Always at the top of our wish list for a beach vacation, Hawaii always seemed to be one of those places you’d only dream of visiting. Often reserved for that perfect honeymoon destination or a special anniversary that you share with your partner. We found ourselves with neither in the cards for us but knew that Hawaii was a spot we just had to get to in 2017 (we’re blaming social media for this one).
Our first project to tackle was accommodations. Yes, the rumours are true: hotels in Hawaii – particularly in Waikiki – do not come cheap. After some searching we realized that we needed to get creative on how we’d accommodate our 3-night stay in Waikiki on a realistic budget.
Our first thought was to turn to our American Express Canada Platinum Card benefits and see what resources we could leverage. By placing purchases such as our groceries, gas, restaurant meals and more – we had accumulated just enough points to cover the stay at most properties in the area. In addition, the start of a new calendar year meant we could use our annual $200 travel credit towards a booking with the American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property (a Platinum perk!)
I normally rely on our Platinum Concierge for my bookings but with a crunched time frame and a busy work schedule, I was actually able to complete my entire booking online thanks to American Express Travel Website. My favourite part about it is that you can preview what benefits your American Express Card can earn at each property, such as early check in, unique property credits and more!
I had spotted the infamous Royal Hawaiian Hotel a few years back on a travel Instagram feed I admired but assumed it was a place I’d never get to visit. And yet here we were – getting to stay at a dream property – completely free!
To sum up our stay in one word, I’d have to say: perfection. With an early check in from our flight, we were greeted with the friendliest staff, welcomed to a complimentary room upgrade thanks to our Platinum Card and whisked away to our dreamy suite for the next few days. We also took advantage of our complimentary breakfast for two and $100 Food and Beverage credit (available at specific properties) for some of the best Mai-tai’s in the area, all part of the Fine Hotels and Resorts perks we receive with our Card.
To think we could earn a stay at a dream property I’d only ever seen on social media still blows my mind. It’s soaking up moments like watching a sunset from the perfect balcony spot that makes you realize that all those small purchases really do add up and can amount to the perfect stay in the most perfect beach destination!
This post was sponsored by American Express Canada but all opinions are my own.