A luxury hotel is something out of a dream – grandiose lobbies and gourmet food lead you to feather pillows and exhilarating views. The entire experience whisks away any discomfort you may have from the moment you step foot on the property.
These rooms – that go for several-hundred if not thousands of dollars a night – can be yours for nothing more than a few month of normal spending.
Today I give you my top eight hotels to book with points. And while these may not be the single best dollar-per-point redemption options, the list offers a diverse set of hotel programs and locations with obtainable point thresholds.
#1 Park Hyatt – Tokyo, Japan
Near the top of any luxury hotel list, the Park Hyatt Tokyo offers a level of comfort not usually achievable by the average traveler. With rooms that can run upwards of $1,000 a night during peak times, the 30,000 Hyatt points per night are a bargain for the savvy Milers out there. My suggestion: grab the Chase Hyatt credit card that offers two free nights and combine it with the Chase Sapphire or Chase Ink business. The combined points will net you four or five nights at the property – more than enough time for a long weekend from mainland U.S. or an add-on to a separate Asia itinerary.
#2 Park Hyatt Vendome – Paris, France
If the Tokyo property is #1 in the Hyatt collection, then the Park Hyatt Vendome is #1A. Set in an ideal location in Paris, the property also boasts near $1,000 nightly rates regularly for the same 30,000 Hyatt points. An added bonus is the often-reduced amount of miles needed to get to Europe – America Airlines, for example, routinely has 60,000 miles (or less!) for a round-trip economy ticket. For those located on the east coast, the low mileage threshold and short flight time – about the same as to San Francisco – makes this an easy suggestion. The same suggestion as above applies – Chase Hyatt credit card combined with either the Chase Sapphire or Chase Ink business.
#3 Hilton Conrad – Maldives
This selection veers away from logic and more towards pure, unaltered luxury. The Hilton Conrad Maldives delivers this luxury in the form of a villa – or underwater suite if you happen to be upgraded – in one of the most sought-after beach destinations in the world. And, for the regular readers out there, I have to admit that the Maldives has been on my short list of desired travel spots for as long as I’ve had a computer (that’s a long time). And now, the downside: after a couple rounds of devaluations in the form of higher redemption amounts by Hilton and lower bonus amounts by Citibank, this property requires 95,000 HHonors points per night. Combine a couple of the Citibank Hilton Platinum cards with the Citibank Hilton Reserve to get four nights or more – given the location of the Maldives, four nights is the minimum you’ll want to book.
#4 Hilton Park City – Park City, Utah
Okay, and now back to reality. Well, kind of – the Hilton Park City is one of the premier winter retreats in North America and for a price that is much easier to swallow. 50,000 Hilton points will secure a night and redeeming four nights will net you a free fifth. The same recommendation applies to the above, but to a lesser amount. Combine the Citibank Hilton Platinum cards with the Citibank Hilton Reserve and you’ll have a nearly weeklong adventure in a luxury resort and at a location that’s a skier’s dream.
#5 InterContinental Sydney – Sydney, Australia
From snow to the sunny shores of the land down under, the InterContinental Sydney is an incredible property in an ideal location that is quite close to the picturesque Opera House. Rooms can have views of the harbor, bridge and Opera House and the restaurant has the same. The only IHG hotel on the list, this one makes it count – several hundreds of dollars originally, 50,000 points will get you a night there. I recommend applying for the Chase IHG credit card and then transfering Ultimate Rewards points from either the Chase Sapphire or Chase Ink business.
#6 Ritz-Carlton – New York, New York
Ritz-Carlton properties have always impressed me thoroughly, and the Ritz-Carlton New York at Central Park is no different. Set right on Central Park South, this majestic hotel overlooks the most iconic park in the world in one of the best cities to visit. And the necessary points are not too bad – 70,000 Marriott points per night. This can be achieved by combining the Chase Marriott card and the Chase Ink for a luxurious NYC-weekend.
#7 Ritz-Carlton – Hong Kong
Here we have another destination in Asia, this time the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong. The home page says it all – rooms with views of an incredible landscape and impeccable accommodations in one of the finer cities in Asia. Ritz-Carlton require a pretty penny though, so 70,000 Marriott points are needed as well. As I’ve said before, the same suggestion as above works here; apply for the Chase Marriott credit card and either the Chase Sapphire or Chase Ink to redeem two to four nights at the property. You may not come home.
#8 Tambo del Inka – Sacred Valley, Peru
The final location on our list is one I’ve written about before, and for good reason. Tambo del Inka is part of the Starwood collection and has some of the best TripAdvisor ratings I’ve ever seen. The location is a little out of the way, but a short taxi or train ride from Cusco and you’ll be there.
The best part is you are still a day-trip from Machu Picchu, which is a must-see for travelers everywhere. 12,000 SPG points will grant you a night at the property, which retails for $400 or more. The American Express SPG, both the personal and business versions, will net you four nights or more of pure bliss in the Sacred Valley.
There you have it – eight hotels that will whisk you away into a paradise only few get to experience. This list is far from comprehensive and I left off many, many others I was considering. But that is the fun part of earning miles and traveling for free – the list never stops.
After these eight, there will be eight more (and probably as many cards), and so on and so forth. It is the experience of booking – from the moment you read this to when you check in – that make it all worth it.
Disclaimer: Photos credit to respective hotels mentioned.