Choice’s Ascend Collection Gems (Great Value with Citi Points!)


Citibank recently added the ability to transfer ThankYou Rewards points to Choice Privileges at an excellent 1 to 2 rate.  1,000 Citi points becomes 2,000 Choice points.  This makes hotels bookable with Choice points more accessible than ever before.  Plus, it makes almost all Choice awards a good deal.  Hotels that cost 30,000 Choice points per night, now cost only 15,000 Citi ThankYou points per night.

Separately I looked at luxury options when I posted “The worlds best Preferred Hotels bookable with Choice points.”  And I described how difficult these are to book here.  Now, I’ve turned my eye towards Choice’s own high-end brand: The Ascend Hotel Collection.

a bedroom with two beds and a bathtub
At the Peacock Inn, in Princeton, NJ, it’s possible to book an expensive suite for the same point price as a regular room. This is true at many, but not all, Choice properties.

There are a few great things about Choice’s Ascend Collection hotels:

  • Unlike Preferred Hotels, Ascend Collection hotels can be booked online with points.
  • Award prices range from 16,000 to 30,000 points per night.  That means that you can book these with only 8,000 to 15,000 Citi ThankYou points per night!
  • Often (but not always), all room types can be booked with points for the same price as a standard room.  Sometimes multi-room suites can be booked for the same award price as a standard room.

There are some negatives though:

  • Choice only allows booking with points within 100 days of your stay.
  • There is no way to know what the point price will be for stays more than 6 months in advance.  The best you can do is go to the hotel’s Choice website, click “Hotel Info”, and look for a section like this:
    • Oct 24, 2021 – Jan 31, 2022: Sun – Thu 30,000/Room Fri – Sat 30,000/Room
      Feb 1, 2022 – Apr 15, 2022: Sun – Thu 25,000/Room Fri – Sat 30,000/Room
  • There’s no easy way to find Ascend Collection hotels.  Choice doesn’t offer an online directory.  For this post, I made heavy use of, but many entries were out of date.

For this post, I searched for Ascend Collection hotels and included them below only if they seemed subjectively desirable in some way and got good online reviews.  For each property, I noted my thoughts about it; I listed the point prices for the next 6 months; and I noted whether or not suites could be booked with points.

If you know of good properties that I missed, please let me know!


Nova Scotia

Inn On The Lake, Fall River

a gazebo next to a lake

Greg’s Take: Looks like a nice resort in Nova Scotia!

  • Award prices: 16K, 20K
  • Book suites for same point price? No (None available that I could find)
  • Website quote: “Escape the stress and rush of the city at a relaxing beach resort in Nova Scotia. Surrounded by Fall River’s abundant natural beauty, you’ll feel the wear and tear of daily life fall away as you enjoy gourmet cuisine, rest by our private white sand beach, and stroll along Lake Thomas.  Our Nova Scotia luxury resort is also in easy distance of Halifax’s most famous landmarks, including the Halifax Citadel, St. Mary’s Basilica, and the original Alexander Keith’s brewery. Or, if the wilderness calls, you can get lost among the many lakes and rivers of central Nova Scotia.”


Hotel Royal William, Quebec City

a room with a bed and a couch

Greg’s Take: I really enjoyed visiting Quebec City a couple of years ago — it was like going to France without the long flight.  This hotel could be a good lodging option, but it’s worth comparing the cash rates to the point prices: often it is cheap enough that you might as well pay and earn points rather than spending them here.

  • Award prices: 16K, 20K
  • Book suites for same point price? Yes
  • Website quote: “Located just minutes from historic Old Quebec, the Hotel Royal William, an Ascend Collection Hotel Member® offers boutique-style accommodations perfect for a business trip, romantic getaway or family function. One of the foremost luxury hotels in Quebec City since 1831, Hotel Royal William offers an elegant oasis in the hip and trendy St-Roch neighbourhood, where you can enjoy a diverse array or urban eateries, unique stores, as well as exciting nightlife.”


