Showing posts with label Hilton HHonors. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hilton HHonors. Show all posts

April 16, 2017

A Week in Japan: Planning & Booking

Introduction
Planning & Booking
United Polaris Business Class 787-8 San Francisco to Osaka (KIX)
Intercontinental Osaka
The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto
Park Hyatt Tokyo
Cathay Pacific First Class 777-300ER Tokyo (HND) to Hong Kong
Conrad Hong Kong
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong
Singapore Airlines First Class 777-300ER Hong Kong to San Francisco
Hyatt Regency SFO

I'm still working on a couple of segments from our latest trip to Al Maha in November of last year.   I plan to finish those trip reports in April but given that our next trip is coming up next month, I wanted to get the introductory post on the blog.

 Hotels:

At the moment, we have 10 hotel nights planned.  We fly out early to San Francisco, catch the direct United flight to Osaka and land early afternoon.  I booked the Intercontinental Osaka for 40,000 IHG points for the overnight.  We have nearly 150,000 IHG points so seemed like the right thing to do given we'll only be in town for one night and convenience is key.  The hotel is located next to the train station so will be convenient to get from the airport and to Kyoto.

In Kyoto, I booked the Ritz-Carlton for a total of 210,000 Marriott Rewards points using a combination of Marriott Rewards points and SPG points.  This was an incredible redemption given cash rates of $1,700 per night!  The property looks gorgeous and we're really excited about visiting Kyoto.


November 13, 2016

Review: Transfer from Conrad Maldives to Male

Introduction
Introduction Part Two
Planning & Booking
Sheraton JFK Airport
Lufthansa Business Class Lounge JFK
Turkish Airlines Business Class 777-300ER New York (JFK) to Istanbul
Turkish Airlines Istanbul Arrivals Lounge
St. Regis Istanbul
Turkish Airlines CIP Lounge Istanbul
Turkish Airlines Business Class A330-300 Istanbul to Male
Transfer from Male to Conrad Maldives
Conrad Maldives Part One
Conrad Maldives Part Two
Transfer from Conrad Maldives to Male
Singapore Airlines Business Class 777-200 Male to Singapore
Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Singapore
Singapore Airlines SilverKris Business Class Lounge to Singapore
Singapore Airlines Business Class 777-300ER Singapore to Tokyo (HND)
Andaz Tokyo
ANA Suite Lounge Tokyo (NRT)
ANA First Class 777-300ER Tokyo (NRT) to San Francisco

We boarded the seaplane and while we were both able to get window seats, we were towards the rear of the plane.  Given that we were the last to board and the plane was nearly full from a prior resort stop, the door was shut and we were floating towards the "runway" before we had buckled up.  We had a smooth takeoff and just amazing views of various islands while en route to Male.  I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.



Review: Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Part Two

Introduction
Introduction Part Two
Planning & Booking
Sheraton JFK Airport
Lufthansa Business Class Lounge JFK
Turkish Airlines Business Class 777-300ER New York (JFK) to Istanbul
Turkish Airlines Istanbul Arrivals Lounge
St. Regis Istanbul
Turkish Airlines CIP Lounge Istanbul
Turkish Airlines Business Class A330-300 Istanbul to Male
Transfer from Male to Conrad Maldives
Conrad Maldives Part One
Conrad Maldives Part Two
Transfer from Conrad Maldives to Male
Singapore Airlines Business Class 777-200 Male to Singapore
Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Singapore
Singapore Airlines SilverKris Business Class Lounge to Singapore
Singapore Airlines Business Class 777-300ER Singapore to Tokyo (HND)
Andaz Tokyo
ANA Suite Lounge Tokyo (NRT)
ANA First Class 777-300ER Tokyo (NRT) to San Francisco

This is the second part of my review of the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island.  You can find the first post here.

We were excited for our Whale Shark excursion the morning of our third day at the resort but it was not to be due to wind and rain.  The resort/dive team were extremely apologetic and we understood.  The last thing we wanted to do was head out on a boat for hours in wind and rain and not be able to get in the water.  We decided to make the best of it and figured this was a great reason to return to the Maldives!

After a great morning snorkel we showered and changed for breakfast and morning cocktails at the property's "underwater restaurant" Ithaa.  At $60++ per person for a glass of Champagne (Ruinart) and some canap├ęs, this wasn't a cheap morning.  But we figured it was a once in a lifetime kind of thing so why not.

