Earlier this year, I posted about a great deal: Wynhdam Rewards partners with Cottages.com, and they were offering entire “cottages” for just 15,000 Wyndham Rewards points per night (See: Smoking deal: 9-bedroom villa for 15K per night). Last month, I spent a weekend in the English countryside with some family & friends enjoying the little “cottage” shown above. It turned out to be a great use of my Wyndham points, as the pictures below will show.
Normally, you can book Cottages.com properties for 15K Wyndham Rewards points per bedroom per night (read more about the partnership here on Wyndham’s site). This means that a property with 3 bedrooms normally costs 45,000 points per night. While that’s a lot of Wyndham Rewards points, it’s not necessarily totally unreasonable if you have a group traveling together and you’d like to stay in the same place.
However, some of the cottages are huge. For example, the one pictured above has 9-bedrooms (and six bathrooms!). That means it would normally cost 135,000 Wyndham Rewards points per night.
During the promotion back in February, they instead charged 15,000 points per night no matter the size of the property booked. The promotion was said to be limited to the first 50 bookings. Most likely due to the fact that not many people had both a stash of Wyndham Rewards points and the ability to book a spontaneous group vacation, the promo lasted a few days. I didn’t expect that to happen, so I rushed to book something without much of a glance at the available properties. I called and booked based on the reaction of the agent when she came across this property (I told her I was looking for something with 9 or more bedrooms that could be booked for 2 nights as I only had just over 30K Wyndham Rewards points. That immediately narrowed down the available properties). And it seemed like she got me a pretty good value — when they sent my reservation confirmation, it showed the “regular” price, which was pretty steep:
I didn’t actually pay thirty-six hundred pounds, but the confirmation made it look like I had. For those who are curious, you couldn’t cancel it and use that much value toward a different booking.
Ingoldisthorpe Hall / Mount Amelia
The property I settled on based on her reaction was called Ingoldisthorpe Hall (which appears to also go by the name “Mount Amelia). It’s located just outside of Deringham, in Norfolk….about a 2.5 hour drive from London Heathrow according to Google….which turned into about a 5.5 hour adventure in traffic.
On the outskirts of Deringham, we had good company. Just down the road and also on the edge of town is Sandringham House, otherwise known as The Queen’s home-away-from-home in Norfolk.
And while our humble abode wasn’t quite up to royal standards, it’s not every day you get to stay in The Queen’s neighborhood. I can’t imagine I’ll ever make a better redemption of Wyndham Rewards points.
It’s important to note that in the pictures that follow, I will not repeat a room….and I am not including pictures of every room. This place was an absolute maze. There were staircases and hallways and hidden doors…it was the perfect place for a murder mystery.
But starting outside, you saw the back of the house at the top of the post. Here’s a view from the front and then some pics of the grounds:
Moving inside, the place was a fascinating hodgepodge. Again, none of these rooms are repeated.
There were 9 bedrooms. These are just a few…
There was some…..interesting décor around the house. From the artwork:
To the random presence of busts around the house…
There were a bunch of bathrooms with designs of varying oddity and modernity that seemed incongruent with the rest of the house. Most of the bathrooms were carpeted…
Truth be told, we spent most of our time in the kitchen.
It wasn’t quite all complete…there were a few rooms on the bottom level that were kind of a work in progress, like this kitchen-pantry thing.
And the game room, which had a dart board and foosball and board games, etc looked like it had just been everything “fun” that someone owned thrown together in one small space.
However, with as many rooms as there were, I can’t imagine the cost in keeping it as on-theme as it is. Overall, Ingoldisthorpe Hall was very well done indeed.
This was a fun use of Wyndham Rewards points. We spent the weekend playing on the lawn and checking out the nearby town. We each had both family and friends who were able to make the trip to England — a couple of them just for the weekend — and we enjoyed a little adventure we never would have were it not for points. One of the things I love most about this hobby is enjoying some experiences I never would have otherwise found or paid for. Ingoldisthorpe Hall certainly fits in that category. While it is a really cool property and totally worthwhile for a large group looking to rent a unique space for the weekend, I can’t imagine I’d have ever ended up there if not for Wyndham Rewards points. And now I’ll likely never forget it.
