After spending a night in Vail in August, my friends and I drove back down to Denver to spend a day sightseeing there. We mapped out things we wanted to do and then looked for a hotel central to those locations. Since there were three adults I specifically looked for a Residence Inn or a Hyatt Place knowing that the layout of these hotel rooms usually works well for us and that breakfast is included.
The only hotel-provided parking available is with the valet. We thought about parking on the street but the valet pointed out it was cheaper to park at the nearby Pavillions shopping center. He even watched our car for us while we checked in. Of course that meant we had to walk a few blocks to the car but that was not an issue for us since the weather was so nice.
What we like about Hyatt Places is that there’s a separate area with a large sleeper sofa which along with the 2 queen beds meant that we each had our own place to sleep.
Hyatt Place Denver 2 Queen Beds
My travel buddies and I needed a weekend getaway to escape the heat of our respective cities. I read an article about fun things to do in Vail and as Colorado is a 2-3 hour flight for each of us, it made a nice, central place to meet up.
Knowing that lodging wouldn’t be nearly as hard to get in the summer as in the winter, I’d hoped to get a 2-bedroom condo at a reasonable price. That way we’d each have our own bed and plenty of space. It turns out that most of the condos can’t be rented for a single night. I did have a travel agency track down one place but they wanted $300 for the one night. No thanks.
I looked at what hotels were available on points and there weren’t a lot of reasonably-priced choices there either but I did find the Holiday Inn had a room that could sleep three adults. The hotel is actually across I-70 from the resort but during the summer, there’s no charge for the parking deck at Lionshead so we were only a short drive away.
The valet greeted us promptly upon arrival. Leaving the car with the valet is really the only parking option but the price is cheaper in the summer than in the winter. In the end, we were not charged at all. I don’t know whether that’s due to my Platinum status, because we booked the room on points or if they just forgot. But when I checked out there were no charges billed to the room.
Once inside we had a brief wait while other customers were being assisted but then were welcomed warmly and our room was assigned quickly.
Hallway to our room. Carpet could use refreshing.
As Hurricane Matthew has now passed through some areas, relief efforts are kicking into high gear. United Airlines is offering its MileagePlus members the opportunity to earn bonus miles for donating to one of four charities aiding those affected.
- The American Red Cross is a humanitarian organization that provides emergency assistance, disaster relief and education inside the United States
- Airlink is a rapid-response humanitarian relief organization that links airlines with pre-qualified nonprofits.
- Americares is a non-profit disaster relief and global health organization providing immediate response to emergency medical needs and supporting long-term health care initiatives for people in the United States and around the world
- Operation USA is a non profit humanitarian organization dedicated to helping communities alleviate the effects of disaster, disease, and endemic poverty throughout the world by providing privately funded relief, reconstruction, humanitarian aid and development aid.
If you donate via the United Airlines link, you may earn bonus miles based on the amount of your donation:
- Donate $50–$99 and earn 250 bonus miles
- Donate $100–$249 and earn 500 bonus miles
- Donate $250 or more and earn 1,000 bonus miles
United will award up to five million bonus miles to MileagePlus members who donate and they will match up to $100,000 of customer donations. Note that because the donations are administered via CrowdRise, they will not count as United spending if you use your MileagePlus credit card to make a donation. The donation might, however, count as a charity donation if you have a card that gives a bonus for that category.
Note that the deadline to earn miles for your donation is October 21, 2016.
Today I received an interesting email from Starwood. By enrolling in their latest promotion I can earn 5,000 bonus Starpoints if I spend $5000 on my SPG American Express between now and the end of the year. This is a no-brainer for me. I make sure I put enough spend on my SPG card each year to maintain Gold status with them so I should easily reach this goal by the end of the year, even with time off for vacation and holidays.
Here is the email I received:
Yesterday was the first day of the last quarter of 2016. With it comes a new opportunity to earn 5% back when using your Discover card. This quarter’s bonus categories are Amazon.com, Department Stores and Sam’s Club – all places that can be useful for holiday shopping. You may earn 5% cash back in these categories for the first $1500 in purchases through the end of the year.
Some Sam’s Club locations also sell Visa and/or MasterCard gift cards so that’s an easy way to max out your bonuses.
Registering for the bonus
I received an email from Discover that looks like this:
Or you can log into your account at Discover.com to register for the bonus. Either way, it’s a very simple process.
And if you haven’t already registered for the Freedom 5% bonus categories, now’s the time to do that too!