5 Incredible Places To Use Points For A Luxury Spring Break Getaway

Filed Under: Hotels, Travel
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As I mentioned previously, over the coming days and weeks you’ll see the occasional post from a fellow reader who has applied to write for OMAAT on an ongoing basis. It’s possible that posts will still be in the publication queue after we’ve announced our decision, so we’ll be publishing these anonymously. We hope you enjoy the different perspectives!

A very good friend gifted me IHG Royal Ambassador status for my honeymoon back in 2013. If he wasn’t a good friend before, he certainly is now, as that was a very generous wedding gift! Not only did it get me a memorable honeymoon, it was also the start of my appreciation for miles and points.

From that moment on, I strive to book the best value redemption possible, which often turns out to be far to reach and over the top luxurious vacations, because why not? However, these trips take meticulous planning, and at times, must be booked a year in advance. On top of that, it could take another year to collect the necessary points.

With that, we sometimes forget there are some spectacular resorts in the US, which are only a short flight away. These could make for an unforgettable getaway. If you are planning a last minute fancy spring break trip near home, and are looking for good weather, consider these point redemptions.

Ritz Carlton Kapalua

Maui is a fantastic place to go for spring break, or anytime of the year. Visit one of Hawaii’s best beaches, such as Ka’anapali Beach. Enjoy some refreshing shave ice, magnificent snorkeling, and beautiful scenic drives such as the road to Hana.

Courtyard at the Ritz Carlton Kapalua, courtesy of the hotel

The Ritz Kapalua is one of the more premier properties in Hawaii, and given how expensive Hawaii can be, it’s good value for your points and free night certificates.

A free night at this Ritz Carlton category 4 property is 60,000 Marriott points, and cash rates can go for more than $500 a night.

Alternative: consider the Grand Wailea at 95,000 Hilton points a night. Cash rates can go for more than $500 a night.

Las Alcobas, Luxury Collection

St. Helena in Napa County is in the center of Northern California’s famous wine country. The region is filled with some of the world’s top rated wines, several Michelin star restaurants (including the three star French Laundry), and the area’s legendary spas.

Vineyard view at Las Alcobas, courtesy of the hotel

Las Alcobas is intimate and has thirty-five rooms. It is also well located to some of the best wineries for those wine tours, such as a tasting at Charles Krug! The place also boasts spectacular views of Beringer’s vineyards, and a close drive to fine dining.

A free night at this SPG category 7 property is 30,000 SPG points, and cash rates can go for more than $500 a night. Points can be earned through the AMEX SPG personal card and AMEX SPG business card.

Alternative: consider the Andaz Napa at 20,000 Hyatt points a night. Cash and points redemption is $125+10,000 points. Cash rates can go for more $225 a night.

Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills

There are so many places to see and things to do in Los Angeles that you can easily spend a week in Southern California.

Go to Disneyland to visit Mickey Mouse, or Universal Studios for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The swanky neighborhoods are aplenty and shopping is everywhere. Venice Beach is a great place to people watch. Visit the Hollywood sign, Laguna Beach, the OC (Orange County), Santa Monica Pier, and so much more!

Maybe you’ll run into a celebrity or two (if you care).

The Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, courtesy of the hotel

Los Angeles is spread out, but the Waldorf Astoria is ideally situated on the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Wilshire Boulevard. The area also has other exclusive hotels. Shopping is close by and Rodeo drive is a short five minute drive away. The hotel itself has Jean George’s restaurant, a nice rooftop bar, and a pool with cabana service for a glamorous getaway. This hotel is definitely on my radar for our next Southern California visit.

A free night at this Hilton property is 95,000 Hilton points, and cash rates can go for more than $700 a night. Points can be earned through several AMEX Hilton cards, including the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card and Hilton Honors American Express Business Card.

Alternative: consider the InterContinental Los Angeles Century City at 60,000 IHG points a night. Cash rates can go for more than $300 a night.

