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So I have a large family.  I know, and it causes a bit of trouble with hotel stays.  There are only a few hotel chains where we can all fit in one room – we’ve had most luck with 2BR suites at a Homewood Suites

(SEE ALSO: Trip report: Homewood Suites Dayton-Fairborn)

Normally we have to book 2 rooms, which generally speaking works out just fine, though when we don’t have adjoining rooms it gets a little tricky.  This has never been a problem for me – we usually just book a room with 1 adult and 3 kids and the only problem I’ve encountered has been having to book 2 separate reservations (most places have a limit of 1 room per award reservation)

ihg-share-forever-promotionEnter… Candlewood Suites

Candlewood Suites is a lower-end hotel which is part of the IHG group of hotels and is positioned more as an extended-stay hotel.  Think Hyatt House, but without some of the cachet.

While planning our hotel stays during our $6500 Amtrak train trip, the plan I had was to stay at the Candlewood Suites in Perrysburg (Toledo) Ohio on our way back.  The train gets in at 11:30pm and so we wanted to stay the night before heading back home.  It gets great reviews and is a Category 1 hotel, so it’s only 10,000 IHG points / night (times 2 for us)

Trying to book a stay

So when I go to the hotel page and try to book a reward stay for our family, here’s what I get


It says that Reward Nights rooms are sold out, though clicking on the “View Available Dates” calendar shows availability for every date in June (my attempted travel dates as well).

If I just do a regular search for 1 adult, I get the following screen


So the One Queen Bed Studio Suite (capacity 2) is available on points, but the Two Queen Beds Studio Suite is only available for cash.  I chatted with their live chat representative, who suggested that I book 4 rooms (!) or pay the cash rates.  Uhhhh no thanks, I will look elsewhere.

Compare this to the Hyatt House, where I was able to use 8000 Hyatt Points at the Hyatt House San Juan to book any of the available room types (so naturally I took the nicest one!)


Also compare this to IHG’s own Staybridge Suites hotels, which are also extended stay but “nicer” (they are even one of the few hotels that offer free dinner!).  Staybridge Suites will allow you to book an award stay for 4 people in 1 room.

I plan to reach out to IHG and Candlewood on Twitter to see if they can be any help,

(SEE ALSO: List of airline and hotel Twitter contacts)

But if they are not able (or choose not) to do anything, then essentially this means that Candlewood Suites are UNBOOKABLE for my family.  Generally speaking, I’m not too concerned about what a hotel publishes as “occupancy rates” but if there are only 2 beds for the 8 of us that will not work.  Talk about a bummer!

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