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Halloween is upon us and all the spooky feels are in the air. For those of you who want to embrace the season of the supernatural, what’s better than spending your All Hallow’s Eve at a haunted hotel? Doing it with points, of course! Here's a list of 8 fantastically freaky hotels you can book with points.
- 1. The Driskill, Austin [Hyatt]
- 2. Hilton DoubleTree, Utica
- 3. The Shelbourne, Dublin [Marriott]
- 4. Sir Francis Drake Hotel, San Francisco [IHG/Kimpton]
- 5. Walworth Castle Hotel, Darlington [Best Western]
- 6. The Savoy, London [Fairmont]
- 7. Bran Castle, Romania [Airbnb]
- 8. The Clown Motel
- Final Thoughts
1. The Driskill, Austin [Hyatt]
Located in Austin, Texas, The Driskill was designed by Col Jesse Driskill, and his dream hotel was constructed in 1886. It remains one of the most iconic properties in Austin. However, the hotel isn't only rich in elegance and prestige. Rumors of ghostly apparitions and unexplained paranormal activity have been around since the hotel’s beginning.
Tragic stories about accidents on the property have spread over the years. These include the story of a young girl who—while chasing her ball—fell down the hotel’s grand staircase to her death. Another rumor tells of two distraught brides who—on the exact same day but 20 years apart and in the exact same room—took their lives after being left at the altar on their wedding day. The spirits of each are said to still haunt the hotel.
How to Book The Driskill
If you are looking for a truly bone-chilling experience, guests can book the same room as the brides: room 525. Any standard room at the Driskill (including room 525) is bookable with World of Hyatt points. This category 5 property will cost you 20,000 points per night. Or book a suite for 32,000 points per night.
Hyatt is currently offering tons of points saving and earning incentives for members with their new Bonus Journeys promo. This includes a 15%-25% points rebate on points stays through January 4, 2021.
How to Earn Hyatt Points
The World of Hyatt Credit Card credit card is a gruesomely great option for those looking to quickly earn their way to elite Globalist status. You'll earn 2 elite night credits for every $5,000 spent on the card.
The card also comes with an anniversary free night certificate for a category 1-4 property. Cardholders can earn another category 1-4 certificate by spending $15,000 during your cardmember anniversary year.
- Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Plus, up to 30,000 More Bonus Points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spent in the first 6 months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 spent
- Get 1 free night each year after your Cardmember anniversary at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort
- Enjoy complimentary World of Hyatt Discoverist status for as long as your account is open.
- Receive 5 tier qualifying night credits towards status after account opening, and each year after that for as long as your account is open
- Earn an extra free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel if you spend $15,000 in a calendar year
- Earn 2 qualifying night credits towards tier status everytime you spend $5,000 on your card
- Earn up to 9 points total for Hyatt stays - 4 Bonus Points per $1 spent at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 you can earn as a World of Hyatt member
- Earn 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airlines tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships
- Up to 9X points total per $1 spent at Hyatt - 4X points per $1 when you use your card at Hyatt hotels & 5X points per $1 you can earn as a World of Hyatt member
- 2X points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airlines tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships
- 1X point per $1 everywhere else
Travelers can also transfer points from Chase Ultimate Rewards to Hyatt at a 1:1 transfer ratio.
2. Hilton DoubleTree, Utica
If haunted historical landmarks are your thing, look no further than the Hilton DoubleTree in Utica, New York. Constructed in 1912, the hotel has been visited by some of the most famous celebrities of their time, including Judy Garland and FDR. But these A-lister celebs aren’t the only ones who have frequented this hotel.
Spirits of the dead have been spooking guests for years. Shadowy specters are said to wander the haunted hotel halls and disembodied voices can be heard throughout the floors of this ghostly property.
How to Book the DoubleTree Utica
As a Hilton property, Hilton Honors members can experience all the things that go bump in the night at this ominous inn. Award nights cost between 31,000 and 50,000 Hilton Honors points per night for a standard queen bedroom. Hilton Honors members can also book five consecutive nights and get the fifth night free when you use your points to stay.
How to Earn Hilton Points
Hilton branded credit cards galore are available from American Express. One of our favorite options is the American Express Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, which is currently offering an eerily excellent up to 180,000 Hilton Honors points after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, you can earn an additional 50,000 Bonus Points after you spend a total of $10,000 in purchases in the first 6 months.
