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Hotel Redemptions for a Family of Five. Part One.

My husband knows all about squeezing 5 people in one hotel room. That’s how he used to travel  with his parents and two siblings while growing up. Usually, his little brother got the rollaway, which he really hated. His family of five once shared one tiny cabin on a cruise, where you had to step over another person to go to the bathroom. Ahh, the good times!

Some of my readers face the same challenge of trying to collect hotel points and make redemptions that would let them accommodate 5 people, yet allow everyone to semi-enjoy themselves without killing each other. Well, the good news is  families of five (or more) can get a decent value out of hotel points’ bonuses.

I did some research and found some places that could fit the bill. I mostly focused on popular destinations like Disney. I also called some of these properties for more details, so I’m going by the information provided by the front desk. If you are looking for a specific destination, you can always do a  search through that particular program, put in 2 adults and 3 kids, and see what comes up.

 

Marriott Rewards

Courtyard Orlando Lake Buena Vista

The rate around New Year’s was $200 per night. It costs 20,000 points. The room has two double beds and a sofa sleeper. Marriott has a record of providing good quality.

Some ways to get Marriott points:

You can apply for Chase Marriott Rewards Visa that comes with 70,000 points after spending $1,000 in 3 months. Annual fee is waived. It also gives you a free hotel night certificate for a category 1-4 redemption. Be aware, it expires 6 months after the issue date.

The hotel I mentioned is a category 4, so you could get 4 hotel nights near Disney from just one bonus for your family of five. You would have 10,000 points left over and can later combine them with your spouse’s points for free. Marriott program lets you do it at no cost when you redeem the points.  The offer does not pay me and you can access it via this link.

IHG program

There are quite a few places near Disney, but most of them don’t fit 5 people or cost a huge amount in points for just a standard room. There is one exception that could possibly work during Spring Break or high season.  Be aware, this resort seems to have some blackout dates during peak times. Alternatively, you can look for PointBreaks hotels (5,000 points per night) and redeem your points for 2 rooms.

Holiday Inn Club Vacation Orlando

The cost is 35,000 points per night (gasp!), but you can redeem that amount for a huge 2-bedroom villa that can sleep 8 people. There is a ton of space for everyone and all the amenities of home. There are pools that can entertain kids for hours. I only recommend you redeem the points during peak times because in the summer, you can get the villa for $169 per night plus tax, so it wouldn’t be a spectacular redemption.

Some ways to get IHG points:

You can wait for promotions like IHG Big Win or sign up for their co-branded Chase IHG card. It comes with 80,000 points through MasterCard version still available according to this thread, though it could disappear at any moment. What would it take to convince you guys to get it? It does not pay me a dime, yet I keep raving about it!

BTW, you can use the renewal annual free night certificate for this place. I just did. A 2-bedroom villa near Disney for $49 is a good deal, even during slow season.

Choice Program

If you are not picky about your accommodations, Choice  is well, a good choice for your large family. That’s because the points can be redeemed for suites at no additional cost. I’ve written about my redemption at Niagara Falls, where a suite cost me only 8,000 points per night and could fit 6. No, it wasn’t fancy, but still a good deal.

There are several places near Disney. One of the best bargains is Clarion Inn Lake Buena Vista It doesn’t have suites, but can fit 5 with a rollaway (free of charge). It costs only 6,000 points per night July-November. There are many other properties because Choice is literally everywhere, so do a search on their website and see for yourself.

Some ways to get Choice points:

Wait till Daily Getaways returns next summer and buy them for 0.37 cents per point. Choice co-branded credit card isn’t compelling enough for me to consider it. There is a roundabout way to transfer to Choice from Chase Ultimate Rewards, but it’s a bit complicated and requires you to have a Chase Amtrak MasterCard, plus spend $200 on Amtrak travel per year. If you follow those steps, you could transfer up to 25,000 Amtrak points (transferred from Ultimate Rewards 1:1) to 75,000 Choice points per year. Email me or comment for more details.

 

So, these are just a few examples of hotels that could work for a family of five and represent a reasonable redemption value.  Come back tomorrow for my second part.

Readers, does anything look appealing to you?

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Author: Leana

Leana is the owner and 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.

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10 thoughts on “Hotel Redemptions for a Family of Five. Part One.

  1. Regarding the Marriott free hotel night certificate that expires within 6 months…both my mom, wife, & I have been successful in calling Marriott Rewards and requesting a 6 month extension on the expiration date. It never hurts to ask!!

    Another point regarding the free night certificate. By Marriott’s rules, only the receipent can use the certificate; they don’t allow you to transfer it to another person, such as a relative (ex. Mom to son).

    But, the last time I redeemed a free night certificate, I used the certificate for an online reservation I made and had to put in a credit card (for incidentals and to hold the room) when making the online reservation. When I checked in, they did not ask for my ID, they only asked for the credit card used to make the reservation (no certificate was required because it was made online).
    It got me thinking that one could “possibly” use someone else’s certificate by using their own credit card number when making the reservation instead of the using the credit card of the free night certificate owner.
    This could only work if you were making a reservation w/someone you trust such as a spouse/relative and you also had access to their Marriott sign on (like your Mom’s).
    Anyways, just a thought…YMMV!!!

    🙂

    • BB, I’ve heard of people getting extensions on Marriott certs, but I wouldn’t count on it happening to everyone. Better safe than sorry.
      As far as transferability, interesting… It probably would work in US properties. I would be cautious on overseas use.

      • I guess I should have added that if one tried the transfer type reservation, they should definetly have a backup plan!! Maybe another reservation that they could hopefully cancel if needed, by the reservation cutoff time for that hotel (usually 5 or 6 pm fir most of the US Marriott’s I’ve stayed in).

    • BB, good point on a backup plan! I love it when hotels let you cancel the same day. That’s always my preference, mostly due to the fact that kids can get sick all of a sudden.

  2. I grew up in a family of 5, and back in the old days we could book any regular hotel room and the hotels always had a rollaway. Now, I guess due to fire codes or hotel greed, most rooms have this darn occupancy max of 4 people. It makes it so much harder for larger families! Thanks for the suggestions. I’ve been tempted to book a regular room and just have one kid sleep on the floor, but haven’t done it yet. 🙂

    • @Shoesinks It is a absolutely a challenge these days for larger families to find hotels that are suitable. The good news is, they do exist. One nice thing about Chase IHG card I mentioned, is that you get a Platinum status with it. That means you’ll have a good shot at an upgrade to a suite, when available. We get upgraded 80% of the time. I highly recommend it.

  3. For our family of 8, we usually just go for 2 rooms. What we have had a lot of success with is Hilton Homewood Suites. Since I’m a Gold member (from a CC), I’ve had good luck with upgrades.

    So I reserve a 1BR suite at a Homewood Suites, and then call and try to get a free upgrade to a 2BR. You can’t pick the 2BR directly because it’s some insane amount of points. (No, really, check it out. If a 1BR is 20,000, then the 2BR is like 54,379).

    So far we’re 2/2 in getting the upgrade to a 2BR.

    • @Pointswithacrew Family of 8 is beyond the scope of this blog, I’m afraid! 🙂 Interesting strategy on Hilton. I actually decided to skip HHonors program altogether because they require insane amount of points for suites. Might quote your comment. Thanks!

  4. Pingback: Hotel Redemptions for a Family of Five. Part Two. | Miles For Family

  5. Pingback: Disney Hotel Points Options for Large Families, and More! | Miles For Family

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