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Homewood Suites a Mini HGVC?

ricoba

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We had to go to San Diego this past weekend for a funeral, and ended up choosing the TripAdvisor #1 rated hotel, Homewood Suites, San Diego - Liberty Station.

While, I am not sure why it gets a number one rating on tripadvisor, it is quite a nice hotel.

Though the 1 Bedroom King suite was small compared to a 1 Bedroom HGVC unit, it reminded me of a "mini HGVC".

There were two large flat screen TV's, granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, free-wifi etc.

We didn't cook, but it appeared to be set up well for cooking.

Only 1 bathroom, which for 3 of us was a bit tight.

There are BBQ's a sport's court and a pool and free breakfasts.

It was not a resort, nor did it have a resort feel but overall it was quite nice.

This was our first time in a Homewood Suite, but I was thinking this may be a good alternative to a timeshare in cities where Hilton doesn't have a TS, (which is as we all know, most cities! :( )

Homewood Suites is apparently designed as an extended stay hotel, and it seems to be a growing chain, with lots of city destinations.

It looks like you can book most 1 Bedroom suites for 30,000 Hilton Honors points, which seems quite reasonable to me.

Any thoughts from anyone else about Homewood Suites?

The reason I am asking this because I am thinking of converting this years points to Hilton Honors and would consider using Homewood Suites for getaway weekends in San Francisco, San Diego, La Quinta.

Any pointers, suggestions etc? I have never converted points to honors, so I guess I am looking for input.

Thanks. :)
 

charford

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When I'm traveling, but not timesharing, I stay in Marriott Residence Inns. They have the same type of set up. Free breakfasts and free wifi. Their 2 bedroom suites are great for my family of 4 people, none of whom sleep together. :p
 

ricoba

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Thanks for the quick replies. :)

So what is the current HGVC to Hilton Honors rate?

I just answered my own question it's 25/1 + $69

But that still leaves the following question, since I have never used Hilton Honors before, so am looking for pro's/con's

Does the idea of converting HGVC points to H Honors for the use of Homewood Suites make sense to people?
 
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jestme

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We stayed at a Homewood Suites on a 'park and fly rate' allowing up to 14 days parking with a 1 night stay, and I'll agree, it is like a mini HGVC. From Monday to Thursday, it also included a free happy hour, with light meal. An extra bonus. It was a Category 4, 30000 point location, which means a conversion of 1200 HGVC points+$69, to effectively get a 1 BR. If you own 4800 HGVC points (a 1BR Platinum), you could stay just 4 nights, in a 1BR at Homewood Suites, or 7 Days (Plat) in an HGVC...
Having said that, there are some advantages to this approach. You get breakfast. You get maid service every day. If you are there Mon-Thurs, you get the evening light meal and drinks, (beer/wine). You can also book the rooms whenever you want, at any Homewood suite, in any city. It certainly expands the usage of HGVC points to places they don't have HGVC facilities. Now for the cost justification. It only costs between $100-$150/ night depending on location to pay cash for the Homewood Suites. That means you are saving $400-600 (minus the $69 fee) by using points to stay, and your maintenance fees are probably higher than that. You are also only getting 4 days, instead of 7. For me, it's still not a great deal.
 

Socko33

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HHonors

From my understanding, it's really only useful to use Honors points if you're staying in a hotel that's a lot of money and you can use the "Going Global" rate.

For example...one night in Hilton Seychelles could cost upwards of $500.

So for one week with the going global, it will only cost 175,000 points...WELL WORTH IT.

Don't waste your money using points on the $100/night places.

If anyone has calculated a price point for when to use cash or HHonors points, please share!
 

ricoba

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This is what I don't understand.

Homewood is a Cat 4 @ 30,000 per night award stay.

Shouldn't that mean that I can stay at least 5 nights for 150,000 points?

Is there a per night charge as well?
 

Talent312

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Homewood is a Cat 4 @ 30,000 per night award stay.
Shouldn't that mean that I can stay at least 5 nights for 150,000 points?
Is there a per night charge as well?
Yes, it does. Not a point-charge, but perhaps a resort $$-fee.
Going Global --
... 6 - 14 nights - Category 5 and below = 150,000 - 350,000 points.
... 6 - 14 nights - Category 6 = 175,000 - 410,000 points.
... 6 - 14 nights - Waldorf-Astoria = 175,000 - 815,000 points.
American Express (HH) "AXON" reward --
... 4 nights - Category 5 = 125,000 points.
... 4 nights - Category 6 = 145,000 points.

