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  1. #1

    Default Using Hotel Reward Points on the AT

    Has anyone had experience with using hotel rewards points for hotel stays during their hike?

    Did they accept reward bookings? Did they have availability?

    I see that there are a lot of Holiday Inn's along the trail. I have a lot of IHG Reward points. It would be great to use them during my hike to off-set some of the costs.

    Thanks for the feedback.

  2. #2
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Get a map.
    Mark all of the Holiday Inns.
    When the time comes, make a reservation. From a trail town with phone service.
    They donít know your hiking.
    That said, a place like Gatlinburg would work if there are vacancies. On the other hand, you might not need to go into Gatlinburg.
    While you might think that there are a lot of IHG properties, proximity to the trail might not be convenient.
    Good luck!
    Wayne

  3. #3

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    Get their app. Book on the trail, close to arrival. Every now and then they’ll be full, but bet not often.

  4. #4

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    The HI express in Hiawassee can fill up pretty quick when it's raining or other inclement weather. Not sure if there are many more HI convenient the to trail. Got to be a few.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  5. #5
    Registered User ScottTrip's Avatar
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    I was a Platinum/Gold member of various hotels during my working years. When I hiked the AT I really don't remember very many of these types of hotels near the trail. But they should honor your points, heck they probably would like you to use them in some of the small cities rather than the larger city hotels which are more difficult to book with points.

  6. #6
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    Hotels are likely to fill up during June/July/August, weekends, and leaf peeping season. If they are not listed in a trail guide, they are probably too much hassle to get to. Some may be away from town/trail services (near highway) but next to restaurants. Understand cancellation issues. This may vary by location. Apps/website may not show %bookings until its too late. You might call individual locations well ahead of time to ask if/when they are likely to fill up. As you hike I suggest you reserve multiple days online and cancel/reschedule as needed. I hate having fixed plans. For me rain and cold speeds me up. Beautiful days, unplanned side hikes slow me down. Plans change with your hiking groups.

    From their website (item 50 of rules...), if possible you may need to reserve multiple individual nights to cancel a portion of a reservation otherwise it might not be available on a reward basis. Hey that's part of the game. They limit the number available especially on weekends and high use days by location.


    1. Advance reservations are required to use a Reward Night.
    2. Reward Night reservations can be cancelled online but cannot be modified (modifying a Reward Night reservation will cancel it).

  7. #7
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    I haven't done it specifically on the AT, but I have on other trails and other travels. Like Venchka said, they don't know you're a smelly hiker! Book online, just be aware that space may be limited, just like any other booking (exacerbated by the short lead time)

  8. #8

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    As a Diamond and/or Platinum member of several hotel chains, I can offer this:

    If you decide to visit a town or road crossing where there is a motel you wish to utilize, just go in and ask if they have a vacancy.
    Then go sit in the lobby and make the reservation on your phone and request an email sent to the front desk/motel.
    I have done this on numerous occassions while riding m/c cross country, and never had a problem.

  9. #9
    Registered User Tennessee Viking's Avatar
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    You just need to be aware of any black out dates
    ''Tennessee Viking'
    Mountains to Sea Trail Maintainer
    Former TEHCC (AT) Maintainer
    Falls Lake Trail: 2011

  10. #10

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    Here is a link on how to use IHG reward points, in general.

    https://www.ihg.com/rewardsclub/cont...redeem-rewards

    And how to use them for reward nights.

    https://www.ihg.com/rewardsclub/cont...X-RewardNights

  11. #11

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    Great tips! I hadnít considered the need to book in advance with rewards. Thank you

  12. #12
    Registered User Toolshed's Avatar
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    Not IHG, But Marriott Rewards Lifetime Premier Platinum Member. I just pull in when I'm traveling and get tired and need a room -I call the premier line from the parking lot and get a room on demand. Never been turned away.
    .....Someday, like many others who joined WB in the early years, I may dry up and dissapear....

  13. #13

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    I stayed in a Holiday Inn along the AT in Virginia, and all I have to say is this is not the Holiday Inn that I remember from my youth in the 1960's and 1970's. It was a premium hotel then. Now the one I saw was pretty rough; things were broken. The staff was well meaning but clueless. It's pretty bad when a backpacker doesn't want to stay in your hotel...

  14. #14
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    I stayed in a Holiday Inn along the AT in Virginia, and all I have to say is this is not the Holiday Inn that I remember from my youth in the 1960's and 1970's. It was a premium hotel then. Now the one I saw was pretty rough; things were broken.



    for my travels seeing music and what not----i have stayed in a bunch of hotels over the years.....

    sometimes 50 nights a year or so......

    and i have stayed in almost every named hotel it seems...

    but yes, over the years, holiday inn has gone way way downhill.....

    of course, it varies site to site but that's been my experience as well....

    back in the early 90's, i had a good employee discount hookup for holiday inns that
    we used when we were seeing Dead shows..............15 bucks a night.....

    and i base my reservations on price and not necessarily name.........

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockDoc View Post
    I stayed in a Holiday Inn along the AT in Virginia, and all I have to say is this is not the Holiday Inn that I remember from my youth in the 1960's and 1970's. It was a premium hotel then. Now the one I saw was pretty rough; things were broken. The staff was well meaning but clueless. It's pretty bad when a backpacker doesn't want to stay in your hotel...
    It might have just been that location, particularly if (being you said VA) it was anywhere near the southern end of Shenandoah Park. That one (which eventually lost it's Holiday Inn branding before finally closing) was bad due to the ownership, not the brand at all (which explains why it lost the name, didn't want people thinking others were like that one).

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