First off, we're not huge hotel people. We prefer the privacy and flexibility of apartments.
Still, occasionally for the convenience and even more occasionally for the luxury, we find ourselves in hotels. This around-the-world trip will probably include more hotels than we've stayed at on all our previous trips.
This time we're doing it for the budget. We're using a combination of points and cash to save some bucks on our accommodations. And, after booking several rooms via this method, we can confirm, without hesitation that...it's a pain in the butt.
We consistently run into a host of problems:
Lack of availability: There's only one reasonably priced IHG hotel in Barcelona.
Waaaaay overpriced availability: One night at a Paris Hilton goes for nearly100k points via Hilton.
Rooms for (just) 2: Whether it's the hotels or the government regulation is unclear, but what we have not been able to book a room for four people using hotel points.
Now, we were able to get great hotel value using our Hhonors points for a Hampton Inn in NYC. And our Hyatt free night certificates got us two nights in a great Andaz in Manhattan.
Hotel lovers may be able to find great value collecting hotel loyalty points. But for us, we've been able to get much more bang for our buck by collecting air miles.