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With the new sign-up bonus for the Ritz-Carlton Rewards card, you can enjoy three complimentary nights at any Tier 1-4 property. TPG Senior Points & Miles Contributor Nick Ewen shares 10 of the best hotels to consider if you’re looking to get the most value out of those three free nights.
As we wrote about earlier in the month, Chase recently made some major changes to the Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card. While this included new benefits like Priority Pass Select membership and a $100 statement credit for Global Entry, probably the most significant change involved the sign-up bonus. You can now earn three complimentary nights at any participating Tier 1-4 Ritz-Carlton hotel after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. Today I want to go through our picks for the best spots to make the most of this sign-up bonus.
Before getting into the list, a few details to point out regarding the criteria I used in compiling it:
- The main driving factor was revenue rates at Tier 1-4 hotels. I know that the quality of properties can vary significantly across these categories, but I wanted to focus specifically on where the sign-up bonus would be most valuable.
- I looked specifically at stays over the next two months (September and October 2016). Many properties have significant variation in their rates from month to month, so if you’re looking to complete your stay later in the year, you may find that you’ll get even better (or worse) value.
- The rates are based upon three-night stays and identify the lowest possible rates you’d pay. Three one-night stays could be more valuable, just like a three-night stay on a different set of dates could be more valuable as well.
- I took out resort fees and/or taxes you’d pay on both award and paid stays but kept in those taxes that don’t apply when redeeming free night certificates. This ensures that the cash savings listed below is accurate for each property.
So with that out of the way, which Tier 1-4 properties require high revenue rates and would thus be great options for the newly enhanced sign-up bonus on the Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card?
The first entry on the list earns top billing thanks to absurdly expensive rates during the fall. At the Bay Area’s only luxury resort on the ocean, you’ll feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere despite being a mere 20 miles from San Francisco International Airport. The 261 rooms and suites at this Tier 4 hotel start at close to 500 square feet with furnishings like marble bathrooms and plush terry robes. The other amenities are too numerous to list here but include two championship golf courses, communal fire pits for s’mores-making, four restaurants and bars and a 16,000-square foot spa.
Paid rates in September and October start at $636 per night, making the sign-up bonus worth at least $2,136.96.
Another Ritz property with high paid rates is the Tier 4 Boston location, situated in the heart of downtown between the theater and financial districts. Many of the 193 rooms and suites offers views of the city skyline or Boston Common, and guests also enjoy access to the adjacent 100,000-square-foot Equinox Sports Club (which includes a spa). The on-site Artisan Bistro serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, while the Avery Bar provides a blend of the vintage and contemporary, both in decor and the cocktail list.
Paid rates in September and October start at $524 per night, making the sign-up bonus worth at least $1,799.15.
A third big-city location with high paid rates is the Tier 4 Ritz property in Georgetown, one of the most distinctive hotels in the neighborhood thanks to its location in a former industrial building (complete with an iconic smokestack). The hotel boasts just 86 rooms and suites, making it one of the smaller Ritz properties in the world, though guests will still enjoy an array of amenities like the Degrees restaurant, The Living Room bar and The Boutique Spa, all right on the premises.
Paid rates in September and October start at $489 per night, making the sign-up bonus worth at least $1,679.70.
The Tier 4 Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel is another California oceanfront property that represents some terrific value for the sign-up bonus. Sitting on a 150-foot bluff overlooking the coast, most of the resort’s guest rooms and suites provide private patios or balconies with sweeping views of the ocean, including several first-floor accommodations with outdoor fire pits. While there’s an on-site spa plus two pools and two hot tubs, guests can also stay busy on the two tennis courts or through wellness classes offered in the Ocean Front Gazebo. You’ll also enjoy six distinct restaurants and bars, ranging from the casual (Dana Pool Cafe) to the elegant (enoSTEAK).
Paid rates in September and October start at $469 per night, making the sign-up bonus worth at least $1,554.88.
