A Personal Example Of Why You Should Collect Miles and Points

I don’t write about every time I book a hotel or flight because most times it’s pretty boring stuff. But there are occasionally those times when I manage to get such a great deal that I have to tell someone. I mean, this is why Sharon and I started the blog in the first place – because our friends kept asking how we were able to do all of the travel things we did without being independently wealthy.

I just booked one of those rooms.

Now, I didn’t get an overwater villa for $99 a night (but it would have been cool if I could have snagged that). What I did was use my points to book us a room at the perfect hotel which was way overpriced for the night we wanted to stay there. This isn’t the type of redemption that you want to replicate but more that I want to show you what is possible if you have a stash of miles and points at your disposal.

We’re heading over to Tampa for a quick getaway and a dinner at what may be our favorite restaurant anywhere, Bern’s Steak House. It’s one of our Favorite Central FL Restaurants Off Disney/Universal Property and well worth the 80 mile drive to get there from Orlando. Since dinners there can last several hours, it’s nice if you can stay overnight in Tampa. Even moreso in that you don’t have to worry about driving after sampling a glass of wine (or two or three) from their 500,000 bottle wine cellar.

The perfect hotel for that type of evening is the Epicurean Hotel, which part of the Marriott Autograph Collection and is located right across the street from Bern’s.

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Over a decade in the making, the 137 room hotel opened in 2013 in partnership with the owners of Bern’s Steak House. The hotel is focused around food and has an excellent restaurant in its own right on site along with a Retail Store of Bern’s Fine Wine & Spirits and a rooftop bar, EDGE.

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We’ve stayed here before, in 2014, and it was perfect for a luxury weekend staycation (is it really a staycation if you had to travel and hour and a half to get there?).

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Imagine my dismay when I checked prices for the day we wanted to stay.

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Yeah, that’s a little (nope, that’s a lot) out of our price range for a one night stay. But there’s a happy ending to the story. Marriott Rewards Points to the rescue.

We have a stash of 100,000 points we earned when signing up for the Chase Marriott Business card and this seems like a perfect time to cash those in.

For the numbers people out there, that’s a value of 1.5 cents per Marriott Rewards point. I think I did pretty good. Here are the current values listed on the other websites.

  • One Mile At A Time – 0.8 cents/point
  • The Points Guy – 0.9 cents/point
  • View From The Wing  – 0.8 cents/point

So we’re off for a quick getaway of steak and wine (and dessert) while I once again get to ponder what is up there in the corner?

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