Conrad Maldives Ithaa Undersea Restaurant

November 6, 2016

Review: Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

Introduction
Introduction Part Two
Planning & Booking
Sheraton JFK Airport
Lufthansa Business Class Lounge JFK
Turkish Airlines Business Class 777-300ER New York (JFK) to Istanbul
Turkish Airlines Istanbul Arrivals Lounge
St. Regis Istanbul
Turkish Airlines CIP Lounge Istanbul
Turkish Airlines Business Class A330-300 Istanbul to Male
Transfer from Male to Conrad Maldives
Conrad Maldives Part One
Conrad Maldives Part Two
Transfer from Conrad Maldives to Male
Singapore Airlines Business Class 777-200 Male to Singapore
Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Singapore
Singapore Airlines SilverKris Business Class Lounge to Singapore
Singapore Airlines Business Class 777-300ER Singapore to Tokyo (HND)
Andaz Tokyo
ANA Suite Lounge Tokyo (NRT)
ANA First Class 777-300ER Tokyo (NRT) to San Francisco

The Maldives are kind of a "once in a lifetime" destination.  Without miles and points, we'd probably have gone once and called it a day.  But after an amazing trip last year, we decided to go back.  It's essentially half way around the world from Denver so we also decided to fly around the world both trips which will never get old.

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
I've had a couple of months to reflect (sorry for the long delay on getting this portion of the trip report published) on our stay at the Conrad.  Many of you have asked for a comparison of this property vs. the Park Hyatt.

Overall, it was great.  I plan on publishing a more complete comparison of the Park Hyatt vs. The Conrad but the main difference was size and weather.  We had perfect weather last year while we had 2+ days of rain this time around.  The Park Hyatt is much smaller both in terms of rooms, dining options, and overall space on the island.  While there was a ton to do at the Conrad, in some ways, there was too much to do.  There are over a half dozen dining options, multiple bars, beaches, etc...along with almost a dozen room types.  On the plus side, the size really means there is something for everyone and there was more diversity in the nationality and age of the guests at the Conrad vs. the Park Hyatt.

Now on to the review.  I'm going to break this review up into two parts given the amount there is to review.  I'll try to focus chronologically so you'll get dining and activities in both parts.

November 5, 2016

Save $70 at Conrad & Waldorf Astoria Hotels

If you've been reading ATRP, you know that I'm a huge fan of American Express Amex Offers.  Over the last few years, I've saved over $2,500 by leveraging Amex Offers to obtain statement credits on stuff I was going to buy anyway.

20% off a Waldorf Astoria or Conrad stay
 The concept is simple - login to your American Express account online, scroll down to the bottom and you'll see the available offers. Scroll through the offers that make sense for you, and click "Add to Card."  Meet the spend requirements at that merchant and you'll receive the statement credit a few days later.
Recent Amex offer savings
Amex is out with a targeted offer that will provide a $70 statement credit after spending $350 at Conrad or Waldorf Astoria properties through 3/31/17.  We have an upcoming stay at a Conrad which will cost around $800 in total for three nights.  By splitting the charges on two Amex cards with the offer, we should be able to save $140 on the stay!

September 10, 2016

I Earned How Many Points at the Conrad Maldives?

Hilton's HHonors program seems to be especially lucrative on the surface.  When you consider that as a base member, you're earning 10x points (vs. 2x at Starwood) per dollar spent on rooms, you can earn a lot of points quickly.

Earning HHonors Points
On top of that you can earn an additional 5x points if you choose "Points and Points" as your "My Way" option.  Gold status (easily obtained with several credit cards) will add another 25% on top.  Frequent bonuses (like the current 2x bonus) add to the bounty.

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
I knew that we'd be earning a ton of points in the Maldives.  I was planning to put all of our incidental spend on the Hilton Reserve card which earns an additional 10x points on Hilton portfolio spend.  I had read mixed reports that the seaplane journey (1120 USD) would earn points but was hopeful.

We've returned from our trip (review forthcoming) and points have posted to my HHonors account.  I expected that I would earn 40x in total on $2,100 in total spend.  It was WAY more than that.  I earned 140,516 points during my stay.

HHonors Earnings

I've yet to receive the points from the spend on my Reserve card but expect that to be 21,000 points.  Add that to the 140,000+ points earned and I nearly earned enough points to return to the property for a couple of nights (190,000).  I still can't quite figure out the math but I can confirm that I earned points (at least from HHonors) for the seaplane expenditure.  That's a nice return on what is a mandatory (and very expensive) 30 minute ride to the resort.

