Mar192012

Cheap value Waldorf Astoria stays with La Quinta Returns

Gary Leff spouted off this morning about La Quinta Inns being an unsuitable hotel chain for the way he likes to travel. My god, they don’t even have room service!

And even though he has never slept at a La Quinta Inn, he implies the housekeeping staff does not clean the rooms to the same standard a guest will find at a full-service hotel chain like IHG, Hilton or Hyatt.

Yet, he has no problem being a member of La Quinta Returns loyalty program to collect free points.

Here is my rebuttal for you Gary and a reason to build your account balance beyond 300 points.

Waldorf-Astoria Resorts – here we come with ice coolers.

Here is a Loyalty Traveler lesson in cheap value for travelers who can get by without room service morning coffee for hotel stays at La Quinta Inns & Suites.

The parent company of La Quinta Inns is the private equity firm Blackstone Group. Hilton Worldwide is owned by the same parent company Blackstone. La Quinta Returns points can be used for many Waldorf-Astoria Resorts.

Using La Quinta Returns for stays at Waldorf-Astoria Hotels

La Quinta Returns has a special deal right now for discount hotel rewards at resorts. Many of the luxury hotel partners of La Quinta are actually Waldorf-Astoria Resorts available for as few as 20,000 points per night. Other hotel partners of La Quinta Returns are part of Destination Hotels & Resorts.

Edgewater Beach Hotel – a Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, Naples, Florida.

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La Quinta Returns members can book the Edgewater Beach Hotel for 20,000 points per night for stays through May 31, 2012. La Quinta Returns members earn 10 points/$1 for La Quinta stays. $2,000 in hotel spend earns 20,000 points.

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Edgewater Beach Hotel Naples, Florida

20,000 Points (per night) from 1/1/12-5/31/12

45,000 Points (per night) through 12/31/11 & 6/1/12-12/31/12

Resort Details | Join Now to earn points

La Quinta Returns has a 20% discount sale on points purchases through March 31, 2012. La Quinta Returns members can buy 40,000 points in a calendar year. Points are normally $11 per 1,000 points.

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20,000 points = $176 with this sale. A couple can buy 80,000 points between two members for $704.

80,000 La Quinta points is sufficient for four nights April 19-23, 2012 at the Edgewater Beach Hotel, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

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This same stay will cost 120,000 points + $400 with HHonors Points & Money or 240,000 points for a standard reward (or 204,000 points VIP elite reward) or more than $1,200 to pay the published rates for this Waldorf-Astoria hotel stay.

Buying La Quinta hotel points can save over $500 for a couple on a 4-night stay at this Waldorf-Astoria property.

$500 in savings will be more than enough to buy room service coffee.

Hey Gary Leff!

There is no need to qualify your La Quinta post title “La Quinta: cheap, or value?”.

La Quinta Returns is cheap value that can place a budget traveler in a Waldorf-Astoria beach resort on points for less hotel spend than Hilton HHonors.

Other Waldorf Astoria Hotels available through La Quinta Returns include:

  • Boca Beach Club, a Waldorf Astoria Resort – Boca Raton, Florida
  • Boca Raton Resort and Club, a Waldorf Astoria Resort – Boca Raton, Florida
  • Casa Marina, a Waldorf Astoria Resort – Key West, Florida
  • The Reach Resort, a Waldorf Astoria Resort – Key West, Florida
  • Naples Waldorf Astoria – Naples, Florida
  • The Boulders Resort, a Waldorf Astoria Resort – Carefree, Arizona
  • El Conquistador Resort, a Waldorf-Astoria Resort – Fajardo, Puerto Rico

Hotels and resorts available with La Quinta Returns points at discount rates for 2012 dates.

Arizona

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The Boulders Resort Carefree, Arizona

30,000 Points (per night) from 1/1/12-5/31/12

40,000 Points (per night) through 12/31/11 & 6/1/12-12/31/12

Resort Details | Join Nowto earn points

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Royal Palms Resort and Spa Phoenix, Arizona

20,000 Points (per night) from 1/1/12-5/31/12

45,000 Points (per night) through 12/31/11 & 6/1/12-12/31/12

Resort Details | Join Nowto earn points

California

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Resort at Squaw Creek™ Lake Tahoe, California

35,000 Points (per night) from 1/1/12-5/31/12

45,000 Points (per night) through 12/31/11 & 6/1/12-12/31/12

Resort Details | Join Nowto earn points

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Miramonte® Resort & Spa Palm Springs, California

20,000 Points (per night) from 1/1/12-5/31/12

35,000 Points (per night) through 12/31/11 & 6/1/12-12/31/12

Resort Details | Join Nowto earn points

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Terranea Resort™ Ranchos Palos Verdes, California

