I’ve spent the last few days trying to figure out a Marriott Category 1-5 property that Lisa and I can stay at for an entire week. This challenge is to utilize the Marriott Flight and Hotel package. Basically, I need to give Marriott 270,000 points and I’ll get to stay in a hotel for one week. As a bonus, Marriott will also credit my Southwest Airlines account with 120,000 miles. This is important because by getting 120,000 SW Air miles, that will automatically trigger a very sought-after reward offered by Southwest Airlines — the SW Airlines Companion Pass. This pass will allow me to book one ticket for myself, and a second passenger gets to fly with me for free. And if I time it just right and get my points in January, the pass will be good for almost two years. And with the number of routes that Southwest Airlines has available, this Companion Pass can really help Lisa and I travel all over the USA at a 50% discount. But first I have to determine if there are any Marriott properties that are in a place that we’d actually like to stay in for an entire week. The other part that has been hard is that there are not many Marriott Category 1-5 properties that sound appealing to stay at for one week — there are many Courtyard by Marriotts, but those are pretty basic rooms. We’d prefer to stay at the JW Marriott brands, but those usually category 8 hotels, which would require another 90,000 points at 360k. We don’t have enough points for that, and purchasing points would set us back about $525, which might not be so bad if the amenities and bonuses are too good to pass up! However, here is what I have come up with so far:
Residence Inn Palm Desert: it’s an extended stay hotel, so we’d have a small kitchen to do some cooking, plus it comes with a daily free breakfast. There’s plenty to do around the Palm Springs area, and we could go here for Spring Break.
Mexico City, Marriott Reforma Hotel. Or upgrade 30,000 points to the JW Marriott. The upgraded option would get us a daily breakfast and a very nice property. There is so much in Mexico City, so we definitely wouldn’t get bored. But could I actually convince Lisa that it is safe and worthy of a visit?
San Diego Residence Inn (multiple properties): sunny, warm weather of Southern California. Plenty to do in San Diego, La Jolla, Carlsbad, Oceanside, etc. However, we’ve pretty much ‘been there, done that’ so there wouldn’t be a whole lot new. But flights are cheap, quick and plentiful to San Diego, and we could just chill out and find new things to do.
So right now those are our three main options. Other possibilities include St Louis, Detroit, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Washington DC, Colorado Springs and Flagstaff. But many of those cities are probably good for four days max, so an extra three days might lead to a little boredom. And it’s a great problem to have. The ability to travel on points and maximize our rewards to get even more travel possibilities. I have until the end of March to figure out what would be the best place to go to and spend a week. A week just seems so long to be at for the entire time! But we’ll figure something out. If anything, we’ll just find a favorite people watching spot and park ourselves down to read and hang out like the locals.