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For the last few years, I have barely paid attention to the release of a new PointBreaks list. The quality and breadth of the list was usually poor, so instead of being aspirational and/or providing short-term weekend getaway ideas, PB usually only worked for random destinations that you were already planning to visit.
But the new list is out – covering stays between 29 January and 30 April, 2018 – and there are some genuine gems to be found. As always, you need to book first and ask questions later, as PointBreaks availability is limited and can sell out quickly. Here is my first impression of the list, for those without the time or inclination to go through all 200+ hotels…
15,000 Points per Night Hotels
Intercontinental! You have your choice of these hotels from the best brand IHG has to offer:
- Sao Paolo, Brazil
- Cartagena, Colombia
- Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
- Panama City, Panama
- Caracas, Venezuela
- Kiev, Ukraine
- Beirut, Lebanon
Helsinki. You can choose between an Indigo, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn.
Nice, France. A weekend getaway to the Med. Yes please…
London. Holiday Inn Express hotels are available in Hammersmith and Wandsworth. Both have reasonable public transport options to facilitate getting around town as a tourist.
10,000 Points per Night Hotels
More Intercontinentals! This time in Medellin and Cali, Colombia. Perfect for Narcos fans! Nairobi is also available for those stopovers to/from safari or Kilimanjaro climbs.
Russia. I know that winter isn’t the best time to visit Russia, but April should be nice… Both St. Petersburg and Moscow are represented.
Asian Beach Resorts. Bali was previewed. But the Holiday Inn in Penang, Malaysia might also be an interesting option if you don’t wish to tempt fate with the volcanic eruptions on Bali.
Beirut. Lebanon is a country on my bucket list. A Crowne Plaza for 10K points per night makes an Easter trip rather tempting…
Rome. Of course the Holiday Inn Rome – Aurelia is not centrally located… AT ALL! But for 10K points per night you might not mind braving local buses or taxis.
Stamford, Connecticut. If you are operating on a really tight budget – flying Norwegian into Stewart airport for example – then you might want to consider staying in Stamford and taking the train into Manhattan every day…
5,000 Points per Night Hotels
Much slimmer pickings, but if you are willing to brave the traffic in Naples, you could rent a car and stay at the Holiday Inn Nola – Naples Vulcano Buono.
The Holiday Inn near the Panama Canal has long been a regular on the PointBreaks list but nonetheless is worth considering if you are in the area.
Sometimes the best savings come from hotels near airports. Rates can be high – since most overnight stays near an airport are business travel related – but if you happen to need a hotel near an airport, using points can be a lifesaver or a great way to save money on your first or last night somewhere… even better when a reasonable option is offered on PointBreaks. Some of the airport hotels I noticed are:
- Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Edmonton Arpt – Conference Ctr (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada for 5,000 points)
- Holiday Inn Express Istanbul Airport (Istanbul, Turkey for 5,000 points)
- Candlewood Suites Pittsburgh-Airport (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA for 10,000 points)
- Staybridge Suites Chantilly Dulles Airport (Washington, DC for 10,000 points)
- Holiday Inn Kolkata Airport (India for 10,000 points)
- Candlewood Suites Calgary Airport North (Calgary, Alberta, Canada for 10,000 points)
- Holiday Inn Express & Suites Edmonton-International Airport (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada for 10,000 points)
I’m Low on Points – How Can I Acquire Some IHG points Fast?
If you don’t already have a nice stash of IHG points from repeated Accelerate promotions, then you might want to take advantage of the current 75% bonus promotion when buying points. Now… I happen to value an IHG point at rather less than 0.47p… but an exception can clearly be made if you are buying points for immediate use on a nice PointBreaks holiday or two since you would be paying £23.50, £47 and £70.50 per night. (and you might even earn back a few points from any welcome amenity offered…)
It’s nice to see some genuine value return to IHG Rewards Club’s PointBreaks promotion. That said… I suspect that several of the less-attractive hotels priced at 10,000 and 15,000 points per night would actually have been made available for 5,000 points if necessary. So kudos I suppose to IHG for hiding a devaluation in amongst something that members can get excited about…