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From Hawaii to Connecticut, 8 great US beach hotels you can book with points

Dec. 22, 2021
11 min read
Kane Tiki Bar & Grill at JW Marriott Marco Island
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There’s not much better than a beach vacation — especially a beach vacation you don’t have to pay for. Thanks to hotel rewards points, booking an awards trip to a beach destination right here in the U.S. isn’t just for the points know-it-alls, it’s totally doable for anybody who focuses on the goal.

If you’re still figuring out the ins and outs of points and miles, we’ve created a handy beginner’s guide to help you start your journey that will hopefully end with the ultimate beach trip. If you’re already stocked up on points and miles and trying to figure out where you can use them to catch some sun and sand, keep reading on for inspiration for where to go and booking tips for your trip.

From the lush sands of Hawaii to family-friend seashores in Connecticut, here are just a few of the best beach hotels you can book with points.

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Hyatt Regency Maui

(Photo courtesy of the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa)

A dream trip for practically everyone, Hawaii is full of beautiful beaches, lush green landscapes and hotels that range from hyper-luxe to family friendly and everything in between. Maui, one of the most desirable islands of Hawaii — and arguably the most expensive to visit — has plenty of resorts to choose from, but the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa is one that we can't get enough of. Even better, you can redeem World of Hyatt points for a stay in this tropical paradise.

Recently renovated and totally reimagined, this resort is set on 40 acres right on the pristine Ka’anapali Beach. All 779 rooms and 31 suites come with a private lanai with a glass balcony overlooking the resort's beach, golf course, gardens or the green mountains of Maui. Beyond relaxing on the beach (and who needs much more, really?), guests can enjoy nightly luaus, stargaze, hit up one of six pools or get a specialized treatment at the spa. Perfect for the whole family, the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa is even pet-friendly so even your four-legged friends can enjoy a vacation with you.

How to book: A Category 6 World of Hyatt property, meaning standard reward nights here start at 25,000 points. With the World of Hyatt credit card, you could score a free night here by earning 30,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from opening the account. Get another night by earning another 30,000 bonus points by earning two bonus points per $1 spent in the first six months from account opening on purchases that would normally earn one bonus point, on up to $15,000 spent.

St. Regis Bal Harbour, Florida

(Photo by Nick Ellis/The Points Guy)

When it comes to stylish beach escapes, Miami is front of mind for travelers based in the U.S. and abroad. Easy to get to, often via very affordable flights, Miami is a place where travelers can get the best of an international city along with scenic ocean views and long, warm beach days. At the St. Regis Bal Harbour, according to a TPG review, guests will find "a refined oasis of calm and serenity in frenetic, pulsating Miami."

At this Marriott Bonvoy property, guests can earn and redeem points for a stay at an posh resort complete with a 14,000-square-foot spa, gourmet food, oceanfront villas and cabanas and a pool tucked away right next to the beach. Choose from a handful of room types, all with floor-to-ceiling windows and glass-walled balconies perfect for breathing in South Florida's salty air.

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How to book: A Marriott Bonvoy Category 8 hotel, reward nights here can be found between 70,000 and 100,000 points per night, at least until Marriott switches to dynamic pricing in March 2022. With the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card you could earn a welcome offer of 150,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new card to make $5,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership.

Wild Dunes Resort - Sweetgrass Inn and Boardwalk Inn, South Carolina

(Photo courtesy of Wild Dunes)

An all-in-one resort just half an hour from Charleston, South Carolina, Wild Dunes resort has an incredible range of offerings, including two hotels (the Boardwalk Inn and the Sweetgrass Inn), vacation homes and private residences. Located right on the white sandy beach, Wild Dunes is a sprawling resort that truly offers something for everyone. Spend a day on the golf course, practice your backhand on the tennis courts, relax in the spa and or rent bikes for a cruise around the Isle of Palms. At the beach, rent a chair and umbrella to unwind by the ocean. If the pool is more your style, we have great news — this resort has two ocean-front options plus a zero-entry family pool, a kids splash pad, an adults-only pool and even a pool for swimming laps.

How to book: A World of Hyatt Category 5 property, rooms here can be found between 17,000 and 23,000 points, depending on peak/off-peak pricing.

 JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort, Florida

JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort. (Photo by Jeff Herron courtesy of the hotel)

At the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort outside of Naples, Florida, three miles of private, white-sand beaches are waiting to welcome you. At this resort, more is more, and it's apparent when you realize it's home to 12 different restaurants, two championship golf courses, three heated swimming pools (including an adults-only pool), a spa and fitness center. Then there are the other activities, like boating, riding on a jetski, kayaking and sailing.