Hotel Aquarius Venice

a street with buildings and trees

Greg’s Take: This gem was brought to my attention both by a YouTube commenter on our podcast and via a post on our Frequent Miler Insiders Facebook Group (we welcome new members by the way!).  Online reviews of this property are fantastic, and yes, you can book a big suite for the same point price as a regular room!  The value of using points here vs. paying cash is incredible.

  • Award prices: 16K, 20K
  • Book suites for same point price? Yes
  • Website quote: “The modern and chic Hotel Aquarius Venice, Ascend Hotel Collection is located in the desirable Santa Croce district full of stunning architecture, desirable nearby restaurants and top attractions for travellers to this exquisite city. Guests can enjoy the hotel’s warm tones and relax in our interior courtyard or experience the hotel’s secret garden. For unique entree to the city, guests can access Venice via our water door from the canal.  The Hotel Aquarius Venice is decorated with contemporary furnishings and appointed with smart elements crafted by local artists and artisans. Start your day with a complimentary hot breakfast before exploring Venice. The hotel is a short walk from the famed Rialto Bridge and Market. You can adore Piazza San Marco and tour the Palazzo Ducale and Basilica di San Marco or commemorate 500 years of Jewish life and rich history in the Jewish Ghetto.

United States


Arroyo Pinion Hotel, Sedona

a table and chairs on a patio

Greg’s Take: This looks like it would be a nice home base for hiking around Sedona.

  • Award prices: 25K, 30K
  • Book suites for same point price? Yes
  • Website quote: “Just a short drive from our hotel you’ll discover awe-inspiring destinations like the stunning red sandstone formations of the upper Sonoran Desert, Bell Rock Vortex, Thunder Mountain, Red Rock State Park, Slide Rock State Park and Cathedral Rock.  Our boutique hotel situated on Highway 89A is less than 3 miles from downtown Sedona and minutes from Red Rock Crossing and only a 15-minute drive to Oak Creek Canyon. After a day of outdoor exploration or browsing Sedona galleries and shops, retreat to your room to relax and prepare for an evening in Sedona.”


Inn At The Mill, Springdale

a sign in front of a building

Greg’s Take: I love how unique this property is, and the fact that quite a few suites are available to book for the same point price as a regular room.

  • Award prices: 16K, 20K, 30K
  • Book suites for same point price? Yes
  • Website quote: “Experience the historic feel and quaint charm of our Springdale hotel.
    Enjoy spacious guest rooms, historic charm and friendly service at our Inn at the Mill, Ascend® Hotel Collection. This historic building has been fully renovated — preserving its timeless elegance while adding modern amenities — transforming the property into an award-winning boutique hotel.”


Hotel Napa Valley, Napa

a bed with a tray of wine and a fireplace

Nick’s take: The Hotel Napa Valley is well-located and can be a good value on points, particularly if you’re able to book one of the suites. Keep in mind though that most of the rooms are in separate buildings behind the main house, so while nice enough it doesn’t quite have the B&B vibe you get from curbside pictures of the main building.

  • Award prices: 30K
  • Book suites for same point price? Yes
  • Website quote: “You’ll never run out of fun things to do near our hotel. The dining and tasting rooms of downtown Napa lie just blocks away. La Toque and TORC are some of the nearby favorites. The depot for the Napa Wine Train is close by, making it easy to explore vintages farther afield in St. Helena and Calistoga. Want to try something new? Our friendly staff is eager to help. We offer free WiFi throughout the property and a print station.”

Hotel Petaluma, Petaluma (Wine Country)

a room with a fireplace and couches

  • Award prices: 20K, 25K, 30K
  • Book suites for same point price? No (None available that I could find)
  • Website quote: “Hotel Petaluma is situated in the midst of Wine Country, home to more than 400 wineries such as Saintsbury, DeLoach Vineyards and Sequoia Grove. Our hotel has its own wine tasting room, Barber Cellars, focusing on small-production, single-vineyard wines from Sonoma Coast and Mountain vineyards. Hotel Petaluma also has its own restaurant, The Shuckery, and a cocktail lounge, Bar 855, a tribute to the 855 men and women of Petaluma who originally financed the hotel.”

