My Top 5 Hilton Category 2 Hotels for Award Stays

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I looked through the Hilton Category 2 hotel list to see what gems I could unearth from that piece of barren internet.

I was surprised to find lots of hotels (131, to be exact) all over the US and Europe (and globally). I pulled out my Top 5 picks.

In particular, I’d like to maximize the 5th night free benefit that Hilton gives to all of its elite members.

Here are 5 Hilton Category 2 hotels where I could see myself spending 5 days.

Note: Prices are based on travel in September 2015 and are after taxes as shown on the checkout screen.

1. DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Bratislava

I had a great time in Bratislava last year. I stayed at the Park Inn by redeeming Club Carlson points. Now that Club Carlson is dead to me, I likely wouldn’t stay there again.

Location of the DoubleTree in Bratislava

Location of the DoubleTree by Hilton in Bratislava

Instead, I’d go for the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Bratislava. It’s not as well-located as Park Inn, but I figure I’d deal like always.

~$553 or 40,000 Hilton points @ 1.4 cents per point

~$553 or 40,000 Hilton points @ 1.4 cents per point

1.4 cents for a Hilton point is pretty good!

I could totally imagine exploring Bratislava for 5 days, with a day trip in Vienna for one of them.

#Bratislava – what a cute town! #Slovakia

A photo posted by Harlan Vaughn (@harlanvaughn) on

I really liked Bratislava!

2. Hotel Vienna South

Thought this was interesting. It’s slated to join Hilton’s Garden Inn brand in early 2016, but you can redeem Hilton points there now. If I didn’t stay in Bratislava again, I’d definitely stay at the Hotel Vienna South.

Viennese wine on a beautiful day in #Vienna #Austria #wine #Wien

A photo posted by Harlan Vaughn (@harlanvaughn) on

Unlike the Park Inn situation in Bratislava, the Hilton location is better located in Vienna than the Park Inn is. (What a weird sentence. It makes sense though, yeah?)

I like this location a lot more than the Park Inn's

I like this location a lot more than the Park Inn’s (which is on the other side of the river)

This hotel would cost ~$764 if I paid in cash. So I’m actually getting 2 cents of value per Hilton point when I use the 5th night free benefit.

I’d get to spend 5 nights in Vienna… and save a lot of money!

Not only that, but the signup bonus on the Citi Hilton Visa is damn near enough to do this twice!

3. Hampton Inn & Suites Mexico City – Centro Historico

Mexico City is one of those cities I’ve always wanted to visit. And ignorantly, I’ve always been intimidated by its size.

I know what I’d like to do, though. The same thing I do in any new city: check out the museums and visit the gayborhood. Mexico City’s gay area is called the “Pink Zone.” Isn’t that awesome?!

Not only that, but gays in Mexico recently got the right to marry (congrats to them)!

The Hampton Inn is in the Centro Historico, which I guess could be cool, too. 😉

I'd spend 5 days and explore the gay bars and many many art museums!

I’d spend 5 days and explore the gay bars and many many art museums!

It’s also near the Metro Bellas Artes, which is walking distance to many art museums.

It would cost ~$827 after taxes for a 5-night stay in September.


Over 2 cents per Hilton point for this stay in Mexico City!

So I’d be getting, again, outsized value from my Hilton points.

4. Hampton Inn Dallas

Hell yeah, I wanna go through the Big D! And North Dallas is where it’s at!

Actually, I’ve been thinking of buying property in Dallas once I pay off all my credit debt and take a chunk out of my student loans as part of my FIRE.

So for the 5 days I’d spend here, I’d rent a car and go look at a few places. 5 days seems like a good amount of time to schedule some viewings and weigh a few pros and cons.

Major pros: 

  • Being near an AA hub
  • Growing city
  • Cheap to buy right now, can only go up

Major cons: 

  • Hot as hell
  • Would need a car
  • Not familiar with the market there, so steep learning curve
1.2 cents per Hilton point isn't as good as the values at the foreign properties, but still decent

1.2 cents per Hilton point isn’t as good as the values at the foreign properties, but still decent

It comes to ~$497 after taxes.

That’s a respectable 1.2 cents per Hilton point. Not bad for saving some cash while making a big decision.

5. Hampton Inn Fall River/Westport

Providence, RI is my 2nd choice for buying property. This one’s right on the Massachusetts/Rhode Island border. And again, it would give me a few days to get to know the area, see a few places, and get a sample of the life there.

I’ve heard Providence has a fantastic gay scene.

But the airport is really small. I’d have to drive to Boston or back to NYC to fly anywhere. But then again, it might be worth it…

The Hampton Inn Fall River would be a good base to explore Providence, which has tons of other things to do and see. And I could drive to the beaches, or even to Provincetown for a day trip.


~$735 or 40,000 Hilton points

So I’d be getting 1.8 cents of value per Hilton point. Really, not a bad deal.

Bottom line

The 75,000 point signup bonus on the Citi Hilton Visa is nearly enough for 2 5-night award stays at Hilton Category 2 properties. You’ll get the 5th night free on all award stays because the card comes with automatic Hilton Silver elite status.

Pick any 2 award stays from this list and you’ll find the sign-up bonus can be worth well over $1,000 – which is  a great deal!

Furthermore, it’s a no annual fee card. So if you hate it, toss it in a drawer until you can call Citi for a retention bonus.

There are Hilton Category 2 hotels all over the world. I’ve picked out 5 that sync up with my interests and goals.

Because travel is so personal, everyone will find different ways to use the signup bonus. (And that’s what makes this hobby so awesome!)

Which Hilton Category 2 hotels are on your Top 5 list? 

Thank you for using my links to apply for travel rewards cards! And yes, the 75,000 signup bonus is available!

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About Harlan

Just a dude living in Memphis, traveling, and working toward financial independence.

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  1. I’ve stayed at both vienna and bratislava and doubletree was much much nicer than hilton garden inn in vienna – my favorite cat 2 is in Kuala Lumpur with views of Petronas towers from my room – nice lounge in KL

  2. DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Kuala Lumpur.
    Executive floor if you are HHonors Gold and beyond. Amazing breakfast buffet – Continental, Chinese, Indian (especially South Indian)

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