Previously:

I have finally decided where to redeem my two free nights that I got from opening a Citi® Hilton HHonors™  Reserve Card. I am going to use them for a weekend stay at the Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria in June.

As much as I would have loved to used my two free weekend nights for a stay in Asia or the South Pacific, the amount of travel it takes to get to those locations was a huge deterrent to that plan. Europe seemed like a much more feasible destination. Thank you to all the readers who commented with their reviews, suggestions, and opinions on where I should stay!

The Property

The Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria is a Category 9 hotel, and the King Deluxe room that I am staying at (for free) is going for $557/night the weekend that I am staying there, or 80,000 HHonors points. I could never have afforded spending $1,100+ on a hotel for the weekend, so the free weekend nights have put an otherwise unattainable luxury within my reach.

Why did I pick the Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria? What was the booking process?

Rome is a city I’ve always wanted to visit. And the views from the Rome Cavalieri look incredible. I like that it’s set a bit away from the city, since I’ve heard Rome can be quite hectic, and I’m sure I’ll want a break in the middle of a two-week European trip. And just look at the base room:

Booking

Booking the nights could not have been easier. This reservation must be made by phone by calling Hilton at 1-800-HHONORS. When you call, make sure that you have the following close by to make the reservation go smoothly:

  • Both Reward Certificate ID numbers
  • The hotel and dates that you want 
  • Your HHonors number
  • The phone number attached to the account
  • A credit card to hold the reservation

I had originally wanted to redeem my certificates at the London Hilton on Park Lane. I gave the agent my preferred dates, and she searched for standard room availability. Unfortunately, she was unable to find any two consecutive weekend (Friday, Saturday, or Sunday) nights in June. I asked her to check for June availability at the Rome Cavalieri, and she quickly found standard room availability for my top choice dates.

The agent was unable to redeem my certificates directly. She told me that, even though I was using certificates, she would have to call the Hilton Help Desk to book the reservation since I didn’t have enough points for the reservation in my account. She put me on hold for about five minutes while she spoke directly with the Help Desk. I was relieved that she spoke to the Help Desk, rather than transferring me to them and making me repeat all of my information.

After a few minutes, the agent came back on the line and told me that she also needed a credit card number in order to hold the reservation. Once I gave her the number, she had a confirmation emailed to me and we were done.

One of the best things about these certificates is that you can cancel your reservation at any point and book a new one. The agent informed me that I could cancel my reservation at the Rome Cavalieri as late as 4:00PM local hotel time on the day of check in. Considering that I do not yet have a flight to Italy in June, this is a wonderful feature! If my travel plans change, I can change where I use the certificates.

I’m excited to experience such an incredible hotel on my trip to Rome. I didn’t have $1,100+ lying around, which is the retail price of my room.

Nor did I have 160,000 HHonors points.

With the recent devaluation in the Hilton program and top-tier hotels costing up to 95,000 points per night, the only reasonably way to get into the nicest Hilton properties is the Hilton Reserve. Of course, this isn’t the only card with a sign up bonus that can get you into some of the world’s nicest hotels. See The Three Best Credit Cards for Luxury Hotel Nights.

All in all, I am extremely pleased with my experience with Hilton HHonors and the Hilton Reserve card. I would never be able to afford a luxury hotel like this on my own, so I am certainly looking forward to my experience in Rome next year!

Citi® Hilton HHonors™  Reserve Card

Application Link: Citi® Hilton HHonors™  Reserve Card

[Scott: Luxury hotels are one thing miles and points can open up, but they aren’t for everyone. Here are the Top Credit Cards to Get the Most Free Hotel Nights. Here is a post about alternative lodging like hostels, CouchSurfing, and airbnb to let you travel more for cheaper. Happy travels!]

 

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