The Deal Mommy

A Trick to Help Point Breaks Work Better for Families

serendipity
Who doesn’t love Point Breaks , those last minute discounted rates on IHG Hotels? When the Point Breaks list happens to match your current travel plans it’s kismet. Unfortunately, Point Break rates (like most points rates) generally only book into the lowest category rooms. Rooms that might not be big enough for your family. Fortunately, I’ve discovered a work-around that has worked on many occasions.

For example: I’m using for a Point Breaks rate for a stay at the Crowne Plaza West Hanoi with the Deal Kids. At 5,000 points (value of $35/night) for a $119 (flexible rate) for a standard room the decision was a no-brainer.

However, with the kids in tow I would have preferred a larger room and club access. Here’s where I take matters into my own hands. I went to the hotel’s home page (note: this was not the IHG home page for the hotel but the hotel’s own page) and found direct contact information for the hotel. I emailed the hotel explaining that I had a points reservation and offered to pay a surcharge for a club room or a suite if available.

Less than a day later I was offered both with an upgrade fee that was the exact same difference in price as the cash prices: $35/night for the club and $80 for the suite. I have no status with IHG, if I had I might have tried to leverage the status for a comp upgrade. Since the club and suite rates come with breakfast, snacks, drinks, and laundry (which we’ll need desperately after two weeks in Japan), I’m inclined to go ahead and take the club if not the suite.

Have you tried to use Point Breaks as a springboard into a better room?  Please share your results in the comments.

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14 thoughts on “A Trick to Help Point Breaks Work Better for Families

  1. rick b

    I just came back from Vietnam. let me tell you that your hotel of choice is so far away from anything interesting to see in the city that it’s almost worthless for a tourist. you’ll be stuck in traffic in the taxi and pay more money to go back and forth then it’s worth. There are tons of really good no brand hotels in the city for under $50 a night.

    This is prime example of all the bloggers chasing corporate hotel stays to feel good about getting free rooms only to miss the point of the destination.

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      Rick,
      Thanks for letting me know. I asked the same question on twitter but couldn’t find anyone who could provide me with first hand info. Do you have a recommendation based on where you stayed? My one need to have criteria (that may be tricky to find in the old quarter) is a pool for the kids.

      1. rick b

        You’re going sometime soon, in summer? Hanoi will be very hot and humid. You’ll want to go out of the hotel by 6-630am, and back by 10am, prepare to sweat like crazy. Then you can go again 3-6pm to enjoy the afternoon and sunset. If you stay far away from historic center, you’ll go nuts.

        I stayed in a small mom-n-pop operation at Holiday Diamond hotel, where rooms are $25/night. Unfortunately I’m not sure you can have it both ways with the pool. The central area has a lot of these cheap hotels that are decent but there’s very little space for a pool. And at midday it’s so bright you won’t want to have your kids out there anyway. All the locals wrap up to protect from the sun.

        If you want to stay in a chain hotel, the two Hiltons are in a good location. Sheraton and Intercontinental are also not bad location, short cab ride away, but no idea if they have pools. Just do a search on trivago and ask for pool specifically.

          1. rick b

            Yes, looks like there’s plenty. Why are you going to Hoi An and Da Nang? I just came from there…most boring part of my Vietnam trip. Good thing I was there only a few days. Sapa, Halong Bay, Ninh Binh/Tam Coc and Hue is what you need to check out.

          2. thedealmommy Post author

            I hear you…and I used to live in SEA so I understand what you’re saying. However, this is the kids’ first time outside the developed world (besides 2 weeks in Guatemala) so I’m giving them a very soft landing on purpose. Once they get their feet wet I’ll get a little more adventurous with the next trip.

  2. Rick b

    Well do check out Hue it’s a short bus ride from da nang and has interesting stuff to see. Vietnam is a lot more developed than many realize. It’s pretty much on the same level is Thailand in most of the places where I’ve been

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      Hue is definitely in the works for a daytrip. I’ll feel better once I’ve eyeballed it. Thanks for your help.

      1. rick b

        it can’t really be done as a day trip. things move very slowly in Vietnam but I’d go there over Hoi An

  3. Sonya

    Take a look at Hilton Garden Inn Hanoi. It’s 10k Hilton Hhonors points (and paid rates start low, around $50). Supposedly, there is a pool in the fitness area but I haven’t seen any pictures of it. Good reviews on Tripadvisor.

  4. alastairdeacon

    A little more information on the Hanoi hotel if you’re still considering it.

    We’re staying there now and booked two weeks all together on PointBreaks. It is a distance from the Old Quarter, we took a taxi the first time and it was about $10 US each way.. However,if you’d be up for taking the bus (which I think is an adventure in itself) it’s about 40 cents each way and an experience of being in Vietnam. The bus stop is a short walk from the hotel…bus number 26 I believe.

    We were given Club access since we’re both Platinum (thanks to the credit card) and they are treating us very well here. The Club is quite comfortable, plenty of seating and the meals/snacks have been very tasty and fresh.

    As for the pool, it’s a lovely, cool respite at the end of the day. Nice gym area too. We’re very glad with our decision to stay here. Sometimes it’s nice to get away from the craziness of the scooters and the tons of people and be somewhere that is quiet and pleasant.

    Our total stay in Vietnam is for two months. We’ll be at Nha Tran too and looking forward to that part of our visit also. Visiting both the Hyatt properties as well and some independent hotels too. Vietnam is proving to be a very interesting country and are very happy with PriceBreaks for giving us that push to visit here.

    Hope you have a nice visit too!!

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      Thanks, very helpful! If I had more than two days in Hanoi I would stay there without hesitation. But with the shorter visit being in the Old Quarter may be the better option this time.

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