35,000 Points (per night) from 1/1/12-5/31/12

45,000 Points (per night) through 12/31/11 & 6/1/12-12/31/12

Resort Details | Join Nowto earn points

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L’Auberge Del Mar San Diego, California

35,000 Points (per night) from 1/1/12-5/31/12

45,000 Points (per night) through 12/31/11 & 6/1/12-12/31/12

Resort Details | Join Nowto earn points

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Paradise Resort & Spa San Diego, California

35,000 Points (per night) from 1/1/12-5/31/12

50,000 Points (per night) through 12/31/11 & 6/1/12-12/31/12

Resort Details | Join Nowto earn points

Colorado

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The Inverness Hotel Denver, Colorado

25,000 Points (per night) from 1/1/12-5/31/12

35,000 Points (per night) through 12/31/11 & 6/1/12-12/31/12

Resort Details | Join Nowto earn points

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The Stonebridge Inn Snowmass Village, Colorado

25,000 Points (per night) from 1/1/12-5/31/12

35,000 Points (per night) through 12/31/11 & 6/1/12-12/31/12

Resort Details | Join Nowto earn points

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Vail Cascade Vail, Colorado

35,000 Points (per night) from 1/1/12-5/31/12

45,000 Points (per night) through 12/31/11 & 6/1/12-12/31/12

Resort Details | Join Nowto earn points

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The Madison Washington, D. C.

35,000 Points (per night) from 1/1/12-5/31/12

45,000 Points (per night) through 12/31/11 & 6/1/12-12/31/12

Resort Details | Join Nowto earn points

Florida

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Boca Beach Club Boca Raton, Florida

35,000 Points (per night) from 1/1/12-5/31/12

40,000 Points (per night) through 12/31/11 & 6/1/12-12/31/12

Resort Details | Join Nowto earn points

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Boca Raton Resort Boca Raton, Florida

35,000 Points (per night) from 1/1/12-5/31/12

40,000 Points (per night) through 12/31/11 & 6/1/12-12/31/12

Resort Details | Join Nowto earn points

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South Seas Island Resort Captiva Island, Florida

25,000 Points (per night) from 1/1/12-5/31/12

30,000 Points (per night) through 12/31/11 & 6/1/12-12/31/12

Resort Details | Join Nowto earn points

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Casa Marina Resort Key West, Florida

35,000 Points (per night) from 1/1/12-5/31/12

40,000 Points (per night) through 12/31/11 & 6/1/12-12/31/12

Resort Details | Join Nowto earn points

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The Reach Resort Key West, Florida

35,000 Points (per night) from 1/1/12-5/31/12

40,000 Points (per night) through 12/31/11 & 6/1/12-12/31/12

Resort Details | Join Nowto earn points

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Miami Beach Resort & Spa Miami Beach, Florida

20,000 Points (per night)

Resort Details | Join Nowto earn points

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Edgewater Beach Hotel Naples, Florida

20,000 Points (per night) from 1/1/12-5/31/12

45,000 Points (per night) through 12/31/11 & 6/1/12-12/31/12

Resort Details | Join Nowto earn points

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Naples Grande Beach Resort Naples, Florida

35,000 Points (per night) from 1/1/12-5/31/12

40,000 Points (per night) through 12/31/11 & 6/1/12-12/31/12

Resort Details | Join Nowto earn points

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Buena Vista Palace Orlando, Florida

20,000 Points (per night)

Resort Details | Join Nowto earn points

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Sanibel Inn Sanibel, Florida

20,000 Points (per night)

Resort Details | Join Nowto earn points

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Sundial Resort Sanibel, Florida

25,000 Points (per night) from 1/1/12-5/31/12

30,000 Points (per night) through 12/31/11 & 6/1/12-12/31/12

Resort Details | Join Nowto earn points

New Mexico

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Inn and Spa at Loretto Santa Fe, New Mexico

25,000 Points (per night) from 1/1/12-5/31/12

35,000 Points (per night) through 12/31/11 & 6/1/12-12/31/12

Resort Details | Join Nowto earn points

New York

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LaGuardia Airport Hotel East Elmhurst, New York

20,000 Points (per night)

Resort Details | Join Nowto earn points

Oregon

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Sunriver Resort® Sunriver, Oregon

25,000 Points (per night) from 1/1/12-5/31/12

35,000 Points (per night) through 12/31/11 & 6/1/12-12/31/12

Resort Details | Join Nowto earn points

Puerto Rico

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El Conquistador Resort Fajardo, Puerto Rico

30,000 Points (per night) from 1/1/12-5/31/12

40,000 Points (per night) through 12/31/11 & 6/1/12-12/31/12

Resort Details | Join Nowto earn points

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San Juan Condado Plaza San Juan, Puerto Rico

35,000 Points (per night) from 1/1/12-5/31/12

40,000 Points (per night) through 12/31/11 & 6/1/12-12/31/12

Resort Details | Join Nowto earn points

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El San Juan Hotel & Casino San Juan, Puerto Rico

