Hotels Make My Family’s Life Better – What About Yours?

Please note this site has financial relationships with American Express and this post may contain affiliate links. Read my Advertiser Disclosure policy here to learn more about my partners.

I feel a little weird “admitting” this, but I truly think that (nice) hotels make my family’s life better.  I don’t mean it like the way that Nicolas Cage’s character did in movie The Family Man, when the several thousand dollar suit jacket he tried on made him feel like a “better man”.  Nice hotels don’t make me feel more important or successful or whatever, but they do still seem to make my family’s life just a little better than it would have been otherwise.  Let me try to explain…

As I have mentioned, my family is working on a house that we own in another city this weekend in order to put it back on the market (oh Lord, please let it sell this time!).  Frankly put, it’s a crappy task all the way around.  It’s even crappier that the timing worked out that we are spending a weekend in December filling holes in the wall, doing yard work, doing touch-up paint, etc… when we would all rather be ice skating, visiting Santa, or wrapping presents.  We do have some friends and family members in the city where our empty house is that would have certainly let us crash with them for the weekend, but we all know how it is when you invade someone else’s space, especially when you throw a toddler into the mix.  Instead, we decided to try and make this weekend a little more tolerable by staying at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines.  We stayed there before over the summer and loved it.  Since winter is kind of their “off season”, we were able to score a great rate this weekend.  With the deal we got the rooms were under $150 a night for this top notch resort!  Given that the rate was so good, we booked rooms both for us and my parents, who are graciously donating their weekend to help us with our house.  We also used confirmed Diamond suite upgrades so that both of our rooms would be as nice as possible.

So, instead of relying on someone else to cook us supper, or pick up nasty drive-thru food, we had a healthy meal in our from room service.  (Okay, C’s macaroni and cheese probably wasn’t the healthiest selection).

Instead of crashing on someone else’s couch, C was able to take her nap in a super comfy bed in a quiet room.

Instead of trying to keep her safe from power tools and away from the paint by bring her to the house to work all day, C got to ride horses.

Perhaps best of all, after a day of hard work on the house, we are all able to sit by the fire in the hotel lobby together and stare at the beautiful Christmas tree.  It isn’t the same as enjoying a weekend in December at home, but it’s not too shabby.

We’re not really a fancy or “fussy” family, but like anyone else we do like to enjoy ourselves.  We are extremely fortunate that we have the ability to turn a “work weekend” into a work/family fun weekend.  We certainly aren’t wealthy, so had the rate not been as low as it was, we would have very likely used points to make this weekend happen.  I am very grateful that these days you don’t have to be rolling in money to enjoy high quality accommodations and resorts, you just have to be strategic with some points earnings and plan ahead.  Tonight we will make s’mores by the campfire and bundle up to watch the outdoor showing of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”.  Tomorrow we will get back to work on our house, but for tonight staying here made our lives just a little bit better.

I will do more through write-up of our stay in a later post, but now it is time to go walk alongside the Colorado River with Little C.  Thanks to points, good deals, and elite status for helping bring a little more relaxation and fun into our family’s life.  What have points and great resorts done for your family?

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. We’ve done some ‘mattress run’ stays in nearby cities (hour and a half drive) and the kids loved it. First was at a Radisson in Milwaukee for the 50k qualifier night and the second at the Hilton Milwaukee (need to fill the 10 nights up for the free night cert.) It was a great bonding experience with the family, and let us get out of our routine. We got to swim in both places, and the Hilton even had a waterpark. Got to try someto different restaurants (bonus at Hilton oneven Surpass as well). We found the rates pretty reasonable at both places, and got some great point values added to our accounts ultimately as well. Only wish we would have been active point and mile junkies sooner!

  2. I agree… a nice hotel room definitely put the icing on the cake, especially since a hotel essentially is “a home away from home”. The best part is being able to find great deals that keep the “good life” affordable… 🙂

    Speaking of hotels, is anyone going to be taking part in the Wyndham Rewards – “Gift Me” promotion? I just blogged about it here:

    I think its a great deal if you have some upcoming travel that requires a cheap hotel stay… what do you think?

  3. definitely agree. When we lost power for 10 days due to Storm Alfred, we used the Marriott points we had been saving and turned it into a mini-vacation with the kids — staying at 3 different Marriotts. What a completely different experience than we would have had otherwise!

  4. I love this post, and especially agree with your feeling of gratitude that by strategizing you can have a lot of experiences that were formerly available only to wealthy people.
    Many of our friends are convinced we must be loaded with the amount (and quality) of travel we do, but the reality is we spend almost no real money doing it…and I am nowhere near as involved in the points game as lots of people here are!
    With what I feel is very little effort, I’ve been able to show my kids the world and we’re just getting started. Thanks so much to bloggers like you who take the time to share what you learn…I literally began with zero knowledge and am learning everything from you all!

  5. @BothofUs,that sounds really fun!

    @Angelina, sounds good if you have some upcoming Wyndham stays. Thanks for sharing!

    @CU, sounds like an extremely valuable use of points. I am sure it was a very different experience then you would have had staying home through and after the storm!

    @Summer, I’m so glad this blog is helpful for you and your family. It really is crazy what points can help make possible.

    @gpapadop, ha ha. Love it!

    @Maury, great question from your daughter. Allison, since her name starts with the letter “C”, that is one of the nicknames that we have for her. We also call her “Bug” quite a bit, but that might get even more confusing on a blog. I also use “Little C” since I try to not use our full names as much as possible. We talk about all sorts of trips we are going to take, financial information, etc… so I prefer for us to be a little harder to find in the real world. That is getting harder and harder as this site grows, but I am still trying to at least keep C’s name off the internet for as long as I can. Thanks for the great question, Allison.

    • @711, great question. I am not a stay-at-home mom. I have a full-time day job, in addition to the running this blog. I do have over 25 stays per year (the minimum to achieve Diamond), but I actually got my Diamond status this year by attending the Star MegaDO 3 where it was included as a “gift”. I will have to decide in 2012 if I want to concentrate all of my stays at Hyatt to retain in for the following year. It will be a tough call because there are some Starwood properties that I like as well. Decisions, decisions. 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *