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A few years ago, Wyndham backed away from the traditional award-chart scheme and introduced one of the simplest methods for redeeming points. All properties, regardless of location or quality, cost 15,000 Wyndham Reward points per night across the board. This translated into an opportunity for those looking to stay at expensive and luxurious properties, which would have otherwise cost a ton of points with another hotel chain.
That is all about to change: Wyndham has announced that it’s shaking up its redemption model and introducing a three-tier award chart:
- Tier 1: 7,500 points per night (or 1,500 points + cash*)
- Tier 2: 15,000 points per night (or 3,000 points + cash*)
- Tier 3: 30,000 points per night (or 3,000 points + cash*)
*Wyndham hasn’t confirmed that the formula for points + cash bookings will remain as it is. We’ll report more as we learn new details.
This new award chart goes into effect April 3, but all reservations made before that date will be charged at the current 15,000 points per night rate. Since you can book with Wyndham exactly 12 months out, there’s still an opportunity to book high-end properties for just 15,000 points per night.
For some moderate or budget-oriented properties, the new award chart will be significantly better. However, the more expensive and luxurious properties will probably double in the number of points required. Worse, Wyndham announced that it most likely will not notify members as to which tier each property will fall into until after the changes takes place. They did, however, state that only 200 of its roughly 9,000 total properties will be moving up to the Tier 3 level. While that’s not a huge number that will double in price, it does leave us guessing which properties to book within the next few weeks.
The hotels and resorts listed below are some of Wyndham’s better properties, where right now you can receive a good value for your points. At a guess, most or all will require 30,000 points as of April 3.
The luxurious Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Puerto Rico Golf & Beach Resort in Puerto Rico is a great redemption for a beachfront getaway. While you are only 19 miles from San Juan Airport (SJU), you are able to relax in a secluded 500-acre resort that has been fully renovated after the damage from Hurricane Maria.
This family-friendly property offers tennis, golf and three swimming pools (plus a waterslide). You’ll also find a ton of kid-friendly activities around the resort, such as a dive-in movie, arts and crafts, Ping-Pong and many other daily scheduled events.
Although there are many properties under the Wyndham umbrella in New York City, the TRYP New York City Times Square South is as family-friendly as you can get. For 15,000 points, you can book yourself into a “TRYP Premium Family” room that features two queen beds, one sofa bed, one bunk bed and two bathrooms. Although the space is just 360 square feet, it accommodates up to eight guests. It is quite rare to find a standard room type on points that will sleep such a large family, especially in Manhattan.
If you want to stay at one of Wyndham’s nicest properties and visit one of America’s best beaches, then the Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach is the perfect opportunity to redeem your points. I just returned from Clearwater Beach and while I did not stay at the Wyndham, I was jealous of the guests who did. Although the property is across the street from the beach (which is common for many of the hotels there), the pool area was at ground level and looked great — a large lively pool deck with a hot tub.
In addition to the hotel being quite nice, the location was ideal too. You are a stone’s throw from Pier 60, where there’s a playground, along with inflatable slides, nightly performers and movies on the weekend. You can even avoid renting a car as you are walking distance to many restaurants and other activities. I truly loved my stay at Clearwater Beach and I recommend it (as well as staying at the Wyndham) to families looking for a beach vacation.
The Wyndham Boston Beacon Hill is right in the heart of the charming and highly desirable Beacon Hill neighborhood. Here you are walking distance to many family-friendly sites, including the Boston Common and Public Garden, my absolute favorite area to take the kids to run around and play for hours. You can even take a ride on the Swan Boats in the summer or skate at Frog Pond in the winter.
If Disney World is in your future, the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista can serve as the perfect home base for your family. Since this is an official Walt Disney World hotel, you’ll have access to Extra Magic Hours, 60-day FastPass+ reservations and a shuttle to take you straight to Disney. You are also across the street from Disney Springs making this one of TPG‘s top 10 properties when visiting Disney World.
