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Luxury Hotels? Why I don’t spend my points on them

Thanks to the Marriott Mega Bonus I find myself with a surplus of Marriott points and hardly and Hilton points.

I could blow them all in Dublin when I’m there next month.  They have the Shelbourne Dublin Renaissance and a Ritz-Carlton, but I think I’ll hang onto my points.

For certain things I love quality over quantity.  Sometimes it’s nice to splurge a little and have a nice trip, but I just don’t get the premium for full service hotel redemptions (although I am staying at the Hilton Northolme in Seychelles right before I head to Dublin so maybe I’m just a hypocrite.)  Sure, I avoid brands like Motel 6 and Days Inn since they are very inconsistent.  I’ve had some good ones in places like Iowa where there may not be a higher end brand, but I’ve also stayed at some very sketchy ones with sand paper for towels and sheets.

The difference between something like a Hilton Garden Inn and a Conrad is lost on me though.  I stayed at the Conrad in Dublin last time I was there and didn’t leave feeling like it was worth the points over the Dublin Airport Hilton aside from the location.

If I’m presented multiple options in the Marriott and Hilton brand in the location I want to be I always opt for the lower point redemption unless there is a tangeable benefit to the brand…like the Embassy Suites and Hampton Inn in Charleston, SC. The Embassy has the managers reception and nice breakfast so I’ll pay a point premium for that.  Full service hotels often have few free perks, especially if you aren’t at least mid tier (I can get free internet, free breakfast, and some other random perks as a Hilton Diamond and Marriott Platinum) but when it comes down to the room and bed the Hilton bed feels just as comfortable to me as the Hilton Garden Inn bed.  I also don’t see many other features to the room to justify 20,000 or more points per night.

So since I wiped out all of my Hilton points to stay in Seychelles and Dublin and Addis Ababa don’t have cheap Marriott properties it looks like my hostel reservations will stay in tact…although I may just pay out of pocket for a Hilton property since hostels aren’t what I consider comfortable.


  1. Funny you should mention the Charleston Embassy Suites.

    I am headed there this weekend and using points for a free night at that property. (Actually trying to get rid of my HH points and this seems like a good way to do so!)

    1. Enjoy. I have stayed at the Hampton next door as well, but I’ve stayed at that Embassy Suites many times. It hasn’t been as full of children as some of them (eg Anaheim, CA).

  2. Not sure about the hostel accommodations, but there are many other options between that and paying for the Hilton. We were staying a few days in Dublin before checking into the Westin. I used Tripadvisor and found the Roxford Lodge hotel. Sure we didn’t get any points or stay credits but it was a quaint local place in a nice neighborhood (many embassy houses are on the street). It was only a 5 min walk from where the airport bus drops off passengers and there is a local bus stop right outside which can take you to Temple Bar for just a Euro or two.

    1. I agree, tripadvisor is my go-to when deviating from my chains. I also use it for restaurants outside of the US. yelp didn’t work in Panama so I used tripadvisor instead.

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