Hotels in Tuscany on points

Hotels in Tuscany on points

Update July 3, 2018:  SPG and Marriott Rewards will be integrated into one loyalty program beginning August 1, 2018.  At that time, any existing SPG points will become points in the new program at a ratio of 1:3 (1 Starpoint=3 points in the new program).  Current SPG and Marriott redemption charts will be eliminated and one award chart will be implemented.  Last week, Marriott released the new category assignments.  I’ve updated this to add the new rates that will take effect in August on the Marriott and Starwood properties.  

If you’re considering booking any of the properties goes up in price, you may want to book before August 1.  On the other hand, you should wait until after August to book any property decreasing in cost.

Tuscany is another name for Italy’s wine country.  It is a large region located in central Italy that is famous for its wine and scenic landscapes.  Other than Florence, there aren’t many hotel options in Tuscany on points, but I managed to put together a small list.  Florence is considered part of the Tuscany region but it has several hotel options so I made a separate post for those hotels.  If you want to read more about our trip to Italy including how we booked our flights and all of our hotels for free, check out these posts:

Where should I stay in Tuscany?

Well I can only speak to the places we visited but we loved all of them!  We stayed in Florence one night and we stayed in Radda in Chianti for 2 nights.  Radda in Chianti is a little town about 90 minutes south of Florence.  We did a day trip to Montalcino and Siena from Chianti.  You can read more about our time in Tuscany by clicking here.  All of these are nice, so it just depends on personal preference as to where you should stay.  If you want to be in a city and close to lots of restaurants, shopping, and museums, stay in Florence.  You can even do day trips to other regions in Tuscany from Florence.  If you prefer quieter towns, Radda in Chianti was great!

Map courtesy of winefolly.com

7 options for hotels in Tuscany on points

Here is a list of Tuscany hotels that you can book with a few different types of award currencies.  Keep scrolling for more details on each.

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.
2. La Bandita Townhouse, Pienza, a Member of Design Hotels™  (Starwood Category 6) Near Siena
  • Cost: 20,000 Starpoints per night
  • Value: 350 Euros per night (~$411 USD)
3. Eremito, Parrano, a Member of Design Hotels™  (Starwood Category 3) Between Florence and rome
  • Cost: 7,000 Starpoints per night
  • Value: 178 Euros (~$209 USD)
4. AC Hotel Arezzo (Marriott Category 3) Arezzo
  • Cost: 15,000 Marriott Rewards points per night
  • Value: 132 Euros (~$155 USD)
5. AC Hotel Pisa(Marriott Category 3) PIsa
  • Cost: 15,000 Marriott Rewards points per night
  • Value: 80 Euros per night (~$94 USD)
6. Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa (Marriott Category 6) Lucca
  • Cost: 30,000 Marriott Rewards points per night
  • Value: 183 Euros (~$215 USD)
7. La Bagnaia Golf & Spa Resort Siena, Curio Collection by Hilton (Hilton) Near Siena
  • Cost: 50,000 max
  • Value: 249 Euros (~$292 USD)

Tuscany on points

Use the Chase Ultimate Rewards booking portal to book Tuscany 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.

*It is important to note that if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred rather than the Chase Sapphire Reserve, your value is going to be 1.25 cents per point when booking through the portal as opposed to 1.50 cents per point.  This still may be a good option but you may get more value by transferring points to loyalty programs.

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.

Our Hotel in Tuscany- Relais Vignale

The cost was ~43,000 Ultimate Rewards points total for2 nights including breakfast.  The cash value for those two nights was ~$645.  So that breaks down to a little under 22,000 points per night.

We all loved this hotel.  It was charming, full of character, and in a great little spot in the village of Radda in Chianti.  Honestly, I would have expected the cash price of this hotel to be higher.  So to me, 22,000 points per night is a great value.

tuscany on points

Relais Vignale at sunset

In Tuscany, there aren’t many chain hotels.  I’ll list the few that are available, but most are not a great value for your points.  That’s why I was okay using Ultimate Rewards at a value of less than 2 cents per point.  Air BNB is another great option for Tuscany, but it probably won’t be something you can book on points unless you have some sort of cash back card.

Starwood options in Tuscany:

Update 4/17/18: SPG and Marriott Rewards will be integrated into one loyalty program beginning August 1, 2018.  At that time, any existing SPG points will become points in the new program at a ratio of 1:3 (1 Starpoint=3 points in the new program).  Current SPG and Marriott redemption charts will be eliminated and one award chart will be implemented. 

Starwood points can be earned from sign-up bonuses and everyday spending on the SPG credit card from American Express.  Starpoints can also be transferred from Marriott Rewards*

*Starwood and Marriott are in the process of merging.  At the time of this post, both programs continue to operate separately, but you have the option to transfer points between the two programs.  Currently, the transfer ratio is 3 Marriott Rewards points for every Starpoint.  Click here to read more about the merger and how to leverage it for your benefit!

I value Starpoints very highly, so I have to make sure I’m getting a great value if I’m going to redeem them..  In addition to some amazing SPG properties across the world, you can also transfer Starpoints to many airlines at a 1:1 ratio (with a possible 5,000 point bonus!).

