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TPG reader Eli emailed me about how to book some suites while planning her sister’s bachelorette weekend in Miami:
“I’ve got a great task on my hands – to plan the ultimate bachelorette party for my younger sister. She is thinking Miami and I totally thought of you! What hotel do you recommend we could splurge using points if possible to book a suite or two? We will ultimately have 10 girls but thinking if we can get 1-2 awesome suites using miles/points the other girls can get basic rooms while we all party it up in the big rooms. Do you have any recommendations? I’ve got SPG points and tons of Chase points although I don’t think Hyatt has any viable options down there.”
The first property that came to mind was the W South Beach, which is a lot of fun and should be a great choice for you ladies on a bachelorette weekend. Now, it is a Category 7 hotel that will cost you 30,000 points a night minimum, and even more during peak season, but those rooms are pretty large with big bathrooms and a balcony.
The Oasis Suites, which I’ve been upgraded to as an SPG Platinum, have large living and common areas and a big master bedroom that can accommodate 4-5 people no problem. The thing is, Starwood will charge you double the points for those suites, so what I’d recommend instead is looking into getting a discounted rate through AAA or a corporate code to get that same room for $600-$800. It’s currently going for $1,139 on the Starwood site, but remember it has a king bed in the master bedroom and a queen sofa bed, so you can get a lot of people in there!
Another good option is the Hilton Bentley Bay, but their premium room rewards are insanely inflated over this winter. When I checked a two-bedroom suite was either $1,349 or…485,000 points!
That’s a mere 0.3 cents per point. No deal. That’s not a huge surprise though since Hilton premium room rewards tend to be a bad value.
So I think your best bet might not be using points at all, but just paying for a couple of larger rooms and getting the girls to chip in while putting the reservation under your SPG or Hilton account number so you get the points.
I would recommend calling up and trying to negotiate a good rate at whatever property you do choose, and there are a tone of great ones in South Beach and Miami Beach in general, which you can read about in my Destination of the Week. There’s no telling how much longer these cards will be around and available for new applications because of the Marriott takeover, so now might just be the perfect time to apply. Apart from hotel redemptions, you can transfer Starpoints to over 30 airline partners, and now also transfer points from Starwood to Marriott Rewards at a 1:3 ratio, opening up even more redemption options.
There’s no telling how much longer these cards will be around and available for new applications because of the Marriott takeover, so now might just be the perfect time to apply. Apart from hotel redemptions, you can transfer Starpoints to over 30 airline partners, and now also transfer points from Starwood to Marriott Rewards at a 1:3 ratio, opening up even more redemption options.