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Melbourne to host 2026 Commonwealth Games

Melbourne to host 2026 Commonwealth Games

The 2026 Commonwealth Games will be hosted in the Australian state of Victoria in March 2026.

The sporting extravaganza will take place across multiple cities and regional hubs, including Melbourne, Geelong, Bendigo and Ballarat (each about 60 - 90 minutes drive from Melbourne.

The Opening Ceremony will be staged at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (pictured) that seats approx 100,000 people. This was the stadium built for the 1959 Summer Olympic Games and is located walking distance from the CBD, with public transport also serving it.

There will be plenty to see around Melbourne.  Plenty to do too after the events, as the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival both run from March through April.

Accommodation at current properties will be booked quickly.  Thankfully there are new properties due to open in/near the CBD prior to then, including :
*  Hotel Indigo (4* by IHG)
*  Courtyard West Melbourne (4* by Marriott)
*  Melbourne Four Seasons (5*),
*  Shangri-La Melbourne (5*) and the
*  Hilton Melbourne Square (5*).

Waldorf Astoria to debut in Australia

Waldorf Astoria to debut in Australia

Set to open early in 2025, Australia's first Waldorf Astoria (Hilton’s ultra-luxury hotel brand) property will be located at One Circular Quay in Sydney.

The prime location will offer sweeping views across the harbour from Sydney Harbour Bridge around to the Sydney Opera House. The location is within short walking distance of the Rocks area, the Opera House, Royal Botanic Gardens, the Museum of Contemporary Art and up-market fashion and retail.

Peacock Alley, a signature space for Waldorf Astoria properties around the world, will serve as a central gathering place and gastronomes will be please to know that there will be two original restaurant concepts, as well as a rooftop bar featuring uninterrupted views of the stunning Sydney Harbour.

Waldorf Astoria Sydney will participate in the loyalty program - Hilton Honors.  If redemptions are at a reasonable level, this will be a stunning use of those hard-earned points.


S&P Global's Sustainability Yearbook 2022 considered over 7,500 companies across 61 industries around the world and selected 716 companies for this year’s edition based on their S&P Global ESG Scores using this Yearbook Methodology. Prize winners in the 2022 edition included:

Airlines
Gold:  ANA     Silver:  China Airlines, EVA     Bronze:  LATAM Airlines      Honourable Mention:  Air France-KLM, JAL, American Airlines

Hotels, Resorts & Cruise Lines
Gold:  Hilton Wordwide      Silver:  Melia Hotels    Bronze:  NH Hotels

Interestingly, both Melia Hotels and NH Hotels are Spanish companies.  Of the total 716 companies selected this year, 26 ( 3.6%) are Spanish companies - a strong showing.

Congratulations and thanks to all whose efforts made the grade for this year’s yearbook !

For more information...


Hilton Honors (advertiser) members purchasing between 15,000 and 80,000 points through February 9th will receive an equal amount of bonus points.

Under this promotion, you could receive up to 160,000 points. Enough for a long-weekend somewhere very nice !

T&C's apply.


Hilton Honors has launched another of its Points Unlimited promotions.

For each and every stay booked and completed within the promotion period, registered members will receive 2,500 bonus points in addition to the base points earned.

T&C's apply.  Further information is on our Hilton Honors Promotions page.


Last Friday, Hilton Honors announced the further extension of benefits for its members.

Early confirmation of room upgrades - if a complimentary room upgrade has been awarded for your forthcoming stay, you'll be notified 3 days prior to check-in.

Further extension of elite tier status & benefits:

  • Elite members will now keep their current Status through 31 March, 2023, even those who were scheduled to downgrade.
  • Status tier requirements will also continue to be lower, which means you’re closer to enhancing the way you stay.
  • ALL your 2021 nights will roll over to next year, giving you a head start to upgrade your Status faster in 2022.
Points expiration deferred - Points expiration has been extended again, to 31 December, 2022.

Nice to see a loyalty program continuiing to reward loyalty when members need it most.

For more detailed information on the 2022 Policy Changes...

Hilton Honors 80% - 100% bonus points promotion

Hilton Honors 80% - 100% bonus points promotion

Purchase a minimum 5,000 Hilton Honors points through 31 December & reveive bonus points.  The offer seems to be targetted and is either 80% or 100%.

You can purchase up to 80,000 poionts per calendar year.  Bonus points do not count against this limit.

This can often be a good way to extend the life of your existing points balance.  However, Hilton has already extended points expiry for all Honors members through 31 December, 2022

So this particular offer may be best for members with a planned redemption who just need to top-up.

Compare against prior offers and/or buy Hilton Honors through the member website.
 

