Hilton Honors got rid of its award chart years ago. In the time since, they have had an award calculator that purportedly tells you a range of prices for any particular property (but we’ve shown before that the calculator can’t really be trusted), but most properties have continued to top out at 95K points per night (the old top tier of the award chart) while just a couple of properties have since introduced 120K standard awards. Yesterday, Dave at Miles Talk highlighted that Hilton is now charging 150K per night on some nights for the Waldorf-Astoria Maldives (previously 120K). View from the Wing followed up with Hilton and got confirmation that 150K is the new standard award price for the Waldorf-Astoria Maldives. That is discouraging news.
By all accounts, the Waldorf-Astoria Maldives is pretty spectacular. Room rates are regularly over $1K per night, so 150K points per night isn’t necessarily bad value for Hilton points. However, it represents a 25% increase in a price that at 120K per night was already 26% higher than the previous top tier of the award chart. In just a couple of years, the Waldorf-Astoria Maldives has increased the top award price at Hilton by about 58% from 95K per night to 150K per night. Obviously the larger concern here is what this means for other properties. Will more of the places that currently top out at 95K move up to the 120K tier? Will any other hotels move into the 150K tier? Will free night certificates continue to be accepted for these nights that cost 150K points?
Currently, as you can see in the screen shot above, some nights at the Waldorf-Astoria Maldives are still pricing as 120K, but the only award availability (whether 120K or 150K) is very near-term and likely of limited use for most people. Again, Hilton confirmed to View from the Wing that the new 150K pricing is accurate and justified it by saying that the resort has continued to be expensive despite the pandemic.
Overall, this is unfortunate news. Hopefully, it won’t mean much for other high-end Hilton properties in high-demand locations, but time will tell how long before the Waldorf-Astoria in Maui decides they’d like to up the ante.