One of the longest-awaited Hilton property openings in recent memory is the chain’s Waldorf Astoria property in the Maldives. The Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi finally opened for cash bookings four days ago, however, the site wasn’t yet displaying any award availability. Now, the wait is over for Honors members who have been saving points in hopes of a massive redemption at the luxury property.
Beginning July 1, 2019, the property is open for bookings. While the cash prices aren’t for the faint of heart — a King Beach Villa with pool (the cheapest option) is showing at $1,833 per night, plus taxes and fees — redemptions are much more manageable. On those same dates, the property is showing the redemption rate at 120,000 Hilton Honors points per night.
Keep in mind that the Hilton Honors program allows elites to get a fifth night for free on award stays. So, for a five-night stay, you’ll pay 480,000 points — or 96,000 points per night. Keep in mind, too that you’ll also have to pay a significant amount in taxes and fees.
Also remember that free weekend night certificates can be used at the property. The easiest way to earn a free weekend night certificate is via the Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express, which currently comes with a welcome bonus of 150,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months. With the card, you’ll get a free weekend night upon opening it and then each year after your account renewal. Additionally, both the Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express and the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card offer a free weekend night certificate after spending $15,000 on each of the respective cards in a calendar year.
Traditionally, the highest Hilton Honors redemption rate is 95,000 points per night, since the program no longer offers an award chart. Much like Marriott’s long-awaited Category 8 introduction, it appears that the Hilton Honors program is now upping its highest-level redemptions to 120,000 points per night.
Based on TPG’s latest valuations, 120,000 Hilton Honors points are worth $720, so even though you’re paying more points than the previous high of 95,000, you could still be getting good value out of your points. At the $1,833 price point, you’ll end up paying $2,264 after taxes and service charges. That means you’ll be getting 1.9 cents per point in value, not including taxes and fees — almost 4x TPG’s valuation for Hilton Honors points of 0.5 cents per point. If you were to take advantage of the fifth night free, you’d be getting 2.4 cents per point in value. Though you’ll have to pay taxes and fees, which could bring down the value you’ll get per point.
If you’re looking to top up your Hilton Honors account balance, keep in mind that the program is currently offering a buy points promotion in which you can purchase points with a 100% bonus until Feb. 26, 2019. You can currently buy up to 160,000 points at a rate of 0.5 cents per point.