SLH is a big win for Hilton hoarders

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Years ago, Greg wrote an excellent post about the “Earn and burn” fallacy. In it, he suggests a better strategy is to “hoard and cherry pick”. If you’ve been a Hilton hoarder for years, your cherry trees hit harvest season yesterday with Hilton’s wider launch of the partnership with SLH. Still, not everyone is a believer — a few readers commented about their disappointment with SLH. I’d argue that even if you didn’t make a great booking yesterday, the Hilton SLH partnership is sunny news for Hilton point hoarders who have been hunting for an opportunity to cherry pick.

SLH gives Hilton some exciting properties

When we first got wind of the fact that the Hyatt / SLH partnership was ending, many in the points and miles atmosphere were disappointed. SLH had added a slew of really high-end properties in locations where Hyatt didn’t previously have a presence (and where they sadly no longer do in many cases!).

When we got more information about the partnership with Hilton earlier this year, we started to get pretty excited. Among the reasons to be excited is the fact that we expected a large number of SLH hotels to join the Hilton program offering standard free night awards that could be booked with points or free night certificates. That was awesome news.

It wasn’t necessarily surprising to see standard rooms available for booking with either points or free night certificates when the Hilton / SLH partnership launched more fully yesterday, but I think it was a big deal for Hilton and for Hilton fans.

Hilton has a massive footprint and has some really nice hotels. Still, it doesn’t have as many fervent fans as some other chains. For my first few years here at Frequent Miler, I said that I was the closest thing you’d find to a Hilton fanboy in the blogosphere. My appreciation for Hilton stemmed mostly from consistently good customer service experiences (mostly at foreign properties) and opportunities to earn tons of points on paid stays.

Over time and as I expanded my horizons with Hyatt (including SLH) and higher-end Marriott properties (including in many cases former SPG properties), I came to understand the hang-up on Hilton: While Hilton has plenty of nice hotels in places I want to visit, they had few hotels that made me want to travel just to stay there. Many bloggers refer to these as “aspirational” properties. With some notable exceptions like the Conrad and Waldorf-Astoria properties in the Maldives or the Waldorf Los Cabos Pedregal and a small handful of other similar places, Hilton doesn’t have many hotels that are as exciting as the destination itself.

The partnership with SLH largely changes that. Over the past couple of summers, I fell in love with Italian lake life, but I have to admit that I am as excited to return to the Grand Hotel Victoria in Menaggio, Italy as I am to return to Lake Como. And when I booked THE VIEW Lugano on Lake Lugano, Switzerland, I have to admit being a little giddy when I read a review indicating that the drive into the property “feels like entering a Bond villain’s lair”. When I see pictures of Sailrock in Turks and Caicos, I want to stay there as much as I want to visit there.

I know that there are some who would punk rock their travel and say that I’m not getting an authentic experience staying at places like those. I understand that perspective, but I look at it similarly to flying business class when economy class would arrive at the same time as the business class cabin: traveling comfortably (using points and miles) lets me enjoy the journey / accommodations as much as the destination. It’s the idea that vacation ‘starts at the airport” for those who enjoy redeeming miles for premium cabin travel, but carried on to the place I’m going to stay when I arrive. I’ll rarely travel across the world to spend an entire vacation on property at a single hotel, but when I am as excited about the hotel as the place I’m visiting, it just amplifies the trip excitement overall. Not every trip needs to be that way, but for me the fun in miles and points is getting that experience as often as I can without using a lot of cash to do it.

SLH creates some of that magic for Hilton where that magic had been missing. I’ve now got stays planned where I am actively excited about the places where I’m using my Hilton points and free night certificates rather than just using them to save myself money on paying for a place to sleep. That’s a huge boost for Hilton.

The more important thing for the hoarders and cherry pickers among us is that the SLH partnership allows for the opportunity to get far better than average value for Hilton points as compared to cash rates.

SLH provides many opportunities for outsized value for Hilton Honors points

We need to revisit our Reasonable Redemption Value for Hilton points, but our most recent valuation based on our pseudo-scientific method for hotel RRVs was 0.48c per point. That means that the median value for points was 0.48cpp — about half the time you’d do worse and half the time you’d do better.

