Long Weekend in Napa for $11.20

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My happy place

Napa had been on our list for a very long time so we decided to go for Ryan’s birthday last November.  I wanted to book this on miles and points, because in case you aren’t aware, hotels in Napa are expensive! Actually, Napa is just expensive, period. But there are a few ways around  that.  I will tell you how we used miles for our plane tickets and Hyatt points to stay at the Andaz Napa.

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Spend your money on wine, not hotels and flights!

To give you an idea of what kind of money we DID NOT spend, here is some pricing info from dates this year around the time of year that we went last year.

Flights to Napa:

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We will go with the nonstop flight, since it’s the most convenient.

Total Points: 8,224 Southwest Rapid Reward points per ticket but since we had the companion pass, we only had to buy 1 ticket instead of 2. There are many ways to earn the Southwest Companion Pass, but I will save that for a future post.

Total Value: $137×2=$274

Flights from Napa:

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Total Points: 8,559

Total Value: $142×2=$284

Grand total points on flights: 8,224 + 8,559=16,783

Grand total Value: $137 + $142=279

Note that if you do not have the Southwest Companion Pass, for 2 people this will be 16,783 points x2 so 33,566 total or $279 x2 so $558 total

How to earn Southwest points:
  • Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card sign-up bonus (50,000 offers are often available! Do not sign up for anything less on this card!)
  • Everyday spending on the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards card (Although Chase Sapphire is better for everyday spending!)
  • Southwest’s shopping portal
  • Chase Ultimate Rewards shopping portal
  • Transfer from Chase Ultimate Rewards since Southwest is a transfer partner!
  • The old fashioned way: points earned by actually flying on paid Southwest flights

Hotel:

We stayed at the Andaz Napa for 2 nights and then on the 3rd day after our Sunrise Balloon Flight and brunch in Napa, we headed to San Francisco to hang out with a friend of Ryan’s who lives in the Bay Area. We were able to use the annual free night that we get from the Chase Hyatt credit card (another one of those “sock drawer cards”, meaning we keep it for the perks but hardly ever use it) for our night in San Francisco.  In order to keep this post a little more concise, I’ll save the details of the annual free night that comes with this card for a future post.

Andaz Napa

Andaz is a fairly new brand under Hyatt, and lucky for us, there is one in Napa.  We have stayed at a few different Andaz properties and our only complaint is that there aren’t more of them! They always feel more like boutique hotels, and the service is excellent.

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Fire pit, wine, and cheese. What could be better?

We had quite the stash of Chase Ultimate Rewards points from everyday spending, so after confirming availability on points at the Andaz for our dates, I transferred UR points to Hyatt.  The Andaz Napa is a Hyatt category 5 hotel, so a free night is 20,000 points, or you can do cash and points for 10,000 points plus $125.  Since the rate is more than $650 per night, this is an excellent value, but I will go into a little more detail about the value of different types of points and miles later this week.

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20,000 points for the exact same room that costs $659 per night

There are no resort fees at the Andaz Napa, and our San Francisco hotel was free. So the grand total of our hotels for this trip was 0$

upgrade

They upgraded us to a suite and sent strawberries and Chandon for my husband’s birthday. We didn’t even have top tier status at the time!

Grand Total for Flights: 11.20$ (5.60$ in taxes per person)

Grand Total for Hotels: 0$

Total Spent: $11.20 and ~57,000 points 

Total Value$1827 (or $2106 without companion pass)

  • $1318 (Andaz Napa)
  • + $230 (Average rate at Hyatt Centric Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco)
  • + $279 (flight with companion pass or $558 without companion pass )
  • =$1827 (or $2106 without companion pass)
Spend your money on experiences and wine, not plane tickets and hotels:

With all of the money we saved, we booked a driver for one of the days (with a credit card of course) who set up some amazing wine tastings for us!

We used Uber for our other day.  I’ve heard some people say that Uber can be unreliable in Napa because there just aren’t enough drivers, but we had no trouble.

Wondering how we got our wine home safely? These wineskins are the best!

Re-usable Wineskins (you can buy on Amazonwineskins

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Wine tasting straight out of the barrels at Del Dotto, where they are known for their generous pours.

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This is Demilo from Executive Excursion Limousine Service. He’s the best!

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At Raymond Vineyards, you can be winemaker for a day!

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Just hanging out in the champagne caves at Schramsberg

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Peju Winery… so pretty and it stays open later than most others so it’s a great way to end the day!

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Grounds at Kelham Vineyards, a beautiful boutique winery

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Caymus is one of our favorites and we found some new favorites from other brands in the Wagner Family

If you’re new here, check out the Getting Started tab.  Thanks again for everyone’s support and feedback so far and as always, contact me with questions and comments. Cheers! 🍷

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Happy husband on the way home! Streaming 2 NFL games and the red zone thanks to the free live TV streaming Southwest provides

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4 thoughts on “Long Weekend in Napa for $11.20

  1. Great post – can’t believe what you were able to accomplish for almost $0! Any suggestions for those of us that live in Napa? Would love to pay our mortgage with points!! You guys hit some great places …I love the Andaz (not to stay b/c we live a couple miles away, but for drinks on the “roof”). Check out our wine country blog for some ideas where to visit next time. http://www.topochinesvino.com

    • Thank you… What an awesome place to live! I wish I had more suggestions for locals to take advantage of some of the great things Napa has to offer for less, but I really just use my reward cards for hotel and air points and miles. I will certainly be sure to check out your blog next time we visit 🙂

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