I value Hilton Honors points at around .7 cents per point meaning the total rebate I received was around $1,130.  On $2,100 in spend.  Maybe I should consider a full time move to the Conrad?

August 6, 2016

Planning & Booking: I'm Going Going, Back Back to Maldives, Maldives

Introduction
Introduction Part Two
Planning & Booking
Renaissance Newark Airport Hotel
Turkish Airlines 777-300ER Business Class New York (JFK) to Istanbul
Turkish Airlines Istanbul Arrivals Lounge
St. Regis Istanbul
Turkish Airlines CIP Lounge Istanbul
Turkish Airlines A330-300 Business Class Istanbul to Male
Transfer from Male to Conrad Maldives
Conrad Maldives
Transfer from Conrad Maldives to Male
Singapore Airlines 777-200 Business Class Male to Singapore
Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Singapore
Singapore Airlines SilverKris Business Class Lounge to Singapore
Singapore Airlines 777-300ER Business Class Singapore to Tokyo (HND)
Andaz Tokyo
ANA Suite Lounge Tokyo (NRT)
ANA 777-300ER First Class Tokyo (NRT) to Houston
American Express Centurion Lounge Houston (IAH)

We are just a few weeks away from our RTW adventure to Istanbul, Maldives, Singapore, and Tokyo.  This will be our second RTW trip in the last year and we're really excited about how this trip came together.  If you're interested in reading in previous updates, check out the latest introductory post.

Lots of flying but looks worth it
Hotels:

As it stands now, we have 9 hotel nights planned.  We needed a Newark overnight and I ended up booking the Marriott Renaissance Newark Airport for 25,000 Marriott Rewards points.  This ended up being a phenomenal use of points as the the hotel is selling for $249/night which comes to $288/night with taxes.  Getting more than 1 cent per Marriott point is amazing.

Renaissance Newark Airport Hotel Rates
In Istanbul, we ended up booking the St. Regis through American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts since we really need the ability to check-in early and in theory, we should be able to get in the room at noon or earlier.  The rate came to $251 USD with taxes.  That includes the early check-in, likely room upgrade, and $100 food and beverage credit.  While we could have certainly saved money by staying at the Park Hyatt ($180 USD/night) or a few other options, we wanted to checkout a new property in Istanbul and figured the rooftop Spago would be a nice way to end the day and burn our $100 credit.

St. Regis Istanbul Rooftop Views

May 21, 2016

Why Buying Points at the Margin is a Good Idea

I'm working on another trip to The Maldives and unfortunately was a bit short of points to lock in the hotel (the most important part of any Maldives trip).  Especially given the challenge of finding hotel award availability along with flight awards, locking in the hotel portion when it matches with flight availability is key.

While we loved our stay at the Park Hyatt during the last visit, we wanted something a bit closer to Male to maximize our time.  There are only a handful of point redemptions at the moment and the Conrad was essentially our only other option that met our requirements.


Conrad Maldives

May 8, 2016

Getting Started With Credit Card Signup Bonuses

This is an update to a post I wrote back in 2014.  While the specifics have changed a bit, the strategy remains the same.

The last few years of traveling have been unreal.  We've taken trips to Hong Kong, Maldives, Dubai, London, Singapore, Amsterdam, Paris and Bangkok!

Hong Kong!
Many of you have asked us how we afford to go on all these trips.  The answer is pretty simple…we pay less per trip than the price of an economy ticket from the US to Europe.

Etihad First Class Apartments

October 31, 2015

What's in My Wallet November 2015

Here's an update on what's in my wallet (and why) as we go into November.


1) Chase Freedom

The Chase Freedom card offers "rotating" 5x spend categories by quarter.  For this quarter (ending 12/31/15) Freedom is offering 5x at Amazon and Zappos.com on $1,500 worth of spend during the quarter.  Given the holidays and everyday spend, I'll probably get pretty close to maxing the $1,500 earning me 7,500 Chase Ultimate Rewards points!

2) Chase Sapphire Preferred

All of my extra (not contributing to sign-up bonuses) travel and dining spend goes on the CSP.  I've had the card for over 3 years and gladly pay the $95 annual fee given my credit history, limit, and the earning power of the card.  Don't forget to leverage the CSP for 3x points on dining on the first Friday of each month.

