As I previously posted I was thinking of going to the west coast this summer and doing like 1 week in LA and 1 week up the coast into Oregon and Washington. But, since I already bought 1 of the flights and it is just RT to LA spanning 6 nights I started considering other options.
I can just spend the 6 nights I currently have scheduled in the FFI Anaheim Resort and go to Disney and maybe a few other attractions and then fly back home to TN. I can use points and that will give me the 5th night bonus (140k total).
Then I have to figure out to do with that extra gap in my itinerary. It occured to me that we will be celebrating our 10th anniversary later this year and we have never been to NYC and I know my wife would like to. So, I'm thinking of leaving our kid my parents so the wife and we can go on an early anniversary getaway and enjoy more adult things like fine dining, broadway, etc...
I'm initially thinking of the JW Essex House right by Central Park. If I convert some United Miles over I MIGHT have enough to get another 5th night bonus (180k total). As I stand today it looks like I'm 40k short to do both of these (after the UA conversion.) I'll earn some between now and then, but it's not likely to be that many. I might just forgo trying to get that 5th night bonus and do a shorter stay in NYC.
Any ideas how I can come up with an extra 40k points in a month?
Flights to NY are booked as well as the JW for 5 nights. I actually ended up with a 6th night so I could get a Saver Award on the flight back. That actually ended up being convenient as I had a CAT5 certificate that I can use at the Renaissance near EWR.
You might want to consider this to get the extra points you need.
Or, if the Marriott Rewards does not offer a points/cash deal for your reservation where you can pay cash for the 5th night, just use the four night reward and make a separate reservation for the last night. Only drawback on the separate reservations is you may have to change rooms, but telling the hotel ahead of time it is your anniversary would probably solve that issue.
Congrats on your 10 years and let us know what you decide.
NYC hotels are insanely priced across the board and with the exception of suites, they are almost all small rooms. Not that you would be spending tons of time in the room but it is something to consider. Sometimes a cool property like a Renaissance will have a 220 sq/ft room when a FS Marriott for the same price/points will have standard 330 sq/ft rooms. Just something to consider. Plus with the subway no need to stay in midtown if you see a good rate/award level at a property elsewhere in the city. SF is a cool spot. Don't know if you like wine but Napa/Sonoma is an awesome place to spend a day or two. If you need recommendations for Napa/Sonoma I can help.
Yeah, NYC is crazy expensive which is why I was thinking it would be a good time to use my points. Otherwise, I would never go there. It looks like the JW rooms are 330sq/ft. I will definitely look into the other options though.
As for wine, we've come to appreciate it here in Portugal, but we still aren't too into it. So, we will probably pass on that. Thanks for the thought though.
No problem! Not sure if you have any interest or thought about Chicago at all. I really love it there and May-Oct has great weather. Tons to do there, beaches/lake, lots of architecture, great food, sporting events, and food/music festivals. The flights would be easy to Europe as well and it certainly closer than the West Coast.
Looking at the FT thread on weekend lounge status... I notice there is also the NY Marriott Downtown which is 20k points cheaper and offers very limited continental breakfast in the restaurant on the weekend when the lounge is closed. Of course, it says the JW has breakfast in the lounge on weekends for elites also.
Which is a better location? JW right by Central Park, the Marriott Downtown, or Marriott Marquis? TripAdvisor ranks the hotels: Marquis, Downtown, and then JW.
It appears the Marquis has the biggest rooms.
Have I mentioned how much I hate planning trips?
Edit: I talked to a friend in NYC and he recommended the JW, so I'm going with that and went ahead and booked it.
my room at the essex house was HUGE and if you're willing to spring for it, they offered to upgrade me to the terrace suite for 100$ a night (not complimentary) but the standard rate at the time of my booking was 5500/night. they said it's because it required extra staff. was 1200sq feet but that seemed unnecessary so I didn't take it.
essex house does have breakfast on weekends in the lounge, honor bar (drinks are pretty pricey) but the location is fantastic. steps away (literally a few steps) from central park, and there's 2 subway stops right near it.
essex house all day err day ,
iI booked on points as well. only thing I didn't like is there is no room available for the standard cat 9 redemption.
was 55000 points a night for a standard room because even their standard rooms require upgrade certificates. I loved the hotel though, the executive lounge is on the ground floor, with no door attendant so you'll get some people sneaking in but the offerings were on fleek (I hate that term but I felt obligated to use it, lol)
just watch where you step, right outside sit all those horses, pooping everywhere.
Thanks, I'll shoot him an email tomorrow. I'm beat tonight after booking flights.
To get flights for my whole family I had to do 3 transactions in 3 separate browser windows near simultaneously and hope that they all went through at the same time so that everyone was all on the same flights.
I had a voucher expiring in December and knew the rough details of this trip, so I just picked some dates and bought a RT to LAX for myself to keep the voucher from going to waste.
Now, my wife wanted to go to SF and fly back from there instead. And, the dates I had picked weren't really ideal. So, I needed to do a change.
Meanwhile, I also still needed tickets for both my wife and daughter. They both had enough miles for their trips though.
So, I had 1 window for my daughter booking award travel outbound for her and my wife.
1 for my wife booking award travel for both of their return.
And, then my window where I had to make a change to my existing flight to match whatever award travel I could find available for them.
Was a huge pain and extremely stressful that somehow one of the transactions wouldn't go through. But, I guess it was worth it in the end as all 3 of us are going TYS-LAX and then SFO-TYS for around $500. My wife and daughter actually ended up in First/Business class on the IAD-LAX segment while I'm literally in the back row of the plane. How is that fair when I did all the work?
JW has it all...close enough to Times Square but without all the craziness. Beautiful Central Park for walks with the Mrs. Can't be beat. JW has that old world charm and the staff in the lounge as well as the front desk could not do enough during our stay. Champagne and strawberries were our welcome to our room and room service was top notch. You can't go wrong. And using points for 4 nights and getting the 5th night free is still the best deal around. ENJOY!!!
If it were me and your already flying to LA, I would skip NYC and instead take a one or two drive to San Diego. You will love San Diego and it is a short drive from LA. Take the coastal highway and you will love the views on the way to San Diego. I would defiantly just stay on the west coast and being so close to San Diego would be a shame if you missed it. I do love NYC ( I live in upstate NY) and travel there frequently but to try to fit that in with your LA trip would just be crazy. Stay in LA and San Diego for your trip. It will be a great trip.