Why pay hundreds—even thousands—per night at Europe’s top hotels, when you can book directly with a reasonable number of points?
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With COVID restrictions ending, international travel returning, and the euro declining ($1.02 = €1 at press time), many travelers are finally planning their grand European vacations. So much so that it’s become exceedingly difficult to score a reasonably priced flight—even with miles—and hotel rates have skyrocketed to reflect demand, inflation, and global shortages.
While mileage award availability on flights between North America and Europe looks dire right now (especially for coveted business-class tickets), it’s a different story when it comes to points availability at European hotels. Whether you have points to burn with Hilton Honors, IHG One Rewards, Marriot Bonvoy, or World of Hyatt, there are thousands of hotels across Europe you can book without spending a dime.
To get you started on your European dreaming—and planning–we’ve rounded up four of the best points’ redemptions at hotels on the continent. And for those looking to rack up lots of points now for getaways later, we’ve also included some of the best hotel credit card deals.
Kimpton St Honoré Paris, France
Why we love it: France’s first Kimpton property is every bit as cool as its American peers—and then some. Located in the heart of Paris, between Opéra and Madeleine, the 159-room Kimpton St Honoré Paris is a design-forward adaptive reuse of an early 20th-century luxury department store. Paris-based interior designer Charles Zana keeps history in style through a minimalist approach that mingles 1930s art deco–inspiration with modern French sensibility. Marvel at the original multistory spiral staircases, restored to their original grandeur, and ogle the City of Light from the rooftop bar and garden, Sequoia, which grants 360-degree views spanning both the Eiffel Tower and Sacre Coeur. Expect complimentary amenities like bicycle rentals and nightly wine happy hours.
Cost in points: The property is bookable through IHG One Rewards at a cost of 84,000 to 90,500 points per night, with excellent award availability throughout the next year.
Get points quickly: To celebrate the rebranding of IHG’s loyalty program, the IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card (annual fee $99) has upped its welcome offer to the equivalent of up to 180,000 miles (140,000 bonus miles plus a free night certificate up to 40,000 points) after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months. Combined, that’s enough for two nights at the Kimpton St Honoré Paris. If you already have a travel partner in mind, have them get the card, too, and voilà—you have four fabulous nights in the City of Light for free. It’s that simple!
Park Hyatt Vienna, Austria
Why we love it: One of central Vienna’s largest and oldest banks has been transformed into an elegant and stately hotel. The 143-room Park Hyatt Vienna wows at every turn, beginning with the sparkling subterranean spa and pool, housed within the bank’s former vault. At ground level, the expansive cashier’s hall is now the Bank Brasserie and Bar, serving the most epic of breakfast buffets and dinners featuring new interpretations of brasserie classics. On the floors above, rooms and suites exude Viennese sophistication, trimmed in gold and framed in handsome walnut wooden panels, with entirely marble-clad bathrooms. Though not as well known as the grand dames of, say, Paris and Rome, Park Hyatt Vienna certainly ranks among Europe’s finest.
Cost in points: As a Category 6 property in the World of Hyatt program, the standard redemption rate of Park Hyatt Vienna is 25,000 points per night, going down to 21,000 during low season and up to 29,000 during peak times.
Get points quickly: With the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (annual fee $95), earn 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first three months of account opening. You can then transfer those bonus points to World of Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio.
Hilton Molino Stucky Venice, Italy
Why we love it: The best way to appreciate Italy’s most iconic skyline is from across Venice proper, on the island of Giudecca atop the Hilton Molino Stucky Venice. Formerly a flour mill factory, this high-rising Hilton transformed and united 13 buildings into a single 379-room property, where well-illuminated rooms pop with color and regal touches. Multiple food and beverage outlets deliver on Italy’s reputation for elevated cuisine and mixology, the highlights of which include a multicourse dinner at Aromi restaurant and cocktails at rooftop Skyline Bar. The 3,229-square-foot Presidential Suite is the highest and largest suite in Venice with its own private lookout tower and fitness center.
Cost in points: Standard guest rooms go for as low as 39,000 Hilton Honors points per night in off season and 67,000 in season. For a truly luxe experience, book a newly renovated Molino Deluxe room, which starts at 67,000 per night during off season and 107,000 per night in season. The Presidential Suite is also bookable with points, typically running a tad less than 2 million points per night.
Get points quickly: The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card (annual fee $95, see rates and fees) is offering 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after spending $2,000 in the first three months of card membership. (Terms apply.) It’s also easy to transfer Amex Membership Rewards points to Hilton Honors points at a ratio of 1:2, meaning 100,000 Amex points converts to 200,000 Hilton Honors points.
The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul, Turkey
Why we love it: Rising over the banks of the Bosphorus, the Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul is a skyscraping modern marvel with all the trappings of a premier big-city hotel. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer prime vistas from 243 guest rooms and suites, recently renovated under the direction of noted Portuguese interior designer Patricia Pina. Amenities include a Turkish hammam, a heated indoor pool, and a heated outdoor infinity pool.
Cost in points: Despite the cash prices the Ritz-Carlton brand typically commands, the cost in points at this outpost is surprisingly low. It usually runs between 38,000 and 50,000 Bonvoy points per night for a stay.
Get points quickly: With the current offer on the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card, earn five free nights (each worth up to 50,000 points) after you spend $5,000 on purchases in your first three months from your account opening. Yep, that’s five free nights at a Ritz-Carlton hotel thanks to the introductory offer of a single credit card (with an annual fee of $95).
While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they are subject to change at any time, and may have changed or may no longer be available.
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