The first European property on the list isn’t officially a Ritz property but rather a “partner” hotel: the Tier 3 Hotel de la Paix in Geneva, Switzerland. The property is currently undergoing renovations and will reopen as a “new concept” this fall, but even until then this hotel offers some terrific value for your sign-up bonus. It’s situated in the heart of Geneva, and you’ll quickly feel at home thanks to the boutique nature of the property. Its 69 rooms and 15 suites offer views of either Lake Geneva or Mont-Blanc square and provide complimentary Wi-Fi and Nespresso machines. There’s also a Michelin-starred restaurant on property (Vertig’O, which is also under renovation and will also reopen in the fall) plus the Baroque-styled Nobel Bar, serving cocktails, wines and small plates.
Paid rates in September and October start at 485 CHF (~$497.50) per night, making the sign-up bonus worth at least 1,455 CHF (~$1,492.50).
If your travels take you to Japan, consider redeeming your free nights at the Tier 4 Ritz-Carlton in Okinawa. Located in the middle of the island, the property offers 97 guest rooms with views of the East China Sea and Motobu Peninsula, each of which is at least 484 square feet and provides Nespresso machines and deep soaking tubs. You’ll also have access to six restaurants and bars (including Italian and Teppanyaki dinner locales) plus a full-service spa and both indoor and outdoor pools.
Paid rates in September and October start at 38,220 JPY (~$377) per night, making the sign-up bonus worth at least 139,931 JPY (~$1,381).
Another great Asian option for your free nights is the Tier 3 Ritz-Carlton in Macau, China. This all-suite property is located within Cotai’s Galaxy Macau, a city within a city that includes amenities like a casino, luxury shopping and a water park. The smallest suite measures a stunning 882 square feet, and all rooms provide separate living rooms and marble bathrooms. Lai Heen, the main restaurant on property, is located on the 51st floor, making it the highest Chinese restaurant in Macau, while other more casual eating and drinking locations give you some options when you don’t want to venture out. Other amenities include the on-site spa and outdoor swimming pool, though exploring Macau is also a great option, as all of the city’s major attractions are within 20 minutes of the hotel.
Paid rates in September and October start at HK$3,088 (~$398) per night, making the sign-up bonus worth at least HK$10,653.60 (~$1,373.50).
If Hawaii is high on your list to visit, the Tier 4 Ritz-Carlton in Kapalua is a great option on the island of Maui. Spread across 54 acres, the resort boasts 463 guest rooms, all of which include dark wood floors contrasting with local decor. You have six different dining options from which to choose plus the on-property spa, which features treatments inspired by Hawaiian traditions. In addition to numerous recreational activities on the property, the hotel is actual situated within the larger Kapalua resort, opening up additional dining options, two championship golf courses and miles of hiking trails.
Paid rates in September and October start at $391 per night, making the sign-up bonus worth at least $1,330.73.
The second European option on the list is Vienna and the incredible Tier 3 Ritz-Carlton property there. Situated in the heart of the city center, the resort includes just over 200 guest rooms and nearly 50 suites, each of which offers expansive views and luxurious amenities like heated bathroom floors. You can also enjoy farm-to-table cuisine at Dstrikt Steakhouse or grab a drink at the Atmosphere rooftop bar. The on-site spa provides six treatment rooms, and fitness facilities include an 18-meter indoor pool with underwater music and a state-of-the-art gym.
Paid rates in September and October start at €387 (~$436) per night, making the sign-up bonus worth at least €1,161 (~$1,309).
The final entry on the list is one of three properties in New York City that fall under the Ritz-Carlton “umbrella” of brands. Like many of those mentioned above, the 298 rooms and suites include terrific views (many of which are of the Statue of Liberty), deep soaking tubs and more. You can grab a meal in the award-winning 2West or book a treatment in the on-property spa, and the location is a great jumping-off point for the sites of downtown, including the 9/11 memorial.
Paid rates in September and October start at $370 per night, making the sign-up bonus worth at least $1,276.02.
As you can see, there are a variety of locations that offer some incredible value for the newly enhanced sign-up bonus on the Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card. While it would be fantastic to have all Ritz-Carlton properties included, if you play your cards right, you can easily get free night stays worth well over $1,200, just by signing up for the card. Given the other perks it provides, adding the card to your wallet may just be a no-brainer.
Featured image courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel.
Which Tier 1-4 Ritz-Carlton properties are most appealing to you?
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