Bargain luxury in Hawaii: Greg’s Wyndham Vacasa experience


I believe that I was the first in the blogosphere to recognize (or at least publish) what an amazing deal Wyndham’s partnership with Vacasa can be.  Over two years ago, I published “Wyndham Vacasa – Incredible value possible, good value likely, frustration guaranteed,” and yet I’ve just now completed my first Wyndham powered Vacasa stays.  Readers may remember that Nick jumped on the deal right away and was happy with his stay.  In my case, the Wyndham/Vacasa stars finally aligned for last week’s trip to Hawaii’s Big Island…

a dining table in a house


Via Wyndham’s partnership with Vacasa Vacation Rentals, Wyndham Rewards members can book Vacasa rentals for 15,000 points per bedroom per night.  That price includes taxes and cleaning fees.  So, for example, you can book a two bedroom unit for 3 nights for 2 x 3 x 15,000 = 90,000 points.  And if you have a Wyndham Earner credit card, you’ll save 10% and so the price is even lower.  While this isn’t always an amazing deal, it can offer fantastic value.

For my recent trip to Hawaii, I used Wyndham points to book two separate units: four nights in Kona, followed by three nights near Volcanoes National Park.  My wife and I were travelling with another couple and so multi-bedroom homes were much more convenient than separate hotel rooms.

Booking process

The post Wyndham Vacasa — Great Value is Real! has full details about how to book Vacasa rentals with Wyndham points, but here’s the short version:

  1. Start your search here:
    This link filters to a maximum of 1 bedroom.  If you want more than 1 bedroom, change the filter.
  2. Use the Vacasa website to find properties that are available for cash rates for your dates of interest.
  3. Make sure that the average cost for your stay of interest is less than $500 per bedroom per night.
  4. Call 1-800-441-1034 to book the stay

View of deck and ocean from living room

Using the above process, I first booked a four-night Kona stay.  I had found a number of fine looking two bedroom options, but I wasn’t excited about any of them.  Then I found this three bedroom option.  It’s right on the ocean and it looked spectacular!  At first I thought it would be a waste to pay for a 3rd bedroom that we didn’t need, but when I ran the math I realized it was a no-brainer.  Each bedroom costs 15,000 points per night, or 13,500 points with a Wyndham Earner card (both my wife and I have the business version).  At the time of booking, Wyndham was offering points for sale for just under a penny each.  So, even at a penny per point, the third bedroom would cost us an extra $135 per night, or $67.50 per couple.  That was a very small price to pay for such a huge upgrade over our other options.

I called to book the unit and was pleasantly surprised to find that they let us divide the points payment between my wife and I.  We used her Wyndham account to pay for three nights and my account to pay for the fourth.  The entire call took 29 minutes.  The agent answered the phone right away, but it took a while for her to figure out how to split the payment.

View of open dining and living room space

I later decided to book this awesome looking two-bedroom unit near Volcanoes National Park.  This call was super quick and easy since I paid for this one with points entirely out of my own account.

Kona Stay Review


Our three bedroom unit in Kona was amazing.  It’s a two-story unit with ocean-facing lanais (porches) off the living room and the master bedroom.  The unit itself is large, luxurious, modern and comfortable.  The ocean views were great and we also loved the constant sound of waves crashing against the lava rocks only steps from the lanais.  One perk of the unit that we didn’t use was the sauna in the master bedroom:


The only downside to this unit is that it’s not practical to snorkel in the water behind the unit.  There is a protected cove a very short walk to the side (walk across the lava rocks to get there), but even though it was teaming with fish, it was too shallow to swim.  On the other hand, it’s hard to complain when you have such amazing sunset views…

Sunset view

If/when we return to the Big Island, I’ll definitely look to see if this unit is available again!


If we had paid cash, this three bedroom unit would have cost $4,864.64 for our four night stay.  Instead, we paid 162,000 Wyndham points.  That calculates to an excellent 3 cents per point value.

Property Link

You can look for availability here:  Keep in mind that to book with Wyndham points, the average price per bedroom per night must be under $500.  Since this is a three bedroom unit, the cost will have to be under $1,500 per night.

Video Walkthrough

Volcanoes Unit Review

View of open dining and living room space

This house is located deep in the rainforest and just a few miles from Volcanoes National Park.  It was the perfect base for exploring the park.

There was a strong musty odor in the house when we first arrived, but the smell eventually dissipated after the windows were open long enough (additionally, management brought us a dehumidifier for the downstairs bedroom which had the strongest odor).

Aside from the initial odor issue, we loved the house.  The driveway itself is like a nature path through the rainforest, and the interior is spacious and beautiful.  The downstairs bedroom’s shower has windows on two sides facing the thick rainforest foliage.  Some might feel exposed, but only birds and tree frogs are likely to see you.  I loved the feeling of being outside while still in the comfort of the home.

Backyard deck to left of back door


The value wasn’t as extreme with the Volcanoes area unit.  For the nights of our stay, the Volcanoes unit would have cost just over $1,200 for our three night stay.  Instead, we paid 81,000 points.  That’s a value of 1.5 cents per point.  Even though it doesn’t match the 3 cents per point value we achieved in Kona, that’s still a good use of Wyndham points.

Property Link

You can look for availability here:

Video Walkthrough (rear deck and upstairs)

The bad stuff (downsides to Vacasa stays)

Not everything went smoothly with our stays…


We arrived at check-in time to find that we couldn’t get into the driveway.  There was a gate across the opening.  We thought that was okay because they had sent us a gate code, but it turned out that code was only for the walk-in gate.  After scratching our heads a while, we finally thought to look inside the unit itself where we found a gate remote for the car.  If we had carefully read the fine print below the unit’s “GOOD NEIGHBOR POLICY,” we would have known about the clicker, but who reads that stuff and why is it organized that way?

a screenshot of a white and black email
I added the highlighting to show the info that would have been helpful if we had seen it in advance.

