Using Starwood Starpoints for Hilton Stays

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Yesterday, I wrote about very expensive Starpoint awards that quite frankly don’t make any sense due to number of points required for a free night. There is, however, way to use Starpoints for Hilton awards just like Marriott points, which I wrote about earlier, by moving points via Virgin Atlantic.

spg-to-virgin-to-hilton-hhonors

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club (VS) is Starwood Preferred Guest airline partner. You can transfer 20K Starpoints to 25K miles and you can then turn 25K VS miles to 50K Hilton HHonors points.

Why using Starpoints for Hilton awards can make sense?

1. High end Starwood awards are way overpriced

2. Hilton has very favorable rates for high end properties and you can get a VIP discount for staying multiple nights

3. Hilton Gold status is very easy to get that allows you to book these VIP awards

4. Even if you don’t have any Hilton status by getting Gold will get you executive lounge access and/or complimentary breakfast

Things to consider:

1. Award availability can change overnight

2. It takes time first to transfer the Starpoints to Virgin Atlantic and then to Hilton HHonors

3. You cannot book Hilton awards without having the points in the account

4. The 6 night VIP awards are Hilton HHonors sweet spot. Lower end hotel awards are overpriced at Hilton compared to Starwood.

5. You can transfer Starpoints to Virgin Atlantic online, but from Virgin Atlantic to Hilton HHonors requires a phone call.

Six nights at each of these properties would cost 225K Hilton HHonors points that is 90K Starpoints. Per night price is 37.5K Hilton HHonors or 15K SPG per night. Note that you need to transfer from SPG to Virgin in slots of 20K to be eligible for the 5K transfer bonus. I have prorated the per night HH prices in Starpoints.

Here are some ideas what Starpoints transferred to Hilton HHonors could get you:

Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa – 15K SPG per Night

spg-hilton-bora-bora

You can find both Le Meridien (60K to 140K SPG per night) and St. Regis hotels (120K to 140K SPG per night) in Bora Bora as well. This Hilton used to be a Starwood property until 2009 when it was reflagged.

Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa – 15K SPG per Night

spg-hilton-moorea

This Hilton property used to be part of Starwood that no longer has presence on the Moorea island. I actually stayed at this property in September for a night when I was on the island.

Rome Cavalieri (Waldorf Astoria Hotel) – 15K SPG per Night

spg-hilton-cavalieri

Rome has three fantastic Starwood properties, but Cavalieri is an iconic hotel as well. Stayed there for couple of nights during the spring time.

Conrad Maldives – 15K SPG per Night

spg-conrad-maldives

Starwood has two properties in Maldives; the W Hotel and Sheraton Full Moon Resort that is very close to the airport. Staying at the Sheraton won’t give the “Maldives” experience as it is rather busy resort.

The W Maldives is very expensive point wise and requires 90K to 140K Starpoints per night. In comparison the Conrad Maldives at 15K SPG per night is truly a bargain. I stayed at this property few years ago when it was under the Hilton brand.

Conrad Koh Samui – 15K SPG per Night

spg-hilton-conrad-koh-samui

Starwood currently has two properties in Koh Samui island; W Hotel, where I have only had drinks, and Le Meridien, where I have also stayed at.

The Conrad is truly an amazing hotel and Hilton HHonors VIP awards are an amazing bargain.

Hilton Bentley South Beach – 15K SPG per Night

spg-hilton-bentley-south-beach

If you are tired of the W brand (30K SPG per night) and prefer a proper South beach location (W is one block away from South Beach proper), Hilton Bentley could be a good choice. I have stayed there for a night two years ago.

Conclusion

As I have laid out above, there is away to escape from outrageous Starwood point prices at higher end properties by moving Starpoints to Hilton HHonors via Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. This doesn’t really work for lower category properties, where using Starpoints instead of Hilton HHonors is favorable.

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