30,000 Points (per night) from 1/1/12-5/31/12

40,000 Points (per night) through 12/31/11 & 6/1/12-12/31/12

Resort Details | Join Nowto earn points

South Carolina

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Wild Dunes® Resort Charleston, South Carolina

35,000 Points (per night) from 1/1/12-5/31/12

45,000 Points (per night) through 12/31/11 & 6/1/12-12/31/12

Resort Details | Join Nowto earn points

Texas

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The Driskill Hotel Austin, Texas

20,000 Points (per night) from 1/1/12-5/31/12

45,000 Points (per night) through 12/31/11 & 6/1/12-12/31/12

Resort Details | Join Nowto earn points

Washington

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Skamania Lodge® Stevenson, Washington

20,000 Points (per night) from 1/1/12-5/31/12

35,000 Points (per night) through 12/31/11 & 6/1/12-12/31/12

Resort Details | Join Nowto earn points

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Suncadia Resort® Cle Elm, Washington

25,000 Points (per night) from 1/1/12-5/31/12

35,000 Points (per night) through 12/31/11 & 6/1/12-12/31/12

Resort Details | Join Nowto earn points

Related posts:

La Quinta Inn 2x and 3x points Dec 12-Jan 8, 2012 (LT post – this promotion could have reduced the hotel spend to earn a free Waldorf-Astoria hotel night down to $667 to earn 20,000 points.

La Quinta Returns Loyalty Program Profile (LT post April 12, 2011)

La Quinta Inns & Suites website.

La Quinta Returns loyalty program.

 

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

More articles by Ric Garrido »

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Comments

  1. Great post and very interesting, I was not aware of the Waldorf connection.

    You are right on with Gary though, of late he has become a true DYKWIA across the board. Maybe he is rolling in too much credit cards referrals or is too used to being massaged by CX staff that he has forgotten about life in the real world

  2. Unbelievable, great find Rick!!!

    I have an upcoming stay at one of these resorts where I’m paying a paid rate of about $169. While the points purchase doesn’t make it worth it, it sure beats the use of Hilton points.

  3. You said “La Quinta Returns members can book the Edgewater Beach Hotel for 20,000 points per night for stays through May 31, 2012. La Quinta Returns members earn 10 points/$1 for La Quinta stays. $2,000 in hotel spend earns 20,000 points.”

    A room during that period seems to be ranging from about $315 – 484 dollars (AAA may be lower some nights). So for your $2,000 spend at La Quinta you could pay $2,000 outright and have around 5 nights at Edgewater.

    It seems like a really bad exchange rate to me – you’d have to spend something like 20+ nights at a La Quinta (assuming $100 night, which is very generous) to earn 1 night (20k points) at a Waldorf. You’d need 100,000 points for a 5 night stay at a Waldorf vs. just paying $2,000 out of pocket.

    Just seems like there must be a better way to use La Quinta points? That is, if you collect them.

  4. One of the better blog entries I’ve seen in a while…. from anyone. Maybe they should add a session at Frequent Traveler University between you and Gary debating the La Quinta program.

  5. @Stacey – What Ric meant by $2000 spend at La Quinta is $2000 spent on hotel stays periodically (for business) as one needs, instead of $2000 (probably a lot more) spent at Hilton or other chains that earns the other chain’s loyalty points. He’s saying La Quinta points from stays get more bang for your buck than does other loyalty programs.

  6. Ric you are MAKING MY POINT.

    In my post I contended that I don’t desire to stay at La Quinta properties, but I do want your points.

    You laid out in this post how to get some high end redemptions with their points. Awesome! But that doesn’t rebut me at all.

    And despite your snark, “And even though he has never slept at a La Quinta Inn, he implies the housekeeping staff does not clean the rooms to the same standard a guest will find at a full-service hotel chain like IHG, Hilton or Hyatt” …

    … You know FULL WELL that there are brand standards for housekeeping, and that those differ across chains.

    Ric we are in agreement, your post shows that, even if you want to label this a takedown… 🙂

  7. Great article, thanks!

    I find a great variability among LQ properties. The one on the San Antonio River Walk is a great value. There are 2 near the CLT airport. One (LQ North) is modern, bright and I would certainly stay there again. The other (LQ South) is well worn and I have made my last visit to that property. I think LQ is a great option, given the right circumstances.

    My stays all depend on my current need. FWIW I am a SPG PLT and have been all over the HH status ladder, currently a Gold, but I stay where I find the best deal based on the needs of that trip.

  8. @Stacey What you are missing is that if you stay a mere 100 nights at La Quinta, you get enough points for a 5 night stay at a Waldorf Resort. If you just pay the $2000 for the WR, you only get the 5 nights, not the “free” 100 nights at La Quinta.

