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One complaint you won’t hear from award travel enthusiasts is that there aren’t enough places we want to go. Today, TPG Senior Points & Miles Correspondent Nick Ewen stretches that list even further as he shares his favorite Wyndham properties for award redemptions.
To borrow from a well-known phrase, value is in the eye of the beholder. This is especially true when it comes to redeeming your points and miles for flights and hotel stays. The awards you covet may be of little interest to someone else, and vice versa. Still, some properties tend to offer strong redemption options, so I wanted to follow up on my earlier posts about top Hyatt, Hilton, Starwood, Marriott and IHG redemptions, and today take you through my list of Wyndham properties that are worth every point.
In compiling this list, I considered a number of factors to determine which Wyndham properties offer the “best ” value:
- Typical revenue rates
- Uniqueness (amenities, location, etc.)
Remember that Wyndham just changed its program this past Monday, moving to a flat redemption rate of 15,000 points per night for all properties. While this undoubtedly hurt lower-tier properties (like Days Inn and Super 8 locations), the vast majority of hotels and resorts I list below are now much better off.
Before getting into the list, a few notes of which you should be aware:
- On the award night booking page, many properties claim that regular room taxes and fees are not covered by the 15,000 points (and you generally must pay any horrid resort fees as well). However, the T&C of the program indicate that the 15,000 points will cover your room rate and taxes. To avoid overstating the value of each property, I have used the base room rate (without taxes and fees) in my calculations below.
- I also found that certain properties don’t restrict you to standard rooms when it comes to redeeming points. I’ve tried to highlight which ones give you additional options below.
- As of writing, not all properties under the Wyndham umbrella can be booked with points. Dolce hotels, which Wyndham acquired earlier this year, is the prime example here. In addition, award nights at TRYP hotels cannot be booked online; you must call Member Services at 1-866-996-7937 to redeem your points at those locations.
Of course, you likely have a different way of defining what makes a redemption valuable, so feel free to include your favorite Wyndham properties in the comments below! These are my picks:
This spectacularly restored Art Deco property has a prime oceanfront location in the heart of Miami’s South Beach neighborhood. Relax in floating chairs and enjoy drink service at the hotel’s heated pool, or book an air-conditioned cabana to gain access to a private mixologist and your own music system. All rooms provide luxurious amenities, including organic, private-label bath products and 46″ smart TVs with mobile device connectivity. Concierge services include personal shopping and iPads for use during your stay, while the Oasis Beach Club allows you to rent jet skis, paddleboards and scuba diving equipment. Don’t miss the four on-property dining spots, including Morimoto sushi restaurant, a TPG favorite!
Paid rates in June start at $309 per night, giving you a value of 2.06 cents per point.
If your travels take you to the Windy City, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better location than that of the Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront. All guestrooms boast views of the city skyline or river, and you’ll enjoy amenities such as marble foyers, mini-fridges, Keurig coffee makers, rainforest showers, complimentary bottled water and Wi-Fi. The hotel’s on-site restaurant, Hoyt’s Chicago, puts a modern twist on traditional tavern fare, and after a workout in the 24-hour fitness center or a day of sightseeing (Millennium Park is just a few blocks away), you can schedule an in-room massage to relax your cares away.
Paid rates in June start at $199 per night, giving you a value of 1.33 cents per point. However, you could redeem points for Deluxe Suites at this property, which start at $349 in June; this raises your redemption value to 2.33 cents per point.
If you’re looking for a smaller, more boutique-style hotel, consider a trip to Charleston, South Carolina, and a stay at the Mills House. Originally opened in 1853 (but completely updated since), the Mills House is perfectly situated to explore all that downtown Charleston has to offer. All guestrooms have been renovated with 36″ LCD TVs, free Wi-Fi and decor to reflect the region’s laid-back, coastal lifestyle. The Barbadoes Room restaurant blends elegant cuisine with a relaxed atmosphere for all three meals, while the outdoor pool beckons after a day of exploring the historical city.
Paid rates in June start at $199 per night, giving you a value of 1.33 cents per point.
One of the newest Wyndham properties in Europe is the Wyndham Grand Istanbul Levent, located in the upscale Sisli district. You’ll enjoy beautiful views of the Bosphorus, the city and Golden Horn from the 389 guestrooms spread across 32 floors. Each one includes complimentary Wi-Fi, a mini-bar and luxurious linens and plush bedding; Executive Rooms provide additional space, kitchenettes and access to the Executive Lounge (with free food and drinks throughout the day). You can also take advantage of several dining options or book a treatment at the 3,200 square-meter spa. The property is just steps from the Levent subway station, giving you easy access to Taksim Square and the rest of the city’s popular sights.