3) Amex Platinum

I actually don't put spend on the card at all (other than to earn the sign-up bonus) but have kept it in my wallet strictly for the benefits.  Specifically Centurion lounge access in cities where I have upcoming travel (New York, San Francisco, and Dallas).

4) Citi Hilton HHonors Visa

I'm working on the minimum spend for this card ($2,000 in 90 days) which I picked up for the increased 75,000 point sign-up bonus.  I had depleted my stash of HHonors points over the last year and 75,000 will go a long way in boosting my balance.  This card is "churnable" in that you can get it over and over - with no annual fee it's great to take advantage when the bonus is increased.

September 26, 2015

Review: Conrad Hong Kong

Introduction
Planning & Booking
Qantas First Class Lounge LAX
Cathay Pacific 777-300 ER First Class Los Angeles to Hong Kong
The Pier Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge
Le Meridien Bangkok
Thai Airways First Class Lounge & Spa
Thai Airways 747-400 First Class Bangkok to Hong Kong
Conrad Hong Kong
Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge Hong Kong
Air India 787-8 Business Class Hong Kong to Seoul
Asiana First Class Lounge Seoul
Asiana A380 First Class Seoul to Los Angeles

We arrived at the Conrad around 9PM tired and ready to crash.  We were checked in promptly and the hotel benefits were recapped while keys were made.  Given my Hilton Honors Gold Status, we were provided executive lounge access (score!) and free premium internet.


May 30, 2015

HHonors Double Points Promotion

I don't write a ton about Hilton HHonors but given it's the summer and many of you are traveling, I figured I'd post about Hilton's summer promotion.

The "Double your HHonors" promotion has been extended to 8/31/15 and includes all Hilton properties around the world.  The promotion provides a choice - double HHonors points or double airline miles.


I have a paid stay coming up in June at a Hilton so I registered and chose to receive double HHonors points. At the moment, I am airline mile rich and hotel point poor.  Even if you don't have a Hilton stay booked, it's worth registering just in case something comes up over the next 90 days.

April 5, 2015

1,000 Free Honors Points for Changing Your Password

Hilton's loyalty program (HHonors) is offering each member 1,000 points for changing your password by 4/22/2015.  Hilton is moving away from their PIN based system (4 digits) for security purposes.


This will literally take 1 minute of your time.  I value HHonors points at half a cent each so this is like getting $5 for free.  I've changed my account and Emily's and both of our points have already posted.


March 8, 2015

Bonus Points from Waldorf Astoria and Conrad

Last year, Hilton HHonors ran a pretty lucrative promotion where you could earn 2,000 bonus points for each eligible night at a Conrad or Waldorf Astoria property.

Well it looks like the promotion is back for 2015.


There is also another (stackable) promotion where you can earn 2,000 points for your first stay, 3,000 for your second stay, and 5,000 for your third stay.

Click here to register for promo one:

Click here to register for promo two:

I already have two stays booked this year at the Conrad (Hong Kong) and Waldorf Astoria (Amsterdam) properties.  Two stays and a total of five nights all booked with HHonors points.  That should yield a total of 15,000 bonus points.  I value the bonus points around $100 - pretty good for about three minutes of time registering for both promos.

July 10, 2014

Why You Should Register for Hotel Promotions

Almost every major loyalty hotel program offers some sort of quarterly bonus program.  In some cases (IHG, Hilton) they offer more than one bonus per quarter.  The trick is that you have to register for these promotions by entering your loyalty program number (or username) and password.  The promotions can range from double points on all states to free nights towards elite status and more.

You can find out about these promotions via email or checking blogs.  Typically I am pretty lazy on this front and just sign-up for the bonuses where I know I have an upcoming stay.  For some reason, I registered for this Hilton promotion (actually offered for all of 2014) offering 2,000 bonus HHonors points for each stay at a Conrad or Waldorf Astoria.

I actually stayed at the New York Waldorf in May so must have registered after because I didn't receive any points for that stay.  I did however receive 2,000 points for my one night stay at the Conrad New York.  The points don't provide a ton of value - maybe $10 but still better than nothing.  I have an upcoming stay tonight at the Conrad Singapore for two nights so in theory should receive an additional 4,000 points for that stay.  We'll see if they post.

Anyway...always sign-up for these promotions if you travel frequently.  Especially if you travel for business.  You never know when you'll receive a little surprise in your loyalty account.