Leaving for Thailand this Week!

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The trip that I have been planning for over two years is finally starting this week! Originally, my husband and I were supposed to go to Thailand for our honeymoon, but that was back in June 2010 when the riots broke out. About five weeks before the trip we ended up changing our honeymoon location and never made it to Thailand (you can read more about it here). Now, we are finally going on our original honeymoon plan!

I will be bringing my new MacBook Air on the trip to blog when possible, but it will be less than usual. Not to worry though, I will have a full report of my Thailand trip upon my return. I know many of you emailed or commented on a prior post informing me that you will be heading to Thailand soon, so I will make sure to not disappoint you!

Since we are going during the Christmas/New Years time, that sort of threw a wrench in some of the hotels we are staying in. There are some unbelievable hotels I read about, however, are 3 or 4 times the price during this time. We ended up settling on mostly chain resorts, but worked out well as I was able to use my points! After much research I decided on the following itinerary:

  • 5 nights at the Sheraton Krabi. we will be using this as our base point and take many day trips to Phi Phi Island, James Bong Island, Koh Hong, Railey Beach, etc. I wanted to stay away from Phuket as I have not heard such great things, and though Krabi was the perfect spot as you can still visit some of the same amazing islands off of the coast. The resort is 7,000 SPG points for a free night free, however, with SPG redemption the 5th night is free, so in total only required 28,000 points. The regular rate for this hotel during this time averaged about $275/night, so I got about 5 cents per point, which is an amazing value.
  • 1 night at the Le Meridien Chiang Mai. We are only staying here for one night before we leave for our Trek. The cost at this hotel is about $120/night. We are paying for the hotel to hit the platinum challenge, but the best use of points is 1,600 points + $30 for Cash & Points.
  • 3 day/2 night Trek with a private guide. This will allow us to discover some of the more off the beaten path areas of the north. We are actually overlapping with some friends and have planned this portion of the trip together, so that will be fun! On our 2nd night we will be in Chiang Rai and are actually forgoing the hotel accommodations included with the Trek and staying at the Le Meridien Chiang Rai. For 3,000 Starwood points a night, you can’t go wrong! They also did give us $16 back per person for not staying at their designated hotel. The Trek cost about $250 per person.
  • 1 night at the M Hotel in Chiang Mai. This is on New Years Eve and does not have a compulsory dinner. The Le Meridien Chiang Mai charged $150 per person and the menu included Maine Lobster. We were not too thrilled about the menu nor the cost so opted to stay somewhere else for the night. We’d prefer a more authentic dinner. It is very common, at least amongst the large resorts and hotels to have a compulsory dinner for New Years Eve and even some have for Christmas Even. The cost of the M Hotel in Chiang Mai is $70/night (all in). This is a new hotel and received good reviews, so we’ll see!
  • 2 nights at the Le Meridien Chiang Mai. Again, we are paying for the hotel at $120/night to hit the platinum challenge, but the best use of points is 1,600 points + $30 for Cash & Points.
  • 3 nights at the aloft Bangkok. We will be spending two full days in Bangkok and are staying in the brand new aloft. This hotel just opened in December and has already received great reviews. They are having a special introduction rate at $75/night, which I think is great! We also need these nights to count towards the platinum challenge I am currently enrolled in.
  • 2 nights at the Renaissance Hong Kong. I was torn on whether to stay in Kowloon or Hong Kong Island and heard great things about both. The Renaissance is in Hong Kong Island, but right next to the ferry to Kowloon, so is easy access. Hotel rates in Hong Kong are expensive so I wanted to absolutely use my points. Luckily, the Renaissance is only a category 5, so I was able to use my free category 1-5 hotel certificate with the Marriott credit card which is a great use as the hotel is about $250/night. For the other night I am using 25,000 Marriott points.

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    • @Stephen – With the credit card you get a free category 1-5 free night upon your credit card anniversary. The category 1-4 is for the first year as a sign up bonus. I’ve had this credit card for awhile now so every year am able to get a free night at a category 1-5 hotel, which is amazing. The $250/night room definitely makes up for the annual fee!

      The regular, non-credit card promotion is stay twice, get a free category 1-4 night as well.

  1. $120++ at Le Meridian Chiang Mai….OUCH !!!! Stay in the Old City at a small guesthouse !!! For 20% of that…. And, you can walk anywhere in the Old City for Saturday/Sunday night bazzar AND all the temples…

    • @Larry – I know!! What we do for points! I am paying for those three nights to meet my platinum challenge with Starwood. This will guarantee my status until February 2014.

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