Kids will have a blast at this property with two pools, an aquatic playground, an arcade, basketball, volleyball and tennis. It even has its own Disney character breakfast with Goofy and Pluto three days a week.
While the Wyndham Santa Monica at the Pier might not be one of the brand’s most luxurious properties, the location cannot be beat. You are walking distance to everything, including Third Street Promenade, the beach and, of course, Santa Monica Pier. With Santa Monica hotels easily costing well over $350 a night, being able to redeem only 15,000 points to be in the heart of it all is a great use of your points.
I personally stayed at this property last year and would recommend it to any family with a stash of Wyndham Rewards points. Tip: Request a room that does not face the highway.
If you live in the Northeast and you are looking for a summer destination, Newport, Rhode Island, actually has many Wyndham properties to consider. I am a fan of the Wyndham Newport Hotel due to the beach location as well as its saltwater indoor pool. Best of all, availability is still very good for using your points this summer.
Now, if you’d prefer an in-town option, there are a few Wyndham resorts to pick from, including Wyndham Inn on the Harbor and Wyndham Inn on Long Wharf. At both of these properties, you can book a one-bedroom suite for the same 15,000 points a night. Availability is hit or miss but if you have some flexibility, you should find a date that works for your family.
The Wyndham Reef Resort Grand Cayman is on the East End (i.e., the opposite side of the island from well-known Seven Mile Beach). If you are looking for something on the quieter and more secluded end, this could be the perfect resort for your family. However, if you want to be where all the action is, you are probably better off staying at one of the many other chain hotels as this property is about a 45-minute drive from Seven Mile Beach.
This is also one of the only resort properties in Grand Cayman that allows you to purchase an all-inclusive plan. Depending on your family’s eating and drinking habits, this could be a great option to save money… although I think the prices are on the high end in addition to using your points for a free night stay.
Wyndham has an incredibly vibrant presence in Hawaii. This means for just 15,000 points a night, you can typically book a one-bedroom suite with a full kitchen. If you are traveling with a large family or really want even more space, many of the properties even have two-bedroom condos for 30,000 points a night. The only problem with these properties is that you need to be flexible with your dates as availability can be limited. With Southwest’s new routes to Hawaii, this could be the perfect place to use your Wyndham points for a free night stay.
Some properties with decent points availability include:
- Kauai: Wyndham Bali Hai Villas, Kauai Coast Resort at the Beachboy
- The Big Island: Kona Coast Resort, Holua Resort at Mauna Loa Village
- Oahu: Waikiki Marina Resort at the Ilikai
Wyndham Viva All-Inclusive
Wyndham actually has six all-inclusive, family-friendly properties throughout Mexico and the Caribbean that still only cost the standard 15,000 points a night. They include the Viva Wyndham Dominicus Beach (La Romana, Dominican Republic), Viva Wyndham Dominicus Palace (La Romana, Dominican Republic), Viva Wyndham Tangerine (Cabarete, Dominican Republic), Viva Wyndham Maya (Playa del Carmen, Dominican Republic), Viva Wyndham Azteca (Playa del Carmen, Dominican Republic) and Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach (Grand Bahama, Bahamas).
While these properties can provide a family great value, since they include your meals, drinks and a ton of activities (including kids clubs), many of them only allow you to book a room with one king bed when looking online. With that being said, I’ve been told that if you call Wyndham directly, they might be able to help.
With Wyndham introducing new award tier levels, now might be the best time to burn your Wyndham Rewards points — that is, of course, if you typically use your points at the brand’s top 200 properties. For the rest of the 8,000+ properties, you’ll still redeem your points at the same 15,000 points per night, or potentially even lower at the 7,500 point-per-night level.
I plan to use up all my points before the award chart changes on April 3. I currently have a weekend stay booked for this summer in Newport; a ski trip planned at the Wyndham Park City (although availability is extremely limited if you are looking to book a stay for your family) and a few days in Santa Monica, which is part of a larger vacation to Disneyland.
Where will you use your Wyndham points?
Know before you go.
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