7 Florence hotels that you can book with points (Updated September 2018)

Florence hotels that you can book on points

Updated September 2018:  SPG and Marriott Rewards were integrated into one loyalty program in August 2018.  At that time, any existing SPG points were converted to points in the new program at a ratio of 1:3 (1 Starpoint=3 points in the new program).  SPG and Marriott redemption charts were eliminated and one award chart was implemented.  I’ve updated this to reflect the new category assignments.  

This post is a list Florence hotels that you can book with a few different types of award currencies.  Keep scrolling for more details on each.  For more information about our recent trip to Italy, check out these links!


Florence hotels on points

7 options for Florence hotels on points

If you just want the list, here it is.  I go into more details about using Ultimate Rewards, Marriott, Starwood, and Hilton points to book these properties in the next section, though.

1. Use the Chase Ultimate Rewards booking portal to book your hotel
  • Cost: 1 point per 1.5 cents of the price listed on the Ultimate Rewards booking portal if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
  • For example, if a room is $150, it will cost 10,000 UR points.
  • Note that the Chase Sapphire Preferred is 1 point per 1.25 cents.  So for 10,000 points you can get $125 worth of travel.  Click here for more info on that.
2. The Westin Excelsior Florence (New marriott Category 7)
  • Cost: 60,000 points per night
  • Value: 470 Euros per night (~$555 USD)
3. The St. Regis Florence (New Marriott Category 8)
  • Cost: 85,000 points per night*
  • Value: 568 Euros (~$670 USD)

*Category 8 pricing does not go live until 2019.  Until then, you can book future category 8 properties at the category 7 standard price of 60,000 points.

4. AC Hotel Firenze (New Marriott Category 5)
  • Cost: 35,000 Marriott Rewards points
  • Value: 194 Euros (~$229 USD)
5. Sina Villa Medici, Autograph Collection (New Marriott Category 6)
  • Cost: 50,000 Marriott Rewards points
  • Value: 385 Euros per night (~$454 USD)
6. Hilton Florence Metropole (Hilton)
  • Cost: 40,000 max (30,000 on dates I selected in September of next year)
  • Value: 90 Euros (~$106 USD)
7. Hilton Garden Inn Florence Novoli (Hilton)
  • Cost: 30,000 max
  • Value: 132 Euros (~$155 USD)

Florence hotels on pointsUse the Chase Ultimate Rewards booking portal to book Florence hotels

Chase Ultimate Rewards can be redeemed for travel two different ways.  First, you can transfer Ultimate Rewards to airline and hotel partners such as United and Hyatt.  The other option is to book travel on the Chase Ultimate Rewards website and essentially use your points as cash.  Click here for more information about when I would and would not use each option.

As I stated in my post about our hotels in Italy, I ended up using the Chase Ultimate Rewards booking portal to book our hotels in Italy.

Transferring points to airline and hotel partners is usually my preferred way of using UR, but if there aren’t good options with their transfer partners, you can use your points to book through the Chase Ultimate Rewards booking portal.  While booking through the portal is not the highest redemption value for your points, it definitely gives you more options than if you only have points such as Hilton or Marriott.  I will discuss our hotel below but note that there are lots of options if you choose to book with Ultimate Rewards!

Florence hotels on Chase Ultimate Rewards points

Our Hotel in Florence- Hotel Torre Guelfa
  • Cost:~13,600 Ultimate Rewards points
  • Value:~220$ including breakfast.

As I stated in most post about all of our hotels in Italy, I had mixed feelings about this hotel.  Our room was decent, but our friends’ room was not, and we booked the exact same room.  So the quality of rooms is inconsistent.  Since we did not spend much time in our room, I’m glad we only paid 13,600 Ultimate Rewards for our room in Florence as opposed to 20,000 Starpoints for the Westin.

This hotel was in a great location though.  It was in walking distance to Ponte Vecchio, restaurants, museums, and shopping.

Hotel Torre Guelfa also has a nice rooftop patio with great views of the city.  The Torre (tower) is 800 years old!  We went up for happy hour and sunset.  After dinner, we came back and had a bottle of wine on the roof while enjoying the views.

