How I Used Hotel Points To Book A Luxury Hotel

 In Tips & Tricks

In September I have a trip booked to visit both Malaysia and Cambodia. At first I had booked 2 different hotels in Cambodia, one in Phnom Penh and another in Siem Reap. In order to save some money on that trip, I decided to cancel the hotel reservation I had made via Booking.com and use some of my IHG hotel points to the luxurious 5 star InterContinental hotel in Phnom Penh.

How to get hotel points?

It’s actually very easy to save up hotel points, all you need to do is stay at a hotel. Ok not just any hotels, you will only be able to get points for hotel stays which are part of a bigger hotel group and have a loyalty programme. Second condition for earning hotel points is to always book your stays directly on the website of the hotel itself.

hotel points

Only book directly on hotel website to earn points!

If you were to book your nights through a third party website or through an online travel agency you will get no points! Please keep this in mind when booking your hotel stays. If you are not interested in earning any points at all but are only interested in getting the cheapest rate, then look around the internet and book what you like.

hotel points

A weekend stay that will earn me 5440 IHG points!

As I really like IHG hotels, I mainly focus on their hotels when it comes to earning points. I have earned hundreds of thousands of points over the years and have redeemed them for various hotels:

  • Holiday Inn Express Sloterdijk (Netherlands)
  • Holiday Inn Golden Mile (Hong Kong)
  • Holiday Inn Buena Park (USA)
  • InterContinental Abu Dhabi
hotel points

Hotel down town Hong Kong on points

Why I used points?

Booking hotel stays on points can be a great way of saving money. Some people even call it “free” hotel stays, but in order to earn the hotel points you spend money so they’re not entirely for free. I won’t go into further discussion about it, I just see it as a way of spending less money. Money that can then be used to do other things!

I had initially booked 2 rooms at the Plantation Urban Resort and Spa in Phnom Penh for 4 nights at a rate of 459 Euros for each room. The hotel looked great and had everything we wanted but I wanted to see if it would be possible to save some money on our trip. My previous trip to Bali and the Cook Islands had cost me quite a bit of money so any savings would be nice!

hotel points

2 rooms at a rate of 459 Euros each for 4 nights!

This year I have earned about 250.000 IHG hotel points so I started looking on the IHG site if there were any hotels located in Phnom Penh. To my surprise I found that there is a InterContinental hotel! As soon as I looked at the rates smile came to my face, the rooms were bookable for only 25.000 per room per night!

hotel points

Only 25.000 or use a combination of cash and points

This meant that I would spend 200.000 IHG hotel points for 2 rooms and 4 nights instead of spending 918 Euros at the other hotel!

The regular rates for a standard room is 176,60 USD, so let’s do a little calculation:

  • 2 rooms at a rate of 176,60 USD per night = 353,20 USD
  • 4 nights x 353,20 USD = 1412,80 USD (around 1248 Euros)

So we get to stay at a more expensive and luxurious hotel for less money as I booked it on hotel points!

Extra Luxury

When booking a reward night (night booked on points) at IHG you’ll only get the room for the night, without breakfast. Sometimes prices for breakfast can go up to 50 Euros a person at certain hotels which is plain ridiculous! The Dutch people are known for wanting everything as cheap as possible so I decided to send an e-mail to the reservation desk of the hotel.

I explained them that I had plans to book a stay at their hotel and told them I was an IHG Platinum Ambassador (elite member) in their loyalty programme. I was being bold and I requested a possible upgrade to a club room with club lounge access, which basically gives you access to breakfast in the morning, snacks at lunch and dinner time and free drinks at night.

It didn’t even take 24 hours for the staff of the hotel to come back with an offer that I couldn’t refuse…

hotel points

Offer I couldn’t refuse!

The executive assistant manager offered me Club rooms and access to the Club InterContinental Lounge for 55 USD per room per night. Why is this a good deal? Because some InterContinental hotels will charge you anything between and 60 and 90 USD a person just for access to the Club lounge!

So heck, I was happy and immediately confirmed to him that he could go ahead and put in the necessary changes after I had made the booking. Everything was arranged within one hour after making the booking, he even arranged a transfer from and to the airport for us.

This is the second time I was able to get an upgrade for very little money during a stay that I booked on hotel points. The first time was at the InterContinental hotel in Abu Dhabi a couple of weeks ago of which you’ll be able to read a review shortly on InsideFlyer UK.

Have you ever used hotel points to book a hotel stay? Do you want to learn more about using points to book hotels? Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about this topic!

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Showing 2 comments
  • Yvonne
    Reply

    A good idea for anyone staying in bigger hotel chains regularly! Right now not an option for us, since we love staying in apartments with 2 young kids, but will definately remember this for the future!

    • Lionell
      Reply

      Hi Yvonne, with kids you’re better off in apartments as you have more freedom and time to plan. As you’re not obliged to stick by the times of the hotel. Remember that almost every hotel is part of a hotel chain that has a loyalty program. Just check out the benefits and see if you can take advantage from it for your next vacation.

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