How would you like to stay five nights in Paris at four and five star hotels for free like I did? It was really quite easy, I used free hotel reward nights and points I got for signing up for a couple of hotel sponsored credit cards. I have made collecting lots of airline and hotel points a hobby and in one year collected 1.3 million points. Take a look at my previous post http://ournomadicexperience.com/over-million-hotel-airline-points-year/ on how I did this.
Two Nights Park Hyatt Vendôme
According to the Hyatt website the Park is one of the most luxurious 5 star hotels in Paris. I believe it! Situated steps away from the Paris Opera, high end jewelers like Cartier, Tiffany’s and Piaget, and just a short walk from the Louvre Museum it is the perfect spot to enjoy Paris.
Now here is the great part, we paid nothing for our stay! I signed up for a Hyatt Visa card that offers two free nights anywhere in the world at any category hotel when you spend $1000 in the first three months of opening the card. These system wide free nights are very rare and I make sure to spend them wisely. I could have used these free nights to stay at the Hyatt Place in Birmingham, AL at a value of $90 per night. Instead, I used the points at the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme for a value of $1640 per night. Even though it was a great location and a great hotel room, we would have never paid that much for a hotel room (nor could we afford to!)
We were definitely the “poor cousins” in this hotel. It might have been fun to people watch there. I did see a few guests that I assumed were models given their height, weight and clothes. I imagined what aliens from outer space would have thought if they saw this woman dressed in very expensive, designer distressed and torn jeans – “Quick! We need to help this poor woman. She is obviously malnourished and can’t afford food – look how skinny she is. And look at her torn clothes! She is obviously too poor to afford clothes!”
The person at the front desk informed us that since we were Platinum Members of the Hyatt program, we were eligible for 50% off of their breakfast rates – $42 for a continental breakfast and $61 for the full buffet. Wow, such a deal! (insert sarcasm here) We did not take advantage of this offer and instead had an omelet, toast and espresso at a nearby café for a lot less.
Three Nights at Holiday Inn Paris Opera
After our two nights at the Park Hyatt Vendome, we moved to the Holiday Inn Paris Opera, about three quarters of a mile away. It was still close to the Opera, shopping and museums but not quite as high end of a neighborhood as the Park Hyatt.
We used our Holiday Inn points for two of the nights and our annual free night from having an IHG MasterCard, so again, it was free! When I signed up for the IHG MasterCard I was awarded 70,000 points after meeting the spending requirement. The IHG card also gives a free night on the anniversary of card ownership worth up to 35,000 points. The Holiday Inn Paris Opera goes for 35,000 points per night so we were all set just with the points we got in bonuses for signing up for the credit card. As an added surprise, we were upgraded to a Queen Executive Suite for being a Platinum Elite Status member (which you get from having the IHG MasterCard.) We happened to be in Paris during the Eurocup soccer tournament, so hotel rates were at one of their highest levels – $300 per night.
Our upgraded room was right on the street and had a small balcony. Numerous restaurants and bars were up and down the street. We were in our hotel room during the France – Germany Eurocup 2016 game and would occasionally hear the roars of the crowds in the nearby bars and restaurants when France scored or made a good play. At the end of the game, after the France win, the crowd went wild! We spent some time from our balcony watching as fans poured into the street completely jamming our street and the next cross street. They jumped up on top of buses and trucks. This went on into the wee hours of the morning.
$4180 Worth of Hotel Rooms for “Free”
If we had paid market rates for our five nights in Paris, it would have cost us $4180 USD. Instead, our stay cost us nothing except signing up for a Hyatt VISA card and an IHG MasterCard and using those points wisely. Most of our accommodations during our nomadic travels around the world are longer term in modest Airbnbs and the like, but it is nice to spend some of our points every once in a while and enjoy some low cost or free luxury hotel rooms for a few nights.