Posted on September 22, 2023
Hilton, an internationally recognized resort brand in the hospitality industry, has a longstanding reputation for offering world-class accommodations, services, and unique experiences. Two of its most esteemed programs include the Hilton Grand Vacations Club and the Hilton Honors loyalty program.
Hilton Grand Vacations Club is the timeshare program Hilton operates, which also includes the Hilton Vacation Club and Hilton Club properties. The Hilton Honors program is the hotel loyalty program where members earn points to use for Hilton resorts and associated hospitality benefits.
Although they appeal to different market segments and serve distinct purposes, they are intertwined in ways that offer Club members broader vacation options.
Hilton Grand Vacations Club, also referred to as Hilton Grand Vacations (HGV), is the vacation ownership, or timeshare, program for Hilton. Club members, or owners, have the opportunity to buy Hilton points which are deeded to the luxurious properties offered by HGV.
Ownership in the program ensures the opportunity to vacation at their chosen resort, granting the feeling of having a "home away from home". What sets Hilton Grand Vacation Club apart from other timeshare programs is the flexibility it offers. Owners are not tied to a fixed week or location and can choose from a vast range of Club destinations in the HGV network.
Hilton Honors is Hilton's flagship hotel loyalty program, designed to reward frequent travelers for their stays and loyalty to the Hilton brand. Members earn points at no cost based on hotel stays, which can later be redeemed for free nights, exclusive experiences, travel products like car rentals, or other rewards.
Over time, as Honors members accumulate stays and points, they can also progress through membership tiers, each offering a unique set of benefits such as complimentary breakfast, late check-out, and room upgrades.
While Hilton Grand Vacations Club and Hilton Honors may seem like two separate entities, their synergy provides Club members with expanded vacation experiences. Club members are automatically enrolled into the Honors program when they buy Hilton timeshare points, so below are some of the key links between them:
Points Conversion: One of the most direct benefits between the two programs is the ability to convert Hilton Grand Vacation Club points to Hilton Honors points. This feature allows members to enjoy the advantages of both worlds. While Club members can enjoy their timeshare benefits, they can also convert Club points to indulge in stays at non-timeshare Hilton properties or other experiences.
Exclusive Benefits: Hilton Honors members who are also HGV owners can often find special offers tailored just for them. These can range from bonus Honors points, exclusive packages, or fifth night free when staying at a Hilton hotel.
Consistent Service Standards: Being a part of the Hilton network, both Hilton Vacation Club and Hilton Honors maintain a consistent standard of service. Whether you're staying at a Hilton timeshare resort in Hawaii or a Hilton hotel in Paris, you can expect the same level of dedication and commitment to guest satisfaction.
Extended Stay Opportunities: Members who own timeshare points with Hilton Grand Vacations but want to extend their stay or explore a new location can utilize their Hilton Honors points to book additional nights, ensuring continuity in their travel experience.
Special Events and Experiences: The HGV Ultimate Access program periodically offers unique experiences to their members, from private concerts and gourmet dinners to exclusive tours.
Holistic Approach to Travel: By combining the long-term benefits of Hilton timeshare ownership with the short-term stay and loyalty rewards of Hilton Honors, members get a more comprehensive approach to travel. They can enjoy planned vacations at their favorite resorts and also spontaneously book stays at Hilton properties around the world.
Hilton Grand Vacation Club’s timeshare model transcends the conventional approach to timeshare. With the Hilton ClubPoints system, members have the flexibility to choose when, where, and how long they want to stay.
ClubPoints can also be banked, borrowed, or even combined, allowing for longer stays or accommodations in more premium suites. Furthermore, the Open Season feature provides members the chance to book available rooms at HGV resorts at a discounted cash rate instead of using points. This increases the overall value of the membership if points have already been used during the year.
Hilton Honors isn’t just about accumulating points, since using those points for free perks is the real value. The program has a tiered system, with members progressing from Blue to Silver Elite, Gold Elite, and ultimately, Diamond Elite status. Each tier comes with its own perks. For example, Silver, Gold and Diamond members enjoy the benefit of Fifth Night Free when they book a reward stay of five nights or more using only points.
Elite Status Benefits: Club members with Hilton Honors elite status can access their membership benefits even during their Hilton timeshare stays. This means complimentary Wi-Fi, bonus Honors points, Spa discounts and late check-outs are accessible irrespective of whether you're staying at an HGV property or a standard Hilton hotel.
Rollover Nights: This Hilton Honors feature allows Silver, Gold, or Diamond members to rollover extra nights to the next calendar year, helping them maintain or upgrade their tier status. This is beneficial for Club members who may not use their timeshare every year but still want to maintain their elite Honors status for future stays.
Experiences Platform: The Hilton Honors Experiences platform allows members to bid on exclusive experiences in auctions using their points. While some experiences revolve around stays at iconic Hilton properties, others offer unique opportunities like behind-the-scenes tours, exclusive concerts, or private culinary events.
While Hilton Grand Vacations Club and Hilton Honors function individually, they are deeply interconnected, providing a comprehensive suite of benefits to Club members. For those who love to travel and cherish their time spent at Hilton properties, the combination of timeshare ownership and a robust loyalty program offers an unmatched experience.
This interconnection is designed not just to enhance the value proposition for Club members but also to encourage a deeper brand loyalty. Hilton, through this dual program synergy, solidifies its commitment to offer excellent travel experiences, whether it's a short business trip, an annual family vacation, or a spontaneous weekend getaway.
The best way to become a Hilton Grand Vacations Club member is to buy on the resale market, where you can save 50-60 percent compared to buying through Hilton. All of the same benefits transfer to resale buyers on the secondary market, so why pay more for Hilton timeshare points when you don’t have to?
Some examples of Hilton Grand Vacations resorts under the various Club brands are:
This New York City property is part of the upscale Hilton Club brand - with resorts located in top urban destinations. The fabulous midtown Manhattan location of The Residences by Hilton Club is perfect to explore iconic destinations like Rockefeller Center, Carnegie Hall, Central Park and more.
Hilton Club members have distinctive benefits such as exclusive reservation windows, access to designated lounge areas, and participation in the Elevated Rewards program.
A fabulous resort in South Lake Tahoe, this former Diamond Resorts property solidifies Hilton’s presence in this fantastic four-season vacation destination. Set just steps from the beach, Hilton Vacation Club Lake Tahoe Resort is also just a mile to the shopping and dining at Heavenly Village.
Hilton Vacation Club debuted following the acquisition of the Diamond Resorts’ timeshares into the Hilton network. The move is what has expanded the Hilton Grand Vacations program to over 150 resorts.