Hotel Points for Your Family Trip to Europe. London Edition.

1. Paris

2. London

3. Rome

4. Venice

5. Dublin

This is the second installment in a series of posts trying to find suitable European accommodations for a family of four while  using hotel points. OK, let’s get down to business. London is actually not  a bad place in this respect. There are several decent, central options. Without further ado:

Club Carlson  

An update: You will no longer get “second night free” perk after May 31st, 2015  That makes these redemptions a bit steep, though could make sense in high season or during holidays.

This is probably your best bet for London. If you plan to go there, get US Bank Club Carlson Signature Visa card! It doesn’t pay me commission, so, please, support another blogger.

There are two excellent choices to consider:

Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel London

For 62,500 points, you can get a studio that fits 2 adults and 1 child over 12 years of age (or 2 under 12). The rate in June was 207 pounds (about $320) per night. It’s a steal on points, especially if you get a second night free with US bank Club Carlson credit card.

Park Plaza County Hall London Hotel

The cost is also 62,500 points for  a studio, or 200 pounds per night. Also a very good choice that’s located opposite from London Eye. The reviews are excellent. It fits 4, as long as both kids are under 12 years of age.

IHG 

Not many choices here. There is one possible option, but the cost is 45,000 points per night. The rate in June was 253 pounds per night, so not  a bad value if you have a huge stash of points. This would be a good place to use your Chase IHG MasterCard annual renewal certificates or free nights from IHG promos. The rooms can fit 4 (no age restrictions) and have 2 double beds, so it can be a bit cramped.

Crowne Plaza: London-City

Hilton HHonors

The only reasonable award option is a hotel by the airport that costs 30,000 points, or 89 pounds, per night. Not a great value, but could be a good option if you have an early flight out of Gatwick airport. The rooms have a queen bed and a sofa and can fit four.

Hampton by Hilton Gatwick Airport

Choice

There were  a couple of possible options, but the one that stood out to me offered a 1-bedroom suite that could be booked for 25,000 points. The quoted rate was ridiculous at 399 pounds per night. However, on points, it’s not such a bad deal.

I wouldn’t purchase Choice points at the full cost of 1.1 cents, but you may want to keep this hotel in mind when/if DailyGetaways promotion returns next year. If you could acquire them at 37 cents each, it would make this hotel run about $92.50 per night, a steal for London, especially since you would get a 1-bedroom suite.

Comfort Inn and Suites Kings Cross St. Pancras

 What about  other programs?

Hyatt once again didn’t return anything that could fit 4 in one room. Marriott had some hotels bookable on points, but they required expensive upgrade certificates. An update: Please, read the comment by my reader Eric on his experience with Marriott properties in London. He mentioned that he emailed the hotel and was able to get  a room (without surcharge) that accommodated 4, including his 2 kids.

All in all, London does have some decent options through Club Carlson, IHG and Choice programs.  Since vacation rentals are exorbitantly expensive, this is a place where using hotel points for  a family of 4 could make  a lot of sense.

Readers, do you see anything worthwhile?

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8 thoughts on “Hotel Points for Your Family Trip to Europe. London Edition.

  1. Those sound like good deals for families, however, it’s hard for me to imagine how to accumulate so many points to cover stays for many days. I love airbnb, prices are much lower and you can count on people to be more flexible to take kids. I have been a host for over 3 years and it has been a great experience. I have also used it twice when traveling.

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    • Leticia, thanks for commenting! I totally agree. Not sure if you saw my post on this matter, but I mentioned that vacation rentals are probably a better fit for family vacation in Europe. http://milesforfamily.com/2014/09/22/rentals-or-free-hotel-rooms-for-your-family-vacation-in-europe/
      My goal is to find some gems as far as hotel points are concerned. Oh, also, what I meant by Club Carlson points being a good deal is the value of the sign-up bonus on US Bank Club Carlson Visa. It comes with 85,000 points after spending $2,500 in 3 months. So, if both spouses got one, they would have enough for 4 nights in London, plus some points leftover.
      Also, Club Carlson Visa earns 5 points on everything. So, it would take $12,500 in spending to get those 2 nights. Of course, it’s a large chunk, but you would be giving up $250 with 2% cash back card. That’s not a bad deal for 2 nights in the center of London. Obviously, it’s preferable to use the sign-up bonus. Club Carlson card is a rare gem among cards and worth keeping, since it gives 40,000 points upon renewal for only $75. I probably should have clarified what I meant by Club Carlson points being a good deal, sorry. Hope this makes it more clear.

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  2. For Marriott, there are several properties in the city that will allow a family of 4 in a single room as long as the kids are under 12. Have Marriott Rewards confirm that the hotel is OK with the occupancy or simply e-mail the concierge. I have personally stayed for a week with my family at the London Marriott County Hall on points two years ago. The location is excellent and there are many largish standard rooms due to the fact that the property was once full of government offices. There is even a playground in the Jubilee Gardens park next to the hotel (where the London Eye is located). If you have status and contact the concierge before arrival with your desired room preferences, they do a good job accommodating people according to Flyertalkers (I was Gold and they assigned us a large corner room with 2 double beds and a view of the Thames/London Eye. It was great!) The lounge and staff are family-friendly – again, if you have at least Gold status, you can save some serious $$$ having free breakfast in the lounge and drinks/snacks into the late evening. My kids were 2 and 4 at the time and we would walk across the bridge to the Westminster station every morning. The kids were fine with the short walk and waving to Big Ben, but I should note that many Tube stations are not stroller-friendly. Waterloo is about the same distance but going the other direction. Apparently the bus is even more convenient but we never bothered to try and figure out the routes, since we were well-familiarized with the underground from previous visits as a couple. If your family has a lot of gear, I would highly recommend using a car service for the airport transfer. They meet you at the airport with a nice sign and take you directly to your hotel. We used Blackberry Cars (www.blackberrycars.com) because they provided car seats for the kids (just let them know in advance). Price is distance-based and was around £60 for a minivan from LHR to Marriott County Hall. If you are paying for a hotel, I have heard good reviews on the Premier Inn County Hall but have never stayed there.

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    • Eric, thank you so much for all the info! Last time we were in London was waaay before kids, so this is very useful advice. I really hope to take mine there at some point, but I think we will do Paris first. I will update my post and mention your recommendation on Marriott properties.
      The only status I’ve had with that chain was Silver (through credit card) and it didn’t really amount to a whole lot. Not sure how many of my readers have Gold status with Marriott, but some might. I didn’t realize that some rooms will accommodate two kids under 12. When I did a search, it would only let me have a room via an expensive upgrade certificate. I didn’t know you could email them directly. Thanks for the tips, as always!

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  3. Pingback: Is it Crazy To Collect Hotel Points Through Everyday Spending? | Miles For Family

  4. Pingback: Hotel Points for Your Family Trip to Europe. Rome Edition. | Miles For Family

  5. Pingback: Hotel Points for Your Family Trip to Europe. Venice Edition. | Miles For Family

  6. Pingback: Hotel Points for Your Family Trip to Europe. Dublin Edition. | Miles For Family

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