Miraval Arizona Resort & Spa

A luxury wellness retreat in Tucson, Arizona, Miraval is a place for detoxing and relaxation. Examples of some of the myriad activities offered at this exclusive resort include: horseback riding, suspension yoga, meditation, and a juice bar. They also offer spiritual healers and life coaches! I have a stay coming up in a couple of weeks and can’t wait!

Miraval Resort, courtesy of the hotel

A free night at this recently-joined Hyatt property is 45,000 Hyatt points for one person, and 60,000 points for a two people. Cash rates can be more than $1,200 a night for one person. Points can be earned through The World of Hyatt Credit Card or transferred from several premier Chase Ultimate Rewards cards, including the Chase Sapphire Preferred® CardChase Sapphire Reserve® Card, and Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card.

Alternative: consider The Phoenician in Scottsdale at 25,000 SPG points a night. Cash rates can go for more than $600 a night.

Ritz Carlton Naples

On the Atlantic side of the country is the beautiful Florida coast. Florida is an excellent place for local sun, sand, and some of the best stretches of beach in the world. Naples is one of those stretches.

Aerial view of the beach at the Ritz Carlton Naples, courtesy of the hotel

This resort caters toward relaxation, and is located on the opposite side from the intensity of Miami. It’s a destination itself, as there are two heated pools, seven restaurants, and a world class spa. Go here for pampering, not partying.

A free night at this Tier 5 category is 70,000 Marriott Rewards points. Cash and points redemptions can be $200+50,000 points. Cash rates can go for more than $1,000 a night.

Alternative: consider the St. Regis Bal Harbour for 30,000 SPG points a night. Cash rates can go for more than $800 a night

Bottom line

Using points and miles to travel is an amazing way to experience resorts and destinations that you might not be able to otherwise. While we all love international travel for many reasons, let’s not forget the incredible places closer to home.

As a reminder, this post was guest-written by a fellow reader. Feedback is appreciated, but please keep the comments kind and constructive.

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
  1. @ David — Me neither, and not sure why. We didn’t do anything differently on this post…looking into it now.

  2. A poor post, sorry to say.

    All it tells me is (1) what is luxurious and (2) how many points it costs.

    There is no “value added” in the form of how to goose the system to get more luxury for lower cost and the writer does not seem to appreciate the interest in those aspects of miles and points blogs. It even fails to observe that with the 1 to 3 transfer ratio, the Ritz Carlton Kapalua can effectively be had for 20,000 SPG points.

    I do not think the writer has the insight or imagination to provide helpful posts.

  3. Had a hard time getting through the intro… the grammar needs work. It’s just not easy to read and that’s going to be a huge turn off for a lot of people.

    Not suggesting this edit would make it easier to read (since most people don’t use this correctly) but the “wasn’t” in the second sentence should be “weren’t.”

    And to parrot Oliver… there’s really no rhyme or reason. Also, spring break isn’t mentioned after the first hotel. I just don’t get the purpose.

  4. Very bland and boring article. Please don’t post these kinds of pseudo-guides unless you have stayed in them and can offer your own personal experiences (and pictures).

  5. This seems to be a bit worse than the filler posts you see on TPG. Author doesn’t seem to have any personal experience with any of the resorts mentioned (and none of the pictures which are all “courtesy of the hotel” are visible). I’m sorry, but definitely not OMAAT material.

  6. Ooof worst post by far. Literally reads like a click bait article on the internet from some 5th rate travel website.

  7. Here’s what I don’t get. Supposedly you’ve selected the best of the best to try out and you get these guest posts that not only pollute the blog but in all honesty could have been written even by a TPG reject intern. Nothing personal against the author, he or she may be a great writer and a great person of knowledge. But something’s amiss here. You’re given a chance to shine and this is the first impression you create? Tiffany, maybe it would be good for you to be more of a gatekeeper and block some of these entries? I dunno.

  8. I agree with previous comments. I think that blog needs to be stronger is areas that is currently lacking a bit. And those areas are surely not luxury resorts and first class flights. It would need more emphasis on European, Asian and Australian based travel programs and properties.

