Vacation Planning


I’m currently planning 3 trips: Prague (this month), Las Vegas (December), and Paris (April). Everything is squared away for the first two, but I’m still trying to figure out the Paris trip. I know I’ll fly American Airlines (there are 5 of us going and I have 200k AA miles set aside for 5 off-peak RT tix @ 40k each). The biggest question is the hotel. I have about 35k Starpoints to spend, and about 100k AmEx Membership Rewards points. I’m Starwood Gold and Priority Club Platinum, so the two real choices are between a Starwood property and a Priority Club property (MR transfer to PC at 1:1). The catch is I need 2 rooms (3 adults + 2 kids > 4 people).

Most PC properties are 15k/night + $60 (or 30k/night + $60 for an Intercontinental which seems out of scope). That means, with two rooms, I can get 4 nights on PC points. On the Starwood side, there are Category 5, 6, and 7 hotels (none currently show cash & points availability, though). If cash & points does become available, then the rates are 4,800 + $90 or 8,000 + $150 (you can’t use cash & points on a category 7). So, that means either 3 nights at a category 5 or 2 nights at a category 6. If I want 6 nights, there are a few ways to break it down:

  • 4 nights at a PC property for 120,000 PC points + $480
  • 2 nights at a category 5 Starwood property for 19,200 Starpoints + $360
  • Total = 120,000 PC points, 19,200 Starpoints and $840
  • 4 nights at a PC property for 120,000 PC points + $480
  • 2 nights at a category 6 Starwood property for 32,000 Starpoints + $600.
  • Total = 120,000 PC points, 32,000 Starpoints and $1,080 (but this is, theoretically, at a nicer hotel).
  • 3 nights at a PC property for 90,000 PC points + $360
  • 3 nights at a category 5 Starwood property for 28,800 Starpoints + $540
  • Total = 90,000 PC points, 28,800 Starpoints and $900

Any way I slice it, it’s about a week in Paris for $1,000 in spending on the hotel room. Which is not bad at all given that I get 2 rooms. My fear is that no cash & points availability opens up on the Starwood properties and I get stuck with full rates (which means I stay at the PC property and don’t have to switch hotels).

What do you think? Does it seem likely that the cash & points rooms will open up? What’s your experience with that sort of thing? Also, there are a lot of PC properties in Paris. Does anyone have a recommendation?

Thanks!

FYI, I also posted this question on FlyerTalk. They get a lot more views per day :). If you’re interested in what people suggested there, follow this link.

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