My family of five is past the point of sharing one hotel room. Sure, we can do it, but it ain’t pretty.
When my kids were much younger, I used to search high and low for hotels on points that allowed all five of us in the same room. We stayed at a lot of Hyatt Place and Springhill Suites locations.
But now, that same set-up is not ideal. My kids are 8, 11 and (almost) 15. They accuse us (mom and dad) of snoring. We get tired of turning off the lights and TV early so that the younger two can get a decent amount of sleep without being crabby. The kids argue over who has to sleep with who. In short, in order to ensure a good night’s sleep, we really need at least two separate spaces for sleeping with a door in between.
If your family is like mine and you need some extra space, here are some additional options, some of which are still bookable with hotel points.
Two-room Sweet Spots on Standard Award Redemptions
The most ideal situation for my family is a two-room hotel room that provides extra space (separate bedroom with door) at a standard award price. These are few and far between (especially at a standard points redemption), but they do exist.
Last month, my kids and I stayed in a two-room suite at Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort. We had a bedroom with two queens and a living room with a sofa bed. The living area was separated by a door, so it was like having two bedrooms. The room was considered a standard award booking with Hilton. Win, win!
Hilton has several properties available on standard award amounts that have two separate rooms with a door in between. This DoubleTree Suites near Disneyland in California and this Embassy Suites near Disney World are examples.
Other sweet spots for standard award redemptions include Marriott ‘s Cypress Harbour Villas in Orlando (2-bedroom condo), Clearwater Beach Marriott Suites on Sand Key, Holiday Inn Club Vacations at Orange Lake Resort (2-bedroom condo) and Holiday Inn Club Vacations Galveston Seaside Resort (2-bedroom condo).
A few years ago when I had Hyatt Diamond status, I used some Hyatt suite upgrades to get my family in larger suites. One suite in particular at Hyatt Lost Pines was huge!
Hyatt has made it easier to book suites with World of Hyatt points. Hyatt no longer requires a 3-night minimum for suites booked on points. It also frequently has “suite sales” for rooms booked with cash.
I’ve never done this myself, but I hear of travelers booking standard hotel rooms with points and then contacting the hotel directly to pay extra to get into a larger suite. It’s worth a try!
Two Connecting Standard Hotel Rooms
For a family of five wanting extra space, sometimes getting two hotel rooms is the best way to go. Many hotels have connecting rooms for easy access and supervision of kids.
The biggest con for getting two hotel rooms is that the price can be exorbitant. My family has worked around this by using miles and points and the power of two. For example, last year my husband and I both applied for the Chase IHG Visa (my referral link). We each earned enough points for a room for 3-nights at the Holiday Inn Old Sydney. But we both had to apply for the card to have enough points for 2 rooms.
Condo or House Rental
Staying in a large condo or house on vacation can be a real boon for families! Last summer, my family stayed at a condo on the beach for three weeks. It was great to have so much space! This summer, we are renting a house on a farm for a week in New Zealand.
You can sometimes get a great deal on a condo rental by scouting sites like SkyAuction, Redweek or Ebay. Of course, vrbo, HomeAway and Airbnb have a ton of options in most places. If you want to use points, the Chase travel portal and Citi Premier travel portal offer condos.
For Disney: DVC Points Rental
For families looking to vacation at Disney parks, renting DVC points is an option for more space with on-site benefits. I’ve rented DVC points twice with no issues. My family stayed in a 2-bedroom villa at Saratoga Springs Resort, and a friend and I stayed in a studio at Animal Kingdom Villas.
Although renting DVC points is more expensive than staying in an off-site condo, it costs less than paying for one room at a deluxe resort. I rented from individual owners I found through the DIS boards both times. However, there are a few brokers, like David’s Vacation Club Rentals and the DVC Rental Store.
My family can deal with a standard hotel room for one or two nights. But for longer stays, our trips are much more enjoyable with more space. For our upcoming two-week international trip this summer, we are using a combination of the above strategies to get us the space we need. And I have to admit, knowing that we have comfortable and spacious lodging makes me a little more excited for the trip.
Has your family outgrown traditional hotel rooms? Where are you staying for more space?
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.