  9. Writing technically was ok, but it didn’t convey a real sense of specific knowledge about these properties that warranted them being in a list as an article. The reader doesn’t get a sense that the writer picked them because he/she knows something special about them, visited them, or was just browsing through hotel websites and said, “that looks cool”.

    Usually the articles here are distinctive in the fact that: 1) they offer an unusual / clever way to redeem points, 2) give firsthand reviews of places actually visited, 3) point out uncommon destinations or ways to travel. I suggest the writer be given a chance to show one of those aspects in another article.

  10. 30,000 SPG points for a $500 room, not a great redemption. Don’t think the andaz at 20,000 for a $225 is great either….

  11. Also wish this post could be a little bit better. Usually, a more popular idea would be to cover places where you get an excellent redemption rate for points. And then would be useful to mention 5th night free on award bookings that some programs offer.

    Here, for you example, why would you use points at Las Alcobas? It does seem like a great place but cash rate would need to be in $700+ range to justify spending 30000 Starwood points.

  12. Why write an intro setting up the article as resorts in the US just a short flight away and then start with Hawaii? Hawaii is a short flight just like Europe is.

    Then three of the other four are out west? I get the US is geographically huge and if you only select five resorts you have to be selective, but the intro sets up a completely different article than what’s actually written.

  13. @ Elizabeth — The picture issue was due to our hosting company, but should be fixed now. Please let me know if it isn’t so I can call them back!

  14. Lucky, Tiffany and Co obviously haven’t noticed that more and more readers on this blog are non-US based with less offers for credit cards.Well Daniel is too much focussed on Norwegian. So instead of 1 new guy..who not get real expert for Europe, Asia, Australia and maybe Africa. I think real quality stuff like 1-2 posts per Week per guy would be enough and surely very valuable.

  15. Have to agree with previous comments – this post is just another meaningless buzzfeed-worthy listicle. The only personal insight is that the author is really into detoxing, spiritual healing and life coaching.

    I’m sure there are plenty of blogs for people who enjoy stuff like that. I just hope that this blogs stays focused on miles, points, and travel. The personal detail of 15 year old Ben thinking that alcohol is evil and getting upset when 7 hours of Lufthansa FCT time turned into 5 hours made me laugh. Spiritual healing at best leaves me cold.

  16. Sorry but this was not good. There should have been a theme. You really expect me to drop points on a cat 7 SPG or Miraval? Hard pass. Better post would have been cat 1-3 options for spring break not this stuff.

  17. *eye roll*

    Not another “Here’s how to spend points”. You guys are missing out on so many great hotels and experiences by sticking to reward nights…

  18. Not a fan of this post or these type of posts. Feels like a post you would see on TPG or MMS, blah. Don’t go there. You guys are better than that. Sorry to be harsh, but this post has no information at all. The list is very subjective. it provides no information, basically all the info it provides is info we can get ourselves. It’s just doing a neat copy and paste. It’s also one big advertisement, offering nothing of value to the reader. I like Lucky’s long posts. Sorry.

  19. Some of the comments are a bit harsh. I think it reads well and has information of potential interest to many people.
    It’s easy to skim/skip posts of limited relevance: I do it with 100% of the interminable, unrelenting flogging of credit cards ( although the need for those posts is understood) and also those promoting the crap coffee chain.

  20. This is just as informative as the one about BA article. A better way to go about this article may be telling people what the sweet spot is for using specific hotel points such as staying at Ritz somewhere for 10,000 a night that usually cost $700 a night, etc. That would be a lot useful to readers here.

  21. Any chance of a review of the DTLA Intercontinental? I have a stay later in the year and there’s hardly any around yet!

  22. This feels very Points Guy-y: contentless clickbait. I think the writer should be given another chance on a more dynamic and OMAAT-y topic!