Infinity Hotel SF, San Francisco

a deck with tables and chairs on it

Greg’s take: The hotel itself looks fine but not amazing, but the location appears to be fantastic.  It’s far enough away from Fisherman’s Warf to be removed from the tourist crowds while being walking distance from some of San Francisco’s treasures: The Presidio begins a half mile to the west.  Same with the Palace of Fine Arts.  The bay is just a half mile north, with views of the Golden Gate Bridge.  Lombard Street (“the crookedest street in the world”) is a mile walk to the east.  And the Pacific Heights neighborhood is just to the south with Alta Plaza Park just a half mile away.

  • Award prices: 20K, 25K
  • Book suites for same point price? No (None available that I could find)
  • Website quote: “Our boutique San Francisco hotel is located in the trendy Marina District — a neighborhood known for its award-winning restaurants, one-of-a-kind shops, urban green spaces and contemporary art exhibitions. As a guest of our hotel, you’ll also be within walking distance of many iconic San Francisco attractions, including Pier 39 and Ghirardelli Square, and a short distance from Alcatraz Island.”


The Golden Hotel, Golden Colorado

a river with trees and buildings in the background

Greg’s Take: I almost didn’t include this one.  Some of the photos made this look more like a cheap motel than a nice hotel.  Plus, I couldn’t find any suites so I didn’t see a way to get extraordinary value from points.  But then I read some of the glowing online reviews.  People seriously seem to love this place.  Several reviews even said things like “don’t go by the online photos — this place is much nicer than you’d expect.”

  • Award prices: 20K, 30K
  • Book suites for same point price? No (None available that I could find)
  • Website quote: “The Golden Hotel, Ascend Hotel Collection®, is located in historic downtown Golden, in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Rated as exceptional by our guests, this unique property offers upscale amenities, a distinctly local flavor and an award-winning restaurant that showcases ingredients from regional producers for a truly authentic Colorado experience. Simply step out the front door to stroll across Clear Creek, jog or bike along the trails and experience the shops, restaurants and art galleries in vibrant downtown Golden.”


Hotel Blake, Chicago

flags on the street

Greg’s Take: This looks like a solid choice (no pun intended) if you want to stay near Grant Park.  It’s also a short walk (about half a mile) from Chicago’s Union Station, so this would be a decent option when arriving in Chicago by train. Unfortunately, this is one of the Ascend properties where suites are available for cash but not for points.

  • Award prices: 20K, 30K
  • Book suites for same point price? No
  • Website quote: “Our hotel is located near the urban greenery of Grant Park, Millennium Park and The Art Institute of Chicago. Dozens of restaurants and coffee shops within walking distance provide a taste of Chicago, including the deep-dish pizza at Gino’s East and the cheddar and caramelcorn mix at Garrett Popcorn Shops. Iconic Chicago attractions like Shedd Aquarium, Alder Planetarium, The Field Museum of Natural History and the shore of Lake Michigan at 12th Street Beach are just minutes away. Hop on the CTA Red or Blue Line to explore the city without a car. Catch your favorite team at Wrigley Field, Soldier Field, United Center or Guaranteed Rate Field, or get a bird’s eye view of the city from Skydeck Chicago at The Willis Tower (formally the Sears Tower) and 360 Chicago.”

Margarita European Inn, Evanston

a room with a bookcase and a desk

Greg’s Take: This place looks seriously nice.  Next time I visit Evanston, I’ll definitely look to book a room here! Unfortunately, this is one of the Ascend properties where suites are available for cash but not for points.

  • Award prices: 16K, 20K, 25K
  • Book suites for same point price? No
  • Website quote: “Join us each morning for our free continental breakfast, highlighted by our fresh house-baked croissants and pastries, and sip a cup of coffee or tea from one of our famous “ugly mugs.” At the end of the day, or at the start of your evening, enjoy a glass of wine as you visit with friends in our Grand Parlor. In summertime, our flowered outdoor roof deck offers a lovely skylight view of downtown Evanston. If you’re looking for a quiet retreat, visit our cozy English library and enjoy a book from our collection—or from yours.”