That said, if you look at the details of the analysis done at the time, you’ll see that the 90th percentile for Hilton Honors points value was 0.65c per point. In other words, only 10% of the data points taken yielded 0.65c per point or better. That is to say that there isn’t much variance: Hilton points are generally worth about 0.5c per point and are very rarely worth more than 0.65c per point as compared to cash rates.

However, I looked at a lot of SLH properties yesterday and while some of them fell in that typical 0.5c to 0.65c per point range, I didn’t stumble upon many offering less value. On the contrary, I found many where standard awards yielded 1c per point or better.

That type of value is extremely rare for Hilton points outside of special events. There just aren’t many Hilton properties outside of SLH where you can reliably get better than 0.65c per point.

However, quite a few SLH adds many properties that offer that kind of value at the luxury end of the spectrum. If you’ve been sitting on Hilton points for a long time, the broader launch of the Hilton / SLH partnership was huge in two ways:

  1. It added a lot of amazing-looking hotels
  2. It added a lot of instances where you can get far better than average value out of your Hilton honors points

By contrast, when Hyatt launched its partnership with Mr. & Mrs. Smith, we saw them do it in a way that offered below average value for points. While most Mr. & Mrs. Smith properties are available for a similarish ~1c per point, the difference is that number is well below the value you can reasonably expect to get at most Hyatt properties. With Hilton’s partnership with SLH, you’ll get better than average value for Hilton points in most instances.

Will all properties offer standard rooms?

While I found availability at many highly desirable properties yesterday, a reader pointed out that the Tokyo Station Hotel appears to offer no standard rooms at all for redemption (specifically, that reader pointed to a room type they had booked with Hyatt points that only appears to be available as a premium room award with Hilton). Indeed the Hilton location search tool shows a “starting at” price for that property that looks like a premium room award price (though I should note that I found another property that also listed a high “starting from” price but was available for 95K when I checked my May 13th date).

I can’t be sure whether the Tokyo Station Hotel isn’t offering standard room awards or those awards had just been gobbled up quickly. Many SLH properties are very small and only have a few rooms available for redemption, so it isn’t surprising that many of the most desirable booked up yesterday. Still, if this specific property actually isn’t offering standard room awards, that would be really disappointing and a concerning trend. However, since I didn’t find that happening anywhere else, and since Hilton has been pretty clear about their intention to integrate SLH properties like any normal Hilton property, my guess is this type of thing is a bug rather than a feature.

SLH also expands Hilton’s footprint

It’s also worth noting that even though Hilton has a huge footprint of its own, SLH does indeed expand Hilton’s footprint in some areas where they didn’t previously have a presence. Furthermore, while I’m most excited about high-value redemptions, there are also a number of mid-tier SLH properties, some in historically less expensive destinations. I saw a number of properties in various locations running for less than $200 per night (and in some destinations like southeast Asia, even less than $100 per night). In at least some cases, SLH will provide a reasonably-priced option for a nice hotel that collects Hilton points and qualifies toward promotions.

Some semi-cherry-picked examples

I used the Hilton hotel locator tool and filtered to SLH to scroll through pages of SLH properties. Below I’m sharing a list of places that initially popped out based on the initial thumbnail pictures or location.

I refer to these as semi-cherry-picked examples. On the one hand, I cherry picked here in that I only included properties that yielded better than Reasonable Redemption Value for Hilton points (and mostly only those offering better than the 90th percentile value). Those of us who love playing the game and hoard and save points for outsized redemptions look for these types of opportunities.

However, these are only semi-cherry-picked because in all but two instances below, I picked a single random weekday in May for the cash price (May 13-14, 2025). That may be high season or low season or shoulder season — I didn’t hunt for when each property would be in-season in order to showcase a high cash rate, nor did I check to see if the cash rate is an “average” cash rate for that property. Your mileage may vary, but the bottom line is that there are many opportunities to get great value with SLH.

Note that this isn’t meant to be an exhaustive list (there are plenty more examples in the wild) nor an endorsement for these properties / destinations. I took a brief glance at Google reviews for each place and they seemed very good in each case, but you’ll have to do your own research. Feel free to add your own thoughts about notable properties in the comments — I know that there are many more that look like a great use of points.

