I’ve written previously about the Hilton Honors program and how you can maximize Hilton points. Even after devaluation, you can still earn good value for your Hilton points at certain properties. I recently used my Hilton Honors points in order to book three nights at Hilton Cartagena.
Booking the Hotel
There were two different categories of room that initially interested me. The basic room was the 1 King Bed with City View. I was looking for a room which had panoramic views of the ocean. I paid 33,000 Hilton Honors points per night in order to book the 1 King Bed Ocean View Room, for a total of 99,000 Hilton Honors points for 3 nights.
Earning Hilton Honors Points
By signing up for one of Hilton’s co-branded cards, you can stay at Hilton Cartagena by using just a single credit card sign-up bonus.
|Credit Card||Sign-up Bonus||Elite Status|
|Hilton Honors Card||75,000 Bonus Points||Silver|
|Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card||125,000 Bonus Points||Gold|
|Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card||150,000 Bonus Points + 1 Free Weekend Night||Diamond|
|Hilton Honors Business Card||125,000 Bonus Points||Gold|
Hilton Honors Benefits
As mentioned in the chart above, you get complimentary status from Hilton just for being a card member for one of the above co-branded Hilton cards. Since I have diamond status with Hilton Honors, the following benefits were applicable to my stay:
- Newspaper in your room: This benefit wasn’t of much use to me, since I consume all my news in the digital format.
- Upgrade to a next level or superior Guestroom: This is where Hilton really hit it out of the park. We were upgraded to a 1 King Bed Corner Ocean/City View Room
- Bottled water during your stay: During our stay, the bottles didn’t get restocked. However, when we called and asked, the staff was more than happy to deliver a few bottles of water to the room
- Free Internet in all hotel areas: The internet connection was consistent. However, if you’re looking to get a lot of work done, then this may not be the best option. It was rather slow and hovered around the 2-3 mbps mark.
- Executive Lounge Access: This benefit was very beneficial for grabbing a quick snack or grabbing drink. The executive lounge was located on the 10th floor of the hotel. It was a bit of a maze to get to the lounge as there were no clear sign board indicating directions to the lounge.
- Complimentary Breakfast: This was probably the highlight of the stay. The food was delicious and the service was top-notch.
- Early Arrival or Late Check out upon availability: Since my arrival and departure at the hotel was pretty much at standard times, I didn’t get a chance to utilize these benefits.
The check-in process at Hilton Cartagena was pretty smooth and took less than five minutes to complete. The rep at check-in outlined the details of our reservation and acknowledged my Diamond elite status. He explained the benefits and then mentioned that as a Diamond elite, we’d been upgraded to a Corner Ocean and City view room.
After completing the check-in formalities, we proceeded to our room. The room was studded with scenic panoramic views of the city and the ocean. The pictures speak for themselves.
Daily breakfast was located in Las Chivas restaurant. The entrance to the restaurant was grand. The food was sumptuous. The food served was a mixture of the traditional continental breakfast, along with some local Colombian fare.
The entrance to the restaurant that served breakfast was simply grand.
The food sure lived up to expectations.
In addition to all these treats, there was also a wide selection of soups, juices, milk shakes and bakery items!
I spent most of my time traveling around the gorgeous city of Cartagena and the nearby islands. As a result, I didn’t get to use some of the facilities at the hotel. If you’re looking to use the swimming pool, then it’s currently under renovation. The notice of the renovation appears on the hotel’s page when you’re about to book the hotel. As much as I love hitting the swimming pool, Cartagena has a gorgeous coastline with pristine warm waters of the Caribbean, something you must not miss!
The Pundit’s Mantra
Barring a few minor glitches, I was pleasantly surprised by how seamless and relaxing our visit was. If you’re planning to stay here, you’ll surely be impressed by the quality of service by the staff. The room type and breakfast are testament to the fact that the hotel succeeds in providing a great hard product. The soft product is brilliant, as the service is top-notch.
Which was your most recent Hilton Honors points redemption? If you have, how was your experience during your stay at Hilton Cartagena? Let us know in the comments section.