The Best Points-Bookable Hotels in the World

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Travel & Leisure recently published The Top 100 Hotels in the World for 2021.  It’s fun to peruse the list and dream about visiting some of these amazing destinations.  It’s even more fun, in my opinion, to dream about the worlds best hotels that are bookable with points…

For each of the hotels in the Top 100, I determined whether or not they were bookable with hotel points. Here are some interesting finds from this year’s list:

  • Hotel Paracas, a Luxury Collection Resort, Paracas, Peru: This is a category 5 Marriott property and so it can be booked with 35K free night certificates except when peak priced.
  • Alila Manggis, Bali, Indonesia: This is a category 2 Hyatt and so can be booked for only 8,000 Hyatt points per night!
  • Hyatt Regency Amritsar, India: This is a category 1 Hyatt and so can be booked for only 5,000 Hyatt points per night!
  • St. Regis Istanbul: This is a category 6 Marriott property and so it can be booked with 50K free night certificates except when peak priced.
  • The Sukhothai Bangkok: This SLH property is category 4 with Hyatt and so it is bookable with category 1-4 free night certificates. That said, finding award availability is very hard.
  • The Fullerton Hotel Singapore: This is a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts and can be booked with Choice points.  This is notable mainly because I usually find that using Choice points to book Preferred Hotels offers poor point value, but in this case it’s very good.
  • Six Senses Laamu, Maldives: This is one of those Six Senses properties that can now be booked with IHG points.  It offers excellent point value on its own, but for those with certain IHG credit cards, the value becomes really exciting thanks to 4th Night Free awards and/or a 10% point rebate.
  • Penha Longa Resort, Sintra, Portugal: This Ritz-Carlton is a category 5 Marriott property and so it can be booked with 35K free night certificates except when peak priced.
  • Tambo del Inka, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Sacred Valley, Peru: This is a category 6 Marriott property and so it can be booked with 50K free night certificates except when peak priced.

World’s Best Points-Bookable Hotels & Resorts

The following are all of the points-bookable hotels & resorts from Travel & Leisure’s 2021 Top 100 Hotels in the World  list.  The properties are sorted according to their Travel & Leisure ranking and each includes a “deal value” indicating whether booking with points is good value or not.

1. Mahali Mzuri, Masai Mara, Kenya

  • Brand or Affiliation: Virgin Limited Edition
  • Bookable with Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points: 600,000 points for a 3-night stay for two people in a luxury tent, or 850,000 points for a 5-night stay for two people in a luxury tent.  You cannot redeem Points during High Season.
  • Observed Prices & Value
    • Rate for 2 adults for 5 nights: $9,450
    • Points required for 5 nights: 850,000
    • Verdict: Poor Point Value
  • Greg’s Notes: It’s cool that the top rated hotel in the world can be booked with points, but it’s sad that the value you’ll get for your Virgin Atlantic points is so low.  The value is actually made worse by the fact that Mahali Mzuri often offers the 5th night free on paid stays.  That said, if you’re flush with Virgin points this would surely be a fun way to spend down your points!

11. Hotel Paracas, a Luxury Collection Resort, Paracas, Peru

  • Brand or Affiliation: The Luxury Collection
  • Bookable with Marriott Bonvoy points (Category 5): 35,000 points per night standard; 30,000 off-peak; 40,000 peak.  Take advantage of Marriott’s Stay for 5, Pay for 4 awards.
  • Observed Prices & Value
    • Average nightly rate: $248
    • Average points per night: 30,000
    • Verdict: Excellent Point Value

20. Alila Manggis, Bali, Indonesia

  • Brand or Affiliation: Alila
  • Bookable with World of Hyatt points: 8,000 points per night
  • Observed Prices & Value
    • Average nightly rate: $185
    • Average points per night: 8,000
    • Verdict: Excellent Point Value

24. Canaves Oia Epitome, Santorini, Greece

Best Points-bookable Hotels

  • Brand or Affiliation: Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH)
  • Bookable with World of Hyatt points: 40,000 points per night
  • Observed Prices & Value
    • Average nightly rate: $1,800
    • Average points per night: 40,000
    • Verdict: Excellent Point Value

31. Hyatt Regency Amritsar, Amritsar, India

  • Brand or Affiliation: Hyatt Regency
  • Bookable with World of Hyatt points: 5,000 points per night
  • Observed Prices & Value
    • Average nightly rate: $136
    • Average points per night: 5,000
    • Verdict: Excellent Point Value

