Marriott vs Hilton Hotels

News of a COVID-19 vaccine is causing Marriott and Hilton Hotels to break out higher. Everyone wants to travel again!

Marriott vs Hilton Hotels
Photo by Marten Bjork / Unsplash

I travel a lot for work, or rather I used to until Covid19 hit. My last work-related trip was to Florida for a convention on Robotic Process Automation (RPA). I stayed in a beautiful Hilton Hotel near a marina with a great restaurant and bar. I’ve been a long-time Hilton Honors member and use the AMEX credit card a lot to gain points, status, and rewards.

My Hilton Honors came in handy when my family and I were stranded overnight in Miami because flights were canceled due to a nasty storm. I was able to secure a hotel room on short notice that didn’t cost me an arm and a leg for all of us.

Over the last two years, I started booking some hotel rooms at the Marriott if they were closer to a customer’s location. I’ve come to find that Marriott has some great perks as well and is definitely giving Hilton a run for their money. I don’t mind, I like competition! I too hold a Marriott member card now!

COVID19 and Travel

When the COVID-19 vaccine was announced, everyone on our sales team was like ‘YEAH! I can’t wait to get on a plane again!’. I don’t blame them, I’ve been feeling restless too. I wanted to get on a plane and travel around again too.

My wife overheard me on a Zoom call saying that and said, ‘Maybe it’s a good time to buy some hotel stocks?’

I couldn’t agree with her more, so we bought some Hilton ($HLT) and Marriott ($MAR) stock. This was right before the Biden transition was officially recognized. The stocks went BOOM right after Biden got the go-ahead to transition.

Here’s what HLT is doing:

Hilton Stock November 2020, (c)

And here’s what MAR is doing:

Marriott Stock November 2020, (c)

Lots of gaps up over resistance lines. Technically all looks well and both stocks have been upgraded to BUY's from various agency groups.

After COVID-19 and travel

Once the vaccine is distributed and Biden gets this virus under control, leisure travel is going to rebound like crazy. People have been pent up for too long and they need a break, so I expect Disney and all the destinations to do well. Airbnb will probably explode.

I’m not too sure about how business travel will rebound, I think it will be a measured recovery. My company saved a TON of money on no travel and all Zoom meetings but there will be some recovery, maybe not as hard and fast as leisure.

Disclosure: Long HLT and MAR.

Update 5 months later

Let's take a look at how these stocks are doing 5 months after I made this post. Yes, I remain long because now that the COVID-19 vaccine is out the USA is doing an awesome job of getting shots in the arms of people.

Hilton (HLT) has had a great run since I bought it, I consider myself lucky. Right now it seems to be bumping into resistance at $126.50. It could just be topped out waiting for summer travel results.

Marriott (MAR) is sitting around support at $147 and it looks to be waiting on more news like HLT.

Marriott Hotels Stock April 2021, (c)

So far so good, still long HLT and MAR. Too bad they don't generate dividends. I'd never sell them if they did.