If you’ve done much travelling in Europe, you’ve likely discovered that the standard hotel room commonly found in North America with two double or queen beds is relatively scarce over there. If you’re travelling with family or friends and are okay with sharing one room, it could be a challenge to find suitable accommodation and even more so if you want to book a reward stay. In light of this reality, I thought it might be useful to highlight a few chain hotels that offer larger rooms bookable with points.
Room Type Terminology
Before I get to the specific hotels, note that the terminology is not exactly consistent. A room that can accommodate four adults is often called a “family room” and even if the beds are queens, they might still be referred to as “doubles” in the sense that each bed can sleep two people. Then again, a queen-sized bed in Europe might not be exactly the same size as a queen in Canada.
For the purposes of this post, I’m not going to include rooms with a sofa bed as those are viewed with disdain by a significant percentage of travellers. I know you can occasionally find a comfortable one, but most of them don’t quite measure up to a real bed. If you’re fine with a sofa bed, it will definitely give you more options. You’ll also come across rooms that include a rollaway, and as with sofa beds, quality can vary.
Three Adults vs. Four Adults
When looking for rooms for four, you’ll notice that some hotels will let you book one with two doubles or queens for three adults (or two adults and two children) but not for four. This could possibly relate to local fire code restrictions. Most of my searches were for four adults, so any hotels that do in fact offer two doubles or queens on for three people wouldn’t have shown up.
There is also the issue of whether there is an additional charge for the 3rd or 4th adult as there often is with cash reservations. If you’re redeeming points, just be sure to review the confirmation details carefully. I don’t believe it’s common for extra person charges to apply to reward stays but my personal experience booking rooms for more than two adults is rather limited.
Redeeming Points For Larger Rooms
Note that a hotel could have rooms that are not bookable with points directly, but if you reach out you might be able to secure one either for an additional charge or by virtue of your loyalty status. So, it pays to check the various options for cash bookings to see what selection of room types are available even though you’re planning to use points.
I’d also like to mention that the presence of any hotel on the lists below is not an assessment of its worthiness as a good value redemption. That determination will vary with the circumstances and the individual depending on the cash price of the room, your points and miles strategy generally and what other lodging options are available at the destination.
Marriott Bonvoy is a large hotel chain with lots of properties in Europe. Canadian credit card holders receive a 35,000 point free night certificate annually and a relatively generous sign-up bonus (currently 65,000 points via referral when you spend $3000 in the first 90 days) along with the points from regular spending. Amex Membership Rewards points are convertible to Marriott Bonvoy as well.
Unfortunately, when searching for four adults on points the results can be a little misleading. Many options may appear but when you click through to the individual hotel you’ll see that these point rates frequently involve a substantial additional cash payment. In other cases, the surcharge is in the form of extra points. I only included in the list below those where the amount seemed reasonable on the random date I checked. Where both are possible – upgrading with either points or cash – you’ll have to consider which one yields the best value or works best for you.
St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London – 1 Queen, 2 Twin
Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel – 2 Double
York Marriott – 2 Double
Glasgow Marriott – 2 Double
AC Hotel Belfast – 2 Queen
Ghent Marriott – 2 Queen
Amsterdam Marriott – 2 Queen
The Slaak Rotterdam – 2 Double
Renaissance Hamburg Hotel – 2 Double
Vienna Marriott – 2 Double
Aloft Strasbourg Etoile – 2 Double
As mentioned earlier, sometimes hotels have rooms with two doubles or queens that are not bookable for four adults – only three. Examples include the Munich Marriott, Aloft Munich, Berlin Marriott, Courtyard Budapest City Centre and AC Hotel Innsbruck.
Oddly, some hotels let you book for four adults on points but the “Room Details” state that the maximum occupancy is two adults and two children. However, this doesn’t seem to be accurate since you can reserve the same room for four adults through Booking.com or Expedia with no mention of an occupancy restriction.
The IHG program may not be as popular as Marriott Bonvoy among points and miles enthusiasts, but over the years it has proven itself quite useful to those of us who earn points from good promotions to save on future travel. And the new dynamic pricing structure appears to suit this group well with many properties requiring fewer points than before, especially if you have flexibility with your travel plans.
Crowne Plaza London-Kings Cross – 2 Double
Holiday Inn Brighton-Seafront – 2 Double
Crowne Plaza Manchester City Centre – 2 Double
Holiday Inn Express Edinburgh City-West – 2 Double
Hotel Indigo Glasgow – 2 Double
Crowne Plaza Glasgow – 2 Double
Crowne Plaza Belfast – 2 Queen
Holiday Inn Express Ghent -2 Queen
Holiday Inn Lisbon – 2 Double
Crowne Plaza Toulouse – 2 Double
It’s fairly common to find sofa beds in the Holiday Inn Express brand so it took a bit of searching to find a couple that have two doubles.
Choice is great for allowing members to book upgraded rooms on points. Among the four programs in this post, it’s the one with the most variety in bed configuration.
Annoyingly, many of the Nordic Choice hotels are currently showing as unavailable on points when they should actually be bookable. This has happened in the past and hopefully will be corrected soon.
Comfort Inn Hyde Park – 1 Single, 2 Double
Comfort Suites Rive Gauche Lyon Centre – 2 Single, 1 Double
Comfort Hotel Gardenia Sorrento – 2 Single, 1 Double
Clarion Collection Hotel Griso Lecco – 1 Single, 2 Queen
Quality Hotel Star Inn Premium Dresden – 2 King
Hotel Aquarius Venice – 1 Single, 1 Double
The last one in this list does not fit the criteria but I thought was worth mentioning since you can get excellent value for your Choice points there, depending on the seasonal reward rate.
My mother and I stayed on points at the Quality Hotel Star Inn Premium Dresden and highly recommend it if you’re visiting this fascinating city.
With Hilton, redemptions beyond a basic double or twin tend to fall into the “premium” reward category and require significantly more points. Below are a few I found available as standard rewards.
DoubleTree by Hilton London Kensington – 2 Double
DoubleTree by Hilton Cambridge City Centre – 2 Double
Hilton York – 2 Double
Hilton Edinburgh Carlton – 2 Double
DoubleTree by Hilton Edinburgh City Centre – 2 Double
DoubleTree by Hilton Glasgow Central – 2 Queen
Hilton Belfast – 2 Double
Hilton Garden Inn Vienna South – 2 Queen
The last one on the list used to be a real bargain at 10,000 points despite its location outside the city centre, but it has since moved up to 20,000 points.
Other Hotel Loyalty Programs
Best Western has variable reward rates based on room type so rooms for three or four adults will definitely require more points. Radisson is in a state of flux at the moment but its hotels typically have a separate reward rate for larger rooms as well. I’m less familiar with Wyndham in Europe but my searches told me to “Call Hotel” so not sure what the story is with them.
When travelling as a group of more than two adults, it can often make more sense to book a vacation rental. It could save you money while also providing more space. However, this option is not always available due to local restrictions on short term rentals, less flexible cancellation policies or if you prefer to have access to a front desk for assistance if necessary.
If you want to redeem hotel loyalty points for a free stay, finding accommodation for three or four adults can be especially difficult. Obviously if you’re swimming in points you can simply redeem for multiple rooms. But if you’re a little short on loyalty currency or trying to stretch your points stash, one of the hotels listed above might be the answer if any of them line up with your travel plans.