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Best hotel points for India

HariOm

Transcendent Level
#1
Has anyone experienced what they feel to be the optimal hotel card/program for travel in India? Broad question, I know. We have some capacity to sign up for new cards, and we constantly travel in India, so this could be quite helpful. Until now we've only used Marriott points there, in Chennai, and it's a nice property but fairly far from the airport, and we usually need to stay near the airport. Recently in Kolkata there were zero rooms-for-points options anywhere near CCU. So just wondering if anyone (@sriki-ji?) has found a go-to India hotel program.
 

sriki

Level 2 Member
#2
Has anyone experienced what they feel to be the optimal hotel card/program for travel in India? Broad question, I know. We have some capacity to sign up for new cards, and we constantly travel in India, so this could be quite helpful. Until now we've only used Marriott points there, in Chennai, and it's a nice property but fairly far from the airport, and we usually need to stay near the airport. Recently in Kolkata there were zero rooms-for-points options anywhere near CCU. So just wondering if anyone (@sriki-ji?) has found a go-to India hotel program.
Sorry @HariOm I haven't travelled much in India after I got into Points and miles. I heard Hyatt offers decent value in many cities, even with cash/C+P.
 

Matt

Administrator
Staff member
#3
I've not found a bad program for India. We had amazing hotels from SPG Luxury Collection when we did the Golden Triangle et al, and now planning a trip for the wife to Pune there are really nice hotels in Marriott Cat 5 cert levels.
 
#6
SPG, Hyatt, Hilton (with some tricks), Club Carlson in chennai that I have stayed all offer amazing redemption values. IHG points are useless. Pro tip - You could book hotel leela palace in chennai through choice (25k) but you could use Amex MR points for the same stay at half the points (12.5k MR points). Can you beat that? I would love to stay for 3 months in chennai just to exhaust all my points at all these hotels but unfortunately can't.
 

kampung

Level 2 Member
#7
I've noticed they are quite a few attractive options for hotel programs in india coz the points needed are relatively low, namely SPG and Hyatt. Park Hyatt Chennai is only Cat 2 while ITC Grand Chola and all other SPG hotels there are under 7k points if not mistaken. If you are looking at Chennai specifically you are really spoilt for choice. That said, hotels in India and Chennai in particularly are very cheap as you can get nice hotels for under 70 bucks.

@what the heck - how do you use Amex MR for the Leela Palace?
 
#8
I've noticed they are quite a few attractive options for hotel programs in india coz the points needed are relatively low, namely SPG and Hyatt. Park Hyatt Chennai is only Cat 2 while ITC Grand Chola and all other SPG hotels there are under 7k points if not mistaken. If you are looking at Chennai specifically you are really spoilt for choice. That said, hotels in India and Chennai in particularly are very cheap as you can get nice hotels for under 70 bucks.

@what the heck - how do you use Amex MR for the Leela Palace?
@kampung, when I tried for the dates using amextravel.com, I got pay by points for around 12.5k points per night against 25k if you book through choice points option ;) And SPG Grand chola, you won't believe is cat 2 (3-4K points).
 

stron

Level 2 Member
#11
SPG, Hyatt, Hilton (with some tricks), Club Carlson in chennai that I have stayed all offer amazing redemption values. IHG points are useless. Pro tip - You could book hotel leela palace in chennai through choice (25k) but you could use Amex MR points for the same stay at half the points (12.5k MR points). Can you beat that? I would love to stay for 3 months in chennai just to exhaust all my points at all these hotels but unfortunately can't.
Thanks for the tip. I should check Amex Travel next time.
 

FindAWay

Level 2 Member
#12
Club Carlson has lot of Radissons near airports
...and a lot of other hotels away from airports. When we did our golden triangle trip (booked with Club Carlson's last-night-free benefit), we did 4 separate 2-night stays -- 3 Radisson Blus & 1 Country Inn & Suites (Jaipur).
 

SJ0

New Member
#13
If you want one single program for India then SPG. But you really ought to invest in more than one. SPG points are not easy to come by plus not all SPG hotels in India have good rate on award booking. Marriott also has a decent footprint and so does Radisson. Hyatt is also a nice option for big cities.

Also, expect to pay cash if you visit non touristic places. Not all places in india have international chains and even if they do, they're sometimes far from where you want to be.
 

M L

New Member
#14
Over the last year, I've had good experience booking with saver-level points with decent availability in Westin (Mumbai and Hyderabad), Four Points by Sheraton (Navi Mumbai), Courtyard Marriott (Mumbai, Goa and also in Agra but it was cheaper to use cash in that case) and Radisson Blu (Delhi). Since the Marriott/Starwood merger, all but the Radisson are now part of the same company (2 loyalty programs but easy to convert between them) so that makes the decision of which hotel points to go with much easier for me, as the above cities are the ones I visit most often. I also see Marriott, Starwood and Radisson in most tier-1 and tier-2 cities I have visited. Holiday Inn (IHG) also has good footprint in India but I haven't tried it personally. However, I often find independent or local chain hotels of similar category for cheaper cash prices, so I'd recommend taking a look at those options when you travel, before burning valuable points.