EuroTrip 2013: Part 15 – London and Wimbledon

This is the fifteenth post in a series about my 2013 trip to Ireland, Scotland and Great Britain. Part of the free plane tickets were funded by the 40,000 point sign up bonus of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

After two hectic weeks, we had finally made it to London, our final stop for the trip.  Originally we had planned to take the train in so I had booked the Hilton in Paddington Station for our first night. It was nice and I took advantage of several promotions you can read about in Eurotrip 2013: Part 2 – Planning for Hotels in Europe for Maximum Miles.  With my gold status we received free breakfast which was nice. We decided to take in some culture the next day and visit the museum of natural history.


It was pretty cool with a giant dinosaur fossil in the grand foyer.IMG_6616We just stayed the one night at the Hilton and then moved to a hotel a little closer to Wimbledon.  Since the rates were through the roof, I decided to use 88,000 of my Club Carlson points to secure two nights in a 328 GBP room at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Vanderbilt.  This gave me a value of 1.2 center per point which isn’t bad for Club Carlson.  I actually had bought 70,000 Club Carlson points during their flash sale for $280 so I ended up getting almost $1050 in rooms for $280 + 14,000 points.  This gave me a value of 5.5 cents per mile for the miles I actually used from my account which is pretty incredible.  The hotel was very nice but the rooms were quite small which I guess is standard in London.  I was certainly glad I wasn’t paying cash for the room when I saw it! The next day we went to London on the Debenture tickets my Dad had arranged before our trip.  There were 20+ courts of action and some of them you could get quite close!



We of course had to get our Pimm’s and Strawberries and Cream. They also had a champagne bar of course! 🙂

IMG_6624We watched the Ladies quarterfinal match between Radwanska and Li.

IMG_6625It was quite busy that day.

IMG_6627We also found out that it is possible to queue for tickets in the morning that you can get for ~60ish GBP so we decided to come back the next day and see if we could get in for the Men’s quarterfinals. We were able to walk right in and saw the Men’s quarterfinals match between Djokovic and Berdych.

IMG_6630After this we wandered around the grounds a bit and took in the scenery.

IMG_6631IMG_6634We also saw a pretty incredible match took place with the local hero Andy Murray coming back to win after being down two sets. It was packed in the arena but everyone gathered on the Henman Hill to watch it.


It was quite a scene and a great way to finish off our Wimbledon experience.  We moved to a Marriott by the Heathrow Airport for out last night since our flight left earliesh the next day.  I used another 9000 British Airways miles to get back to Dublin where we picked up our previous itinerary on Lufthansa.  Next stop, Frankfurt!

Eurotrip 2013: Part 2 – Planning for Hotels in Europe for Maximum Miles

Turnberry Resort by Starwood Preferred Guest

This is the second post in a series about my 2013 trip to Ireland, Scotland and Great Britain.  Part of the free plane tickets were funded by the 40,000 point sign up bonus of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

When I started planning the hotels for my Europe trip, I wanted to take advantage of many of the hotel promotions that were going on this quarter and strategically redeem points where necessary when I was getting good value.  I don’t consider myself a hotel expert and rely on the excellent Loyalty Lobby blog to get a lot of my hotel promotions information.  In particular for this trip I accessed the Top Hotel Promotions June 2013 Guide.  I had Platinum status with Starwood and Le Club Accorhotel and Gold Status with Hilton going into the process.  I did a status match with Priority Club and Club Carlson via my Starwood status to get Platinum status with Priority Club and Gold status with Club Carlson. This would insure that I got the best treatment for my bookings on my trip. I saw from the promotions guide that Priority Club, Marriott, Hilton, and Club Carlson had the best promotions currently.

I’m going to give a run down of which hotels I chose in which cities, the prices, and why I thought each was the best choice. I knew we were going to have some expensive stays in Dublin, St. Andrews, and London so purposefully picked some cheaper properties with a good location when I thought I could.

Fairfield Inn by Marriott JFK Airport – $152 on a senior rate (traveling with Dad pays off!)

The Morrison Dublin, a Doubletree by Hilton Hotel – 2 nights @ 246 Euro on a senior rate

  • Hilton’s Daily Grand promotion should give me 1,000 bonus points and 1000 Virgin Atlantic Miles and my Gold Status will get us free breakfast so we can hit the ground running each day without having to go to an outside restaurant.

Waterford Marina Hotel in Waterford, Ireland – 79 Euro

  • This was one that my Dad’s picks because of the golf course located here.

Holiday Inn in Killarney, Ireland – 129 Euro

  • By stacking multiple promotions I expect at least 10,000 Priority club points from this stay (which could be enough for two PointsBreak nights in the future.)

Radisson Blu Galway, Ireland – 2 nights @ 136 Euro on a AAA rate

Holiday Inn Express Queen’s Quarter in Belfast, Ireland – 85 GBP

  • Stacking Multiple Promotions and multi stay bonuses.

MacDonald Rusacks in St. Andrews, Scotland 2 nights @ 282 GBP

  • This was one of my Dad’s picks because of the golf course located here.  They did have “The Club” loyalty program that I signed up for but it doesn’t look like it gives much to start.

Holiday Inn Express in Inverness, Scotland – 93 GBP

  • Stacking Multiple Promotions and multi stay bonuses.

Turnberry Resort, Luxury Collection Starwood – $110+6000 Starpoints

  • This was one I added on because of the golf course and that I could get a Cash and Points rate of $110+6000 star points which gave me a value of 4.1 cents per point redeemed.

Hilton Paddington London – 129 GBP

Radisson Blu Edwardian Vanderbilt London – 2 nights @ 44,000 Club Carlson Points

  • Redeemed 88,000 Club Carlson points for 2 nights in a 328 GBP a night room, yielding a value of 1.1 cents per point

Renaissance by Marriott London Heathrow Airport – 135 GBP

Holiday Inn Express Frankfurt – 114 Euro

  • Stacking Multiple Promotions and multi stay bonuses.

Once all of the points post I will do a summary post to see how I did.  I hope this gives you a feel for some of the thought that goes into booking hotel stays on an extended trip for maximum value.