MAPLE LEOPARD: How I Stayed in Paris 5 Nights for Free

Monday, October 24, 2016

How I Stayed in Paris 5 Nights for Free


I'm sure you've heard the famous quote by Audrey Hepburn " Paris is always a good idea." It's an expensive  place to travel to, so making it happen for some requires a lot of budgeting and saving. Since I am fashion and travel obsessed, I plan to visit France in the near future!

Today's article is a guest post is about how you can use hotel points to score a free stay.  I am especially happy to share the blog of a very dear friend of mine. He is actually like my brother.  I have known him and his siblings since I was 10 years old. I grew up as an only child in Vancouver BC.  Let's just say Carey and his two brothers made sure I did not miss out on the "sibling experience", ha!



This past January Carey retired, and he and his wife Susan are traveling the world indefinitely.  I am just a bit jello! Anyway if you get a chance , check out his blog Our Nomadic Experience. Here you will find fabulous tips on how to travel abroad on a budget. Carey definitely has it down to a science! 


How I Got Five Free Nights in Paris

How would you like to stay five nights in Paris at four and five star hotels for free like I did? It was quite easy, I used free hotel reward nights and points I got for signing up for a couple of hotel sponsored credit cards. I have made collecting lots of airline and hotel points a hobby and in one year collected 1.3 million points. Look at my previous post http://ournomadicexperience.com/over-million-hotel-airline-points-year/ on how I did this.


Two Nights Park Hyatt Vendôme

According to the Hyatt website, the Park Hyatt Vendôme is one of the most luxurious 5 star hotels in Paris. I believe it! Situated steps away from the Paris Opera, high end jewelers like Cartier, Tiffany’s, Piaget and the flagship store of Galeries Lafayette (a high-end French Department Store).  It is just a short walk from the Louvre and D’Orsay museums. It is the perfect spot to enjoy Paris!
Park Hyatt Vendome

Park Hyatt Vendôme – our room is second floor, second room from the right

Park Hyatt Vendome

Enjoying the view from our room

pARK hYATT VENDOME

Picture of our room from Hyatt website

Although we do not spend a lot of money on fashion and jewelry, it was fun to walk around and window-shop at all the high-end stores where you can spend thousands of dollars for a dress and tens of thousands of dollars for jewelry.
We did find one place that we loved and that was within our budget – the Lindt Chocolate Shop! It was huge and they gave out a free sample when you walked in the door. We did also make a skincare purchase at the Galeries Lafayette – a high-end department store. This place is huge as well taking up three buildings.
Cartier Jewelers in Paris
Cartier jewelers right across the street

Galeries Lafayette – the center of one of the three buildings that make up this high fashion department store


OK, so we did a little shopping!


Lindt Chocolate Shop – Susan is in heaven

Now here is the great part, we paid nothing for our stay! I signed up for a Hyatt Visa card that offers two free nights anywhere in the world at any category hotel when you spend $1000 in the first three months of opening the card. These system wide free nights are very rare and I make sure to spend them wisely.
I could have used these free nights to stay at the Hyatt Place in Birmingham, AL at a value of $90 per night. Instead, I used the points at the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme for a value of $1640 per night. Even though it was a great location and a great hotel room, we would have never paid that much for a hotel room (nor could we afford to!)

Three Nights at Holiday Inn Paris Opera

After our two nights at the Park Hyatt Vendome, we moved to the Holiday Inn Paris Opera, about three quarters of a mile away. It was about as close to the Opera and shopping as the Park Hyatt and just a little farther away from the museums. The neighborhood was still very nice and very classical Parisian, but not quite as high end of a neighborhood as the Park Hyatt.
Holiday inn paris
          Our upgraded queen bed room with balcony (Photo from IHG website)


View off of our fourth-floor balcony at the Holiday Inn Paris Opera

We used our Holiday Inn points for two of the nights and our annual free night from having an IHG MasterCard, so again, it was free! When I signed up for the IHG MasterCard I was awarded 70,000 points after meeting the spending requirement. The IHG card also gives a free night on the anniversary of card ownership worth up to 35,000 points. The Holiday Inn Paris Opera goes for 35,000 points per night so we were all set just with the points we got in bonuses for signing up for the credit card.
As an added surprise, we were upgraded to a Queen Executive Suite for being a Platinum Elite Status member (which you get from having the IHG MasterCard.) We happened to be in Paris during the Eurocup soccer tournament, so hotel rates were at one of their highest levels - $300 per night.

$4180 Worth of Hotel Rooms for “Free”

If we had paid market rates for our five nights in Paris, it would have cost us $4180 USD. Instead, our stay cost us nothing except signing up for a Hyatt VISA card and an IHG MasterCard and using those points wisely.
Most of our accommodations during our nomadic travels around the world are longer term in modest Airbnbs and the like, but it is nice to spend some of our points every occasionally and enjoy some low cost or free luxury hotel rooms for a few nights.

 This was am amazing post and I'm so grateful Carey allowed me to share it here!

How about you, have you had any free extended stays using hotel points ? I think I need to get busy and sign up for some of these cards! I do a fair amount of travel, and I think I'm missing out!

Thank you for taking time to stop by , I hope your day is wonderful! 

Until next time,

                                                                XO VALERIE

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19 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting on your blog. Glad you survived the "sibling experience" with my brothers and I growing up. Hopefully it didn't take too much therapy to get over all the teasing and stuff, ha ha! Love you a bunch!

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    1. Hey Carey .glad to do it, hopefully it helped you get some traffic! Ha...you guys made it fun for sure! Take care...love to you and Susie, miss you guys!

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  2. Wow – this points hacking is seriously impressive. I've never been great about being loyal to any hotel brand long enough to earn free nights, but this is sorta convincing me!

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    1. I know right..ha I need to get in the points hacking game!! I am the same as you, always stay at diff ones! Thanks for stopping by!

      VAlerie

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  3. It looks like I need to pay more attention to how I use my points. This was very enlightening !

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    1. Ah yes me too!! Thanks for stopping by , have a great week and have fun with the students...he he!

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    1. Yes he is very smart....ha I need to figure out this point system! Thanks for coming by!

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  5. Wow, you motivated me ! We are hoping to go to Paris in the spring so I love this and am going to be taking your lead. You stayed in some wonderful places.

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    1. Wow Gracie...luck you! I am hoping to do Europe this spring or summer as well! Thank you for stopping here!

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  6. This is AWESOME!! I've yet to go to Paris, but I'm bookmarking this for when I finally book my flight...your trip looks amazing!

    Coming Up Roses

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    1. Thank you Erica...Im glad you liked it, have a great day...I still need to get on your site and book a consulting time for my branding statement!

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  7. I've been getting better at collecting free flights for airplane miles but I actually don't use a credit card. That's my plan for 2017 and to see how I can get more travel rewards as I transition jobs. Thanks for being so transparent!

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    1. I m not so good at it, I never use the same airline or hotel..loyalty really does pay off..such good info here, have a great day!

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  8. Absolutely amazing! My major credit card that I use is a Capital One Venture and I use it the most so I can round up the airline miles - I've gotten so many already, and I can't wait to stay places for free! Amazing!

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    1. I saw that card advertised, I need to apply for one! Have a Great day AD!!xo

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  9. Wow - this is inspiring! Thank you for sharing how they did this! Great photos as well.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Marlynn, have a great day!

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