Shoreline Inn & Conference Center, Muskegon

a marina with boats and buildings

Greg’s Take: I had no idea that this place existed, but now I’m eager to spend a summer weekend here to try it out.

Commenter Paul says: if you check out the Shoreline Inn, be sure to make a trip to Pere Marquette Park (just a few miles down the road). This is one of the nicest beaches in West Michigan, and there is a cool bar/bbq place on the beach. They have live music most weekends during the summer.

  • Award prices: 16K, 20K, 25K
  • Book suites for same point price? Yes
  • Website quote: “You’ll enjoy breathtaking views of Muskegon Lake and inland Muskegon from our guest rooms with full-wall atrium windows and doors, French balconies and walk-out terraces. You won’t find another hotel like this one in Muskegon.  From our waterfront boutique hotel, you’ll enjoy the shores of Muskegon Lake and the sandy beaches of Pere Marquette. Want a little more activity? You’ll also be near Michigan’s Adventure and Water Park, the largest amusement and water park in the state.  But you can also find plenty to enjoy at our unique hotel. Take a walk along Terrace Point Marina just behind our hotel, and you can watch boats come in and out of the marina — or just watch the sunset.”


Hotel Bothwell Sedalia Central District

a room with a chandelier and couches

Greg’s Take: This looks very nice, but it was also very inexpensive on all of the dates that I looked at.  As a result, this might be a better place to earn Choice points with a paid stay rather than to spend them.

  • Award prices: 16K, 20K
  • Book suites for same point price? Yes (I found both a 2 bedroom suite and a king corner suite available for points)
  • Website quote: “Guests included Harry S. Truman, Bette Davis and Clint Eastwood. Over time, the hotel was converted to a senior living facility, and in 1998 was bought and restored to its former glory as a hotel. Today, the Hotel Bothwell, Ascend Hotel Collection®, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.”


Yellowstone Valley Lodge, Livingston

a lake with houses and mountains in the background

Greg’s Take: The cabins themselves don’t look like much, but this property looks amazing. I would love to try this place out in the summer.

  • Award prices: 25K, 30K
  • Book suites for same point price? Unknown (lodge is only open seasonally “typically mid-April through mid-October” so I wasn’t able to look at award stays within the next 100 days)
  • Website quote: “Contemporary accommodations meet the rustic spirit of Yellowstone at our cozy riverside lodge in Livingston, Montana, featuring incredible views of the Absaroka Mountain Range and amazing opportunities for outdoor activities, from rafting to horseback riding. Whether you’re here for solitude and relaxation, a one-of-a-kind fly fishing experience, or just a night of sleep on a longer adventure, your stay at Yellowstone Valley Lodge & Grill is sure to be a memorable one.”

New Jersey

The Peacock Inn, Princeton

a building with a garden and trees

Greg’s Take: My wife and I stayed at the Peacock Inn a couple of years ago, and we loved it.  Princeton NJ is a beautiful town, but most of the chain hotels are located on route 1, well away from the town’s beauty. The cool place to stay is near Princeton’s main drag, Nassau Street, but hotel prices in town are exorbitant. Luckily, the Peacock Inn is right in town and available to book with Choice points!  See also: The Peacock Inn — A charming inn and great point value in Princeton, NJ

  • Award prices: 30K
  • Book suites for same point price? Yes (Even the Penthouse suite can be booked with points when available!)
  • Website quote: “With less than 20 total guest rooms, this is a true boutique hotel experience. But the amenities are remarkably modern, including flat-screen TVs, banquet rooms, and hotel-wide free WiFi. And if you feel the need to explore one of the country’s largest cities, New York City is less than 60 miles away. You can make the day trip to Manhattan and still be back for one of our delicious dinner options in the evening. With free hot coffee waiting for you in the morning, you’ll be ready for a whole new adventure each day.”