- 12X Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio
- 6X Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations
- 3X Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card
That’s enough for plenty of nights to experience some paranormal activity at the Utica haunted hotel. Cardholders also receive complimentary Gold elite status, which includes my favorite perk: free breakfast. Boo-berry muffins, anyone?
3. The Shelbourne, Dublin [Marriott]
Located in Dublin’s city center, the 200-year-old Shelbourne Hotel is one of the most prestigious properties in Ireland. But, a building this old is bound to be full of dark secrets.
One such tragic story takes place in the early 1900s when a 7-year-old child by the name of Mary Masters died at the Shelbourne after contracting cholera. She’s believed to reside at the place of her death and haunt one of the rooms of the Shelbourne. Ghost hunters have even been sent to the haunted hotel to investigate the mysterious activity supposedly instigated by the menacing Mary.
How to Book the Shelbourne
The category 7 property will run you between 50,000 Bonvoy points (Off Peak) and 70,000 points (Peak). This is a killer of a deal considering cash prices for the same room run a downright scary $500+ a night.
How to Earn Marriott Points
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card card is a great mid-tier card with a screamingly good set of benefits. Right now, cardholders can earn 100,000 points after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. The card also offers an anniversary free night award valued at up to 35,000 points.
- Limited Time Offer! Earn 100,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
- 1 Free Night Award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
- Earn up to 17X total Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy™.
- 2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
- Automatic Silver Elite Status each account anniversary year. Path to Gold Status when you spend $35,000 on purchases each account year.
- 15 Elite Night Credits each calendar year.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- Earn unlimited Marriott Bonvoy points and get Free Night Stays faster.
- 6X Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
- 2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on all other purchases
4. Sir Francis Drake Hotel, San Francisco [IHG/Kimpton]
The Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco is a hotel where some guests who check-in never check-out. Built in 1928, a terrible story of a disgruntled lover plunging to his death through an open window sets the scene for a property plagued with hauntings and horror. Supernatural activity includes reports of windows opening and closing on their own, disembodied voices, and other-worldly activity.
How to Book the Sir Francis Drake Hotel
Kimpton was purchased by IHG a few years ago and its loyalty programs were eventually merged into IHG Rewards Club. Now, you can book Kimpton hotels with IHG points. IHG award nights are dynamically priced, so the redemption rate will depend on the cash price of the room. Some nights are as spookily low as just 27,500 points per night:
How to Earn IHG Rewards Points
The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card has a top offer of 125,000 bonus points plus a Reward Night after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. That's an offer to die for! Complimentary IHG Platinum Elite status, a free Reward Night each anniversary, and a 4th night free on award stays are also available to cardholders.
5. Walworth Castle Hotel, Darlington [Best Western]
Is a castle really a castle if reports of ghostly apparitions and spooky encounters haven't been passed around throughout its history? Walworth Castle Hotel near Darlington, UK is the epitome of a haunted castle. It's full of tales of scandal and murder and is the perfect haunted hotel option for those looking for the fright of their life.
The most notable story tells of a pregnant maid murdered by her lover, a lord. Fearing for his reputation, he fell into a rage after finding out about her pregnancy. The spirit of the maid resides in the library tower of the castle and can be heard screaming and popping out of walls.
How to Book the Walworth Castle
Using Best Western Rewards, a room at Walworth Castle comes out to just 16,000 points for a standard room with a double bed. Larger rooms are also available for slightly more points including a castle room with a queen-size bed for 20,000 points a night.
How to Earn Best Western Points
The Best Western Rewards® Premium Mastercard® issued by First Bankcard is the perfect credit card to cover a stay at the Walworth Castle. New cardholders can earn 80,000 bonus points with the offer on this card.
6. The Savoy, London [Fairmont]
Not only is the Savoy in London known as one of the most luxurious hotels in the entire UK, but it is also known for being one of the most haunted. This haunted hotel’s most prominent poltergeist is that of a young girl said to wander the halls of floor five, where she also operates one of the property’s lifts. Guests have reported paranormal activity galore including flickering lights and returning to their belongings in disarray.
How to Book The Savoy
Fairmont’s loyalty program, Accor Live Limitless, offers some great redemption options. The program is revenue-based. So, the number of points used will depend on the price of the hotel night. Accor properties cost a minimum of 2,000 ALL points, which equates to a €40 discount. The Savoy in London comes with a price tag as terrifying as the ghosts who reside there, which is around $740 a night. Using points to book, the property would cost 32,000 ALL points.