    Also, if they repeat the Dec/Jan bonus program again this year, staying at the Bismarck North Dakota location 28 days over Christmas and New Years cuts that mere 100 nights down to slightly less than 50. I know I will really look forward to getting triple points for spending the holidays in Bismarck, at a La Quinta no less.

    I had thought that the 75K points Chase Marriott card, with the first year free, and no minimum spend, giving you enough points and certificates for 6 days at the Marriott Courtyard in Vienna, Austria was a great deal. But that just pales compared to this.

    Plus the 300 “free points” puts me 0.003 closer to the 100K points…. sarc/off

  9. @Stacey – La Quinta Inn stays earn 20,000 points after $2,000 in spend. Promotions can bring this spend level down by 50% to $1,000. La Quinta has 20% bonus after 10 nights and 30% elite bonus after 25 nights in a calendar year.

    Contrast this to Hilton HHonors charging 60,000 points for the same hotel. HHonors Gold member (25% bonus) earning 17.5 points per dollar will need 60,000 points for a free night which is equivalent to $3,429 in Hilton spend.

    La Quinta member is earning free nights at the Waldorf-Astoria Edgewater Beach Hotel Naples more quickly than an HHonors member.

    Perhaps a Hampton Inn is a better quality hotel than a La Quinta. I think it really depends on location.

    But my main point is there are several towns I have been to in the past year where there is no HHonors hotel, no Marriott hotel, and not even a Holiday Inn Express.

    When your choices are Wyndham, Choice, Best Western and La Quinta, then La Quinta is certainly a hotel brand to consider. I use TripAdvisor in these situations to decide which hotel is best and promotions often are the tie-breaker for me.

    @Nickfromct – I think Gary would likely kick my ass in a debate. I went to the Rick Perry debating school.

    @Gary – Brand standards for housekeeping? I honestly do not know that fact. I have photos of room service leftovers in the cabinet at a Westin, poorly made beds at InterContinental Hotels, and I received 1,000 bonus points from a Hyatt stay not too long ago when I discovered something really gross in the ice bucket.

    Some housekeepers do their job well and some miss things. I have never thought of midscale brands as slacking on housekeeping compared to upscale brands.

    @Rick i – Gary did not say that. That was my response to Gary’s article. And people who know me well would be quite surprised I said that at all.

    @Marc – I don’t want a battle. I am a pacifist. I feel the need to stand up for the midscale chains in a world where all the bloggers focus on upper upscale, luxury and world class resorts. Many of us just need a decent hotel room for the night so we don’t have to drive another 50 miles or sleep in our cars. And Priceline isn’t an option for most rural locations.

    I let it go when Gary slammed me about using Accor A|Club points for Motel 6 stays last year.

    Not all of us are rolling in spending money. I need to stay in Los Angeles for a week next month and I have the choice of $250 per night for Starwood, Hilton, or Marriott, $175 for Holiday Inn Express or $90 for Rodeway Inn.

    The Rodeway Inn has pretty good reviews. I wouldn’t use room service anyway.

  10. Ric, When it comes to hotels you got my respect for showing interesting facts that buck conventional wisdom. keep up the good work

  11. @Robert Hanson – I love how you turn the nights argument on its head with “If you just pay the $2000 for the WR, you only get the 5 nights, not the “free” 100 nights at La Quinta.” Of course, with the elite status and bonuses that Gary talks about, you may end up with only 50 “free” nights at La Quinta, but you’ll have paid 1/2 price for the Waldorf stay. 🙂

  12. Haha and Wow! Wish I had known all this three months ago. I just got back from my first Hilton’s Waldorf Astoria Resort stay, at the Boca Raton Resort; and the overall experience was surprisingly poor. I didn’t know all the money was going to Blackstone, anyway. This recent Boca stay was so disappointing that it convinced me that I needed to stop being exclusively with HHonors, and consider other programs. Ironically, as I thought back to other hotels/motels where I had stays that actually exceeded my expectations; one of those was with LaQuinta.

  13. @Charles Yes, whether the “free nights”, 50 or 100, is a bug or a feature depends upon your needs. But for those 3X bonus points, I wonder how many people reading this blog really need to stay in a LQ between Christmas and New Years.

    Obviously, LQ is giving the bonus points for staying during the very time that virtually no business travelers need their rooms. And any one who is already an “elite” with LQ doesn’t need to be reading this post anyway.

    The one deal I found is the LQ Cancun, which even on Christmas thru New Years runs $72 a night for two. And according to Rics other post, it qualifes for 3x bonus miles Dec/Jan. Quite the deal, as long as you understand that it is downtown, not in the tourist zone on the island. You would need to take the local bus to and from the beach. Or the nearby ferry to Isla Mujeres. But I made the mistake of taking my wife to the mid-island Marriott last time, which was utterly wonderful. Now she won’t hear of staying anywhere else….

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