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Road Warrior Review: Wyndham Hotels
If you are a road warrior like me, you’ll know the value of taking advantage of as many rewards programs as possible. The hardest part is knowing which ones are the best and give you the most bang for your buck. I have had to learn through trial and error. I tried a program out for a while, then for one reason or another, decided to change course. If there is one lesson I have learned, it’s that loyalty pays off! This is part 2 of a series in which I will explore my favorite hotel chains based on their reward programs.
I started staying at Wyndham hotels while with my last company. We had a partnership that gave me a great corporate rate when I traveled on business. There was one property in particular that won me over. That was the Wyndham Garden in Lafayette, LA. I first chose it as a cost-saving measure. I couldn’t get the hotel I wanted at a reasonable price, so I decided to give it a try. I enjoyed my first few stays there and it got me interested in Wyndham Rewards. Whenever I return to Lafayette, I ALWAYS choose that hotel, even if it isn’t best deal. This chain may not be my first choice when traveling (I’ll explain in a bit), but I don’t like staying anywhere else in that particular city.
Wyndham Hotel Group
Baymont Inn & Suites
Above and Beyond Service
While this has nothing to do with the rewards program or the chain itself, I feel the need to mention it. Jessica McChesney, the Corporate Sales Manager at the Wyndham Garden in Lafayette, LA, is the REAL reason I keep coming back to that property. It all started when I found a thank you card slipped under my room door. It was from Jessica, thanking me for my business. No other hotel had EVER done anything like that. Sure, they SAID thank you, but someone actually took the time to write me a card. As a networker, I appreciated the effort and wanted to meet this person. Over the next year, she continued her efforts to wow me with all kinds of perks. Each one made my stay that much more pleasurable, which every road warrior can appreciate. Today, I am happy to consider her a personal friend of mine. She is what keeps me loyal! I even joke with her that if she ever left Wyndham, I’d follow her to wherever she landed. if anyone from Wyndham is reading this, Jessica deserves a raise, a bonus, or some extra vacation days. She does an amazing job!!!
Now that I covered that, it’s time to talk about my likes and dislikes regarding the chain and its reward program.
Wyndham Garden Lafayette
My favorite of ALL the Wyndham hotels!!!
What I Like
- Points are easy to earn! Like most programs, Wyndham Rewards offers a base of 10 points per dollar spent. However, they have a 1,000-point minimum per stay. No matter what, you are guaranteed 1,000 points! That makes building up your bank pretty easy!
- Reward nights are reasonable! Wyndham has two programs: Go Free and Go Fast and they are very straightforward. Go Free is a free night for 15,000 points. It’s ALWAYS 15,000, no matter the hotel (subject to availability). Go Fast is 3,000 points and a discounted rate, which is usually a good deal. There aren’t a lot of loopholes and rules. I like the program because you always know what to expect.
- Geographical Availability – I feel the need to mention this one, even though I will also address this in the dislikes section. If you look at all the places Wyndham has hotels, the coverage is great!
- The nice hotels are NICE! They do a good job of providing a classy and comfortable experience in their higher end hotels. The problem is that there aren’t that many of them.
What I Dislike
- Too many “economy” brands! I have a rule about staying in an “exterior entrance” hotel. I almost never choose that option. I want a real hallway, not a door that opens to the outside world. Much of my territory is rural, so most of the time, the only choices I have for Wyndham are in the “economy” class. Don’t misunderstand, I have stayed in some decent places in the lower tier, but they are almost always exterior entrance. Any road warrior will tell you that we each have that ONE thing we won’t compromise on. This just happens to be mine.
- Vacation options are limited… for me! I am a city vacationer. I want to be able to walk places and not have to worry about transportation, so I usually like to stay downtown. Many of the cities I’d like to visit do not have convenient or safe locations for Wyndham hotels. For example, I was looking at Seattle awhile back. There was literally nothing downtown and the closest hotel was in a super sketchy area and had lukewarm reviews, at best. So, I may have the points, but where will I spend them? Again, this is not a negative on Wyndham, but for me, it’s an issue.
What Rings YOUR Bell?
What's Your Favorite Hotel Brand?
Wyndham was my go-to brand for over a year. However, moving to a different territory and my vacation style just didn't mesh as well with their program. Overall, I think they have an AMAZING rewards program and treat their customers very well! I hate to say anything that might be seen as negative. Wyndham does a great job and they are continually improving. I see new hotels popping up all over. Perhaps they will reach a point when I can again shift my business to them full time! Until then, they will remain my solid #2 choice!