SPG award chart

La Bandita Townhouse, Pienza, a Member of Design Hotels™  (Starwood Category 6)
  • Location: Siena
  • Cost: 20,000 Starpoints per night
  • Value: 350 Euros per night (~$411 USD)
  • This is a value of a little over 2 cents per Starpoint

Beginning August 2018:

  • Cost in Marriott points: 60,000 per night
  • Cost in Starpoints: 20,000 per night
  • New category: 7

 

The new chart results in zero change for this property.

 Eremito, Parrano, a Member of Design Hotels™  (Starwood Category 3)
  • Location: Between Florence and Rome
  • Cost: 7,000 Starpoints per night
  • Value: 178 Euros (~$209 USD)
  • This is a value of a little over 2 cents per point

Beginning August 2018:

  • Cost in Marriott points: 25,000 per night
  • Cost in Starpoints: ~8,333 per night
  • New category: 4

This property will be increasing in redemption cost in August.

Marriott options in Tuscany:

You can earn Marriott points from sign-up bonuses and everyday spending on the Marriott co-branded credit card from Chase.  Remember that points can also be transferred from SPG.  If you have a Chase Sapphire credit card, you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to Marriott Rewards at a 1:1 ratio.

Marriott Rewards chart

AC Hotel Arezzo (Marriott Category 3)
  • Location: Arezzo
  • Cost: 15,000 Marriott Rewards points per night
  • Value: 132 Euros (~$155 USD)
  • That’s a value of just over 1 cent per point.  Not a great deal, but
  • To get 15,000 Marriott Rewards points I could either transfer 15,000 Ultimate Rewards points to Marriott, or I could transfer 5,000 Starpoints to Marriott.
  • That’s a value of a little over 3 cents per Starpoint.

Beginning August 2018:

  • Cost in Marriott points: 12,500 per night
  • Cost in Starpoints: ~4,167 per night
  • New category: 2

This property is decreasing in redemption cost beginning in August

AC Hotel Pisa(Marriott Category 3)
  • Location: Pisa
  • Cost: 15,000 Marriott Rewards points per night
  • Value: 80 Euros per night (~$94 USD)
  • This is a terrible value for Marriott Rewards points or Chase Ultimate Rewards points transferred to Marriott.
  • It’s also not a great value to transfer Starpoints to Marriott for this redemption.
  • I’d either pay cash or find a different hotel.

Beginning August 2018:

  • Cost in Marriott points: 12,500 per night
  • Cost in Starpoints: ~4,167 per night
  • New category: 2

This property is decreasing in redemption cost beginning in August

Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa (Marriott Category 6)
  • Location: Lucca
  • Cost: 30,000 Marriott Rewards points per night
  • Value: 183 Euros (~$215 USD)
  • This is not a good value for Marriott Rewards points, but you could transfer 10,000 Starpoints to Marriott to book
  • That would be a value of just over 2 cents per Starpoints which is decent.

Beginning August 2018:

  • Cost in Marriott points: 25,000 per night
  • Cost in Starpoints: ~8,333 per night
  • New category: 4

This property is decreasing in redemption cost beginning in August

Of these hotels, I would consider booking AC Hotel Arezzo with Starpoints since it’s only 5,000 Starpoints a night!tuscany on marriott points

Hilton in Tuscany

Hilton points can be transferred from American Express Membership Rewards at a ratio of 1,000 MR: 1,500 Hilton Honors points.

Points can also be earned with sign-up bonuses and everyday spending on Hilton co-branded credit cards from American Express.

Hilton points are very easy to earn.  For example, even on their no-annual fee card from American Express, you will earn at least 3 points per dollar on any purchase.  Earnings are higher on category bonuses.  As a result, their costs for award nights are higher than other chains such as Starwood.  You can pretty much guarantee that you’re not going to get my general goal of 2 cents per point if you book at a Hilton.  I take into account how easy or difficult it is to earn a particular type of points/miles when calculating a redemption value.  So just because you’re not going to get 2 cents per point does not necessarily mean it’s a terrible idea to use Hilton points if you have them.  I do not collect Hilton points at this time, but I know many people do!

Hilton no longer publishes an award chart.  In fact, they did away with categories.  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.

Besides Florence, Hilton has one property in Tuscany and it is near Siena.

La Bagnaia Golf & Spa Resort Siena, Curio Collection by Hilton (Hilton)
  • Cost: 50,000 max
  • Value: 249 Euros (~$292 USD)
  • As I stated above, the 2 cents per point kind of goes out the window with Hilton.  But since Hilton points are so easy to earn, those who collect Hilton points may consider this a decent value.

tuscany on hilton honors points

tuscany on hilton honors points

 Conclusion

Tuscany on Ultimate Rewards points

View from the terrace restaurant at our hotel in Tuscany

If you’re wanting to book a hotel in Tuscany on points, using the Chase Ultimate Rewards booking portal will give you the most options.  If you have points you’re looking to use in programs such as SPG, Marriott, or Hilton, you still have a few options.   Unfortunately, none of these options are a great value for your points no matter which points you’re trying to use, so it may be best to save your points!

Want to earn 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points? Consider signing up for a Chase Sapphire card.

If you need help deciding between the two, click here for a comparison.

 

 

 

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