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We recently asked our TPG Lounge readers if they’ve been to a hotel they loved this year and if so, how they booked it. Here’s a look at some of our favorite answers, organized in no particular order by hotel brand. (Some responses have been lightly edited for style and clarity).

SPG/Marriott

Whether you’re planning an epic family vacation, a business trip or a romantic getaway, SPG and Marriott hotels — now part of the same loyalty program — definitely offer a wide range of exceptional hotels to choose from.

“The JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa in March: 100,000 Marriott points for five nights!” — Rachel R.

“The Courtyard by Marriott Anaheim Theme Park Entrance, booked with points. Best rooms for families, a water park and it was walking distance of the theme parks so you didn’t have to drive to the parking structure and take the stupid tram with a stroller.” — Kelsey L.

“Stayed at The St. Regis Rome two weeks ago. Renovation almost complete. Had one of the best suites ever. Booked direct with SPG. Staff there were beyond superb.” — Matt E.

“French Leave Resort on Eleuthera in the Bahamas. [It’s a} small resort with only 14 individual villas. Stayed with Marriott points. The setting was gorgeous and staff were just the right amount of attentive.” — Katie B.C.

“The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba, where I used three Ritz-Carlton free night certificates. [It’s a} great hotel for a relaxing time — you don’t need to leave the resort as restaurants on the property are all good. It’s situated at the best location on the beach — it gets much noisier toward the Holiday Inn side — so is a great winter getaway.” — Breda G.

Palacio del Inka, a Luxury Collection Hotel, in Cusco, Peru. Booked directly through SPG with points + cash. Amazing suites and impeccable service!” — Trevor J.

Spend some time exploring the charming city of Cuzco, Peru. (Photo courtesy of Palacio del Inka, a Luxury Collection Hotel.)
Spend some time exploring the charming city of Cuzco. (Photo courtesy of Palacio del Inka, a Luxury Collection Hotel.)

Hilton

From Long Beach, California to Belgrade, Serbia, here are some of the Hilton-brand hotels our TPG Lounge readers loved staying at this year.

“Hilton Belgrade, [where I stayed] about a month ago. Three nights, 30,000 Hilton points each, plus a free upgrade to an executive floor! I didn’t realize until my last night that this place opened just a few months ago, but rooms and staff/service were top-notch. Great location, too.” — Ben W.

“Hilton London Bankside — awesome hotel, Hilton Diamond benefits and booked for 44,000 Hilton Honors points per night! We went in May over Memorial Day weekend. Just kept checking and snapped it up when it showed that low!” — Bryan D.

“Hotel Maya, a DoubleTree by Hilton, in Long Beach, California. Booked with Hilton Honors points and was upgraded to a fantastic 900-square-foot suite thanks to my Diamond status!” — Jonathan L.

“Boulders Resort & Spa, Curio Collection by Hilton in Arizona; Waldorf Astoria in Orlando; and the Elara by Hilton Grand Vacations in Las Vegas. All booked direct via Hilton.” — Robert C.

“Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa. Booked using Hilton points.” — Linda S.

“The Hilton Athens and The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco were spectacular. Booked using points — Hilton Diamond and Marriott Diamond status — and received room upgrades at both locations. Service at each was amazing.” — Josh A.

The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco, is a super-chic spot to cash in those points for a free stay.
The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco, is a super-chic spot to cash in those points for a free stay. (Photo by James Cury)

Hyatt

There’s nothing like scoring a free night — or in the case of some of our TPG readers, two free nights — thanks to points and miles, or by simply having the right credit card benefits.

“Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo. I had one free night from my World of Hyatt Credit Card, one free night from my wife’s Hyatt card, one free night from my Globalist status, one free night from staying in five different Hyatt brand properties and used 45,000 World of Hyatt points for three additional nights. Upgraded to a beautiful suite that was listed online at more than $1,200 per night [which meant we] stayed for free in rooms that would have cost more than $8,500 — and don’t forget the free breakfast buffet for two that usually went for $35 per person per day, another Hyatt Globalist perk worth more than $500.” — Greg W.

“The Hyatt Regency Tokyo. It had an amazing club level room and I booked the entire stay through Hyatt on points!” — Danya B.

“Hyatt Andaz Maui. Book through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts for the best upgrade of your life! #Amazeballs.” — Louise B.

“The Park Hyatt Sydney. Scored two nights free with our new Hyatt card.” — Carol P.

With views like this, who wouldn
With views like this, who wouldn’t want to stay at the Park Hyatt Sydney? (Photo courtesy of Park Hyatt Sydney).

IHG

It seems Las Vegas was a popular place to cash in IHG anniversary nights this year. The Kimpton De Witt Hotel in Amsterdam sounds pretty good, too.

“The Venetian in Las Vegas. Used my IHG anniversary free night from the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card.” — Shloime Z.

“I stayed at The Palazzo Las Vegas using my free IHG Ambassador night because of the club level. Got free food and drinks all day and most of the night!” — Monica M.

“The Kimpton De Witt Hotel in Amsterdam. I can’t say enough good things about this property and staff! Booked several nights on IHG points and several with my Chase Sapphire Reserve through the IHG website.” — Dagan A.

Next time you
Next time you’re in Amsterdam, check out the Kimpton De Witt Hotel. (Photo by Eric Rosen).

More Hotels and Resorts You Love

Some TPG Lounge readers said they booked their favorite hotel through the Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts program, the Chase Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection or simply used alternative means (ie. cash) to pay for their dream stays.

“The Scarlett Huntington, San Francisco. I booked it through the Chase Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection and was given a breakfast credit to use toward room service. It was awesome.” — Lisa M.M.

“Hanoi La Siesta Central Hotel & Spa in Vietnam. Booked using the Chase travel portal for Sapphire Reserve (UR points). Premium Suite had an incredible balcony and the best included breakfast I’ve ever had at any hotel.” — Eric C.

“Fairmont Grand Del Mar. I got two nights free from the Fairmont Visa Card that I obtained before it was discontinued. Room upgrade; rooms [where I stayed cost] $1,200 per night regularly. Paid $40 per night for the resort fee, but it was otherwise free. Lovely property!” — Julie G.G.

“Hotel Grand Bretagne, A Luxury Collection Hotel, in Athens, Greece. Perfect location, outstanding rooms, impeccable service and a rooftop restaurant open for breakfast, lunch and dinner overlooking the Acropolis. It’s part of the Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts program, which is how I booked and received perks like a complimentary upgrade, early check-in and late check-out, among others. It’s the only place I will stay in Athens on my return visit.” — Clark T.

“Monument Hotel in Barcelona. I booked it through the Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts program and as a Platinum cardholder, received our 4th night free. Had a beautiful junior suite, spacious bathroom, delicious breakfast on the rooftop, an amazing dinner at Oria using the $100 credit and five-star service all around.” — Anthony T.

“Hotel Sacher Wein in Vienna. Best hotel experience we have ever had. Elegant, impeccable service, elite breakfast buffet — though it’s a disservice to call it this — and in a quiet, perfect location. Cannot recommend this hotel enough. Book through Virtuoso and got a free upgrade, breakfast and spa credits.” — Corey B.

Featured image courtesy of JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.