My husband and I will be using MVC points for a Collette tour in Italy next month. It is the 8 day Discovery tour focusing on Rome and Florence. We've also added 3 nights in Rome before the tour (I booked the Grand Flora on points) and 2 nights in a B&B in Lucca after the tour ends. Has anybody done one of these Collette tours? Hopefully it was a good experience.......
I have not but I am looking into a Collette guided tour in Greece using MVC points. My only problem is the Greece tour is a 15 day for 12,000 MVC points. I found the exact same tour for just under $5,000 through the internet. I know that 12,000 MVC points are worth a lot more than $5,000. So I am questioning if it is worth using MVC points for this. It seems like we get more bang for our bucks using MVC points for MVC destinations and/or Marriott Hotels. I am confused what to do
Boxhead- I agree that using MVC points for a Collette tour may not be the "best" use of points, but I'm happy that we did. We had never taken any tour before, so weren't really sure what to expect. It ended up being a great experience. The tour was well organized, and there was free time built in so we didn't feel like we were being herded around 24/7. The hotels were nice and in great, central locations. Our tour was only for Marriott owners, which served as a common bond. (Our tour was 7500 points, but much shorter than the one you are looking at, plus I noticed that they have all gone up in price since I booked last year.)
Off topic. We love the Grand Flora. Great value for points. If you haven't been there couple of thoughts for you...
1) Ask for room facing ancient wall-just above-facing the Borghese Gardens. Lovely view.
2) Great restaurant just around the corner. Inexpensive. Il Pomordorino. (The little Tomato)
3) WALK! The concierge has great maps. Leave the hotel turn left and walk down the street-to nearly everything. The Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, eventually St. Peters. We were often so tired we took a cab back. (Stayed 7 nights.)
4) Every evening all of the churches are open for walking through. Of course the famous ones we all know, but even the neighborhood churches have stunning art and architecture.
Thanks, tker. We actually just returned from our two weeks in Italy yesterday. We may have overdosed on wine, pasta and gelato but had a great time and walked our legs off...... The Grand Flora was very nice, and the breakfast buffet on the roof was a wonderful way to start each day. No upgrade and our view was of the courtyard, not Borghese gardens, but it was still a nice room.
We took a 10 day "Sunny Portugal" Collette Tour last year, using MVCI Points (7500, as I recall). It was a very nice tour, and we enjoyed it a lot. We paired it up with a week at Marriott's Marbella Beach Resort (with a couple of days in between), so we had a fabulous vacation of almost three weeks, mostly on MVCI points or weeks, with a couple Marriott branded hotels in between.
The hotels we stayed in on the tour, by the way, included the Lisbon Marriott (which was very nice) and several Vila Gale hotels. One of the Vila Gale hotels was excellent, but another one was not so impressive. We would take another MVCI/Collette tour, and next time we will probably try one of the "owners only" tours for comparison.
Two more things.
1. There was a travel professional on our tour with us - he was writing an article for a travel publication on the particular tour. He was quite familiar with Collette, and described Collette as the tour equivalent of a Buick, not a Cadillac or Mercedes.
2. Coincidentally, I put up another post today, asking for the views of others as to whether you get more bang from the MVCI points buck for cruises or land tours. My tentative conclusion is land tours, but I welcome other thoughts. Here is a link: http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/message/158869#158869
We just came back (2 weeks ago) from an 8-day Taste of Ireland. Used 7500 Destination points. Added an additional 5 days in Dublin at The Shelbourne (with Marriott points).
We found a better airfare than Collette offered.
Utilized taxi service 3 times (airport to 1st hotel on tour, last hotel on tour to Shelbourne, from Shelbourne back to airport) and the cost for all 3 rides was less than the one way transfer with Collette.
Tour was good-exhausting-but good. It definitely gave you a "taste" of Ireland. Enough to make you want to come back.
The Shelbourne....ah what can we say but 'WOW!"
It was nice to be settled for 5 days (and nights) before heading home.
Staff was exceptional-definitely made us feel at home.
Sitting at Dublin airport waiting to come home my husband asked, "Where to next year?"