Ranking the 4 major points hotels on NZ’s North Island

Outside of Best Western and Choice Hotels, New Zealand doesn’t have a ton of points options for chain hotels.

Why stay at a chain hotel though?

Loyalty status can get you free meals and upgraded rooms, and using points can make those rooms free.

Sure, you could always use bank points such as Chase UR points to book almost any hotel you want using those points, but this post is looking at four hotels you can book with hotel points.

Which hotels?

InterContinental Wellington, Hilton Auckland, Crowne Plaza Auckland, and Hilton Lake Taupo.

You might be surprised at what ended up being my least favorite of the four: Continue reading

Hotel review: Hilton Helsinki Kalastajatorppa


That may be the longest word I’ve ever typed.

The Hilton Helsinki Kalastajatorppa’s name is about as long as the trek to get to it from the airport, but it’s a classic, waterfront hotel that can be enjoyed for just 25k Hilton Honors points per night.


Let’s call it Kal, short for Kalastajatorppa. Continue reading

Hotel review: Country boy walks into the Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui

The Fairmont Kea Lani in Maui is one of a handful of luxury resorts on a stretch of Maui’s southern shore called Wailea.

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Thanks to the no-longer-available Fairmont credit card from Chase, I had two free nights to use at any Fairmont.

The starting rate for a night at this hotel is ~$500, so I figured it’d be a good spot to use my free nights.

I was a tad underwhelmed.

Wait, why? Continue reading

Hotel review: Holiday Inn Express Mexico Aeropuerto

When the nice lady at the front desk asked me how my stay was, I didn’t have the heart to admit that I’d slept terribly both stays at this hotel in the past week.

It might’ve just been jetlag or coffee to blame for all I knew.

The hotel is only nine months old, and its sparse, modern decor is cool, but it almost feels like the builders stopped before putting on the finishing touches.


Here are some pros and cons:

Continue reading

Hotel review: Holiday Inn Genoa City

There are two final hotel reviews I’ve been wanting to post from my travels in Italy last fall, but first a couple things to know:

  • I’m not reviewing them because they are overly special or luxurious. They’re pretty basic chain hotels.
  • I’m reviewing them because I stayed for free using points, and I was having trouble finding reviews about them when I was booking.

Tomorrow I’ll post about a Hilton Garden Inn in Venice, Italy, but first:

Holiday Inn Genoa City.

img_6158 Continue reading