This is not the typical points valuation post, but one that attempts to look at the comparison between programs in a new way.
AGREED - THERE ARE MAJOR ASSUMPTIONS HERE BUT THE OBJECTIVE IS TO LOOK AT POINT VALUE IN A NON-TRADITIONAL WAY. Please, before arguing the specifics of point values, look at the overall theme.
Assuming top-tier status in both programs, bonus points earned on stays, branded credit cards, etc., for sake of argument, let's assume the dollars spent equate to the same number of points under both programs - an assumption I feel is very close to reality with the primary difference between programs of mega-bonus offers via Marriott - perhaps up to 100K points per year. Lastly, the point-value assumption - based on analysis I've done in the past and those of other MRI postings, let's make one final assumption - point values: MR at 10 = $0.02; HH at 10 = $0.175, i.e., MR points are worth slightly more than HH for redemption.
Using a $200 stay, both programs result in 5000 points or $10 MR and $8.75 HH equivalents. EVEN IF I GROSSLY UNDERESTIMATE the values of points in each program, the difference is in the single dollars.
Assuming the above, at the Marriott venue there is likely no free breakfast and the concierge lounge likely charges for beer/wine. At the Hilton venue, breakfast is most often free and beer/wine is always free in the lounge. Breakfast equivalent: $15.00 (and that is a cheap price). Beer/wine equivalent (2 drinks): $8.00 (likewise, that is a cheap price).
UPDATE (corrections to these calculations follow in a subsequent post):
A one-night stay where the guest uses the breakfast and drink options at Hilton saves the member $23.00 on food/drink while the opportunity cost of points is only $1.25 for that same stay. Net advantage of Hilton stay of one night: $21.75.
Final calculations: assume 100 paid nights per year; HH member net advantage: $2175.00 (food/drink savings) less mega-bonus $200, or $1975.00.
MR offers one cat1-5 free night per year, HH does not; assume that is worth $200; new net for HH is $1775.00.