New York

The Draper, NYC

a bed with white sheets and blue headboard in a room

Greg’s Take: This looks like it would be a nice option for those looking to stay in Midtown. Personally, I’d still pick Hyatt’s Andaz 5th Avenue hotel over this one, but if visiting in the summer and if the King suite with balcony is available at the Draper, this one might win me over.

  • Award prices: 16K, 20K, 30K
  • Book suites for same point price? Yes (King suite with balcony)
  • Website quote: “We’re conveniently located in the heart of New York City on 37th Street close to the Chrysler Building and the iconic Grand Central Terminal. Enjoy a day wandering the Theater District with Times Square at its core and Broadway musicals on every corner. Spend an afternoon hanging out with locals in Bryant Park or make your way to Columbus Circle at the corner of Central Park, where you can watch musicians play live or grab a hot dog.”

Curtiss Hotel, Buffalo

a bar with a round counter and chairs

Greg’s Take: This appears to be a beautiful and swanky downtown hotel, and it gets great reviews. Unfortunately, this is one of the Ascend properties where suites are available for cash but not for points.

  • Award prices: 16K, 20K, 30K
  • Book suites for same point price? No
  • Website quote: “The Curtiss Hotel is a boutique dining and accommodation experience. Guests enjoy high-tech amenities like digital room control pads, Toto toilets, and programmable steam/aromatherapy showers. Take a detoxifying dip in our Urban Hot Springs or a sweat session in our 24-hour fitness facility. Leave dinner to us at Chez Ami or Buffalo Chophouse, our on-site restaurants. Watch the sun set with a cocktail in hand on our rooftop lounge, Vue, featuring panoramic views of downtown Buffalo, Lake Erie, and the Canadian shoreline.”

The Giacomo, Niagara Falls

a front view of a hotel

Greg’s Take: I’d always prefer to stay on the Canadian side of the falls, but if you’re planning to stay on the American side, this looks like a great option.

  • Award prices: 20K, 25K, 30K
  • Book suites for same point price? Yes
  • Website quote: “The premiere luxury boutique hotel in Niagara Falls, NY
    You don’t just stay at the Giacomo Hotel. You experience it. Our location lets our guests walk to the Falls, Cave of the Winds, Maid of the Mist and Niagara Falls State Park where you can experience the raging rapids and all of the splendor that this magnificent destination has to offer.”


The Federal Pointe Inn Gettysburg

a large brick building with a lawn and a sign with Burton Agnes Hall in the background

Greg’s Take: If visiting Gettysburg as a family, this looks like a great choice since two bedroom suites can be booked for the same award price as a standard room.

  • Award prices: 16K, 25K, 30K
  • Book suites for same point price? Yes
  • Website quote: “The Federal Pointe Inn Gettysburg, Ascend Hotel Collection®, is a fully restored 19th century hotel. Stay with us to experience area’s historic charm and rich history. Since our boutique hotel is located in the heart of downtown Gettysburg, you’ll find that it’s makes easy to visit top local attractions—and find some of the local’s favorite spots along the way.”

Rhode Island

The Carriage House Inn, Middletown (near Newport)

a lobby with a round rug and chandelier

Greg’s Take: This looks like it would be a great home base for exploring the Newport area.  Unfortunately, this is one of the Ascend properties where suites are available for cash but not for points.

  • Award prices: 10K, 12K, 16K, 20K, 25K, 30K
  • Book suites for same point price? No, but you can book an Executive Room which appears to be like a junior suite.
  • Website quote: “Stay in the heart of scenic Middletown at The Carriage House Inn, Ascend Hotel Collection®. This fully renovated Victorian-era home has been transformed into a boutique hotel that embodies historic charm and modern amenities near Newport, RI.”


Liberty Hotel, Cleburne

a room with a large balcony and a large table and chairs

Greg’s Take: Based on the hotel’s photos, I don’t get the appeal, but this hotel’s reviews are excellent.

  • Award prices: 16K, 20K
  • Book suites for same point price? No (None available that I could find)
  • Website quote: “Guests can enjoy an authentic Cleburne experience with a stay at our Liberty Hotel, Ascend Hotel Collection®. Located in the heart of downtown Cleburne, we offer easy access to many of the popular things to do here. We’re just steps away from the Gone With the Wind Museum, which includes a collection of more than 6,000 pieces of history and memorabilia.”