However, as others have said, the most cost-effective use of your points is for HGVC stays, so you should conserve them for that purpose. IMHO, convert only for higher-priced properties when no discount is available.
 
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alwysonvac

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If anyone has calculated a price point for when to use cash or HHonors points, please share!
This is what I use ...

Assuming that I requested a conversion of my 2009 HGVC points before the end 2008 to take advantage of the 25 HHonors point per HGVC point conversion rate.

(1) I take my total cost per year (yearly bill + HHonors conversion fee) and divide it by the number of HGVC points I own to determine my annual cost per point
(2) I take my annual cost per point and multiple it by the number of HGVC points required for the hotel stay to determine my cost for using HGVC points.

For example, I've calculated that my 2009 points are worth 0.176 per HGVC point.
- 40,000 HH AWARD (1 night - Standard award for Cat 6) would cost me $281.63 in HGVC points
- 175,000 HH AWARD (6 nights VIP award for Category 6) would cost me $1,232.13 in HGVC points.

So my true cost is approx $300 a night or $1200 for 6 nights VIP award in a Category 6 hotel/resort. I take this into consideration when I make my decision. As stated above you get the best bang for the buck for hotels that have very high nightly cost.
 

ricoba

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Thanks again everyone.

As you can tell I am fairly new to this.:eek:

I can see the wisdom in using point stretcher rewards to stay in high priced properties.

But is there a flaw in my reasoning to use these points for simple drive to get for a two or three night get away? Living here in LA, I can be in San Francisco in about 6 hours, San Diego in less than 2 hours and Palm Springs in about the same as SD. While my teenage son does not want to go on short road trips with us, his 16 year old sister does, so a 1 bedroom is ideal verses a high end room get away for just my wife and myself.
 

alwysonvac

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But is there a flaw in my reasoning to use these points for simple drive to get for a two or three night get away? Living here in LA, I can be in San Francisco in about 6 hours, San Diego in less than 2 hours and Palm Springs in about the same as SD. While my teenage son does not want to go on short road trips with us, his 16 year old sister does, so a 1 bedroom is ideal verses a high end room get away for just my wife and myself.
No flaw... Just like some folks like to maximize the number of nights they can stay at a HGVC resort, others like to maximize the value that they can get with a hotel/resort stay. Based on my calculation above, it would cost me $211.20 to use my HGVC points for a 1 night 30,000 HH AWARD

It's up to you how you want to use your points. There is no wrong or right. You're going to pay for your HGVC points every year so you might as well use them in whatever matter gives you the most enjoyment.
 

alwysonvac

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Though the 1 Bedroom King suite was small compared to a 1 Bedroom HGVC unit, it reminded me of a "mini HGVC".

There were two large flat screen TV's, granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, free-wifi etc.

We didn't cook, but it appeared to be set up well for cooking.

Only 1 bathroom, which for 3 of us was a bit tight.
FYI... you might also like the Embassy Suites and the Doubletree Guest Suites if you're looking for extra space and don't require a kitchen.
A high percentage of the various Hilton brands are franchised. Quality can vary. Definitely read the reviews on tripadvisor and flyertalk before making any reservations.
Have a great time on your mini-getaways :cheer: :cheer:
 

ricoba

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FYI... you might also like the Embassy Suites and the Doubletree Guest Suites if you're looking for extra space and don't require a kitchen.
A high percentage of the various Hilton brands are franchised. Quality can vary. Definitely read the reviews on tripadvisor and flyertalk before making any reservations.
Have a great time on your mini-getaways :cheer: :cheer:
Yes, Embassy is another option. We stayed at an Embassy recently up in the Bay area.

It just seemed to me that the Homewood Suite was more like a mini HGVC than the Embassy Suite.

I wasn't aware of the Doubletree Suites, that may be another option.

Your link to Hilton franchise information is quite interesting. I knew many Hilton properties were franchise's, I just wasn't aware of the numbers.

What started me asking this thread, is that I am looking for an option for this years points. We went to Hawaii last year (and can't afford it this year), we can drive to Vegas for open season or hotel stays, I am not interested in Orlando, though my kids may be. So I was looking for hotel stays that are driving distance to Los Angeles for a couple of short term getaway's.

So any other suggestions?
 
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jlhorne

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Living here in LA, I can be in San Francisco in about 6 hours, San Diego in less than 2 hours and Palm Springs in about the same as SD.
You may want to consider using RCI nightly instead. I spent 3 nights (wed-fri, checkout Sat) in San Fran in a studio which only cost 960 points (4*240) plus the reservation fee (around $90 now). Weekdays are half as much as weekends. Using the math, my 1000 points spent was one night in a cat 6 hotel using hhonors points (40000). This would have likely been at least $500 in cash. On that same trip, I did use 50,000 hhonors points (not from conversion but just earned staying at hiltons) to stay at Seaside where the rates were high. So no matter what points I use, I want to save significant dollars. I do not use hhonor points for stays like Homewood, which I like, because the cash rates are reasonable.

