Posts Tagged With: Hotel

Sometimes Buying Points is the Better Deal

As a rule it usually is NOT in your favor to purchase points for a hotel stay.  Hotel and airline groups will swamp you with offers to purchase points.  Generally paying for the hotel is cheaper than buying points to cover the stay unless you are close to having enough points. BUT this week I came across a situation where it is much cheaper to purchase the points than to pay for the stay.

Choice Privileges is having a “members only madness week”. This week members can purchase points for 25% off.  Usually this is still not enough to encourage me to purchase except I remembered when looking for my next hotel stay that I had seen a Choice Hotel that was only 8,000 points for a weekend night this winter.  With this sale 8,000 points would only cost me $66.  The hotel I was looking at was going to cost me $220.83 total for the one night stay in a two queen room.

Also in the same city was the option for a hotel for 12,000 points that was a tick closer to the train station.  Those points this week would be $99 instead of $132 with the 25% off deal.  This hotel if you paid for it would be $282.78 for the date I need.  The 8,000 point hotel had good reviews and I am willing to walk the extra block or two to be at my destination so I went with that option.

Few people really want to brave the Midwest in cold temps so point values are down which can make for great redemption opportunities.

Choice Privileges® Reward Night Redemption

Nov 11, 2018 – Nov 30, 2018:
Sun – Thu 8000 /room
Fri – Sat 8000 /room
Dec 1, 2018 – Jan 31, 2019:
Sun – Thu 12000 /room
Fri – Sat 12000 /room
Feb 1, 2019 – Apr 15, 2019:
Sun – Thu 20000 /room
Fri – Sat 20000 /room




Categories: Discounts, How I Save on Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Follow Hotels on Social Media

This has become one of my no-brainer tips, follow hotels on social media.  Why?  Sometimes you will see an unadvertised deal.  Sometimes they offer a give-away.  Sometimes you can get upgraded by talking with them.  Hotels want you to brag them up. Tell your friends what a great time you had, or the great room you had and they want you to follow them.  Be active!

I started following some of our favorite hotels a couple of years back on facebook and twitter.  If I am visiting for the weekend I comment on their page.  No need to be specific and give the world your dates.  Something like “looking forward to my stay soon!”  Worst case scenario you hear crickets.  (But most properties have a social media contact now.)  Often I am messaged asking when my trip is and wishing me a great stay.  Sometimes I get a nice note in the room with a little treat. Sometimes we get a nice room upgrade.  You never know what can happen!

Also sometimes they offer contests.  Free dining at their restaurant or win a free night!  I have won a free night at a hotel I was following, it was a great surprise!  Be social, be active!


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Things that make you wonder….

I ran across this review for a hotel I was looking at, a Country Inn and Suites on Tripadvisor that made me shake my head…. (Bolding is mine)

2 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 weeks ago

First off this review is specific to anybody who is lodging at this hotel when attending a hockey tournament in Holland (which are very common). As an out of town team there are four hotels that the tournament hosts have partnered with in which the various teams are placed. This by a long shot is the worst. To begin with the pool area is tiny and can hardly handle seating for a few parents while 20 kids try to swim in a pool that is more suitable for 3-4 (the other three hotels have much larger and open pool areas). That isn’t the real problem though. The staff have little patience for kids as they roam the hotel and make noise, try to play hockey in the halls, etc. Seriously what do they expect when signing up as a host for team of kids ages 7-10. From talking to teams at the other better hotel options I heard that the staff provided the kids conference rooms to have fun, play floor hockey, etc. This hotel however is much to small and has no such room for anything like this. The other complaint is there is very little room to host any team functions like nightly pizza parties and if you do you will be fighting with the other teams in the hotel for the minimal amount of space they have. Then as it gets later they will tell you to go to your room because of noise reasons, which I understand, but it is just clear this facility is incapable of hosting. Our whole team was highly disappointed with this hotel and cannot believe it was over $130/night. If we ever decide to come back to Holland we will be praying to get the DoubleTree or Hampton which are the same price.

  • Stayed February 2015, traveled with family

At first I thought maybe they were being sarcastic but I think they are serious…  No, please don’t, just don’t think this is acceptable in a hotel with other paying guests.  I am glad the hotel did not allow this behavior and I will stay with them in the future because of this.

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New Hilton Double Your Hhonors Promo

Sign up and earn Double Points or Double Miles with any of our 60+ airline partners when you stay at participating hotels from March 1 through May 31, 2015. If you’re not already a member, joining is easy — just choose Double Points or Double Miles to get started.






Choose carefully because your selection cannot be changed
once you select Double Points or Double Miles and register for the promotion.

Sign up and more information here:

Categories: Discounts | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Room Types at the Radisson Blu Chicago

The hotel is in an excellent location for anyone who wants access to Millennium park, Michigan Ave or even Navy Pier.  Its a five minute walk to the park,  not quite twenty to the pier or fifteen minutes to the heart of Michigan Ave.   The hotel is only eight minutes from exiting the train at Millennium Park Station when we ride the South Shore line.

We have had the privilege to stay in three different room types at the Radisson Blu Chicago.  And we each prefer something different, go figure!

This was a park view suite.  Hardwood floors, and the white decor similar to the park view rooms. It had a separate room with a couch and tv.  The bathroom was accessed through the bedroom.


Continue reading

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Free Hotel Nights!!!!! Kind of….

Free hotel nights!!! That got your attention didn’t it????

I have people ask me all the time to help them book a trip or find them a good deal.  I am very willing to help but often they seem disappointed, they want the cheap vacation.  It would be nice to pull free hotel nights out of thin air, but it doesn’t work that way.  You need to do a little work and keep building on what you have earned.  The only way to have instant free nights is by credit card signup bonus, most people do not want to hear that. (You can sign up for the Hilton or Club Carlson card and have free nights with in 60 days if you want to go that route.) The other way to get free nights is to earn them with stays.

My strategy is IF I am staying one night I pay cash for that hotel stay unless it is Chicago in July. (Those are some crazy hotel prices!)  I stay at the hotel with the best promotion going on for the area I need to stay in.  Slow and steady.  I redeem them for my larger vacations when I would rather have money for theme parks, museums and food.  And I try to balance it out on vacation, I might pay for 2 nights and redeem for three nights.  Earn as you burn them.

The best thing you can do is sign up for the hotel rewards programs, sign up for promotions (I have them on a page link on the top right of this blog) and earn over time.  Marriott has been great for me, two different hotel stays gets me one night when I sign up for the promotion they have going.

There is no quick easy way in this game, start earning with your next hotel stay and go from there.

Categories: How I Save on Travel, Saving Money | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Holiday Inn Brownsville, Tx

When our flight was canceled from Brownsville to Dallas the airline put us up in the Holiday Inn Brownsville.  The hotel is older but was well maintained.  They had two outdoor pools, one in the courtyard of the hotel and one pool behind the hotel.

The courtyard pool flowed under the wall into the restaurant area.Image



The rooms were large and comfortable. We had dinner in the hotel as we were stuck without a car, the food was good and service was fast.  The hotel was not even half full so it was a quiet night.

The hotel was nice but a bit of a drive from the airport, we used their hotel shuttle to get us back and forth. The shuttle was a bit odd since it was an older mini van, nothing that said Holiday Inn on it.

The hotel on the weekends was $75 and around $70 during the week. Its a cool old hotel but not really near anything but the highway.



Categories: Hotel Reviews, Trip Reviews | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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