Florence hotels on points

As of August of 2018, Starwood and Marriott were combined into one loyalty program

Click here for more information. about the merger.

new marriott award chart 2018

I’m going to separate the Starwood and Marriott properties, but remember that they are now the same program with the same award currency (that I commonly refer to as ‘new’ points or just ‘points).  Any redemptions for SPG and Marriott properties are bookable on Marriott.com.

Remember that any SPG points earned prior to August (‘old points’)were multiplied by 3.  For example, if you had 20,000 SPG points before August, you should now have 60,000 Marriott/’new’ points.  The values in this list are the ‘new points’.*

*I am trying to refer to points as ‘new’ points or just ‘points’ to prevent confusion.  It is important to distinguish between ‘old’ SPG points and ‘new’ points since the value is different.

Starwood options in Florence:

How to earn points:
  • sign-up bonuses from SPG credit cards from American Express and from Chase Marriott credit cards
  • everyday spending on SPG credit cards from American Express and from Chase Marriott credit cards.
  • Paid hotel stays at SPG or Marriott properties

Note that one of my favorite credit cards for everyday spending used to be Amex SPG, but that is no longer the case.  Due to the new award chart, the everyday spending earn rate devalued by 33%.

You can redeem new points/Marriott points for free nights at Marriott and SPG properties across the world.  Also, you can also transfer points to many airlines at a 3:1 ratio (with a 15,000 point bonus for every 60,000 transferred).

This ratio isn’t great for the ‘new points’ but if you earned SPG points prior to August, the transfer ratio is effectively 1:1.

  • 20,000 old SPG points became 60,000 Marriott new points
  • 60,000 Marriott new points=20,000 airline miles
Both of the Starwood properties in Florence are a good redemption value, especially if you had SPG points prior to the merger

In fact, we strongly considered booking the Westin Florence for our trip.  In the end we decided to save our Starpoints and use Ultimate Rewards instead.  But this is a good value if you’re wanting to splurge on a nice hotel.

For both Starwood properties in Florence, the price is either the same or less than the old SPG pricing.  The Westin was category 6 which was 20,000 points.  It is now 60,000 points, which is the equivalent of 20,000 SPG points (if they were earned prior to August.  The St Regis actually decreased in cost.  The old price was 30,000-35,000 as a category 7 SPG property.  The new program is 85,000 (or 60,000 if booked prior to category 8 pricing) which is less than the equivalent of 30,000 Starpoints.

I valued the ‘old’ SPG points very highly.  I would not even consider using Starpoints if the value was less than 2 cents per point.  New points are probably not going to be as valuable.  In other words, points earned in the new program are going to get less than 2 cents redemption value.

Want to know how to calculate the value of a mile or point? Click here.

The new redemption chart is inflated, but points add up quicker than the old SPG points.  For that reason, redeeming for less than 2 cents per point isn’t necessarily a bad idea.

The Westin Excelsior Florence (Category 7)
  • Cost: 60,000 points per night
  • Value: 470 Euros per night (~$555 USD)
  • 60,000 points is equivalent to 20,000 ‘old’ SPG points.  20,000 SPG points for a hotel over $500 per night is decent.
The St. Regis Florence (Category 8)
  • Cost: 85,000 points per night*
  • Value: 568 Euros (~$670 USD)
  • This is another fancy option with a good value, especially if you can book it prior to 2019 when category 8 pricing goes live.  At the category 7 rate of 60,000 points, that is equal to 20,000 old SPG points.

*Category 8 pricing does not go live until 2019.  Until then, you can book future category 8 properties at the category 7 standard price of 60,000 points.