40. St. Regis Istanbul

  • Brand or Affiliation: St Regis
  • Bookable with Marriott Bonvoy points (Category 6): 50,000 points per night standard; 40,000 off-peak; 60,000 peak.  Take advantage of Marriott’s Stay for 5, Pay for 4 awards.
  • Observed Prices & Value
    • Average nightly rate: $490
    • Average points per night: 43,333
    • Verdict: Excellent Point Value

47. Raffles Istanbul

Best Points-bookable Hotels

  • Brand or Affiliation: Raffles
  • Bookable with Accor Live Limitless points based on cash rate. 2,000 points = 40 Euros.
  • Observed Prices & Value
    • Average nightly rate: $488
    • Average points per night: 20,800
    • Verdict: Standard Point Value (Accor points are fixed at 2 Euro cents per point)

59. The St. Regis Florence

Best Points-bookable Hotels

  • Brand or Affiliation: St Regis
  • Bookable with Marriott Bonvoy points (Category 8): 85,000 points per night standard; 70,000 off-peak; 100,000 peak.  Take advantage of Marriott’s Stay for 5, Pay for 4 awards.
  • Observed Prices & Value
    • Average nightly rate: $888
    • Average points per night: 72,000
    • Verdict: Excellent Point Value

68. InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa, French Polynesia

  • Brand or Affiliation: Intercontinental
  • Bookable with IHG points: Rate varies
  • Observed Prices & Value
    • Average nightly rate: $1,330
    • Average points per night: Unknown (I couldn’t find any award availability)

70. Banyan Tree Cabo Marqués, Acapulco, Mexico

  • Brand or Affiliation: Banyan Tree
  • Bookable with Accor Live Limitless points based on cash rate. 2,000 points = 40 Euros.
  • Observed Prices & Value
    • Average nightly rate: $583
    • Verdict: Standard Point Value (Accor points are fixed at 2 Euro cents per point)

73. The Sukhothai Bangkok

Best Points-bookable Hotels

  • Brand or Affiliation: Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH)
  • Bookable with World of Hyatt points: 15,000 points per night
  • Observed Prices & Value
    • Average nightly rate: $362 (for a club room)
    • Average points per night: I couldn’t find any award availability. Only club rooms and suites were available for the dates I looked at, but only standard rooms can be booked with Hyatt points at SLH properties.

77. The Fullerton Hotel Singapore

  • Brand or Affiliation: Preferred Hotels & Resorts
  • Bookable with Choice points: 45,000 per night
  • Observed Prices & Value
    • Average nightly rate: $515
    • Average points per night: 45,000
    • Verdict: Excellent Point Value

80. (tie) Six Senses Laamu, Maldives

  • Brand or Affiliation: Six Senses
  • Bookable with IHG Rewards Club points: 100K per Night. Those with the IHG Premier or IHG Traveler card get the 4th Night Free on award stays.  Those with the old IHG Select card get a 10% rebate on points awards.
  • Observed Prices & Value
    • Average nightly rate: $960.60
    • Average points per night: 100,000
    • Verdict: Excellent Point Value

80. (tie) Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi, Maldives

best points-bookable hotels

  • Brand or Affiliation: Hilton Waldorf Astoria
  • Bookable with Hilton Honors points: 120,000 to 150,000 points per night when standard rooms are available.  If you can find 5 consecutive nights at that price, you’ll get the 5th night free.
  • Observed Prices & Value
    • Average nightly rate: $2,455.22
    • Average points per night: 120,000
    • Verdict: Excellent Point Value
  • Greg’s Notes: The point values shown here assume booking your stay at standard rates (150K points per night and with the 5th night free) but in reality I found very few nights available at standard rates and so the idea of booking a 5th Night Free award here seems very unlikely.

86. Penha Longa Resort, Sintra, Portugal

  • Brand or Affiliation: Ritz-Carlton
  • Bookable with Marriott Bonvoy points (Category 5): 35,000 points per night standard; 30,000 off-peak; 40,000 peak.  Take advantage of Marriott’s Stay for 5, Pay for 4 awards.
  • Observed Prices & Value
    • Average nightly rate: $292
    • Average points per night: 26,500
    • Verdict: Excellent Point Value

87. The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort, French Polynesia

  • Brand or Affiliation: St Regis
  • Bookable with Marriott Bonvoy points (Category 8): 85,000 points per night standard; 70,000 off-peak; 100,000 peak.  Take advantage of Marriott’s Stay for 5, Pay for 4 awards.
  • Observed Prices & Value
    • Average nightly rate: $1,065
    • Average points per night: 80,000
    • Verdict: Excellent Point Value
  • Greg’s Notes: Award availability without a cash upgrade is scarce, but I found availability for 5 nights in a row in early January 2022.

