Sorry, I couldn’t help myself, it’s a play on my Russian background! Well, readers, today you are in for a rare treat! I have a trip report! About a month and a half ago IHG program came out with their new PointBreaks list, where specific hotels are discounted to only 5000 points per night. I will do a separate analysis of IHG program and how it relates to family at a later date. All I will say at this time, is that I value IHG point at 0.5 a cent. Also, any time I say value, that is what I would pay for it.
Because I have Chase IHG visa, I get a 10 percent rebate on my redemption. So the cost per night through PointBreaks scheme would only be 4500 IHG points, or 22.50 per night , according to my value metric. This is only a second time I was able to utilize this promotion. The reason is that usually our vacation plans are not very flexible and the hotels on the list are kind of obscure. But this time was different.
I saw Crowne Plaza Melbourne-Oceanfront and immediately knew we would be going there. We live in Florida , so it’s only 2.5 hours away, no airplane tickets needed. Also the dates were wide open through the end of August and we booked it Friday-Sunday, since my husband is out of vacation days.
We live in the middle of the state, so don’t get to the ocean very often and kids just love playing in the sand. For 22.50 per night it was a no-brainer, even though we needed 2 rooms, because my in-laws were coming as well. The lobby looked very nice and employees were friendly.
The biggest requirement I have for a hotel is that the rooms are clean and the reviews on Tripadvisor don’t have the word “bed bugs”. I know it’s crazy, but I will look to make sure of that. I am a little OCD, in case you haven’t noticed it from my blog! Well, the rooms were clean, no bed bugs and it looked like the interior was remodeled recently.
However it was very clear, that this was a budget hotel at one time , that got rebranded into Crowne Plaza. Do you know, how you can tell immediately, that the hotel is budget at its core? If it has an individual A/C unit, that turns on and off through the night. They can call it Hyatt or St. Regis, but you know it’s not. One thing that was nice, was that our room got upgraded to a suite, because of my platinum status through IHG credit card.
We have been fortunate to have our status recognized even on award stays (not a guarantee through IHG program) , but your experience may vary. We gave the suite (it looked like they connected 2 rooms together) to my in-laws and they really enjoyed it. Plus it was a nice place for kids to play, while my husband took a nap in the other room.
I did appreciate the fact, that the beds were comfortable and had nice high thread count sheets. Even though we have very basic furniture at my house, I splurge on the nicest sheets I can afford, because you spend a 3rd of your life in bed. It’s about cost-benefit ratio principle and yes, I am anal retentive too!
One thing I didn’t like, was that the rooms had carpet in them. I think it’s a huge mistake for a beachfront hotel. This is the case of : buy nice or pay twice. I have a feeling at some point they will have to replace it with tile.
But all in all, how can I complain? We got a suite at the beach for 22.50 per night! The weather was great, kids loved playing in the sand and everyone had a great time. Well, mostly, we are kind of a dysfunctional mix ! The hotel has a nice heated pool, which would come in handy, if you visit in the winter. It looks like the going rate is around 130 dollars per night, which I don’t think I would pay. Maybe a 100 dollars per night at most.
It normally costs 20000 IHG points, a pretty decent redemption, especially if you have IHG credit card and can get 10 percent back. You would do best to leverage those points during Spring Break or holidays, when the rates are high. At 5000 points (actually 4500 with rebate) per night it was a complete steal! If you want to see some photos of hotel, I included a link. One thing I will say, is that the look of the rooms matches the pictures on the website, so you will not be in for a shock, in case you decided to stay there :
To me this whole trip was about grandparents playing with their grandkids in the ocean, just like you see in the photo. Dysfunction and all!
Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.