Bluefield Bay Villas (Westmoreland, Jamaica)

Photo from Hilton.com
    • 1 bdrm suite cash rate: $1,070.63
    • 1 bdrm suite award price: 130K
    • 0.82c per point

Sailrock South Caicos* (Turks & Caicos)

Photo from Hilton.com
    • Ridgetop Ocean View Suite cash price: $1,514.92*
    • Ridgetop Ocean View Suite award price: 130K*
    • 1.17c per point*
    • *Note that this property appears to have a 3-night minimum stay, so the nightly rate here is 1/3 the total cost for a 3-night stay. Also note that it isn’t clear to me whether the private plane transfer from PLS airport is included on an award stay or whether it is an additional charge.

Cap Rocat (Mallorca, Spain)*

Cap Rocat, photo from Hilton.com
    • Suite Cap Rocat cash price: $1,736.28*
    • Suite Cap Rocat award price: 130K*
    • 1.34c per point*
    • *Note that I only found this property available for a minimum 3-night stay and had to hunt around to find a set of dates available (I used September 23-26 here) 

THE VIEW Lugano (on Lake Lugano, Switzerland)

Photo from gallery at theviewlugano.com.
    • Junior Suite cash price: $1,097.47
    • Junior Suite award price: 110K
    • 1.0c per point
    • Note that there are two room types here available to book with points, a studio double with balcony and a junior suite.

Ca Sagredo (Venice, Italy)

Photograph from the Ca Sagredo website.
    • Sagredo Double cash price: $1,113.63
    • Sagredo Double award price: 100K
    • 1.11c per point

Canaves Oia Suites (Santorini, Greece)

Canaves Oia suites photo from Hilton.com
    • Superior Suite Plunge Pool cash price: $1,442.53
    • Superior Suite Plunge Pool award price: 140K
    • 1.03c per point

Sundy Praia, Saint Tome and Principe (Principe Island)

Photo from Hilton.com
    • One bedroom forest cash price: $700.12
    • One bedroom forest award price: 105K
    • 0.67c per point

Sowaka (Kyoto, Japan)

Photo from Hilton.com
    • Deluxe with Private Garden Main – Queen 101 cash price: $1,267.98
    • Deluxe with Private Garden Main – Queen 101 award price: 120K
    • 1.06c per point
    • Note that the “standard room” award seems to book into what is actually a premium room

Bhutan Spirit Sanctuary (Bhutan)

Photo from Hilton.com
    • Balcony double cash price: $742.06
    • Balcony double award price: 100K
    • 0.74c per point

Wa Ale Island Resort (Myanmar)

Photo from Hilton.com
    • Luxury Tented Beach Villa Ocean View cash price: $751.17
    • Luxury Tented Beach Villa Ocean View award price: 120K
    • 0.63c per point

Le Mas Barossa (Rowland Flat, Australia — outside of Adelaide)

Photo from Hilton.com
    • Queen room cash price: $726.46
    • Queen room award price: 100K
    • 0.73c per point
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[…] it: Hilton Honors Adds 390 SLH Properties to Its Luxury Brand Portfolio, there is no doubt that SLH is a big win for Hilton Honors hoarders. Do I qualify as a hoarder with about 300k+ Hilton points and one free night cert? Let me know in […]

[…] SLH is a big win for Hilton hoarders […]

Ben

One notable advantage of Hilton is the free night certificate. It is not limited to certain point value like Marriott, Hyatt, or IHG. I often snagged $1000 night stay with cert, while with Marriott top cert you are limited to 85k points (~$500).

shlomo

I stayed in sailrock using hyatt points and the flight was included, so good chance it will still be.

TravellingPanda

Wow! Made 3 bookings yesterday and managed to snag my desired week at Hermitage Bay. This really has been a home run so far.

Last edited 9 days ago by TravellingPanda
Paula OD

How are you finding the availability at Hermitage Bay? I can’t get anything to show…and I’ll go pretty much anytime!

TravellingPanda

Probably there’s a minimum night stay for it to show? For example I see Jan 11-16

Paula OD

I moved from laptop to the app…and wow…the app does work better and I can see all sorts of availability! TY to all for this!