Note that the points cost in this screenshot is from the old SPG program.  This is for cash price information only:

Starwood SPG starpoints Florence hotels

Marriott options in Florence:

How to earn Marriott points:
  • sign-up bonuses from the Marriott co-branded credit card from Chase and from the SPG Amex credit cards
  • everyday spending on the Marriott co-branded credit card from Chase and from the SPG Amex credit cards
  • If you have a Chase Sapphire credit card, you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to Marriott Rewards at a 1:1 ratio.  I do not recommend this because I feel that Ultimate Rewards points are more valuable than Marriott points, therefore, a 1:1 ratio is not ideal.
  • Of course, you can also earn Marriott Rewards points for paid stays at Marriott and SPG properties

If you want to use Chase Ultimate Rewards points to book Marriott or SPG hotels, you are probably better off using the Chase Ultimate Rewards booking portal than transferring to Marriott.   Click here for more information about using Ultimate Rewards points to book Marriott properties.

AC Hotel Firenze (Marriott Category 5)
  • Cost: 35,000 Marriott Rewards points
  • Value: 194 Euros (~$229 USD)
Sina Villa Medici, Autograph Collection (Marriott Category 6)
  • Cost: 50,000 Marriott Rewards points
  • Value: 385 Euros per night (~$454 USD)

Note that the points cost in this screenshot is from the old SPG program.  This is for cash price information only: Marriott Florence hotels on points

Hilton in Florence

How to earn Hilton points:
  • sign-up bonuses from Hilton co-branded credit cards from American Express
  • everyday spending on Hilton co-branded credit cards from American Express.
  • Hilton Honors points can be transferred from American Express Membership Rewards at a ratio of 1,000 MR: 2,000 Hilton Honors points
  • Shopping through Hilton’s shopping portal.  Although I prefer to do my shopping through the Chase Ultimate Rewards shopping portal (not to be confused with the redemption booking portal) or airline shopping portals.
  • And of course, paid stays at Hilton properties will earn Hilton Honors points
My 2 cents per point redemption threshold goes out the window with Hilton

I generally refer to Hilton points as pesos.  While you can still find some decent values on some properties, they charge so many points that it’s a terrible cents per point value.  You can pretty much guarantee that you’re not going to get my recommended 2 cents per point if you book at a Hilton.  With that said, Hilton points are very easy to earn, so that makes up for their inflated redemption costs.

I take into account how easy or difficult it is to earn a particular type of points/miles when calculating a redemption value.  It is definitely easier to earn a large amount of Hilton points than points with other programs such as Hyatt.  For example, you can earn 3 points per dollar on everyday purchases and more on certain categories with the no fee Hilton Amex.  So that’s 3x as many points that you earn with the SPG Amex.  Because of that, it’s not a terrible idea to use Hilton points if you have them.  You’re probably not going to even get close to 2 cents per point when redeeming, but that is okay considering how easy they are to earn.*  At this time, I do not collect Hilton points, but I know many people do.

I could transfer Amex points at a 1:2 ratio, but even that doesn’t excite me.  For a 30,000 point per night room such as the Hilton Garden Inn below, I would next to transfer 15,000 Amex points.  For me to use 15,000 Amex points, I am going to need the cash value to be at least $300 to get 2 cents per point.  A paid night is only $155, so I’ll pass.

Hilton no longer publishes an award chart.  In fact, they did away with categories altogether.  Now, there are ranges for what a property may cost.  Different properties may have different rates depending on what they consider their peak dates.  This is frustrating as it makes it difficult to plan your earning strategies if you are looking to stay at a Hilton property.  The good news is that you can check Hilton’s website to find out what the maximum cost would be for a standard room.

Hilton Florence Metropole (Hilton)
  • Cost: 40,000 max (30,000 on dates I selected for next September)
  • Value: 90 Euros (~$106 USD)
Hilton Garden Inn Florence Novoli (Hilton)
  • Cost: 30,000 max
  • Value: 132 Euros (~$155 USD)

florence on hilton honors points

florence on hilton honors points

Conclusion

Using Chase Ultimate Rewards to book a hotel will give you the most options.  But there are other award currencies that may result in better redemption values for Florence hotels.  Hilton is a no-go for me, but the Starwood options are worth considering!

Want to earn 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards bonus points? Consider signing up for one of the Sapphire cards.

Click here to read my comparison of these two cards.

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