Expert Advice

Explore Europe Using This Perk With Hilton Grand Vacations

One Owner shares how she uses Hilton Honors™ Points to see the world

Erin W
Hilton Grand Vacations Owner Erin W. outside of the Louvre in Paris, France

I recently returned from my second European adventure of the summer. What an adventure. It was an amazing way to end a great summer of travel. While I didn’t stay at one of Hilton Grand Vacations’ international properties, Owners can exchange HGV ClubPoints for Hilton Honors™ Points for the European excursion of their dreams.

Although I did not use any of my HGV ClubPoints on this trip, I took advantage of my Diamond status with Hilton and used tons of Hilton Honors Points.

Hilton Grand Vacations Owner Erin W. and her family at an American football game, wearing red Nebraska Huskers shirts, at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland 

This adventure started with a football game, of all things — yes, an American football game in Europe. My parents and I, along with my uncle, my cousin and my cousin’s girlfriend, traveled across the pond to watch our beloved Nebraska Cornhuskers play in Dublin, Ireland. We were not the only ones wearing red. There were about 20,000 Nebraska fans at the game.

Besides the football game at Aviva Stadium, we were able to explore Dublin and the countryside of Ireland. We took a tour of Trinity College and got to take in their amazing library, as well as the Book of Kells, which is on display there. Being a scholar myself, this was a highlight for sure.

We toured the Guinness Open Gate Brewery and sampled beer after we learned how it was made. My cousin was especially interested in this as he is a world champion home brewer in the United States.

Hilton Grand Vacations Owner Erin W. and her family at Howth, a fishing village in Ireland 

Our family then took the train to Howth, a working fishing village on the coast. It was beautiful, with lots of great restaurants at which to feast on the freshest fish. Afterward, even though it was a bit rainy and chilly, we enjoyed ice cream. It was a fun escape from the city.

I parted ways with my family after Ireland and headed south to France. Paris is one of my favorite places, and I simply had to visit. I stayed at the best boutique hotel in the Bercy neighborhood, which is in the 12th Arrondissement and near the Gare de Lyon, the largest train station in Paris.

The hotel was a Hilton Tapestry Collection called Hotel Camille. It had a wonderful location, a fabulous neighborhood with lots of great places to eat, shop and relax. I stayed there for three nights. The staff were fabulous — so friendly and helpful. They also spoke English, which is a plus. My room was simply perfect, and it had air conditioning.

From my hotel in Paris, I was able to do a walking tour of the city. I followed the River Seine just a few blocks from my hotel to Notre Dame and then to the Louvre. I did not go all the way to the Eiffel Tower this trip, but I did get a gorgeous view from the Louvre and the Arc de Triomphe.

Hilton Grand Vacations Owner Erin W. at Disneyland Paris 

I spent a magical day at Disneyland Paris. This was my second time and I loved it just as much, since I am a big Disney fan. I took the train straight from Gare de Lyon — about 25 steps from my hotel — all the way to the train station at Disneyland Paris.

From Paris, I flew to Edinburgh, Scotland, to reunite with my uncle, cousin and his girlfriend. This was my first time in Edinburgh, and it felt like I was stepping back in time. The buildings are old and beautiful. I loved it so much and cannot wait to go back.

From the airport, I took the city tram almost all the way to my hotel, the DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh City Centre. When I arrived, there were several men wearing full traditional Scottish dress, kilts and all, standing out front with formally dressed ladies. As it turns out, there was a wedding taking place at the hotel.

The DoubleTree where I stayed was only a few blocks from the Royal Mile. In fact, I could see Edinburgh Castle from my hotel room window. Breathtaking.

I checked in and joined my family at Cold Town House for a few cold ones. We then did a tour of Edinburgh Castle. We saw where Mary, Queen of Scots, lived and where King James VI of Scotland (and I of England) was born. The highlight, though, was seeing the Honours of Scotland, the oldest crown jewels in Britain. They were brought down from Edinburgh Castle to be placed on the casket of Queen Elizabeth II as she lay in state in St. Giles' Cathedral during her service in Scotland. We were there one week before the Queen died. It would have been amazing to be part of such history.

A Highland cow found in Scotland 

While in Scotland, we also explored the Scottish Highlands. We drove over 400 miles around, even visiting Loch Ness and going for a boat ride to try our luck at spotting Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster. The Highlands were like something out of a dream. I can see why the Queen enjoyed spending time at her home in beautiful Balmoral. We also saw Highland Cows, or Hairy Coos, as the locals call them.

Finally, it was time to head back to Dublin so we could fly home to the United States. My family left a day before I did, so I stayed an extra night at the Hilton Dublin Airport hotel in order to be at the airport in time for my 6a.m. flight to LAX. The hotel was great. The staff was helpful and the restaurant on site was delicious, serving traditional Irish fair.

I can’t wait to explore more on my next vacation with Hilton Grand Vacations.

Read “Go Big And Experience More: How To Use Hilton Honors Points To Upgrade Your Vacations” for a review of the best way to use Hilton Honors Points, according to a Hilton Grand Vacations Owner.

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Photo of Erin W., a Hilton Grand Vacations Explorer

Erin W

Follow Erin W. on her adventures. She enjoys a flexible work schedule that allows her to travel from her home in California. She started her vacation ownership journey in 2021 and has since relaxed on Hawaiian beaches and traveled with family. Her home resort is the Elara, a Hilton Grand Vacations.

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