Trip report_ vienna, bratislava, krakow 11 hotel nights for $500 – loyalty traveler

On our December trip to Europe we stayed in 5 hotels in four different hotel chains in 4 cities at a net cost of about $500 for 11 hotel nights in Vienna (2 nights), Bratislava (4 nights), Krakow 4 nights and Stockholm 1 night. W hotel istanbul booking Using a combination of purchased points for reward stays, discount rates, a $100 Best Western travel card from a 2016 best rate guarantee stay and current promotions, the net cost for 11 hotel nights was about $500. Besiktas hotel istanbul Vienna, Austria – Best Western Plus Amedia Wien (2 nights)

After redeeming $100 Best Western credit, I paid $7 USD at checkout for this 2-night stay near the center of Vienna. Hotel nomade istanbul This hotel stay also earned a $10 Best Western travel card from the current promotion.

Uyan hotel istanbul Best Western stays Nov 28-Jan 29 earn a $10 Best Western Travel Card rebate.

Last June I booked a Best Western hotel for Dallas DFW airport and made an immediate claim for a best rate guarantee. Legend hotel istanbul I paid $94 for the hotel night after tax and received a $100 Best Western Travel Card. Charm hotel istanbul Even though there were some good low rate hotel options with Hilton Vienna Danube Waterfront ($105) and IHG InterContinental Vienna ($135), I decided this was a good opportunity to cut expenses on this trip and redeem my $100 travel card on a Best Western hotel in a convenient location for public transportation from Vienna VIE airport for our late evening arrival and to the city train station for our departure to Bratislava, Slovakia. Pera hotel istanbul A city bus stop outside the hotel put us in Altstadt, Old Town Vienna in 10 minutes.

49.50 EUR ($51.85) per night = 198 EUR/$207.40 for 4-night stay using Club Carlson Gold member 4-for-2 weekend rate. Ottoman hotel istanbul Club Carlson Visa card members receive complimentary Gold elite membership.

Radisson Blu Carlton Bratislava has a perfect location in the center of the main tourist area of the city. Hotel boutique istanbul We walked out the door into the Christmas market and the Danube River was one block away. Reserve hotel in istanbul The hotel was perfect for pub crawling around Staré Mesto/Old Town Bratislava. Istanbul city hotel The Carlton-Savoy hotel was the grande dame of Bratislava a century ago, before nearly suffering demolition in the 1990s. Turquie istanbul hotel The hotel building was purchased, restored and branded Radisson Blu Carlton Bratislava in 2001.

The hotel has 168 rooms. Elite hotel istanbul Our room was on the top floor 7 with arched ceilings and windows that opened wide, which might be a better feature when the temperature is not below freezing. Erboy hotel istanbul I loved the views and all day Christmas carols music from the Christmas market on the street below.

We ate Christmas Eve Dinner at Savoy Restaurant and the stay earned nearly 10,000 Club Carlson points with the end-of-year Double Points promotion.

Radisson Blu Carlton Bratislava is a Club Carlson category 3 reward night at 28,000 points. Feronya hotel istanbul There is also the category 1 Park Inn Danube Bratislava at 9,000 points, but it has been closed for major renovation most of 2016. Richmond hotel istanbul The hotel reopening date was supposed to be December 2016, but currently is still not bookable for any 2017 dates. Lares park hotel istanbul The Danube River location and renovation will likely mean it goes up in hotel category when it reopens.

451.25 PLN ($107.06) per night advance purchase rate for King Superior with Breakfast = $214.12 for 2 nights. Art city hotel istanbul tripadvisor Stay qualifies for $75 rebate after one more night in an IHG hotel by Feb 15, 2017.

We traveled 6.5 hours by Ecolines bus from Bratislava to Krakow on a snowy Christmas Day through the hills and mountains of Slovakia to Poland. Hotel address in istanbul turkey Bus tickets were 20 EUR each.

I splurged on Hotel Indigo Krakow since I could have booked a standard room without breakfast for $73 and I did not book the $135 InterContinental Vienna. Istanbul resort hotel We stayed two nights and I paid with MasterCard to qualify for the current two stays earn a MasterCard gift card of $100, $75 or $50. Arts hotel istanbul Hotel Indigo qualifies for the $75 rebate. Akgun hotel istanbul I will book a Holiday Inn in January or February as part of my IHG Rewards Club Accelerate promotion tasks and double dip my $75 Mastercard rebate with bonus points too.

Hotel Indigo is a new 2016 opening in a convenient location for Krakow with the city train station and major shopping mall five minutes walk and the Stare Miasto/Old Town Krakow about the same distance.

One of the cool features of the room is a heated bathroom floor. Art hotel istanbul booking That came in handy when we needed to do hand laundry and dry our clothes overnight on the bathroom floor.

The entire hotel building was gutted and remodeled. Hotel istanbul pas cher There is an architectural photo display in the dining room detailing the work. Hotel 5 star istanbul A glass elevator and old staircase banister are notable features with tiled floors and a lot of nude women paintings in the stairwell.

