Welcome to the Miles, Points and Travel Hacks Weekly Round-Up
for the week of October 31st.
Each week we sift through all of the posts, blogs, PR, hyperbole and rumors, boil it down and share the best stuff with you. A very busy week in the world of Miles, Points and Travel Hacks. Halloween wasn’t even the weirdest day of the week. So, let’s get going.
The Finer Things
Ryokan is something like the Japanese equivalent of a Bed and Breakfast. They date back to the 1600’s and were often found along the roadside offering modestly priced lodging for travelers. Guest could enjoy private rooms, community areas and the opportunity to spend time with the innkeeper. Fast forward to the 21st century and Ryokan is hard to find anymore, particularly in Tokyo. Hoshinoya is reintroducing the concept of Ryokan with the launch of Hoshinoya Tokyo. I’ve always found the Japanese design aesthetic to be serene, calming and mindful. If you’ve ever visited Tokyo and rushed from place to place, sardined into trains and elevators, and hustled along the streets, a little peace, calm and serenity are always welcome.
Japanese tea service is a time-honored tradition and that spirit is preserved in the beverages service offered at Hoshinoya. Guests can “partake in teas, sakes, specialty coffees, and snacks are brought in from all over the country to enhance the season, as well as the time of day.” And the food service is elegant and traditional as well, with perfect attention to detail and a selection of the finest ingredients.
Rooms start at JPY36,000 (around $343 as of this writing). That’s a good rate for a Tokyo hotel. Compared to The Park Hyatt or The Grand Hyatt at around $675/night, that’s a very good price. Bottom Line: For a change of pace and a touch of Japanese luxury, Hoshinoya Tokyo is worthy of your consideration.
Have I Got A Deal For You
Last week I got older. Not a lot older on a percentage basis, but older nonetheless. The kind of older where AARP membership makes sense and senior citizen discounts are within my grasp. As I was coming to grips with all of that, I started thinking, “How can I hack my birthday a bit?” A little bit of searching around the net led me to The Penny Hoarder and their list of 100 Free Things You Can Get On Your Birthday. One throwaway email address, some clicks and a bunch of cut and paste demographic information later, I was all set up with a bunch of free and almost free goodies to make my birthday a little more “special”. Here’s some of my haul:
- Free stack of Pancakes at IHOP
- Free Egg Sandwich and Free Bagel and Smear at Einsteins (beverage purchase required)
- Free slice of pizza at Sbarro’s
- Jason’s Deli – $5 off
- Free donut at Krispy Kreme
- Free Appetizer at Ruby Tuesday’s
- Free Roast Beef Sandwich at Arby’s (beverage purchase required)
- Free Burrito at Moe’s (beverage purchase required)
- Free Regular Sub & Fountain Drink at Jersey Mike’s
- And a bunch of other stuff
Was it worth it? Wel,l it’s not up to the level of caviar service on Emirates, but it’s not bad for less than one hour’s work.
The Fine Print
United recently revamped their stopover rules. Like most things involving airlines, hotels and rules, you need to seek out an expert to help decipher what’s actually going on. We like TravelIsFree.com for information on United and they have the best write up on these changes we’ve seen. Here’s an excerpt that summarizes the important details:
Summary of New United Rules:
- One free segment per booking.
- Free segment has to be in the same region (but different than the region of origin).
- Booking must return to region of origin.
- 1 stopover per booking, open-jaws are allowed.
- As many segments are allowed as you want, you just pay for them all like you would a bunch of separately booked oneways.
Time For A Quickie
Did you know about the Mlife reset that might downgrade Hyatt Gold Passport members status?
Headed to Vegas anytime soon? Get the latest details on the new drink monitoring systems being put in place.
Hyatt. Hyatt? Hyatt!! – The World of Hyatt (World of Horror?) was announced last week. They are following the industry and going revenue-based like the airlines and some hotels. It caught me in the middle of booking both my Diamond-qualifying mattress run and a 2017 vacation. I’ll get into this in an upcoming article, but you can check the new program out here.
Delta Airlines is now offering SkyMiles to Airbnb customers that book stays via Delta.com.
Starwood is offering bonuses of up to 50% on points purchases through 12/31/16. SPG points are one of the most valuable currencies out there and have survived the Marriott acquisition (Note: So Far).
That’s it for this week. If you have observations or comments, please join the conversation below. If you have any rumors, whispers, questions or answers, you can also email me at email@example.com.