From sushi to Italian food, there's no shortage of flavors at this massive JW Marriott resort. And with tons of different room types — including an entire adults-only area, Sirene — there's no shortage of room options for whatever type of traveler you and your crew are.

How to book: A Category 8 Marriott Bonvoy property, reward nights here can be found between 70,000 and 100,000 points per night.

The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa, South Carolina

"Approachable luxury and a renewing wellness experience" are waiting for you at the Westin Hilton Head. That sounds great, right? Now just think about how much better it is knowing you can book it all with Marriott Bonvoy points. Hilton Head, if you don't know, is a crowd-pleasing island in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, located not too far from Savannah, Georgia. Beaches in this area just hit different, and The Westin Hilton Head is no exception.

At the resort, guests can spend a leisurely (or competitive) afternoon on the golf course, hunker down at one of three resort-style pools or sprawl out in the sand and listen to the waves crash before catching a pink and red sunset over the ocean. For food, "farm and sea to table" is the name of the game, with restaurants serving Lowcountry specialties heavy on local seafood. In-room dining is available, too, and considering that every room here has a balcony, you could enjoy a private meal outside overlooking the water.

How to book: A Marriott Bonvoy Category 6 property, rooms can be found for 40,000 to 60,000 points per night, depending on peak/off-peak pricing. With the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card, you could earn 3 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first three months from your account opening. Certain hotels have resort fees.

Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club, California

(Photo courtesy of Hilton)

There's nowhere cooler than the California coast, where a laid-back lifestyle and stunning ocean views merge to create a perfect vacation. At the Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Club & Resort, you get just that served up with the brand's effortless take on luxury. Here, sitting on top of a 150-foot seaside bluff, guests can enjoy 175 acres of the best California has to offer, including access to the private Monarch Bay Beach Club, where guests can splash in the ocean, stand-up paddleboard or just kick back with a cocktail to take it all in.

An all-new spa invites guests to take a load off and relax with a one-of-a-kind treatment, while a handful of restaurants and bars, including Bourbon Steak Orange County, offer plenty of choices of food and drink. As for the rooms, they're designed to bring the natural beauty of the area indoors with textured seagrass wallpaper, outdoor areas and beautiful views of the pool, ocean or resort. Better yet, some rooms come with outdoor fires to warm up around when the sun goes down.

How to book: A Hilton Honors property, award nights at the Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Club & Resort start at 95,000 points per night, though they're often found at much higher premium rates. With the Hilton Honors American Express Card, you can easily start earning your way to a rewards night here thanks to the card's bonus offer of 80,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card in the first three months of card membership.

Inn at Bay Harbor, Autograph Collection, Michigan

(Photo courtesy of Inn at Bay Harbor)

While the U.S. has thousands of miles of glorious beachfront along the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, let's not forget about the beauty of the inland shores, especially along the Great Lakes. In Michigan, folks know that some of the most stunning beaches in the country can be found on the shores of Lake Michigan, and a vacation at the Inn at Bay Harbor, part of Marriot's Autograph Collection, is proof.

Built in Michigan's classic lakeside inn style, this charming resort has newly renovated suites and guest rooms that are perfect for any need at any time of the year. In fact, while most people are looking to visit a beach resort during the warmer months, this is a great place to see what a beach looks like in the snow. Whenever you plan to visit, expect great activities like soaking in a year-round hot tub, hitting up the resort's golf course, relaxing in the spa, and, in the summer months, swimming in the pool or hitting up the beach for some sun.

How to book: A Category 5 Marriot Bonvoy property, award nights here can be found between 30,000 and 40,000 points, depending on peak/off-peak availability. If you have a Marriott Bonvoy 35,000 point free night certificate that comes with cobranded credit cards like the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card, a standard or off-peak night here would be eligible for redemption.

Madison Beach Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton, Connecticut

(Photo courtesy of Hilton)

Looking out at the Long Island Sound from the shores of Connecticut, the Madison Beach Hotel, part of the Curio Collection by Hilton, is a spa destination and beach resort perfect for escaping to from the major cities in the Northeast. At this resort, guests can spend the days relaxing on beach chairs taking in the sun or slipping into a tranquil state at the resort's Sound of the Sea Spa, where body scrubs and massages can help remove the stress of a busy life.

Large rooms with views of the Sound make for a charming respite from the goings-on of the resort. But trust us, you'll want to spend time roaming around the picture-perfect Connecticut property, including a stop at The Porch, the alfresco restaurant and bar overlooking the water.

How to book: A Hilton Honors hotel, standard award rates can be found starting at 61,000 points, with most nights coming in at 80,000 points.

Featured image by Kane Tiki Bar & Grill (Photo courtesy of JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG featured card

Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 10X points
10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

80,000 bonus points
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

$550

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more