Best Western Premier Q Hotel Krakow reward stay at 12,000 points per night. Ataturk airport hotels nearby I had points earned from past Best Western stays and purchases from U.S. Hotel and istanbul Travel Association’s annual Daily Getaways at rate of $55 per 10,000 points. W o w istanbul hotel I consider this to have been a $66 per night hotel stay. Lion hotel in istanbul The published room rate for our dates was 513 PLN per night = $112 USD. Spina hotel istanbul Since I hardly ever see a Best Western hotel good value reward night for points, this seemed like a great opportunity to redeem and conserve some cash on the trip.

Originally I had booked Radisson Blu Krakow on a 4-for-2 stay, but decided to divide our time between Bratislava and Krakow, pushing our stay from the weekend to weekdays. May hotel istanbul booking I canceled a terrific rate of $57.50 per night for Radisson Blu Krakow.

I decided to redeem 12,000 Best Western points for Best Western Premier Q Hotel across the Vistula River from Stare Miasto. Hotel star istanbul It was about a 15 minute walk to Old Town. Hotel centre ville istanbul There is a Krakow microbrewery directly across the bridge.

We flew from Krakow to Stockholm Arlanda Airport with Norwegian Airlines for $48.70 all-in each ticket including one checked bag each. The and hotel istanbul Our SAS ticket for $469 round trip Stockholm to San Francisco will take us back to Stockholm in peak summer season July 2017 for our warm weather European tour. Hotel istanbul airport We needed to arrive in Stockholm the day before.

The problem with Stockholm Arlanda is the high cost to travel from the airport to the city. The best hotel in istanbul Flygbussen coach is usually the cheaper way at 198 SEK round trip ($21.70 USD).

Arlanda Express train service directly from the airport to downtown Stockholm is the most convenient and fastest way into the city and there was a Christmas season 350 SEK ($38.40 USD) special for two persons traveling round trip. Hotel istanbul centre ville Regular price is 280 SEK ($30.70 USD) per person when there is no special and you do not make an advance purchase booking. Golden age 2 hotel istanbul Since this was only an overnight transit, I booked Quality Inn Arlanda Airport using 10,000 Choice Privileges points. Golden age hotel istanbul We stayed at the hotel last April for another overnight transit in Stockholm. Polat hotel istanbul The hotel location is about five miles from the airport with a free shuttle run every 30 minutes. Family istanbul hotel The hotel is located in a rural shopping mall and a large grocery store in the mall made this a good deal for food shopping on our previous trip.

To my dismay the supermarket closed down last month. Kalyon hotel istanbul We ended up spending the evening in an isolated shopping mall hotel with McDonald’s and a small also sort of fast food restaurant outside the hotel. Style hotel istanbul The room was adequate for the night, but I would have likely opted for downtown Stockholm and Clarion Hotel Sign if I had known the supermarket is no longer at the mall. Nippon hotel istanbul taksim The opportunity to walk around Gamla Stan on a December night would have been worth the $40 train ride.

I rarely stay at Choice Hotels on paid rates. Topkapi hotel istanbul I buy points each year during the Daily Getaways sales at an average rate of $4.25 per 1,000 points. Hotel spina istanbul When I am running low I purchase points at $7.50 per 1,000 points using Points Plus Cash rates.

All in all, I spent about $500 for 11 hotel nights in Europe. Swiss hotel istanbul booking No tricks or mistake rates. Hotel turquie istanbul 4 etoile I simply use hotel loyalty programs to earn and redeem points and pick up the best value bonuses available during the dates of my hotel stays. Istanbul airport hotel in terminal And I only paid out $428 during this trip, earned thousands of loyalty points and expect to receive $85 in rebates from these hotel stays. Hotel istanbul taksim Purchasing hotel loyalty points throughout the year when there are good purchase discounts comes in handy at some other time for some place I want to stay.

For about a decade I put most of my effort into attaining top tier elite in Hilton HHonors, Starwood Preferred Guest and Hyatt Gold Passport for the suite upgrades and perks. Cartoon hotel in istanbul That hotel stay strategy was good when I spent most of my time in the USA or major cities and during the recession when hotel rates were really low. The w hotel istanbul But these days average hotel rates are record levels in many places, especially in the USA and I find I get far better value for my hotel spend playing the field of hotel chains. Golden age 1 hotel istanbul Taking advantage of the best value opportunities in each location, regardless of hotel chain, works to reduce my overall lodging expenses.

Trip Report: December 2016 Vienna – Bratislava – Krakow Trip Report: Los Angeles to Vienna First Class lounge dining British Airways A380 Economy Class Trip Report: Vienna Snow Day, White Night Trip Report: Bratislava Christmas Markets Trip Report: Christmas Season in Bratislava Trip Report: Krakow Poland is so cheap, even I eat out and take taxis

Norwegian Oakland to Stockholm $259 round trip or $110 for my one way ticket home in March (describes last week’s SAS flight Stockholm – San Francisco)

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel.