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Like many of you, my family had a ton of hotel certificates that needed to be used up before the end of this year. I’m happy to say that by fall I’ve worked my way through all of them. Well, all except one. Technically, this IHG cert belonged to my brother-in-law, but he said he had no use for it.
Originally, I burned it as part of a weekend stay in Holiday Inn Club Vacations Orlando-Orange Lake Resort (see my review) I think it’s an exceptional value at 40k IHG points per night. We were supposed to stay there in August with a relative and her family. But as Covid pandemic started to decimate Florida in the summer, we decided it was best to cancel. Well, my husband’s relative (fully vaccinated) ended up getting sick with Covid that very weekend. So if we went, I would probably end up catching it as well. That was a close call.
Anyway, the cert was just sitting there and I kept thinking of ways I could use it up by the end of December. Finally, a perfect opportunity presented itself at the eleventh hour. I’ve decided to reserve a one-night stay at Legoland Beach Retreat hotel for my husband and son. I did ask my daughter if she wanted to go, and she said no. So, I figured we should do a “girls” getaway and used the cert towards EVEN Hotel Sarasota -Lakewood Ranch
It wasn’t an exceptional value at 23k IHG points per night, but the hotel was located on a lake, and had a pool+hot tub. Breakfast was included. Best of all, it’s an easy drive from our house.
Well, on the day of the getaway, my daughter changed her mind and decided she wants to go to Legoland hotel after all. Since it was too late to cancel the reservation at the EVEN property, I had to find somebody who would be up for going there on a short notice. First, I contacted my brother-in-law, the rightful owner of the certificate. I didn’t think he and his wife would be interested, but I was wrong.
They said they were looking for something to do anyway, and a short hotel getaway was quite appealing. Go figure! The best part was the fact that I didn’t have to make any changes to the reservation. It was under my BIL’s name to begin with, and I was listed as an additional guest.
They said they had a great time, though unfortunately, I reserved a room with two queen beds, and they weren’t able to get one with king bed. But it wasn’t a big deal. One of the reasons I wanted to check out this property is due to the fact that beds have eucalyptus sheets. Fancy.
Another unique thing about EVEN properties is that all rooms include exercise and yoga equipment, something my relatives found quite bizarre. We are not “exercise on vacation” kind of people, but to each his own.
It’s rare for me to struggle to find use for hotel certificates, but the last 1.5 years has certainly been an exception. Still, it’s hard to complain when you are paying only $49 (the annual fee on the old version of the IHG card). Even though my brother-in-law wasn’t planning on staying in a hotel that weekend, it truly worked out for the best.
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.