Friday, September 4, 2015

That 70's Vacation - Four Points x 2

Hotel Details 
Hotel: Four Points Scranton & Niagara NY
Dates: September 3-5, 2015
Rate Paid: 3,500 SPG points/night
Regular Cost: $157/night 
Redemption: 4.5 cents/SPG point

Since we didn't want to spend too much money on our long weekend trip to Niagara Falls, we used our SPG points for hotel stays to save cash.

Fortunately, we found availability at Four Points Scranton on Thursday night and Four Points Niagara Falls NY on Friday night for 4,000 and 3,000 SPG points, respectively.

The Scranton location was pretty underwhelming, even for a Four Points. When we checked in, the staff seemed distracted as if we interrupted their game of Candy Crush. They were kind enough to give us our room keys and after my father asked, we were given vouchers for a complimentary breakfast (per our SPG Platinum status benefit).

Technically, SPG Platinum members should have also been upgraded to a King Suite, but we didn't push since an extra 70 sq ft wouldn't make a difference for a single night.

The room we had was fine, pretty clean and had working AC. Nothing to really complain about as we dropped off our things to head to the Scranton-Wilkes Barre Railriders baseball game.

The hotel did have an indoor pool, though we didn't use it on our stay. The lobby area was nicely appointed and would have been a nice place to lounge around if we were with a larger group of friends/family. But since we didn't get back from the Railriders game until 10PM, we were ready for bed to start our day early the next morning.

The next morning, we used our vouchers at the restaurant downstairs, The Electric Grill.

While SPG Platinum only guarantees you complimentary continental breakfast, this Four Points gave you a voucher for any item on the breakfast menu. We ordered the Fritatta and the Breakfast Sandwich while they were nice enough to include my kid's order of Pancakes for free.

The next day, we made our way up north towards Niagara Falls. Instead of heading into Canada on Friday night, my parents decided to stop at the border and enjoy a Friday night in the United States where our Verizon cell phone data package would still be free.

Unlike it's Scranton counterpart, the Four Points in Niagara Falls (really just outside Buffalo) was quite packed when we arrived Friday night. Apparently, there was a wedding. But despite the heightened level of activity, the front desk at this Four Points was super friendly and welcoming. This staff was exceptionally trained in the art of hospitality!

Our room was fine, pretty standard for Four Points. While there were no suite upgrades available, the Front Desk did upgrade us to a River View room on the 4th Floor. The bathroom was conveniently set up with the sink outside of the room with the toilet and bathtub.

The pool area looked like it was enclosed subsequent to the building being built, which made for a much nicer swimming experience in the evenings when the temperature got cooler.

But the best part of the Four Points Niagara Falls is the outdoor patio and deck overlooking the river. Simple but beautiful in the late afternoon and in the evening where they light up the bridge.

The best part was, since it was during Labor Day Weekend, the cash rate for a night here was going for $214 including tax. But since it was a Category 2 Starwood hotel and a weekend night, we only used 3,000 SPG points! At 7 cents/pt, that's an A+ redemption!

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