A good use for Hilton free night certs — in Connecticut

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The Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card has a very good signup bonus: 2 Free Weekend Nights after $2,500 spend. Each year, you can get another free weekend night by spending $10,000 on your card.  Those weekend nights can be used at almost any Hilton property worldwide (a list of exclusions can be found here).  The great thing about certificates like these is that it is possible to redeem them for hotels that usually charge exorbitant rates.  The bad thing about these certificates, besides being limited to weekend nights (Friday, Saturday, Sunday), is that they expire in a year.  So, while it’s possible to redeem the certificates for a hotel that would normally charge more than $1,000 per night, the reality is that you might not have a chance to visit such a hotel before your certificate expires.  As a result, I suspect that many people use their certificates closer to home.

Hilton Free Night Certs in Connecticut

If you’ve ever tried to use hotel points or certificates in the New England area, you’ve probably found that outside of Boston there are few good options.  Over the summer, though, I stumbled across one that is worth a look.  The Madison Beach Hotel, which was recently completely renovated, is now a member of Hilton’s Curio Collection.  Summer rates for the hotel run about $379 and up.  If you want to redeem points, they’ll take 80,000 points per night during the high season.  That seems steep to me, and that’s why I think that free night certificates are a great option.

Madison Beach Hotel

The hotel is located in Madison Connecticut on the Long Island Sound.

Madison Beach Hotel Map

I didn’t actually stay at the hotel, but the concierge gave me a tour…

Lobby:

2015-08-04 11.08.00

All rooms have balconies with water views:

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Bedroom:

This was the only bedroom available for our tour at the time. We did get a chance to peek into a king bedroom while it was being cleaned, but I didn’t take any pictures.  The king room was a bit more luxurious: it included a fireplace and larger bathroom.  I would definitely request an upgrade to the king room, if available.

2015-08-04 11.38.07

Beach:

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Dining

(this photo was borrowed from the hotel website – I didn’t take pictures of the dining area, but it is very nice):

Madison Beach Hotel Dining

Activities

The hotel’s website mentions the following activities:

  • Yoga on the beach (they also have an indoor yoga room)
  • Fitness Center
  • Spa
  • Family friendly film festival: Every Tuesday night on the beach July-Aug
  • Music and Art: Every Thursday night July-Aug
  • Golf at the Madison Country Club
  • Bike rentals
  • Kayak and Paddle Board rentals

I happened to grab a price sheet on my way out for the kayak and paddle board rentals (since that’s what I would want to do).  The listed prices are:

  • One hour rental: $25 single person; $30 tandem
  • Four hour rental: $40 single person; $50 tandem
Yoga room:

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Elite Benefits

If you have the Hilton HHonors Reserve card then you have, at minimum, Hilton Gold status.  I asked the concierge what benefits were given to Gold and Diamond members.  I learned that they do not differentiate between the two.  The benefits for Gold and Diamond members are:

  • Free breakfast for two, daily
  • Water in room upon arrival
  • Room upgrade if available (the hotel has two deluxe rooms, but no suites)

Lobster

If you stay at this hotel, or just visit the area, and you like lobster, I highly recommend visiting the nearby Lobster Landing in Clinton.  Get a lobster roll.  Seriously.  Get one.  They’re crazy delicious.

2015-08-02 13.25.47 Lobster Landing Lobster Roll
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