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Locations and best chains for using hotel points

I travel all around the US for work, and I accumulate a lot of hotel points.  Right now it's mostly Hilton and some Marriott, but I would be willing to change based on answers I receive here (I've heard Hyatt is good!).  I would like to use my points for more international travel.  But often I find that the hotels at which I could use my points are far from where I'd ideally like to stay - for instance, I did not use any points for stays in Rome and Florence last year because I would have had to stay near the respective airports, far from the city centers.

I was talking to a colleague who told me they stayed in a Hilton in Oldtown Prague recently, and I think there's a Marriott near Trevi Fountain (but for whatever reason wasn't an option last year).  I've also stayed at a Hilton right above London's Paddington Station.

Wondering if others have suggestions on hotels in city centers or other great locations, or best chains to accumulate points for free stays in awesome international locations.  While I used all Europe in my above description, I would like to hear about locations in all geographies!  Thanks!

8 Answers

answered by
hope from Seattle

We're using our Hyatt points for US stays, it seems like that's where their value is - whenever I tried to find hotels with Hyatt in Europe they seemed few and far between, or the points didn't go very far.

I typically use my Starwoods points for international travel. Amazing rates in SEAsia, but I've gotten really good deals in Japan/Korea and most of Europe as well. Marriott just bought Starwoods, so now points for one chain work for both, making it currently the largest hotel company - if you want options that's a good way to go.

1 thanks

answered by
Claudia from New York City

I have Marriott and Melia points. I used Marriott points for a 2-night stay in a suite at the JW Marriott Hotel Quito and Melia points for a room at ME London, near Trafalgar Square . Both were amazing properties.

MeliaRewards is great for Latin American countries. There are 27 Melia properties in Cuba, 10 in Mexico, 6 in the Dominican Republic and 16 in Brazil.

Recently I added Hyatt to my list. With a Hyatt credit card I get 2 nights complimentary stay in any property (all categories) around the world after spending $2,000 within 3 months. There's a $75 yearly fee for the card. But I heard Hyatt changed the rewards since June 29, 2017. You can read the article by Johnny Jet here:

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. JW Marriott Hotel Quito (hotel)

answered by
Patricia from New Smyrna Beach

I have Hilton and Marriott I will try Hyatt and Holiday inn.  Most points were accumulated while I was traveling for business.  I just retired and want to see the rest of the USA,  Since I will use the points while traveling by car across country, airport or hotels outside the city centers may be good, especially if it is just a rest stop and not an area I would be spending a lot of time.   


answered by
Kaitlyn from Fryeburg, Maine

I tend to get a lot of IHG points with work. I find my points go the furthest when I'm staying near an airport on a week day. I try to aim for a room I can get for 15-20,000 pts. So I usually use my points for the first and or last day of a vacation. Rooms say in Boston on a Saturday night in July are going be 3 to 4 times as much; points aren't even worth using for these, or really any hotel on a weekend in a city. 

I really like Holiday Inn Expresses, they tend to be newer and cheap. My parents stayed at a Holiday Inn in Paris, and it was much closer to an American Hotel, than any other hotel they stayed on their trip. They would highly recommend this hotel. And I heard that IHGs all inclusive resorts are very nice. However other than that I don't have much to say about international travel with this chain.

The real advantage of IHG comes if you're looking to vacation in places with less people, those towns tend to have limited selection of hotels and one of them tends to be an IHG hotel. Though the cheapest hotel in Philly was the holiday inn at Cherry Hill Holiday Inn at Cherry Hill. 

answered by
Jon from Kalispell

AirBnB.  I stayed on a ship in Amsterdam that was very affordable, centrally located and new, exciting and romantic. The ship isn't big (has about 4 rooms I think) and a large galley to meet the other guests.  It was surprisingly quiet at the marina I stayed at and the water helped to relax me.  This kind of experience can only be found on AirBnB.  : )

answered by
Diane from New York City

Marriott just joined with ihg you would have very many choices

comments (1)

answered by
Andrew from Scottsdale

Go 100% Marriot simply because of the quantity of properties trumps all other chains.

answered first by
Kathy from Wilmington

We stayed in hiltons in China ( and the Beijing Waldorf which is also part of Hilton ) didn't use points for the room as the rates were so reasonable. The upgrades you get due to status in the hotel program gets you to beautiful suites and concierge floors.

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