On a related note, Wyndham Rewards won me over a bit with this promotion. While I can’t imagine we’ll ever see a similar promotion from them again, this one certainly convinced me to put some spend on my Wyndham Rewards credit card just to be ready when opportunity knocks in the future. While I certainly won’t plan to stockpile Wyndham Rewards points, I think there is great value in diversification. And even if they never run a similar promo again, I wouldn’t mind having points for a two or three-bedroom location in Europe at some point in the future. The booking process required a couple of phone calls, but was otherwise smooth, as was my experience with the owner/manager of the property. I’d definitely consider using Wyndham Rewards points for a Cottages.com booking in the future.
I can’t imagine I’ll ever make a better Wyndham Rewards redemption….but I look forward to the hunt for the next big thing.
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I am with you Nick in terms of diversifying and holding at least some points in all of the chains. My Wyndham points have gone to a Days Inn in West Yellowstone, which was the only place available in town and was about $320/night, a Days Inn in Billings MT, which I booked for my in-laws, whose car broke down there and, most recently, a Super 8 in Cochrane, AB, Canada, where we booked a room with 3 queen beds for my family of 6 and got upgraded to a 3 bedroom, two story, 2000 square foot “suite” that usually goes for about $400/night. Turns out the suite used to be the owner’s home when they built it until they built a house to live in. If you travel enough, pretty much every hotel point will eventually come in handy. Unfortunately, we have virtually no Wyndham points left.
Great promo and story. I hope they bring another exciting promo back. That said, I just got the 45,000 (before it ended) and did two mattress runs for the 7,500 per night Android pay promo. I’ll be sitting on about ~ 64,000. I’d like to find another promo to get up to 75,000 so I can get 5 nights at a Viva Resort. Not really an all-inclusive/vacation guy, but the girlfriend is. A couple of these Viva Resorts go for ~ $400/night properties (Mexico and DR)
Finally, Nick how are you getting 2x on everything? I’m only getting 2x on “eligible gas, utility and grocery store purchases.”
I got the card back in 2015 when it used to offer 2x everywhere and it’s grandfathered in that way. Nowadays, the card has just a few 2x bonus categories, as you said.
I got the 45,000 points back then too, and did a 3 night all inclusive Wyndham at Playa del Carmen. Awesome value. Our card and points stay somehow coded us as VIPs so we got to eat at the special restaurants every night. Wyndham points can be a GREAT value.
Just weird. Place looks like a failed institute for the insane.
A very unique use of points! Nick, why did you have 30,000 Wyndham points to begin with? It’s fairly obscure hotel chain in the points/miles game.
In most of 2016, the bonus for the Barclaycard Wyndham card was 45,000 points, after spending $1,000. That’s probably where his points came from.
DCJoe is on the money — I had gotten a 45K signup bonus on the Wyndham card. I spent 15K in the summer of 2016 on a night at the Days Inn in Utica, NY (had to be in Utica for an event and believe it or not the Days Inn was the only thing with availability and was going for $246+/night). That left me with a bit over 30K. My card still earns 2x everywhere, so I intend to put some more spend on it in the interest of having the diversification of points to take advantage of something like this in the future.
The cooker is an AGA – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AGA_cooker – invented in Sweeden but embraced by the British gentry.
Any self respecting Country House in the UK will have one. It is the kind of thing that the British aspiring upper middle class wish to have in their homes as a status symbol. The fact that they cost as much as a small car and use more energy than your average gas guzzler doesn’t seem to affect their popularity…
They say you learn something new every day………and you, sir, taught me something today. Clearly, the tip of the hat was to you.
My sister-in-law loved hers and I loved snuggling up to it in the winter. Not only were Agas used for cooking,heating and in our case drying clothes hung nearby, many were plumbed to provide hot water.
We have an AGA at our mountain home in Colorado. When we bought it 20 years ago, it was about $10k. The lids are designed to come down and stay down when not in use, so as to retain heat.
The thing about AGAs is that they use far less fuel during cooking than a traditional range. The inefficiency comes from them being on 24/7, instead of just when you’re cooking. Ours effectively heats the kitchen so well that we’ve blocked the heating ducts to the room. We power ours down when the house isn’t going to be occupied for more than a week or so, which cuts down on waste.
Learning to cook on an AGA is different, but once you’ve got it down, it’s hard to enjoy cooking on anything else.
For the record, we did keep the lids down when not in use — just had them up for the picture and when we used them. I’m not surprised that it heats the kitchen well enough to cut off other head to it. It definitely produced some heat!
today I found out . . .