As 2017 is coming to an end, I have been thinking of all the good trips we made this year. All the places we travelled to this year, the airline products we flew and the luxury hotels we stayed at. Needless to say, a lot of our travel would not have been possible without the superpower of miles and points.
Ajay and I’ve had this thought to be the first ones to bring in the New Year, and at the beginning of this year, we managed to do so in style in Sydney. We brought in 2017 in Sydney where we stayed at the fantastic Park Hyatt, overlooking the Opera House and at one end of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
With our balcony opening into the harbour, there isn’t a better place to stay at if you want to witness the spectacular New Year fireworks in Sydney. Oh, and we partied with the millions all night who had come together all over Sydney, to witness the tribute to Prince in the annual fireworks.
The hotel during the New Year period was priced at $1050 per night and they are generally sold out during the holidays. At 30,000 World of Hyatt points per night, our 4 nights stay at the Park Hyatt Sydney was our best hotel redemption of 2017. Throw in those free breakfasts as a Hyatt Diamond, and it was a stay that had no match for the rest of the year.
On our way back from Australia, we flew home on the gorgeous Etihad First Apartments all the way on the A380. It still surprises me how that thing can fly, but this truly is one of the best airline products you can experience up the air. The chef-on-board happily customised my dish, I could shower at 30,000 feet and there was even a dresser and a mini bar inside my suite in the air. All that, for 120,000 miles per person only.120K miles = 17000 Dollar value, I’ll take it again any day.
Then every year, we try and tick one thing off our bucket list. Last year, it was driving around Australia on the Gold Coast.This year we watched U2 perform The Joshua Tree, in a rare performance, in their hometown of Dublin. We flew 4800 miles from Mumbai to see the band perform at Croke Park; the stadium where they had played the album 30 years ago. And boy that concert was once in a lifetime experience!
This trip would have otherwise cost us a load of cash, however, the cost came down significantly due to the use of points and miles. There were 3 fabulous redemptions we made on this vacation that alone saved us around 16K US Dollars. And since we were travelling to Dublin we added a summer holiday break in London. Because, why not?
We redeemed a night at the luxurious London Marriott Park Lane, which is housed in a 19th-century building in the middle of London right across the Hyde Park. The 45,000 Marriott Rewards points we dished out for one night’s stay gave us a value of 540 Dollars. As Marriott Rewards Gold, we could access the hotel lounge for breakfast, cocktail hours and afternoon tea, which got us mini meals all hours of the day.
Next, we had a fabulous stay at the Hyatt Regency Churchill which is just off Oxford Street. The standard rooms along with lounge access during our stay were priced at an average of 700 USD. Three nights on points cost us 75,000 WoH points, to which we added one of the new Club Access certificates for our stay from World of Hyatt. Overall, this was great value for us given all inclusive a value of over 2000 $ for not spending a penny in cash!
Not to miss, the breakfast spread and the evening drinks and canapes at the hotel’s lounge is better than most London hotels we have stayed at and as World of Hyatt Explorist members, all our breakfasts and suppers were well taken care of.
We ended our summer holiday on a flight back home with British Airways First Class in their new Boeing 787 Dreamliner from London to Mumbai. It all started with the British Airways First Wing experience a lavish breakfast in the Concorde Room and quick nail spa at Elemis; a First Class seat on that 8-hour flight was selling 6250 $. Award seats for both got us home, saving us 12,500 USD on our First Class trip back home.
Luxury Travel is for everyone, and I am just the messenger. Keep adding the miles and points, and you can get fantastic value from them for your next family vacation if you do it right. Now do it right is different for everyone. If you have 20,000 miles, a round trip home in economy is doing it right. If you have millions of them, going away halfway across the world for the Christmas market or a proposal may be the right thing to do! The key thing is to earn miles at every opportunity you can.
What has been your best redemption in 2017? Share with us in the comments sections below.