 points per night it could be anywhere from a Category 6 to a Category 9 property.

Bottom line

HHonors adjustments really aren’t a big deal given the variable pricing within each category. And I guess that also explains why we’ve seen so few properties switch categories lately.

Comments

  1. i really don’t get daily getaways’ hilton offerings.
    why would anyone buy the points when it is cheaper to pay with cash?
    i looked to see if these offers are dated for april 1st.
    what a joke;)

  2. After the 2013 chart massacre, I was especially outraged because I had just bought points. I have simply stopped using Hilton.

  3. “I’m not sure how a vast majority of members are expected to know when these changes happen”

    Which I’m sure is exactly the point. The prior devaluation was a PR disaster for Hilton, and they don’t want that repeated. So now when they make the changes every now and then, and only a few each time, there will be virtually no public awareness of this happening. Really, how many of us are going to do a daily check of the website to see if anything has just changed? This is designed to give the appearance of transparency, while in effect keeping nearly everyone in the dark as much as possible.

  4. “The Hilton Mainz will switch from a Category 4 to Category 5 property” underneath the picture. should it be from 5 to 4?

  5. The bigger scandal is when a hotel that sits in a 30,000-60,000 point range goes from 40K/night to 60K/night when bookings go up. I worked hard to earn 160,000 points via credit card spend for 4 nights at a hotel only to find that it had gone up to 240,000 points by the time I went to redeem. These types of devaluations are daily.

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