15 Hotel Nights, 45 and a half hours in the air, and over 18,000 miles, our trip was one for the books.
Prior to our trip we spent $1920 for 104,000 Hyatt points, $750 for 75000 Hilton Honors Points, and $1550 for 80,000 United Miles.
We signed up for 6 credit cards specifically catered to help us cover the trip, including 4 Hilton Visa Cards and 2 Hyatt Visa Cards. We also applied to several more cards to earn sign-up bonuses via spending for food and excursions including 3 AMEX SPG cards.
-The Big One! Introduction/Giveaway
-Day One: Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport Review
-Day Two: United First Class B737-800 SFO-IAD summary
-Days Three through Six: D.C Area recommendations: Smithsonian, National Harbor, Baltimore Aquarium
-Day Seven: Lufthansa Business Class Lounge IAD summary, Lufthansa First Class A330-300 IAD-MUC Summary
-Day Eight Part 1: Six hours in downtown Munich, Lufthansa First Class Lounge Munich Summary
-Day Eight Part 2: Lufthansa First Class A330-300 MUC-DXB Summary
-Day Nine Part 1: Dubai Exotic Limo brief review part 1 & Abu Dhabi recommendations: Ferrari World, the Grand Mosque
-Day Nine Part 2: Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Review
-Days Ten through Twelve Part 1: Park Hyatt Dubai Review
-Days Ten through Twelve Part 2: Dubai Exotic Limo brief review part 2 & Dubai recommendations: Burj Khalifa Sky
-Days Ten through Twelve Part 3: Dubai Recommendations: Tea at the Ritz Carlton Jumeirah Beach, Atlantis Monorail, Dubai Mall
-Days Ten through Twelve Part 4: Dubai recommendations: Platinum-Heritage Falconry Heritage Tour. The Dubai Museum
-Day Thirteen: Emirates 777-300 DXB-MLE summary, Moonima Lounge MLE summary, Park Hyatt Maldives transfer summary
–Days Thirteen through Sixteen Part 1: Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa Review
-Days Thirteen through Sixteen Part 2: What to do at the Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa
-Day Seventeen: Maldivian Dash-8/Boat Transfer Park Hyatt-MLE summary, Conrad Rangali MLE Lounge summary, Trans-Maldivian Twin Otter transfer MLE-Conrad Rangali Island
-Days Seventeen through Twenty-One Part 1: Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Review
-Days Seventeen through Twenty-One Part 2: What to do at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort
-Day Twenty-Two Part 1: Trans-Maldivian Twin Otter Conrad Rangali Island-MLE summary, Conrad Lounge MLE summary, Leeli Lounge MLE summary
-Day Twenty-Two Part 2: Turkish Airlines Business Class A330-300 MLE-IST summary.
-Day Twenty-Three Part 1: Turkish Airlines IST Lounge Summary, six hours in Istanbul
-Day Twenty-Three Part 2: Turkish Airlines Business Class B777-300 IST-SFO summary
-Day Twenty-Four: Hyatt Regency San Francisco Embarcadero Review
-Trip Summary/The Numbers
-The BIG Question: Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa or Conrad Maldives Rangali?
So let’s break down the numbers:
Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport:
The first stop on our trip was the Hyatt Regency SFO Airport, which we booked for 4,000 points and $55 in cash. We were given a complimentary upgrade to a business suite, which sells for over $350 on its own.
United First Class SFO-IAD:
We used 50,000 United Miles for the two of us on this 6 hour flight. The cost for the flight at the time was $1100 for the both of us.
Lufthansa First Class IAD-MUC-DXB:
We spent 280,000 United Miles for this incredible experience from Washington D.C to Dubai. Normally we would have been subjected to a few hundred dollars in change fees and close-in booking fees, but as I explained in my review a snaffu resulted in a waiver of all of that.
The day-of cost to book a one way ticket was $11,650 per person. To be fair a round-trip ticket is $17,550 so a reasonable value to cite for the two of us is around ~$18,000
Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi:
On this single night stay we utililized a points+cash rate and paid 10,000 Hyatt points and $125 in cash plus we applied a suite upgrade award. This represented a value of $750.
Park Hyatt Dubai:
Like in Abu Dhabi we used a points+cash rate and a suite upgrade award. We paid $375 in cash and 30,000 Hyatt points. Our bill was $700 all-Inclusive. We were comped a further upgrade to a Park Executive Suite. Three nights in a Park Executive Suite might run you over $2250.
Emirates Economy DXB-MLE:
Our 4 hour and 15 minute flight ran a cost of $1200 for the two of us.
Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa:
For our 4 nights, including a two night paid upgrade, our equator excursion, Kim’s diving, an extended spa treatment, and a private beach dinner along with our other meals and various expenses we paid $6175. We used 4 free night certificates earned via signup bonus for 2 Hyatt Credit Cards (Sign-Up bonus has since changed) to get our base room for free. This saved us more than $3000.
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island:
For our five night stay, inclusive of a 3 night room upgrade, two spa treatments, 2 excursions, 1 water-sport activity, Lunch at Ithaa, all of Kims diving and the remainder of our food and miscellaneous expenses we paid $6300. We used 190,000 Hilton Points and 3 Weekend Night Certificates to save the cost of the base beach villa. This represented a value of ~$4000, conservatively estimating the rooms at $650+ taxes and fees per night.
Turkish Airlines Business Class MLE-IST-SFO:
We spent 160,000 United Miles and $150 for the two of us. A round-trip flight can be had for $4500 per person, meaning the approximate value the two of us obtained from those miles was $4500. This particular flight was difficult to secure on a Saver-Award level though. From considering taking this vacation in 2014 I knew I would need to look consistently for availability. I also knew that by the time it came to pick my vacation days in September of 2015 availability would be limited. While I constantly found availability for Business Class for the IST-SFO leg, more often than not the MLE-IST leg would only show economy availability. Fortunately KimPro and I were flexible by a day or two and we were able to secure a business-class seat on both legs.
Hyatt Regency San Francisco Embarcadero:
This single night stay was booked solely using Hyatt points, at a rate of 15,000 points. The complimentary upgrade we received to a Grande Suite (Now called a Luxury Suite) meant our night was worth ~$550.
Some Other Expenses:
We paid cash for the following excursions (priced per couple): Ferrari World ($150), Platinum-Heritage Falconry and Desert Safari ($250), Burj Dubai ($250), Tea at the Ritz ($50), Baltimore Aquarium ($80), Natural History Museum & Imax ($25), Air and Space Museum with food and IMAX ($100), Istanbul Sightseeing Tour ($100), The Hagia Sofia ($25)
Total Spend: ~$19,700, not including much of our city based transportation or food outside of what we spent at the resorts.
Total Points Used: 490,000 United Miles, 59,000 Hyatt Points, and 190,000 Hilton Points (On top of five free night certificates)
Trip Value: ~$42,975.
Using a little less than 750,000 points we obtained over $23,000 in value during the course of our trip. On average, we received a value of more than 3 cents per point.