  23. That picture of the Napa hotel must have been taken later in the year when its warm and sunny (June-Oct), because nobody in their right mind would visit Napa at the moment, heavy pacific rainstorms are predicted to drop cold, wet weather over the next 2-3 weeks.

  24. The Hilton Ascend 100,000 point AMEX offer is no longer in effect. In any event, it’s hard to imagine anyone amassing much less sinking upward to 700,000 points for a week at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills. And as a person who works in this area several weeks a year, this hotel is not ideally located for tourists. Yesterday, in the rain, it took me 55 minutes at 2 pm to reach LAX from Century City – a ten mile freeway trip.

  25. I’m guessing this post was a control post of some sort, to confirm the lowest OMAAT will go in their search for additional writers. Zero value add in this post other than to confirm how hard it really is to write engaging travel pieces. I feel like the writer had a few PR pieces published in a travel magazine at some point in the past and wants to be a blogger now.

    Bring back the BA ranter!

  26. Sorry but this is not good unfortunately I hope this writer does not get hired
    as other readers have mentioned there is heaps of stuff wrong with this post
    for one no personal experiences no personal photos even , just hotel photos (not acceptable)
    two this post is a waste of time it doesn’t tell me how to get these points and third of all I could literally go to any hotels website which would take a minute to see these redemption rates
    This post is a waste of time for readers and a bit boring. Sorry but its a no from me

  27. @ Paolo – Not that I agree with the criticism, but I don’t think it’s unduly harsh. Considering that the winning candidate will probably be subjected to far more derogatory comments than seen here today (just refer to some of the nastiness regularly leveled at OMAAT regulars) a Teflon skin is as much a job requirement for this blog as writing skill.

  28. It’s fine to have a piece about US destinations, but to write it as if all the readers of OMAAT live in the US is just lazy and tiresome. I thought this site had a global perspective. The style of this piece is a turn-off.

  29. This article makes me excited honestly about staying at these properties for spring break… yeah they’re fancy, but wouldn’t you rather have aspirational properties than others? l really liked this post as it was relevant to the time of year and gave us travel envy for fancy Waldorf and ritz hotels. I also enjoyed the 4 person vacation on points and miles post, he was good. But stop being hard asses people, goodness gracious. No wonder Facebook is on the downfall as it is 🙂

  30. Not sure I agree with the uber harsh critisisms, but MY pet peeve with these redemption stories from those have never actually TRIED it are two-fold:
    1. How easy is it to actually book these on points, and
    2. For beach properties this hot it should be pointed out that you can rarely,if ever, get an oceanfront room–even for added cash, on points redemptions. For many like me, the view is what it’s ALL about. If you put me in a “Garden view” room, I might as well save $250 and just stay inland.

  31. Strongly agreed – this is like “the points guy” (no I’m not going to capitalize that). Want real analysis from first hand experiences instead of a list of random expensice places.

  32. Sorry to say that I agree with the general comments that the writing here is not up to par technically and the content is not helpful.

    Case in point, I recently tried to book the Grand Wailea and they did not have a *single* 95K award night available through the end of the schedule. So that suggestion without any thoughts on when/how to search for availability was unhelpful.

  33. Perhaps the writer could remember that it is not Spring Break for everyone that reads this blog. I agree with another poster that this blog isn’t necessarily for people in the US anymore and didn’t find the information useful at all (Has the writer actually stayed at any of these?). Pretty bad generic article.

  34. Have to admit, this wasn’t my favorite of the potential new guys. Was disappointed there was no mention of the carribean properties. They are closer for east coasters and there is a ton of value to be had.

    My metric for OMAAT posts are: (1) did I learn something and 2) did the post make my wonderlust go into overdrive. This misses the mark on both occasions.

  35. Most people taking spring break have families. Are any of these family friendly hotels or have redeemable hotel rooms that sleeps a least 4 people?

  36. None of these locations are inspirational. I would recommend unique properties such as the Lake Palace in Udaipur or any of the Oberoi properties, which can be booked using Amex Rewards on Fine Resorts & Hotels.

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