Becky Pokora – Forbes Advisor
One devaluation after another might have you rethinking if collecting hotel rewards is worth it anymore. And now with dynamic pricing as the norm, sometimes you need a balance of a hundred thousand points just for a weekend away. A stash of 25,000 points left over in a lonely account might feel like peanuts. Similarly, free night certificates with price caps might feel uninspiring.While it’s true that luxurious five-star resorts can cost a pretty penny, having a small balance in your accounts doesn’t mean you’re stuck with a mediocre property off the highway in the middle of nowhere. It takes a little hunting to find the best hotel redemptions but there are some alluring properties even within the lower categories. These 11 hotels stand out for providing better-than-average locations or amenities without requiring a lifetime of savings.Distrikt Hotel Pittsburgh, Curio Collection by Hilton
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Pricing varies by date—rooms start at 28,000 Hilton Honors points per nightLike much of Pittsburgh, the Distrikt Hotel does a fabulous job of blending the city’s history with a resurging community today. A nearly century-old landmark, today’s hotel hosts an oyster and cocktail bar, terrace views and bikes to borrow. From here, it’s no problem at all reaching the Andy Warhol Museum, Point State Park and dozens of other Pittsburgh attractions.Take your stay to the next level with Hilton Honors Diamond elite status. Members can enjoy perks like room upgrades and 48-hour room guarantee. The Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express* card comes with complimentary Diamond status plus other fantastic benefits.Hyatt Place MoabPricing varies by date—rooms start at 12,000 World of Hyatt points per nightFor outdoor lovers, the Hyatt Place Moab is an ideal place to stay. At only five minutes from Arches National Park, you can pop in and out easily, ideal for taking in sunrise and sunset when the park is less busy. Rooms come with small seating areas and a full work desk, in case you need to spread out, and there’s a pool and hot tub right on site.The World of Hyatt Credit Card comes with , enough for five nights at the Hyatt Place Moab.Hyatt Regency Tulsa DowntownPricing varies by date—stays start at 3,500 World of Hyatt points per nightYou can have a fun weekend out using the Hyatt Regency Tulsa Downtown as your base. In the heart of a vibrant district, the property is next door to the Tulsa Performing Arts Center as well as walking distance to dozens of bars and restaurants. Rooms at this full-service hotel are well-appointed and you’ll find a restaurant and pool right on site.The Tuxon HotelPalakh Hingorani | Forbes AdvisorPricing varies by date—rooms start at 20,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per nightGo ahead, settle in—not only is Tucson’s desert modernist Tuxon hotel a reasonable price (remember, your fifth night is free when redeeming points) but it’s awfully inviting. This design-focused property includes pieces by local artists, a cactus garden and sparkling swimming pools to whisk you away from home while still keeping you in the center of the city known for the outdoors and gastronomy.Related: Which Marriott Card Is Best for You?Aloft Little Rock WestPricing varies by date—a room here starts at 5,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per nightThe trendy rooms at the Aloft Little Rock West along with live music at the W XYZ bar and an outdoor pool make this hotel a fantastic spot to stay while traveling through Arkansas. The location splits the difference between heading downtown or enjoying the trails at Pinnacle Mountain State Park, making it a welcome place to stay while at an extraordinarily low rate.Hotel Indigo Baltimore DowntownPricing varies by date withrooms starting at 14,000 IHG One Rewards points per nightThe Hotel Indigo Baltimore Downtown takes its boutique hotel designation seriously, offering unique amenities to jazz up your stay. Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by the property’s dog, Xander, before heading up to guest rooms decorated with literary-themed murals. There’s a library on-site as well, to pay homage to hometown author Edgar Allan Poe, and one of the country’s most unusual extras—three honeybee colonies are housed here, which you can (safely) view before tasting their products in the hotel bar or restaurant.IHG offers the IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card*, which comes with . While the welcome offer is compelling in and of itself, the card also comes with an Anniversary Night, redeemable at any property 40,000 points and under.Kimpton Overland Hotel Atlanta AirportPricing varies by date—rooms start at 19,000 IHG One Rewards points per nightA late arrival or early departure from Atlanta airport won’t feel like an imposition when you stay at the Kimpton Overland. In addition to the Kimpton amenities you already know and love—like complimentary wine hours in the evening—you’ll also love the rooftop views. To one side, you can watch the runway at Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson Airport. You’ll have a birds-eye view of the Porsche Experience Center handling course on the other.Plantation on Crystal River, Ascend Hotel CollectionRooms available beginning at 20,000 Choice Privileges Rewards points per nightFor the same price other programs charge for a basic property, you can book a night at a resort on the Florida Gulf Coast. Crystal River on the “Nature Coast” is home to hundreds of manatees which you can visit via responsible snorkeling tours. Or, look for other wildlife at the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge and other nearby state parks.If you’re low on Choice Privilege points, check out the Choice Privileges® Visa Signature® Card*. You’ll get , complimentary elite Gold status and an additional 8,000 points annually when you spend $10,000.Vino Bello ResortRooms available for 15,000 Wyndham Rewards points per nightGet away to wine country with a stay at the Vino Bello Resort, known for its condominium-style lodging. Redemptions at this Napa hotel book into classic studios, complete with kitchenettes, dining area and either a patio or balcony. Whether your goal is wine tasting, fine dining or pampering yourself at the spa, this property puts you in prime location.Grab a Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Plus Card* for your stay and enjoy complimentary Platinum elite status, which gives you the option to check-in early as well as late checkout.Zermatt Utah Resort & SpaRooms available for 15,000 Wyndham Rewards points per nightMidway, Utah doesn’t have the prestige of Park City, but you get a whole lot more for your money while still being close to ski resorts, state parks and blue-ribbon fly fishing. The resort itself is well-appointed, too. Join complimentary yoga classes or send the kids on the carousel. There’s also a spa, two swimming pools, mini-golf, tennis courts, life-size chess and more.Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Pigeon Forge South, TennesseePricing varies by date—rooms start at 20,000 Radisson Rewards Americas points per nightSplitting the difference between Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, this Country Inn & Suites puts you in prime location for the area’s best attractions. You’ll be close to Dollywood, the Great Smoky Mountains and evening entertainment. Standard rooms come with a small refrigerator and microwave, plus there’s free breakfast every morning to make travel a bit easier.Bottom LineLow-priced award redemptions don’t necessarily mean uninspiring stays. There are deals to be found across the country, even when you’re on a budget. If you’ve been holding off on booking a hotel redemption because you assumed you wouldn’t find anything worthwhile, here’s your reminder to start searching. These hotels, and plenty of others, are hotels made for travelers who don’t want to part with a million points.More from Forbes Advisor
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