92. Tambo del Inka, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Sacred Valley, Peru

Best Points-bookable Hotels

  • Brand or Affiliation: The Luxury Collection
  • Bookable with Marriott Bonvoy points: 50,000 points per night standard; 40,000 off-peak; 60,000 peak.  Take advantage of Marriott’s Stay for 5, Pay for 4 awards.
  • Observed Prices & Value
    • Average nightly rate: $392
    • Average points per night: 42,667
    • Verdict: Excellent Point Value

97. Canaves Oia Boutique Hotel, Santorini, Greece

Canaves Oia Boutique Hotel, Santorini, Greece

  • Brand or Affiliation: Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH)
  • Bookable with World of Hyatt points: 40,000 points per night
  • Observed Prices & Value
    • Average nightly rate: $762
    • Average points per night: 40,000
    • Verdict: Good Point Value
      • Deal Metric: 19%
      • Cents Per Point: 1.91
      • RRV: 1.6
  • Greg’s Notes: Only the “classic suite” room type can be booked with points. It’s very difficult to find availability for these!  The data point above is based on an off-peak date: May 16th 2022.  If you can find availability during peak summer months, I’m sure the point value will be far higher since the cash rate will then be far higher too.

Top hotels from 2020 which didn’t make the 2021 list

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

  • Position on Travel & Leisure’s 2020 List: #72
  • Brand or Affiliation: Waldorf Astoria
  • Bookable with Hilton Honors points: 120,000 points per night
  • Observed Prices & Value
    • Average nightly rate: $1,186.33
    • Average points per night: 96,000
    • Verdict: Excellent Point Value
      • Deal Metric: 175%
      • Cents Per Point: 1.24
      • 2020 RRV: 0.45
  • Greg’s Notes: The point values shown here assume booking your stay at standard rates (120K points per night and with the 5th night free). I wasn’t able to find availability for the chosen dates.

Necker Island, British Virgin Islands

Richard Branson and Necker Island

  • Position on Travel & Leisure’s 2020 List: #41
  • Brand or Affiliation: Virgin Limited Edition
  • Bookable with Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points: 1.5 million miles for 7 nights all-inclusive
  • Observed Prices & Value
    • Average nightly rate: $5,150.00
    • Average points per night: 214,286
    • Verdict: Excellent Point Value
      • Deal Metric: 85%
      • Cents Per Point: 2.40
      • RRV: 1.30
  • Greg’s Notes: Requires Virgin Atlantic Silver Elite status to book with miles. Individual rooms may only be booked during select “Celebration Weeks”.

The St. Regis Mexico City

  • Position on Travel & Leisure’s 2020 List: #73
  • Brand or Affiliation: St Regis
  • Bookable with Marriott Bonvoy points: 60,000 points per night standard; 50,000 off-peak; 70,000 peak
  • Observed Prices & Value
    • Average nightly rate: $541.73
    • Average points per night: 48,667
    • Verdict: Excellent Point Value
      • Deal Metric: 54%
      • Cents Per Point: 1.11
      • 2020 RRV: 0.72

Santa Monica Proper Hotel, Santa Monica, California

Santa Monica Proper Hotel, Santa Monica, California

  • Position on Travel & Leisure’s 2020 List: #60
  • Brand or Affiliation: Design Hotels
  • Bookable with Marriott Bonvoy points: 60,000 per night
  • Observed Prices & Value
    • Average nightly rate: $616.70
    • Average points per night: 53,333
    • Verdict: Excellent Point Value
      • Deal Metric: 50%
      • Cents Per Point: 1.08
      • 2020 RRV: 0.72

La Peer Hotel, West Hollywood, California

La Peer Hotel, West Hollywood, California

  • Position on Travel & Leisure’s 2020 List: #77
  • Brand or Affiliation: Kimpton
  • Bookable with IHG Rewards Club points: Varies
  • Observed Prices & Value
    • Average nightly rate: $336.99
    • Average points per night: 43,000
    • Verdict: Good Point Value
      • Deal Metric: 21%
      • Cents Per Point: 0.78
      • 2020 RRV: 0.65

Cala de Mar Resort & Spa Ixtapa, Mexico

Best Points-bookable Hotels

  • Position on Travel & Leisure’s 2020 List: #38
  • Brand or Affiliation: Preferred Hotels & Resorts
  • Bookable with Choice points: 55,000 per night
  • Observed Prices & Value
    • Average nightly rate: $518.15
    • Average points per night: 55,000
    • Verdict: Good Point Value
      • Deal Metric: 16%
      • Cents Per Point: 0.94
      • 2020 RRV: 0.81

