HOTEL HELP!

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by kmann31, Jun 13, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. kmann31

    kmann31 Silver Member

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    Okay-this will be my first time redeeming miles for a vacation, so I am looking for some advice as to what I should do!
    I am wanting to surprise the hubby with a London/Paris trip in early September.

    Here are my thoughts so far:
    My Husband and I will fly out of Chicago to London using Virgin Atlantic (28000pts + 195 in fees)
    Spend a few days in London (not sure on hotel)
    Make our way to Paris (maybe Eurostar....not so sure on this one)
    Spend one day/night in Paris and then make our way back to Chicago (thinking AA/Avois, again not so sure here)

    Just so you have an idea, here is our current point set up!
    Ultimate Rewards-140,000
    MR-75,000
    AA-160,000
    Rapid Rewards-52,000
    Starwood-85,000 (but I am planning on using most of these points in January for a Disney vacation)

    Any help on hotel redemption and our flights would be greatly appreciated!
    Thank you!
     
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  2. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    3M out is kind of cutting it close imo.

    Paris/London for a few days sounds like a great way to use Club Carlson points (If you have any & have the CC), otherwise I believe you'll be stuck with using UR @ Hyatt to get the most bang for the buck. I'm not 100% sure but I don't think MR transfer to any hotels (It might to HHonors ... but IDK?)
     
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  3. Sweet Willie
    Original Member

    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    unless actual travel is what gets you guys going, I'd drop Paris and stick to London or vv.

    If you feel too much time in London, add a side trip for your last day (pick up car, go somewhere else, then drop at airport for your flight out, or you could do this upon arrival, pick up car, see sight(s), then drop car in London central near hotel).

    Edited to add: I'm only suggesting a car IF you feel there isn't enough to do in London for the time you are there.
     
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  4. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    I agree on the advice to stick to either Paris or London but not try to do both, although doing a Paris open jaw or stopover (over 24 hours) will reduce the British "luxury tax" (APD) on your tickets greatly, especially if you're in business or FC.

    However, please do not attempt to drive on the wrong side of the road when you are tired and jet lagged. British traffic circles are completely counterintuitive and in any sort of emergency, your (totally wrong) instincts will kick in and get you into an accident. If youu must, do the car the last day, but strategize carefully where you will pick up the vehicle and try to avoid driving and/or parking in central London. For example, you could go to the airport a day before your flight as normal with the tube or an airport express train, perhaps check into an airport hotel first, and then pick up a rental car for a day, either returning it that night or the next day before your flight.
     
  5. iolaire
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    iolaire Gold Member

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    Sounds like you are talking about a long weekend? If so pick one destination and try to plan a second trip soon for the city you miss.

    If you are talking three or four nights you likely would do great without a car. Why deal with parking, navigation and driving for such a short time. For example if someone you knew was visiting Chicago for thee nights would they need a car?

    Just take the subway around, do a river boat tour another day, maybe a hop on hop off bus for a day. You could easily spend an afternoon at just one museum.

    Also keep in mind likely the closer to the city tourist destinations will be reachable by train.
     
  6. rockyrock

    rockyrock Silver Member

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    I agree with SW; one day in Paris will do nothing for you other than make you want more. There is tons to do in and around London or Paris and unless you have been before I recommend a minimum of three to four days.

    You seem to have the transportation covered. Either by GC or point transfer you can use MR & UR for Hyatt, Marriott or Starwood to cover lodging.

    Good luck and be sure to post the details of what you end up doing!

    Aloha
     
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  7. Jenny & Curt
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    Jenny & Curt Gold Member

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    Agree with all of the posters about cutting it to one city. If hubby likes museums, you could easily spend all of the time in either city doing that. Likewise with walking around parks and city streets. If you need more, like a day trip, you could do Versailles or Chartres from Paris; Greenwich from London, all by rail.
    If this is a surprise, are you sure hubby's (and your) passport are both current?
    Hyatt points will get you, for 22,000 per night, fabulous hotels in either city. I think many would recommend Place Vendôme in Paris or the Churchill in London. There are other Hyatt options in both cities, and you have enough UR points for 6 Hyatt nights at their top properties.
     
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  8. Whatwasthat...
    Original Member

    Whatwasthat... Silver Member

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    As noted above, I'd also recommend London or Paris, not London and Paris. You could easily do one-day excursions from either (ex: Versailles and/or Giverny from Paris, Stonehenge and/or Bath from London) if you wanted a diversion. But even using the Eurostar will take about four hours with check-in, travel & customs.

    That said, your hubby's a lucky dude to have you putting something like this together! Bon Voyage!
     
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  9. kmann31

    kmann31 Silver Member

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    Thanks for all the great advice! I ended up making a few changes based on your suggestions.
    We are going to be there for a week, so three days in London, four days in paris.
    Chicago to London on Virgin Atlantic
    Paris to Chicago on American Airlines
    I applied for (and got approved) for the Club Carlson card for myself and my husband, so we will use that for our hotels.

    One more question-in terms of the two nights, last night free.....can I have a room booked under me for two days and then "check out" and have my husband book the next two days? Or would this drop the level of service we receive at the hotel?

    Thanks!
     
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  10. rockyrock

    rockyrock Silver Member

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    Chances are they would care as many folks these days are trying to maximize points, free nights, etc. You could anonymously call and ask them how they feel about it. If you just tell them two certificates are in your name and two in your husbands they will probably accommodate you. If for some reason are against it, book the first two in your name second two in his. You check in/out for your two nights and he checks in/out for the second set. Don't accompany each other to the the front desk. Just be cool :cool:

    The only issue may be all your luggage. Check out time is usually 12, while check in time is usually 3. Maybe you can work a late check out and early check in or maybe they can hold your luggage for the few hours.

    --

    I don't know if you like museums but the British Museum in London is awesome. Stonehenge and Bath are just a short ride away and a one day tour will take you to both. Shakespeare's Globe and the Tower of London are both cool.

    In Paris you can get a three-day museum pass that will get you into all public museums. The Monet and Rodin museums are private but both well worth it.

    Okay, enough. Have fun!
     
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  11. kmann31

    kmann31 Silver Member

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    Thanks for all the great advice! I will admit that I am going into this pretty blindly, so I loved your travel tips!
     
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  12. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    We just returned a few weeks ago from Russia and Singapore. In Russia we booked two nights in my name and two nights in my wife's in order to maximize the free 2nd night,

    The hotel had no problems with this and we have also done this before with no problems.

    Book the two nights in one name and then book two nights in the other name. When you get to the hotel, explain the two reservations when checking in and they will not make you change rooms or anything else. The service will be no different than the service normally is.

    The hotel is still getting paid for your stay.

    Have a great trip and don't miss a boat ride on the Seine at night. It is very romantic.
     
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  13. Shedbasher

    Shedbasher Silver Member

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    I definitely agree with you.
     
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