Paula OD

@TravellingPanda – Hermitage Bay is all inclusive…so…is it your expectation that you will have zero out of pocket costs to stay there when booking with Hilton points? Spa services would be an add-on…but all food and regular beverages included? How about the airport transfer?

TravellingPanda

Yeah I hope all food/bev included. If so, more money to splurge for the spa/excursions lol. For transfers definitely will rent a car to explore the island.

rj123456

The @$*%# Frequent Miler effect. I had Hilton Como bookings for next week then very late last night I found 2 nights at the Grand Hotel Victoria. It was very late and I thought I would deal with in the morning. By 10AM all of July is gone! And there was availability at The View in Lugano too, and that is gone as well. 🙁 🙁

Juan

I had a three night stay at the Rome Cavalieri I booked on free night certificates. I was able to cancel that and book Villa Spalletti Trivelli.

Anne

We are going to be in Europe in Sept and had been looking for something for a couple of nights in Venice. Just booked Ca Sagredo (Venice, Italy) because of your recommendations. Our only other option was at the Hyatt in Murano and I realy wanted to be centrally located. Thank you.

Matthew

Thanks for the write up. I’m at almost 1MM points with Hilton, actually 1.2 if I pool with my Dad’s points which I actually earned and he won’t use. I browsed around SLH site a bit and was pleasantly surprised by the adult only hotel section. Not sure how many of those are on Hilton. I don’t mind kids, but enjoying holidays without them around is appealing.

That said I was so tempted to book the Lake Como hotel. I’m in Europe at the moment and trying to decide where to go to next. I would like to stay 5 nights for best value but it’s so hard to pull the trigger. Especially since Hilton points aren’t the easiest to earn with Amex card rules getting worse all the time it seems. So sad to see Hilton Biz loose the FNAs but I’m not surprised. Originally those were weekend only which probably helped Amex loose more to breakage or maybe keep costs a tad lower.

With the way Hilton is going, I’m sure eventually Garden Inn will be about 100k a night so I might as well burn them for aspirational properties while I can. I don’t mind finding an Airbnb if I ever really run out of points.

Christian

Myanmar? Should we look forward to your review with the family? I thought they were sorta in the middle of a civil war.

Christian

I was just kidding. No ill will was intended.

Blue

Booked TwentySeven in Amsterdam for 3 nights. Used FNCs but would be well over 1.0 cpp.

[…] just a small selection of what’s available. Nick Reyes at Frequent Miler also has a post with some great redemption opportunities, so it’s nice to see what’s […]

Yann

Hi! Do you know why SLH doesn’t offer employee rate for Hilton Employees? Thank you.

Matt

Thank you, Nick! Curious, would you spend 5 nights at the Grand Hotel Victoria?

Sco

I think Nick would live at the Grand Hotel Victoria if he could 🙂

Repeat Offender Captain Greg

That sailrock property just says “sold out” even if you don’t include dates or ask to use points, lol. Must be a popular place!

Repeat Offender Captain Greg

Thanks Nick. I actually put in a couple different 3 nights and it kept showing “not available,” so I guess that I am just unlucky.

You can’t even do FNC if you have 3 of them?

Mary Jane

I’m wondering if you could book the 3 ngts with points and then call in and ask them to substitute a ngt(s) with FNC……question for the experts….

Andrew

Is that an online or backend system limitation? I had a two night stay in Hawaii on Hilton FNCs earlier this year and it always showed up as a single reservation. I had to call in to make that booking though and the property didn’t have a minimum stay length.

TAB

You can book a single stay with one reservation using multiple FNC’s. i have done it with 3 in 2023 and 2 for 2025. I did call to make the reservation. No issue with the rep. Just told the rep i need to make a reservation using FNC

slickbyys

You have to cancel and rebook. Big risk if the room doesn’t go back into inventory..I recommend you book with the FNC first then cancel your points reservation. This is only possible if there is an award room available of course.

Nm. The question was about a 2 night + min stay. Each fnc generates one reservation number so that won’t work.

Last edited 9 days ago by slickbyys