In my last honeymoon post, I shared how I added two business class seats on Japan Airlines from Tokyo to Singapore using Alaska Airlines’ free stopover. Now that our flights to and from Japan are booked, I was able to start planning our itinerary. One of the best parts of itinerary planning is picking the hotels for each city. Here’s the basic plan for Japan and the hotels I decided on.
As a points and miles traveler, I can’t deny one of the draws of getting married at the Ritz Carlton was the free honeymoon offer. This offer included 5 free nights at almost any Ritz Carlton in the world. We had a trip to Japan in mind for the honeymoon so that meant we’d need to spend either 5 nights at the Ritz Carlton in Tokyo or Kyoto.
I went back and forth on which city to spend the 5 nights in, but ultimately chose Tokyo. Since it’s our first time in Japan and I figured we could find plenty to do in and around the city. For the rest of our time in Japan, I decided on 3 nights in Kyoto and 1 night in Osaka (more on that below).
Here’s how I booked each of our hotels in Japan.
Nights 1-5: Tokyo
- Hotel: Ritz Carlton Tokyo
- Method of booking: Free honeymoon package
- Value: $4,542.20
Nights 6-8: Kyoto
- Hotel: Ritz Carlton Kyoto
- Method of booking: 210,000 Marriott Rewards points transferred from SPG
- Value: $4,295.96
Night 9: Osaka
- Hotel: InterContinental Osaka
- Method of booking: Chase Free Night Certificate
- Value: $351.95 with a net value of $302.95 when subtracting the $49 annual fee from the Chase IHG credit card
I already noted that the Ritz Carlton Tokyo was covered as part of our wedding package. I was so torn over which Ritz to redeem our free nights at that I figured why not book the Ritz Carlton Kyoto too? If we had more time for our honeymoon, I would have allotted 10 nights for Japan. Then we could have booked 5 nights in Kyoto, taking advantage of the 5th night free benefit from Marriott Rewards. It was too painful to book 4 nights in Kyoto at 280,000 points knowing that 5 nights would also cost 280,000 points. To avoid this “anguish”, we’ll spend our last night in Osaka using the annual free night certificate from the Chase IHG credit card.
Picking hotels is one of my favorite parts of vacation planning. While we were unfortunate to miss out on using Marriott’s 5th night free benefit in Kyoto, we are still getting 9 nights of luxury hotels in Japan worth $9190.11 for only $49 out-of-pocket. I have to acknowledge that more than half of these free nights are a result of having a very generous father who did not say no when I asked if we could have the wedding at the Ritz. He didn’t really say yes either but here we are…
I should also note that we have an abundance of Marriott points since we made our first two Ritz payments with SPG credit cards. In addition to 2 SPG points (or 6 Marriott points) per dollar spent, one of the payments helped us complete the spending requirement for the sign-up bonus on the SPG business card for another 35,000 SPG points. The wedding may be expensive but at least we’re getting a sick honeymoon out of it. That’s in addition to the actual wedding, of course 😜.
Points spent: 1,075,000
Out-of-pocket cost: $1,453.93
Total value: $46,639.33