Eilan Hotel And Spa, San Antonio

a pool with lounge chairs and palm trees

Greg’s Take: While most Ascend Collection hotels are in-town boutique inns, this one is something completely different: a resort and spa on the far edge of town (about 20 miles from the River Walk).  Still, it looks awesome and you can book a suite for the same number of points as a standard room.

  • Award prices: 20K, 30K
  • Book suites for same point price? Yes
  • Website quote: “A Tuscan-inspired boutique hotel in San Antonio
    The Éilan Hotel and Spa, Ascend Resort Collection®, offers Tuscan flair and luxury amenities in a boutique hotel setting. With a cabana-lined, outdoor pool, upscale spa and state-of-the-art fitness center, our hotel is one-of-a-kind in San Antonio. Located near the upscale Shops at La Cantera, you’ll be well positioned to take advantage of other area attractions, too.”

Reader Suggestions?

Do you know of any great Ascend Collection hotels that I missed?  Additionally, if you’ve stayed at any of the listed hotels, I’d love to read your impressions.  Did you like it?  Hate it?  What was good about it?  What was bad?  Please comment below!

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Hey FM Team, I was looking at the Hotel Petaluma, as I am trying to plan a vacation to CA wine country later this year. However, it looks like that hotel is now in the Hilton portfolio (Tapestry Collection). The link you provided doesn’t list the hotel in the Ascend collection any more.


[…] At the end of my trip, I even bought a bit more points at about a cent each to stay at The Ridgeline Hotel (Choice Hotels, tripadvisor) in Gardiner, MT because the point price was far lower than the paid price (see Frequent Miler’s writeup on Choice’s Ascend Collection). […]


I’m intrigued by Funken Lodge on Svalbard. In the depths of the pandemic last winter I was asking my husband to dream a little, where would he want to go if we could go anywhere? I’d get us there. He said…Svalbard. It was hilarious, found out we could be in Svalbard with UA in less than half a day, and then use Choice points for the lodge.
Another thing I’m interested in, though is not possible yet, is Six Senses in Bhutan.

Last edited 2 years ago by dizzy

Thief Hotel Oslo, Norway. Amazing design at 20k per night. Suites not possible. Bordeaux Quality Inn which allows booking into suites for 10k points at night. Granted, it’s no Ritz but it’s very central. Suites retail for 200-300 eur so a solid deal.

[…] Choice Hotel Gems To Consider:  Now that Citi is a transfer partner to Choice at a 1 to 2 ratio, we should see if there are some good use cases for this.  There are some gems that may interest you for a future award stay. […]

Jennifer Yellin

Here are some other great options:

Bluegreen Vacations South Mountain. It’s in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and a mile or two from Loon Mountain ski resort. Loon is a great mountain for families! Mini golf across the street and in the winter there’s the ice castles nearby. Lots of hikes and outdoor activities for the summer too. The hotel is right on the main street so nothing special there but they have up to 3-bedroom suites. The rooms are nice and all the rooms (at least the suites) have a full kitchen. There’s an indoor pool with a fun hot tub. And in the summer an outdoor pool.

Another suggestion is The Soundings and The Breakers Resort. Both are right on the ocean in Cape Cod. They are right next to one another and also offer multi-room suites. Outdoor pools and in a great area of the cape. Only problem is that availability can be sparse during the summer months and since you can only book 100 days out, getting award space can be problematic.

Last year I also stayed at The Valley Inn. While the hotel itself is nothing special. It’s an older hotel with dark hallways/rooms, it’s right in Waterville Valley village (a few minutes away from Waterville Valley ski resort). I was able to spend just 10,000 points a night and get a two bedroom with full kitchen (one room even had two twin beds which was perfect for my kids). The room also had a sauna in it (which I didn’t attempt to use).