After our stay, we received a very unpleasant email from Vacasa titled “Damage Inquiry”.  The email said “Our local staff discovered damage upon checkout after your stay. Enclosed are photographs of the lanai deck, which show multiple stains.”  These stains were from reef-safe sunscreen spray and the worst of them were already there when we arrived.  Unfortunately, we didn’t think to photograph them at the time.  The email went on to ask for information, which I supplied.  At the time of writing I’m still awaiting resolution here.  Will they try to charge us for sunscreen spray “damage”?  I hope not!


When we arrived at the house, we tried the supplied door entry code but it didn’t work.  I tried calling Vacasa, but the automated message suggested that texting was even better because the same people are there to respond.  So I hung up and tried texting.  Via text, they supplied a couple of other codes to try but neither worked.  Finally they told me to call the number that I had originally called.  By then, another in our group found that the back door was unlocked and so we were able to get in.  Luckily the supplied alarm code worked to stop the alarm.  Finally, from inside the house, I called again and got a code that actually worked for the front door.

Another issue was the bad odor in the house when we first arrived.  Vacasa passed along our concern to local management.  We also found a big bottle of water on the dining room table and wondered if that meant that the tap water wasn’t safe to drink?  Again, Vacasa passed along our question to local management (the answer is that they recommend using store-bought water for drinking instead of their rain-captured water which is UV filtered).  In both cases, we would have known about these things in advance if we had read the fine print below the unit’s “GOOD NEIGHBOR POLICY.”

a screenshot of a document
I added the highlighting to show the info that would have been helpful if we had seen it in advance.
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try booking one in Kauai, less than $400 all in per night, called Vacasa (they are open 8-10PM Central time each day) rep told me it’s not bookable by points, so definitely $500 is not the only rule…….I assume owner can decide accept points or not.

Also purchase Wyndham points take up to 72 hours……..


@Greg Debating on getting this property as well. Any nearby pools?


yes. i have kids so not really an option. may have to get this place, even though is overkill & waste of points since not need so much space —

Gregg G

Hi. Is there any way to get 10% off for the whole stay using my points AND my wife’s points even if I am the only Wyndham Biz Earner card holder? If I add my wife will that qualify her points for the 10% off?
Thank you,gregg

Gregg G

Bummer to hear, but thank you very much Greg!


Great post! Somehow I missed the original posting on Wyndham and Vacasa, but this is awesome. Given that I’m not a fan of resorts or most luxury hotels much of the points and miles discussion on lodging goes right past me. So it is great to see a lesser known option for off the beaten path rentals. Hmm, now I have to rethink my points strategy…


Vacasa value is great. I have taken advantage of it a couple of times and been really happy. But Vacasa is in deep financial trouble and I would not advise anybody to buy or transfer in Wyndham points with the intention of using them on Vacasa unless it’s very near term. If they go out of business, I imagine people with bookings will get their Wyndham points back, but who wants Wyndham points without a Vacasa option?


I’m taking my family to the Big Island this summer and, a few months back, booked the exact same two Vacasa properties! So I found this post…fairly relevant… Ha! Thanks for the write-up, Greg.


We stayed at that property in Kona over spring break. It was easily amongst the best of accommodations we have stayed at.


Hi Greg!
This is fascinating. Just to be sure I’m clear:
I can buy 30,000 points for $292.50
Then I can book a 1-bedroom sub-$500 Vacasa on the big island for two nights? E.g.
A $790 two night stay for $292.50?


What is the cancellation policy for Vacasa booked with Wyndam points?


Full refund if cancel 30+ days before check-in date. Zero refund within.


Wyndham/Vacasa is the best, it allowed me multiple family vacations in Hawaii which otherwise have been nearly impossible.

All thanks to Greg & Nick.

I’ve visited Maui, Kauai and TBI using them. Now planning my next trip back there in winter.

Last edited 11 months ago by Stevenson

How do you earn the points?


buying lots and lots of gc.


Both properties look terrific, Greg! Not crazy about all those stairs in both, though – did they turn into an issue with your group?

The Kona house is very near one of my fav quick lunch spots, Da Poke Shack, hoping you made it there!

Thanks as always for the great research & practical ideas.


You can split payments among multiple accounts? That’s huge!

I’ve also had some issues with Vacasas in Hawaii. The worst is my brother checked into a Vacasa in Kauai and found a pile of puke in the living room. Never had an issue with Vacasas in other locations.

Last edited 11 months ago by Michael

Hi Greg,

Very useful information. Isn’t the per bedroom cap at $375? I remember that from Nick’s post.


That rate excluded taxes and fees. $500 seems to be the real max rate including taxes and fees.


Great info, thanks Greg! We rented a home in Volcano last year, before I had any Wyndham points, and we loved it there. The rainforest is so dense up there, it feels like you are isolated, even if you are in one of the neighborhoods, and we loved the easy access to the National Park and restaurants. It was interesting, I asked the property manager if we could drink the water as well, because I saw the large collection tank outside, and she told me that we could, but in a “yeah obviously, what kind of question is that” sort of way. Glad we didn’t get sick!


How did you handle splitting the cost with the other couple when you were paying with points, assuming they weren’t also paying with Wyndham points? We struggle with this when traveling with other people.