The Ritz-Carlton, Bali, Indonesia

best points-bookable hotels

  • Position on Travel & Leisure’s 2020 List: #4
  • Brand or Affiliation: Ritz-Carlton
  • Bookable with Marriott Bonvoy points: 50,000 points per night standard; 40,000 off-peak; 60,000 peak
  • Observed Prices & Value
    • Average nightly rate: $319.20
    • Average points per night: 43,333
    • Verdict: Fair Point Value
      • Deal Metric: 4%
      • Cents Per Point: 0.75
      • 2020 RRV: 0.72

The Middle House, Shanghai

The Middle House, Shanghai

  • Position on Travel & Leisure’s 2020 List: #69
  • Brand or Affiliation: Preferred Hotels & Resorts
  • Bookable with Choice points: 55,000 per night
  • Observed Prices & Value
    • Average nightly rate: $318.59
    • Average points per night: 55,000
    • Verdict: Very Poor Point Value
      • Deal Metric: -28%
      • Cents Per Point: 0.58
      • 2020 RRV: 0.81

Kasbah Tamadot, Atlas Mountains, Morocco

Kasbah Tamadot, Atlas Mountains, Morocco

  • Position on Travel & Leisure’s 2020 List: #79
  • Brand or Affiliation: Virgin Limited Edition
  • Bookable with Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points: 255,000 miles for 3 nights
  • Observed Prices & Value
    • Average nightly rate: $844.29
    • Average points per night: 102,000
    • Verdict: Very Poor Point Value
      • Deal Metric: -36%
      • Cents Per Point: 0.83
      • RRV: 1.30

Methodology

Finding Hotels

I compiled my list by researching every hotel on Travel & Leisure’s 2021 list of  The Top 100 Hotels in the World.

For each of the 100 hotels, I determined whether or not they were bookable with hotel points.  Almost all are bookable with bank points (such as Chase Ultimate Rewards points), but my goal was to find those bookable specifically with hotel points: Marriott points, Hilton points, IHG points, etc.  Bank points usually give you a fixed value based on the hotel price.  Hotel points, though, sometimes offer the opportunity to get outsized value.  That’s what I wanted to find.

The Deal Metric

With each of the points-bookable properties, I looked up paid rates and point rates for each of the following date ranges, when possible:

  • December 26-31 2021
  • March 7-12 2022
  • June 20-25 2022

For all points-bookable hotels, I calculated the average cents per point value one would get from using hotel points instead of cash.  I then compared that cents per point value to our Reasonable Redemption Value (RRV).  Here are the current RRVs for each of the qualifying loyalty programs:

  • Accor: Points have a fixed value of 2 Euro cents per point (approx 2.35 US cents per point)
  • Choice: 0.68 cents per point
  • Hilton: 0.4 cents per point
  • Hyatt: 1.6 cents per point
  • IHG: 0.6 cents per point
  • Marriott: 0.62 cents per point
  • Virgin Atlantic: 1.3 cents per point

If the observed cents per point is better than the RRV, then we can say that it is a good deal to use points.  In order to decide how good of a deal, I divided the difference between the observed cents per point (CPP) and the RRV by the RRV to create the deal metric as a percentage: (CPP – RRV) / RRV.  The Deal Metric tells us what percent better (or worse) the deal is for this hotel compared to the average use of these points (RRV).  To make this metric useful, I converted the results into words as follows:

  • > 30%: Excellent Value
  • >15% to 30%: Good Value
  • 0% to 15%: Fair Value
  • -20% to <0%: Poor Value
  • < -20%: Very Poor Value

Bottom Line

This year I found that 18 of the 100 top hotels are bookable with points.  And, of those, I found that 12 properties offer great value for your hotel points compared to cash rates.  Last year, 16 of the Top 100 properties were bookable with points and 9 offered great value.

Note that just because a property offers great value for its points compared to cash prices doesn’t mean that it offers great value overall.  For example, if a hotel is grossly overpriced, you may pay substantially less with points than with cash but it may still be a poor value for what you get.

Also note that a hotel’s existence on the Top 100 list doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a great hotel.  The surveys used to collect this data are inevitably biased and incomplete.  There is no question that there are better hotels out there than many that made the list, and it is probably the case that some on the list don’t deserve a top spot at all.  That said, I don’t believe there are any great ways to identify the best hotels in the world and this list is probably as good as any.

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