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🏨 Another program is doubling down on elite nights

This might just be the best hotel offer of the year so far...

Estimated read time: 4 minutes and 35 seconds

🇫🇷 Air France is ramping up its flights to Paris from the U.S. ahead of the Summer Olympics with daily service returning from Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN (MSP) and increased frequency from Raleigh-Durham (RDU), starting May 13th. Read more here.

Good morning from the hot (but lovely) city of Semarang, Indonesia!

My trip around Java might be winding to an end, but the week is only just beginning… so let’s get into the good stuff:

🏃🏼‍♂️ Mike on the Move

This week’s story will pick up where last week’s left off - in the amazing little city of Surakarta (everybody calls it Solo, though).

I fell completely, totally in love with this place over the last week… so much, in fact, that I extended my stay by an additional three nights in the city.

Part of why I did that was the place where I was staying: the Alila Solo, a 5-star Hyatt Category 1 property that towers over the small city.

Alila Solo

I just need to take a sec to tell you how amazing this place is… it’s one of the nicest hotels I’ve ever stayed at, and I was amazed at how modern and perfect it was.

As I told you last week, I used an upgrade certificate to guarantee myself an executive suite:

Mikes' Suite at the Alila Solo
Mikes' Suite at the Alila Solo

It was huge and had sweeping views of the surrounding volcanos and the city of Solo.

As a Hyatt Globalist, I also got access to the restaurant and rooftop lounge for free breakfast every morning, as well as free dinner and drinks every night… while looking at some epic views. 👇

View from the Alila Solo

This is an actual photo I took from the lounge

While in the lounge, I met multiple Hyatt Globalists from the U.S. who were at the Alila racking up cheap elite nights to renew their status for next year.

That’s because the hotel costs just 3,500 points (which you can simply transfer over from this card) or $43 per night, which is absolutely mind-blowing to me.

Alila Solo for $43 per night

With Hyatt’s current Bonus Journeys promotion, we were also getting a rebate of 3,000 points for every three nights stayed.

I love Solo and the Alila so much, that I’ve already made plans to come back in a few months.

All in all, here is what this hotel stay looked like:

  • $43 or 3,500 points per night

  • 1,000 points rebate per night

  • Guaranteed suite upgrade (with milestone reward from last year)

  • Free breakfast and dinner with Globalist status

  • Luxury rooms, service, free spa access, and more

I can say with complete confidence that this is the most value I’ve ever gotten from a hotel in my entire life. Period.

Needless to say, I was a very happy boi.

A meme about finding cheap luxury hotel nights

It just goes to show you that Hyatt has plenty of hidden gems scattered around the world where you can have the experience of a lifetime without needing to spend a lot of money or points.

Anyway, fast forwarding…

As I mentioned earlier, I am now in Semarang, a hot, wet city on the north coast of Java island.

As a less popular tourist city, there aren’t many hotel options here… Thankfully, there’s a Holiday Inn Express right in the heart of the city. 👇

Holiday Inn Semarang

Not only is this hotel dirt-cheap, but it’s also right next to Simpang Lima, the massive, vibrant city square that fills up with life every evening. The location is simply the best!

I love Holiday Inn Express… I don’t know if you are all aware, but when you stay at one of these hotels, you always get free breakfast.

No elite status, no extra charge, nothing.

And sometimes (like at this property), it’s actually a solid breakfast spread, comparable to what you’d get charged $30 for back home in the U.S…

Holiday Inn breakfast

Proper freakin’ breakfast, eh?

There are a few other hotel options in the city, but I chose an IHG property for reasons that I’ll get into in the next section… 😉

Anyway, my next task is getting back home to Toronto next weekend… and let me tell you… it’s not going to be fun.

Here’s what my journey home will look like:

Map of Mike's journey home

First, I’ll be flying on Garuda Indonesia from Jakarta to Melbourne, Australia - a country I have actually never been to before!

I’ve been flying Garuda a lot this year… Not only are they by FAR the best airline in Indonesia, but they are bookable with Flying Blue miles, which I simply transferred from this credit card.

In fact, my 6-hour flight to Melbourne only cost me 22,000 Flying Blue miles.

Sample Garuda booking using 22,000 Flying Blue miles to fly from CGK-MEL

Once in Melbourne, I’ll spend a couple of nights at the Hotel Indigo right in the heart of the city before my obnoxiously long journey home.

With the otherwise ridiculous hotel prices in the city, I was happy to see that this hotel costs less than 20,000 IHG points per night, and actually looks quite nice!

Hotel Indigo Melbourne

If you have this card (which gives you every fourth night free), that cost could be significantly reduced when booking a 4-night stay.

IHG has been very important for me this year, actually…

There have been a number of recent instances (Semarang, Ulaanbaatar, Bandung, Melbourne, Mauritius) where IHG was the only affordable hotel option, if not the only option.

It’s definitely a program that I’ll continue to invest my time and money into, and I’ve been loving it.

Speaking of why I love IHG so much right now…

🏨 Various IHG targeted promos

Woah… amazing transition, eh?

Right now, IHG is offering a series of targeted promotions to offer bonus elite night credits on stays this Spring.

There are tons of variations of this offer, so you’ll want to check your account (just go to IHG’s website and click “Offers” at the top) to see what’s available to you.

Personally, I found the following offer on my account:

  • Earn one bonus elite night per night stayed, starting with the second stay

  • Maximum of 14 bonus elite nights

  • Valid for stays through May 23rd

  • Only works for paid stays

I simply registered for the offer, and voila…

Promo Confirmation screen

Here’s why this offer is exciting…

As I’ve shown you multiple times, IHG is oftentimes the hotel chain with the cheapest options in cities all over the world.

Getting double nights for these cheap stays is a great way to boost yourself toward elite status for next year.

But IHG also has some pretty awesome milestone rewards, starting at just 20 nights…

For example, once you reach 40 nights in a year, you’ll get to choose TWO of the following milestone rewards:

IHG Milestone Rewards (40 nights)

An annual lounge membership, 10,000 bonus points, $100 worth of F&B credits, and a guaranteed suite upgrade are REALLY solid rewards.

If I were to max out my 14 bonus elite night credits from the promo (after staying 14 nights), I’d already be at 28 nights, which isn’t far off from reaching 40 nights by the end of the year.

The best part of this promotion is that it stacks with IHG’s other promotion to earn 2,000 bonus points for every two nights.

Example of two IHG promos that you can currently stack

Overall, IHG is really killing it this year with their promotions…

Earning extra bonus points AND double elite nights is always a good deal, especially when their hotels tend to be cheaper than with other programs.

🤣 Meme

If you don’t find this meme funny, then you need to go watch the movie Office Space immediately.

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That’s all for today, friends! I hope you all had a pleasant and relaxing weekend (or a chaotic, wild weekend if that’s what you’re into).

For now, I’ll get back to stuffing my face with sambal and will see you again tomorrow ❤️

Mike Dodge
Head Writer, Daily Drop

6.9818° S, 110.4121° E