Hilton Launches “Travel the World” for APAC travel closer to home

Hilton Launches “Travel the World” for APAC travel closer to home

This week, Hilton announced “Travel the World,” its new marketing campaign inspiring consumers to explore closer to home the wonders of local alternatives in Japan, Australia, Malaysia, & Thailand  that match the experiences at some of their favourite international destinations.

The new campaign aims to showcase how domestic travel offers a wealth of similarly wonderful experiences that are a lot more accessible. This is anticipated to appeal to in particular to families who are now more actively looking to book domestic travel versus pre-pandemic.

There is no shortage of options for culture, nature, adventure, and food and wine in these countries and the campaign seeks to highlight the best travel experiences across the region:

  • AUSTRALIA: From sipping an espresso in a Melbourne laneway café as if on the streets of Rome, to swapping the vineyards of Bordeaux for the Barossa Valley and its world-renowned shiraz, to experiencing the wildness of Litchfield National Park just outside of Darwin in place of the Amazon or diving the Great Barrier Reef outside of Cairns whilst the Maldives are off the cards.
  • JAPAN: From swapping the street foods of Thailand and Vietnam for snacking on takoyaki in Osaka and ramen in Fukuoka, to hitting the slopes of Niseko in place of the mountains in Whistler, Canada or having some retail therapy in Ginza and Shibuya instead of Paris.
  • THAILAND: From making the most of Pattaya’s vibrant rooftop dining and drinking experiences in place of Singapore and Los Angeles, to exploring the water canals of Bangkok by traditional wooden boat instead of Amsterdam and Venice or escaping to Koh Samui for its while sandy beaches and crystal clear waters while enjoying a meaningful stay scouring the home-grown farm at the resort for your dinner - similarly to Bali.
  • MALAYSIA: From swapping the historical sites of Portugal for the beautiful ruins of the Portuguese era in Malacca, to a day trip to the charming French village of Colmar Tropicale just an hour outside of Kuala Lumpur for a French food fix, or a visit to the lush green vistas and relaxing surrounds of Kokol Hills in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah as an alternative to the rice terraces and forests of Ubud in Bali.
For more information, you can watch Hilton's "Travel the World" video.

Hilton recognised as #3 workplace in the world

Hilton recognised as #3 workplace in the world

For the 6th year in a row, Hilton has been recognised as one of the world's top 25 workplaces. 

Hilton ranked #3 on the 2021 Fortune Magazine / Worlds Best Workplaces awards announced today and remains the only hospitality company on the list.

Congratulations to Hilton, its managers and team members !

For travellers, my experience is that happy employees result in exceptional service. To experience this yourself, take advantage of the latest Hilton Honors promotions.

For more information on its loyalty program, see our complete Guide to Hllton Honors.


Hilton Honors has launched its latest promotion, where you can purchase up to 160,000 points and they will match it 1 for 1 with 100% bonus points.  

This offers good value at an effective price of USD 5.00/ thousand, which is less than our valuation of USD 5.50/ thousand - especially for Elite Tier members who combine this offer with their 5th night free benefit for a handy discount for their next lovely stay.
 
T&C's apply, including that you must buy:

  • at least 15,000 points
  • before 7 December 2021
  • no more than 160,000 points - double the usual limit.
Click below to see our analysis and recommendation for the Hilton Honors 100% bonus points offer.


For travellers with young families wanting to book a holiday, Hilton has launched a new family-friendly booking feature.

Confirmed Connecting Rooms will enable individuals to easily book and instantly confirm at least two connecting rooms (at participating hotels, which I expect will increase as the technology is rolled-out).  This will reduce the potential stress both at the time of booking adn during your stay, as anyone who has holidayed with particularly a younger family will appreciate.

While I see it as ideal for young families, it is also a boon for other multi-generational holidays, friend groups, wedding attendees and other travel parties who wish to stay near one another rather than potentially be spread across multiple floors.  

In the past there have always been many benefits to staying in connecting guest rooms—but the booking process wasn’t always seamless.  

Hilton seems to have overcome this with a smart, easy-to-use solution.  Hopefully others will follow Hilton's lead.
For more details, or to make a booking at participating hotels with Hilton Confirmed Connecting Rooms, use the link below.
  


Get twice as many HIlton Honors points when you buy or gift at least 10,000 points before 31 December 2020. That's a whopping 50% discount !  

The annual limit on the number of points you can purchase has been temporarily increased to 160,000 - and the bonus points don't count towards this limit.

This brings the purchase price down to USD 5 per thousand. What could you do with this?  Read on to learn more.


Our regular update on the world of hotels and their loyalty programs.  Best Western sneaks in a points devaluation - possibly related to WorldHotels | Hilton offers a new way to redeem points (but don't) | Hilton, Marriott and Hyatt all running points offers with discounts, but do they offer value?