What are the Most Aspirational Hotel Award Redemptions?
TPG reader Krassi tweeted me to ask:
@thepointsguy-- "What are the most aspirational hotel award redemptions out there?"
Over the past year, we've seen a lot of hotel programs devalue, meaning you need to use more points than ever for award nights--especially at the higher end properties.
Krassi is curious about my top picks for hotel awards, so I put together a list that includes some of my own favorite past redemptions, as well as some hotels that I really want to try and think are great deals. There's still plnty of value to be found when redeeming points for hotel stays, it just might take a little more searching than it used to.
1. Park Hyatt Maldives. I haven't been here yet; I actually stayed at the Conrad Hilton in the Maldives last year, but I have a feeling that this property is a step above.
The Deal: This is a Category 6 property, costing 25,000 points vs. $1,270 per night, which is redemption rate of over five cents per point. Keep in mind that getting to this island is expensive and you'll be charged resort fees, but it's still a fraction of the cost versus paying full price.
2. The St. Regis Deer Valley, Utah. This is a redemption I have coming up in 2015. I love going to the Sundance Film Festival, and through Chase Ultimate Rewards you can get amazing ticket packages. I was luckily able to snag one, and am looking forward to staying here.
The Deal: This is a Category 7 SPG property, with rates at $2,399 per night for the first week of the festival, or just 32,500 Starpoints per night for an upgraded Grand Deluxe Room with the 5th night free. In total, I'm paying 130,000 Starpoints vs. $13,466--which is over 10 cents per point in value. Getting to stay at a gorgeous resort during a peak time was really made possible by using my points. Note that the award didn't show up online, which brings me to a good tip--even if the website lists no availability, you can always try calling to book.
3.The Intercontinental Bora Bora. This is a resort I am dying to try, especially one of their over water villas.
The Deal: An over water villa costs $766 or 50,000 IHG Rewards points per night, which equals a redemption value of 1.5 cents per point. This isn't as great a deal as some of the others, but IHG points are pretty easy to earn through their credit card or their buy points bonus promotions.
4. JW Marriott Cannes, France. This year during the Cannes Film Festival, I was able to stay at this amazing property (alongside many celebrities and film crews).
The Deal: The hotel normally costs 929 Euros ($1165) per night, but I booked a special air and hotel package for 360,000 Marriott Rewards Points, which not only saved me the $11,679 it would have cost to book the room, but also got me 120,000 Southwest points (enough to earn the Southwest Companion Pass). Just on the room alone I got over 3.2 cents per point in value. The Marriott Hotel + Air packages (especially with the Southwest angle) can be some of the most lucrative redemptions out there.
5. The May Fair Hotel, London. Just this past year I stayed at this hotel for two nights.
The Deal: I used 70,000 Club Carlson points per night, but if you have the Club Carlson Visa credit card, you get the last night free on all award stays of two nights or more. So two nights cost the same as one, and since London has exorbitantly high hotel rates, that really makes this an amazing value for an iconic hotel in a beautiful part of the city.
Hopefully this encourages you to get out there and find some amazing ways to redeem your points and miles!