Do you Hotel for the Holidays?

By November 24, 2012Disney, Travel

Most of us only get a couple of weeks of vacation every year plus a few days here and there around the holidays.  Usually, we take some of our vacation days to beef up our holiday time off.  Unfortunately, our time off during the holidays is anything but stress free and not much of a vacation. So, we end up with fewer days off and no rest and relaxation to show for it.

Have you ever thought of saving up dollars and / or points to hit a hotel for the holidays?  Whether the whole family decides to make a vacation of the holidays or you choose a hotel near the family home where you are not sleeping on some child’s twin bed…staying in a room of your own might be just the thing to make the holidays a real retreat and a lot more enjoyable.

This week we did it. I have wanted to stay at a hotel for years and it was all I thought it would be.  We had a family Thanksgiving in Florida and we did not stay at the In-Laws Condo.  It was so nice to have our own space and with small children it was honestly nice to have our own strange mess to ourselves.  Our bedtime wasn’t mucked up by other schedules and we had a little private time in the mornings.  All of the siblings stayed with their families at the Embassy Suites (a Hilton hotel property) in Deerfield Beach.  Together…with space.

Today we left for the vacation we purposely added to our holiday to make it really special for us and more worth the very long drive.  We just arrived at the Hilton Bonnet Creek, inside the fantastic Walt Disney World property.  Sophia loves how fancy it is.  She thinks all of Florida is fancy, but this is really fancy to her.   We are minutes from Disney and can’t wait to rock full days at the parks and sleep soundly in really comfy beds at night!  Yes, we are doing Disney again.  Just the looks on the kids’ faces are totally worth it.

The Hilton Bonnet Creek: Family Style

I will totally give you my full review of this hotel after our stay but let’s just say we were pretty excited before we arrived.  The hotel is really beautiful and it has room for families.  We lucked out here with a 2 room parlor suite.  The kids have their own space and we have a bedroom!  Sophia was right about fancy.  It is gorgeous.

Parolor Suite at Hilton Bonnet Creek

Let’s just say the grounds are gorgeous.  The pool has slides and a lazy river.  The kids will be in heaven when we hit the water tomorrow.  Also, we checked in and got the kids to bed and there are fireworks outside our window.  This hotel has their own fireworks!

Hilton Bonnet Creek Pool

How is a Hotel for the Holidays Possible with Hilton?

My Step Dad has been a diamond Hilton Honors man for a long time.  He travels a lot and constantly raves about Hilton properties and the extras he gets for being a Hilton Honors member.  Free room upgrades, breakfast, snacks and more! For a long time, we never paid much attention to where we stayed as long as the reviews and the price were good, but we are going to change our ways.   We would love some of those extras!

There are two keys to earning enough points to actually pay for rooms and earning enough stays to advance in levels (and therefore benefits).  First is to regularly stay in Hilton hotels.  It isn’t hard.  Hilton has 10 distinct brands in its portfolio and more than 3,900 hotels worldwide.  As a family of 5, we usually go with Embassy Suites but there are so many options available across the price spectrum.  Second, you can earn Hilton Honors points staying at Hilton hotels, but how many of us travel enough to really earn a lot of points?  You can also earn points pending on regular things like groceries or gas or gifts. Hilton has partners everywhere that reward you for shopping with them, so it will pay to keep an eye out for ways to earn points on things you are already buying.

I just learned about the American Express Card for Hilton Honors and I plan on really looking into the benefits.  Purchases made with the card have a multiplier effect on your points earned. With some planning and organization, earning a few nights could be totally possible.  There are some details about the card below.

I really love making a real vacation out of holiday family travel and I will totally look into the value of this card in building up enough points to earn a hotel stay.  Hotel nights start at 7,500 points and the Hilton HHonors website makes it easy to check how much any certain room would be and plan for a holiday.

So, where do you bunk for the holidays?  Have you ever considered a hotel?  Would your family allow it?

Hilton HHonors Card

Through November 30, 2012, new Hilton HHonors Cardmembers can receive up to 40,000 HHonors Bonus Points when they spend $750 within the first three months of Cardmembership.

Get an additional 25,000 Bonus Points when you spend $3,000 within the first six months of Cardmembership. That’s a total of 65,000 points.

You can view additional details on this American Express Hilton HHonors offer here until 11/30

This card has no annual fee and there are no blackout dates for using Hilton HHonors Bonus Points which can be redeemed at over 3,900 properties.  Cardmembers also receive complimentary HHonors Silver Elite status for as long as they have the Card.

Disclosure: I was provided with a three-night stay courtesy of Hilton HHonors® Card from American Express.  All opinions are my own.

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