Unfortunately, there are currently no U.S. issued co-brand Fairmont cards, but there are other ways to use points to experience the Savoy.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card allows cardholders to use their Ultimate Rewards points to book a room via the Chase Travel Portal. Cardholders can redeem points for 1.25 cents per Ultimate Rewards point. Although transferring your miles to Chase’s travel partners will almost always result in a better value, sometimes it can make sense to use your points via the travel portal.
Right now, the Sapphire Preferred comes with an other-worldly sign-up bonus of 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
- 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide
- 1X point per dollar spent on all other purchases
7. Bran Castle, Romania [Airbnb]
Home of the infamous Vlad the Impaler, Bran Castle is said to be the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s book, Dracula. The castle is plagued by a dark history where murder and evil doings were the norms. It also just so happens to be the most visited attraction in Romania, by both the living and the dead.
How to Book the Bran Castle
Spoiler alert: you can’t actually book a night at Dracula’s castle. However, a few years ago, Airbnb offered the opportunity for two lucky winners to stay a night at the property. Which night? Halloween night, of course! Guests slept in coffins and were hosted by Vlad’s great great great grandson.
Although the castle is off-limits for night stays, you can book tours to visit and see where the notorious count resided. Other haunted Airbnb properties are also available to fill all your darkest nightmares and deepest fears. Airbnb isn’t affiliated with any credit cards, so you can’t earn points specifically redeemable for Airbnbs, but there are still ways to use rewards to pay next to nothing for your Airbnb stay.
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is currently offering a 100,000-mile sign-up bonus offer. Although transferring your miles to one of Capital One's transfer partners generally results in the best use of your miles, you can also use the miles to cover travel expenses via their “purchase eraser” option. That includes home share services like Airbnb and tours of Dracula's castle.
8. The Clown Motel
Although not as luxurious as the other properties mentioned, the Clown Motel will nevertheless send chills down your spine. Located in the middle of nowhere (Tonopah, Nevada) and perched right outside a cemetery, the clown motel promises to creep out even the most adamant unbelievers.
Rooms have themes such as the Friday the 13th room, the Halloween room, and the Exorcist room. Not only are they macabre in nature, but guests have reported signs of strange activity of doors opening and closing and whispers in the night. The only plausible explanation being the spectral spirits of the dead.
How to Book the Clown Motel
The Clown Motel is not a part of any hotel chain, and therefore, has no loyalty program that allows you to use brand-specific points to book. But here at AwardWallet, we always find ways to not pay for travel expenses.
A card like the Citi Premier® Card for an obscure property like the Clown Motel can be a great option. First off, the card comes with a $100 hotel credit on bookings of $500 or more when you book through Citi's Thank You travel portal.
Like most flexible points currencies, the best value generally lies in the ability to transfer to airline and hotel partners, but there are times it can make sense to book through the Travel Center. The Citi Premier currently gives you the ability to book hotels through the Citi Travel Center and redeem your points at an elevated rate of 1.25 per dollar. That's a better rate than any other Thank You points-earning card.
Currently, the Citi Premier offers 60,000 Thank You Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Where the card really shines is in its bonus spending categories, which includes 3X ThankYou points on supermarkets, gas stations, hotel stays, air travel, and restaurants. That's everything you need to have a spooktacular adventure at the Clown Motel.
- 60,000 point signup bonus worth $750 towards airfare through the ThankYou Travel Center, or potentially much more when transferred to airline partners
- 3X points per $1 on airfare and hotels and at gas stations, restaurants, and supermarkets
- Annual Hotel Benefit: Save $100 off a single hotel stay of $500 or more (excluding taxes and fees) when you book through ThankYou.com
- No foreign transaction fees
- $95 annual fee
- 3X points per $1 spent on airfare, hotels, and at gas stations
- 3X points per $1 spent on dining at restaurants, including cafes, bars and lounges
- 3X points per $1 spent at supermarkets
- 1X points per $1 spent on all other purchases
Cardmembers who opened their Citi Premier account before April 10, 2020 will also earn 2X points on entertainment and 3X points on a broader range of travel purchases through April 9, 2021.
Nothing screams Halloween quite like staying an evening at a haunted hotel. Using points to book your stay makes the experience that much more freakishly fantastic without terrorizing your wallet.
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