I agree with others and would add that you don't use ANy of your points unless the cash rates are high.
 

pianodinosaur

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I had to evacuate my wife's brother from a nursing home during Hurricane Ike. We stayed at a Homewood Suites in San Antonio along with her mother. There were many other families who evacuated to that facility as well. The hotel was very nice but hardly a resort. We were able to cook some meals there. Due to the circumstances I would have to say that it was an adventure rather than a good time. However, we fared much better than many others not so fortunate as to evacuate. There was a huge TV screen in the lobby and everyone was watching the weather. People were in tears as they watched their homes destroyed but at least we were all safe and relatively comfortable.
 

applegirl

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Love this Hilton chain!!!

We are now huge fans of Hilton Homewood suites.

I discovered this brand a couple years ago when my son and I went to Disneyland in Anaheim and wanted to stay the night. It was during the week so we got the free dinner which I didn't know about prior to staying. What a nice surprise! Our suite was like a mini apartment with everything but an oven. I loved the option of eating dinner down in the dining room or taking it up to our room if we wanted. The pool area at the Anaheim location (it's actually Garden Grove I believe) was quite nice for a smallish hotel.

Last summer we grew to appreciate Homewood Suites even more. My husband racks up a lot of AmEx points with his business and we can convert the points to HH Honors points. So we stayed 4 nights last summer (right before July 4) Sunday thru Wednesday nights for FREE!!! The price of the hotel in Del Mar where we stayed would have been almost $250 a night, so we felt it was a good use of points.

The Del Mar property is quite new, so everything was very nice, granite in the unit, nice TVs, etc. The evening meal was way more than a light meal, it was a full on very nice dinner. I felt like I was dining at a nice restaurant! Less the table service of course. The food is made in the kitchen next door (it's a hilton hotel also) and was more upscale and creative than the Anaheim location which was quite basic, but still acceptable and FREE! You also get all the free beer and wine you can drink with your dinner which is a very nice bonus. The Del Mar location had several microbrews available, a total of 3 or 4 beers to choose from! We ate dinner every evening on the lovely outdoor courtyard patio just outside the dining area next to the micro-mini pool. We love eating dinners outside.

This was one of the most relaxing vacations we had ever had. Why? Because we did NO cooking the entire time and were served very good hot breakfasts and dinners (all but Sunday evening when we just had an easy skillet dinner). We had dinner the other three nights down in the dining room because with two little kids we don't care to eat out at restaurants much, plus the food was so good (and did I mention free?) that there was no reason to go anywhere else. It was just an EASY, EASY vacation!!!!

We are likely going to do the same thing this year since July 4 week is the only summer week my husband has off and normally would be a very expensive week to rent somewhere.

Del Mar is very close to San Diego, so we will have lots of options of what to do and don't mind driving to the beach since our lodging and food was FREE!

If you haven't tried Homewood Suites yet, you need to. We've been very impressed so far.

One more note, I checked out the La Quinta location last year just after it opened. It is very nice, I liked the pool area and the menu for dinners looked quite nice (similar upscale food like the Del Mar location).

I think Homewood Suites is a great value, especially when you can get it for under $100 or free like us on points. Last time in Anaheim I only paid $79 for the room and got two free meals. Are you kidding me?!?! And the ART shuttle stops right in front of the lobby to take you to Disneyland. It just get much better.

Cheers!
Janna
 

applegirl

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One more note: Most properties DO have 2 bedroom suites which makes it real nice when traveling with older kids, but most locations don't have very many, so make your reservations early! The Garden Grove location only has two for example!

Janna
 

ricoba

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One more note: Most properties DO have 2 bedroom suites which makes it real nice when traveling with older kids, but most locations don't have very many, so make your reservations early! The Garden Grove location only has two for example!

Janna
That's what I guessed, that there are limited 2 bedroom suites, but I wasn't sure.

Thanks for the "review":)
 

PigsDad

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The 2 bedroom units are very nice, and very spacious. We reserved a 1BR by the airport for the night before an early flight (it was only $10 more than the cheapest basic airport motel -- no brainer!). We had reserved a 2 queen room, but when we got to the room, it was a king. So we went back down to the front desk and they upgraded us to a 2BR. Very nice. As I recall the 2BR had a king and 2 queens.

Kurt
 
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