If you’re a loyal Hilton customer, chances are at least once when you’ve called about a reservation you’ve been offered 500 points for listening to an offer by Hilton Grand Vacations. In late February after a long day at work, I called to extend a hotel stay in Austin and was selected to receive this offer. I figured it couldn’t hurt to listen especially since I’d been saving up points for our trip to Charleston & Savannah. What I wasn’t prepared for, was to actually be offered a vacation deal option that on paper sounded pretty good and would actually fit into my trip. After listening to the sales rep, I had a few doubts, but after a momentary lapse in judgement decided to agree to the non-refundable trip. My deal included 2 nights at a property in Myrtle Beach plus a $200 Hilton credit and 10,000 points. All I had to do was schedule it within 6 months, attend a 2 hour sales pitch for Hilton Grand Vacation, and prepay the $139 (which included tax) for the hotel stay. After hanging up, I immediately began to regret my decision. My concern only increased throughout the night as I started googling reviews of these types of deals. By the time morning rolled around, I was seriously stressing out about the whole thing. It didn’t help matters that when I called to book that morning they couldn’t find my reservation and the rep failed to mention it could take up to 24 hours for the system to update. After another phone call a few days later, I was finally booked, but still extremely nervous about the whole situation.
We ended up getting booked at the Best Western Carolinian Inn & Suites in a one bedroom suite with a partial ocean view from the balcony. The hotel while nice, wasn’t as nice as Hilton’s properties seem to be. It was a little bit out of the way, which actually was nice since it was Easter weekend and Myrtle Beach was pretty crowded. It also included breakfast and free wifi which were both really nice perks we weren’t expecting.
Our sales pitch presentation was scheduled for our 2nd day at 3pm. We arrived at the center a bit early since we were around the corner for lunch and started getting processed right away. They were really busy since it was a holiday weekend and so we could tell they were doing their best to keep up with the steady flow of people. I was nervous about the presentation. I really didn’t want to be pressured into anything and definitely had no intention of buying into their timeshare point system. Our sales rep was friendly and it was pretty painless to walk through the presentation. Overall, he was surprised at how happy I was with my current vacations and while they claimed they could offer some additional value, when I said I wasn’t interested he accepted it and added us to the list of people who needed to be checked out and received their gifts (aka points and hotel voucher). All in all, we were out in a little less than two hours, no the worse for wear.
So the big question is, would I ever allow myself to be talked into another Hilton Grand Vacation deal? The answer is it depends. I don’t think it’s really worth it for a 2 night 3 day vacation because you don’t have much control over when your presentation time is so that can really cut into your getaway. I might consider doing one of their 6 night Hawaii deals (this wasn’t one of the options I was given this time). I have a friend who attended one and other than a slightly pushy and awkward sales presentation, he had a good time plus between the perks/gifts and discounted hotel room for the week it was a great deal. Overall, I would say if you’re not sure you’re best bet is to say no, but if it fits into your vacation plans and is a good deal, it isn’t as bad as many reviews online make it seem in my opinion.