I had a wonderful 9 night stay at the Conrad Maldives. Here I will outline the booking process, a small review and some good methods for earning Hilton Honors points.
After visiting www.hilton.com I selected my destination and dates to start the searching process. I then clicked on “Points”. Hilton has 3 properties in the Maldives now. With hilton, points rates can go through the roof so unless you have millions and millions of Hilton points to spare, what you’re looking for are the standard rooms. Hilton doesn’t have a chart anymore but just from knowledge I know this:
Curio Collection’s cost for standard rooms is 85,000. Conrad’s cost for standard rooms is 95,000 and Waldorf Astoria’s cost for standard rooms is 120,000.
In the search below, I see 95,000 for Conrad which means standard rooms are available. Great! Now we can go to the next step.
The great thing about Conrad Maldives is that it’s the only hotel bookable of points in the much sought after islands of Maldives and Bora Bora that allows an overwater villa as part of the standard rate along with beach (or land) villa. Unfortunately, most people have their eyes on it so it’s harder to find. For the dates I selected I was only able to get the Beach villa. The paid rates during my stay are, well, insane. Points booking allows some flexibility so I always compare it to a semi flexible rate. The Honors Discount rate allows cancellation upto 60 days, while points booking allows cancellation a bit later than that, but to be conservative, let’s compare it to the $2,152 rate above.
That $2,152 per night cost has taxes and service charges. As you can see, the cash cost would be almost $13,300!! Are we going to spend that much money? No way, Jose! So what do we do?
We use some delicious hilton points. While the room costs 95,000 per night and for 5 it *should* be 475,000 points, Hilton does something wonderful. If you have any status with them (everyone should, it’s extremely easy and will be explained later in this post) when booking 5 nights, the 5th is free. So, it comes to 380,000 points for all 5 nights. This gives an average cost of just 76,000 points per night making each hilton point worth almost 3.5c! That’s insane since most will tell you these points are worth half a cent each. Here we’re getting 7x that value. Amazing!
A short overview of the hotel
A great hotel for couples and family. Everything was enjoyable and I’ll return again soon! Hopefully the start of next year.
The resort has 2 islands for guest, one is larger than the other. In the above picture you can see the larger island in the distance.
Breakfast is complimentary if you’re Hilton gold or diamond. More on that below.
Gorgeous sunsets, never a dull moment here
Dock for waiting for boat that takes guests between the two islands. There’s also a walkway if you’d rather, well… walk.
So, you’ve seen how many points it costs, you’ve maybe even read the detail review via the link at the top, but how do you get 380,000 Hilton points? Many options!
There’s several Hilton credit cards offered by American Express with more than 100,000 points as a sign up bonus.
Personally, between my wife and I, we have a Hilton Aspire card as well as Hilton Ascend.
The Aspire costs $450 per year and comes with several benefits. Some of which grant diamond status, $250 resort credit which can be applied to the stay here or any Hilton resort and a separate $250 airline credit. In addition to all this, it provides a certificate that gets you a free weekend night at any Hilton. Lastly, the Aspire card also earns 14x Hilton points on any Hilton spend. That means with this card you’re earning minimum 34x Hilton points (diamond + 14x). However, Hilton often runs 2x or 3x points promotions so you’re earning could be much higher in many instances.
The ascend, on the other hand, only provides Hilton gold status and a free night (similar to aspire) only after $15,000 in spend. However, the annual fee is only $95 and it earns 6x on grocery spend, which is double the rate of aspire and everyone needs groceries. Also, if you visit the gift card section at your grocery store, you’ll see cards for many many places you’d normally shop at anyway. So, one thing to do is purchase gift cards using ascend to get the 6x bonus for stores where you otherwise wouldn’t earn it.
To read a more detailed review about the Conrad Maldives, please visit Bald Thoughts.