Renting a Condo vs. Hotel nights

I have had to make this choice many times and usually renting a condo wins.

The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village - Two Bedroom Suite

Starwood’s Westin Cape Coral.

When you travel with a young family you like to have extra rooms so the kids can have their own bedroom, watch TV separately, have a kitchen, etc.

The problem with “free” hotel nights – and all of them are free just see my previous posts – is that usually they are a standard room. 2 Queen beds or 2 Doubles and a bathroom.

If you are staying somewhere for a week, this can get kind of cramped.

That is why we like renting a condo – 2 bathrooms, 2 Tv’s, 2 bedrooms, a kitchen and a living area.

But the prices have been going up lately – specifically condos located on the Gulf of Mexico in Florida.

5 years ago a 2 bedroom condo would go for about $1500-$1700 a week US which would be under $2000 CDN back then.

Now, same condos you are lucky to get for $2000 US which is about $2700 CDN right now.

Obviously our dollar being low is not helping matters either but that is significant “inflation”

So…at what point do you use up your hotel nights and save yourself a large amount of money?

Well, I did use points this summer for a “condo” type of hotel room at a Best Western in Myrtle Beach.

It had 3 rooms – a front room with 2 Queen beds, middle room was a kitchen and bathroom and back room had a sofa and Murphy bed with a balcony overlooking the ocean.

For us, this seems to be the way to go -finding hotel rooms that have suites and still being able to use your hotel points to pay for the nights.

You save money as well as you can cook many of your meals. We had free breakfasts at this Best Western, cooked 1 meal and ate out for the other meal. So instead of going out for every meal, every day and spending $100 a day on restaurants, we spent maybe $30-$50 on eating out. It adds up!

So lately I have been looking up suites with kitchens that are offered by the SPG/Best Western/ Marriott brands and have had some luck.

The problem is for what we want – on the beach with a suite – it is very slim pickings.

SPG has some on the beach  – Sheraton Sand Key to name one – no suites and a few others but no suites.

The closest I could find is the Westin Cape Coral that has suites with kitchens – but not quite on the beach.

The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village - Aerial view

It looks very nice, but not on the actual beach.

So, there is some give and take to find what you want and it is nice to save $2700 to use hotel points, but sometimes you just gotta be on the beach!!!

If anyone knows of a good hotel with suites/kitchens on the beach that you can use points for, please comment!

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