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With a nod to the quickly approaching start of summer, today TPG Contributor Richard Kerr shares his favorite domestic Wyndham properties that offer both a great beach destination and a solid award redemption.
The more I dig into the Wyndham brand, the more I continue to get excited about the recent “revaulation” of the Wyndham Rewards program. For many of you, the name Wyndham might bring to mind simple commuter properties like Days Inn, Super 8 or Travelodge. However, with more properties worldwide than any other chain, Wyndham also boasts a number of upscale resorts in popular tourist destinations and large cities. In preparation for summer, today I’ll look at six Wyndham beach properties in the US that offer great value for award nights.
In classifying the “top” properties, I considered the following factors:
- Location relative to attractions, transportation and the general reputation of the nearby community.
- Revenue rates (to compute the value of redeeming Wyndham Rewards points).
- Property amenities.
- Reviews on Tripadvisor, Flyertalk and other forums.
Wyndham Rewards now offers a flat redemption rate of 15,000 points for an award night at any property worldwide, along with the highly lucrative GO FAST cash + points rate, which offers redemption values well over 4 cents per point. The revamped program has also made the Wyndham Rewards Visa from Barclaycard worth considering. The card currently offers a sign-up bonus of up to 30,000 points. Earn 15,000 points with your first purchase, plus an additional 15,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 90 days of account opening. That’s enough for two free nights at any Wyndham property, including the ones below.
The values I’ve listed include room rates plus all taxes and fees that are covered on an award reservation. I chose to focus on the lowest flexible rates (rather than prepaid, nonrefundable rates) for an “apples-to-apples” comparison, as award nights can also be canceled without penalty. If you tend to book rooms with discounted advance purchase rates (or have access to other discounts such as AAA, AARP or government rates), the redemption value for each property may be slightly lower.
Of course, you may have a different way of defining what makes a redemption valuable, so feel free to include your favorite US Wyndham beach properties in the comments below! Here 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 after taxes and fees, giving you a value of 2.06 cents per point.
While it won’t overwhelm you with its amenities, I really like this property for its location, great guest reviews and allure as a place to get away from it all for a relaxing time at the beach. Boca Raton is just north of the resort, and offers world-class shopping and dining for a day out. Rooms have been updated with stylish decor, and most have oceanfront balconies. You can easily hop down to Miami for a day of sightseeing; the city is only 45 minutes away.
Paid rates in July start at $188 after taxes and fees, giving you a value of 1.25 cents per point.
Located 30 minutes down Highway 60 from Tampa International Airport, the Wyndham Garden Clearwater Beach straddles the entrance to Clearwater Bay from the Gulf of Mexico on a private, 260-foot white sand beach. Newly remodeled rooms have free Wi-Fi and mini-fridges. Tampa and St. Petersburg have plenty of family activities to keep all ages entertained, while this property makes a relaxing day at the beach an easy decision between theme park visits.
Paid rates in August start at $199 after taxes and fees, giving you a value of 1.33 cents per point.
The popular location of this hotel is made even more accessible with bicycles for rent and an on-site concierge. Free Wi-Fi, an outdoor heated pool, 24-hour fitness center and recently remodeled rooms make it the perfect accent to its prime surroundings. My wife and I stayed here for one night of our honeymoon when it was the Holiday Inn and in bad need of refurbishment. Recent guest reviews suggest that the property got all the updates it needed, and it’s a heck of a deal for 15,000 points.
Paid rates in August start at $435.81 after taxes and fees, giving you a value of 2.9 cents per point.
If you want to nitpick, this property is on the water but not on a beach. However, the newly renovated hotel has a great location and amenities that make it a solid choice for a visit to San Diego and nearby beaches. A complimentary shuttle can take you to local attractions or the airport, and you’re within walking distance of the Gaslamp Quarter and Seaport Village. There are three restaurants on site, an outdoor pool and a poolside gym.
Paid rates in August for a King Deluxe room start at $246.93 after taxes and fees, giving you a value of 1.65 cents per point.
This resort really has it all at an incredible location. Two pools, winding lagoons, a fitness center, sunny beaches, shopping and restaurants are all close. Act fast if you want to book, because this property is leaving the Wyndham portfolio in December of this year. I doubt the property was a fan of the new rewards system when it began giving free rooms away for only 15,000 points. I’ve even seen two-bedroom villas available for the same 15,000 points per night, which is a crazy good value.
Paid rates in August start at $508.55 for a one-bedroom resort view villa after taxes and fees, giving you a value of 3.39 cents per point.
Two properties that didn’t make the cut above are worth mentioning. The first is the Wyndham Bay Point Resort in Panama City Beach, FL. The property is still undergoing a massive renovation that has essentially closed the entire hotel except for the golf villas. It’s not clear what exactly is being accomplished and when it will be complete, but it has the potential to be a great resort when it opens again.
The second is the Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club. This is a Dolce property that was acquired by Wyndham earlier this year, and doesn’t make the cut because it’s not available for award stays. The property is located between Atlantic City and the Atlantic City airport on Reeds Bay, and looks like a fantastic place for a weekend away.
Again, don’t forget to check if the Wyndham GO FAST rate is available when looking at dates to redeem points for any of these properties. The points + cash option generally costs 3,000 points plus a cash surcharge between $35 and $95 per night.
It’s apparent that some of these properties are not on par with, say, a Hyatt or Hilton resort. However, the value you get for a flat 15,000 points is hard to beat, especially considering what high-end brands charge for beachfront properties.
What are your favorite Wyndham beach properties in the US?
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