Jim Lovejoy

The House Hotel Galway Ireland is a very nice hotel in the heart of town.
It’s often cheap enough that you’d be better off paying cash and using points somewhere else.
One problem, even with GPS it’s hard to take the correct turns to get to the hotel.

Stephen Pepper

We didn’t end up staying at the property in Golden, CO as there was no points availability when I looked, but I’d highly recommend it anyway. Golden is a really cute town and that seems to be pretty much the only hotel there.

We loved it in Golden – beautiful setting and at least two good breweries. Pick up a tube from Walmart for $5 and go tubing down Clear Creek – so much fun.


Ditto, I’m a rural-Coloradan that usually doesn’t enjoy much within an hour of Denver, but Golden is an exception. Don’t know much about this particular accommodation but the area is perfect for quiet and close to nature.


Now that the Eilan Hotel and Spa, San Antonio is part of the CP programs, the property is rarely available on points. I believe that the rooms are held back for the Bluegreen fractional owners. And now checkout is 10am. But you can walk to the Ruth Chris steakhouse which is outstanding. But, Yes this is a beautiful property.


The Pine Lodge on Whitefish River is a great redemption in Montana, about a 30 min drive to Glacier Ntl Park. Whitefish itself is such a cool little town – good restaurants & art galleries, like a mini Santa Fe.

Suites are not upgradable here with status alone, must pay an extra $50/nt but also gets you a river view ($25/nt for river view alone). Huge rooms, perfect for families.

Stay away from the Inn at the Mill in Arkansas (10 mi outside Fayetteville). I, too, thought it looked charming on paper. While some of the gardens & waterfall highlighted are lovely, the rooms are dark & sorely in need of an update!

The real saving grace to the property was the fabulous restaurant on-site, separately owned. The 5* chef has now moved it & there are now no options nearby. My recommendation is the new Hyatt Place in Fayetteville instead if looking to redeem points in the area. Huge rooms, well appointed.


We recently stayed at the Kohea Kai Maui and it was a strong miss in our books. We were in Maui for a weekend and it served the purpose, but the hotel is a classic “this is an expensive destination so we can get away with lower quality” kind of situation. Staff were excellent however.

As an aside, this property charged a resort fee on points bookings. Choice hides resort fees quite well in my opinion compared to any other brand. Do any of the hotels you posted here also charge a resort fee?


I’d recommend the Bluegreen Vacations Big Bear Village hotel in Big Bear Lake, CA. Was there over Memorial Day this year. 30k/night, so it’s on the high end but got a 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom unit with kitchen, in-unit laundry, and connected 2-car garage. Had a couple of other families with me and well worth the points especially compared to cash rates. Main downside is the pool mirrors what you might expect from a regular Choice hotel.

Dr. Jay

Greg, Great article! The Freeport Hotel (Ascend in Freeport Maine) is actually showing 12,000/night.


Greg, if you check out the Shoreline Inn, be sure to make a trip to Pere Marquette Park (just a few miles down the road). This is one of the nicest beaches in West Michigan, and there is a cool bar/bbq place on the beach. They have live music most weekends during the summer.


Here some of my favorites in the Nordic countries. According to the Choice websites, the points prices are the same all year round in those countries. However, a price increase for the entire property is of course possible at any time.

  • Skt Petri in Copenhagen for 20k can be a solid choice (pun intended) if cash prices are high when visiting
  • At Six Hotel in Stockholm (20k) or for the same price, the Nordic Light Hotel but here you can also book suites for 20k
  • Amerikalinjen in Oslo for 20k
  • Hotel No13 in Bergen, Norway for 12k
  • Hotel F6 in Helsinki for 20k (the pictures suggest that the “deluxe room” is more like a Junior Suite), or Hotel Haven if you want a suite in Helsinki, but that’s 30k
  • and my favorite tip: Funken Lodge in Svalbard, Norway. During winter times it’s $250+ and during summer months this property retails at $350+ but points price is only 12k

I like the tip about Svalbard, we have been talking about going there for a long time but never seriously looked at details. I know there is a Radisson where you can also use points for a stay, but not sure if there is anything else up there that would take points.