Rates in June start at €175 ($196) per night, giving you a value of 1.31 cents per point.
Don’t be afraid of the “Times Square” label; this TRYP property is actually located on West 35th Street in the Garment District of Manhattan, combining easy access to midtown with a tucked-away location. The TRYP brand (as a whole) is all about celebrating the city in which each property is found, and this New York spot is no different. The chic guestrooms include reclaimed wood floors, 10-foot ceilings and an interesting blend of Mediterranean and urban decor. Gastro Bar 35, located right on premises, continues this cosmopolitan flair with its healthy buffet breakfast, small plate menu and designer cocktail list.
Rates in June start at $218 per night, giving you a value of 1.45 cents per point. Remember that you can’t book award reservations with TRYP properties online; instead, you must call Member Services at at 1-866-996-7937.
Many families may be planning trips to Walt Disney World this summer, and the Wyndham Grand property near Bonnet Creek can be a spectacular value for your points. The resort spans 500 wooded acres and includes plenty of entertainment right on property, including a lagoon-style pool (complete with a fire pit and outdoor cabanas), Blue Harmony Spa, three restaurants and a jogging trail. Enjoy complimentary shuttle service to Walt Disney World, and after a tiring day at the theme parks, retreat to one of the 400 rooms and suites with a pillow-top mattress, Mediterranean-style furnishings and complimentary internet.
Rates in June start at $199 per night, giving you a value of 1.33 cents per point. You can also redeem points for a family room, with 1 king or 2 queen beds plus two twin bunk beds tucked away in a separate nook, perfect for traveling with the kids! These rooms start at $229 in June, raising your redemption value to 1.53 cents per point.
If you’re traveling down under, a great spot for redeeming your Wyndham Rewards points is the Ramada Couran Cove Island Resort. Situated on South Stradbroke Island, the property is just a 15-minute ferry ride from the Australian mainland and offers a secluded getaway for visitors to the Gold Coast. Once you arrive, you may never want to leave, with numerous activities like running tracks, basketball, tennis, shuffle board and beach volleyball. Rooms include 52-inch TVs, sofa beds, kitchenettes and private balconies with water views, and three on-site restaurants and a day spa will ensure that you stay entertained throughout your stay.
Paid rates in June start at AU$350 (US$277.50) per night, giving you a value of 1.85 cents per point.
Just about any type of vacation dream can be fulfilled at the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar in Puerto Rico. Just 19 miles from San Juan International Airport (SJU), the property is the only one of its kind on the northeast coast of the island, boasting a mile-long stretch of golden beach and more than 500 acres to explore. Enjoy an on-site casino, two championship golf courses, 10 restaurants and lounges and two oceanfront pools (one for adults only and the other with a waterslide and children’s wading pool). Every one of the 400 newly renovated rooms is decorated in a vibrant Caribbean style and provides private balconies, oversized bathrooms and complimentary Wi-Fi; standard accommodations start at 475 square feet.
Paid rates in June start at $179 per night, giving you a value of 1.19 cents per point. You can also redeem points for upgraded rooms, including the 1,274 square-foot Caribbean Suite. June rates start at $459 per night, raising your redemption value to 3.06 cents per point.
Our final property is one of the newest Asian properties in the Wyndham portfolio: the Wyndham Grand Xian South, which just opened last August. Located in the heart of the city made famous for the Terracotta Warriors, the hotel includes 565 spacious guestrooms that blend contemporary comforts with traditional Chinese style. Standard rooms include sitting areas, walk-in closets and a separate soaking tub, and complimentary Wi-Fi allows you to stay productive throughout your stay. Choose from two on-site restaurants, or relax in your room and place an order from the 24-hour room service menu.
Paid rates in June start at 1,000 CNY ($161) per night, giving you a value of 1.07 cents per point.
The Wyndham Rewards program has been flying under the radar for years, despite Wyndham being the largest hotel company in the world (with more than 7,600 properties worldwide). With the new program, that will likely change, since every participating property will now require just 15,000 points for a free night. I (for one) am now looking hard at the Wyndham Rewards Visa, especially with the “richest bonus offer in its history” of 45,000 bonus points, or three free nights at any Wyndham Rewards hotel, as well as 6,000 additional points on their account anniversary each year.
What are your favorite Wyndham hotels for award redemptions?