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There is sometimes a bit of confusion when booking a “suite” at a hotel. Some hotels like to reallllly stretch the definition of what “counts” as a suite, especially when it comes to having to dish out upgrades that are required by the terms of loyalty programs. I’ve stayed in “suites” that were just an extra sofa along with a bed, all in one room. On the other hand, I’ve had good luck staying at other hotels that were more in line with what I consider to be an actual suite.

(SEE ALSO: Homewood Suites by Hilton Orlando International Drive hotel review)

Maybe I’m way off base, but in my book, the bedroom must have a door to be considered a “suite”. If everything is all out in the open, then it’s not a suite.

Booking a Vacasa Vacation Rental with Wyndham Rewards points

I’ve been saying for quite some time that one of the best uses of miles and points, especially for family travel, is using Wyndham Rewards points to book Vacasa vacation rentals. If you haven’t done this before, you are missing out. You can get Wyndham Rewards points from their own credit cards, from buying Wyndham points, or by transferring from Citi ThankYou points or Capital One Venture points.

It costs 15,000 Wyndham points per bedroom (per night) to book a Vacasa vacation rental. We’ve stayed in a 1 bedroom Vacasa in the Smoky Mountains (pictured below) that slept 10.

a kitchen with a staircase and a sink

Even better, if you have the Wyndham credit card, you get a 10% discount, so it only costs 13,500 points per bedroom per night.

When my family and I were headed to Maui recently, we decided to use this to book a vacation rental. There weren’t any large “1 bedrooms”, so we booked a 2 bedroom Vacasa at the Mana Kai Maui. It cost 27,000 points per night, and we stayed 6 nights for a total of 162,000 Wyndham Rewards points. The cash cost was over $5,000, so we got around 3 cents per point in value, which was outstanding.

My “2 bedroom” Vacasa vacation rental

All was well as we made our way from the airport down towards the beach. We checked into our condo and realized that it wasn’t quite a 2 bedroom suite in the way that I’ve seen at a Residence Inn, Homewood Suites or Staybridge Suites. In those suites, you enter the room into a common area that usually has a sofa, TV and the kitchen. Then there are 2 bedrooms (one on either side).

This 2 bedroom Vacasa vacation rental had a small lobby with “A” and “B” doors

a door with a lock

The B side was mostly just a hotel room – it had one big room with a king bed in the middle, a desk and a bathroom off to the side. The A side was open and had the full kitchen as well a sofa bed, a king bed in the middle of the room, the bathroom and access to the balcony / lanai.

We did have access to both the A and B side.

I got ANGRY… then calmed down

I didn’t notice anything the first night, then started thinking about it the next morning. I wasn’t sure if I had booked a 1 bedroom or 2 bedroom, so I double checked and found that it was listed as a 2 bedroom (and we were charged 27,000 points). I got upset because in my mind, I was comparing it to a 2 bedroom suite at a Residence Inn, and it definitely fell short in that regard. For our family, the benefit of having a 2 bedroom suite is that when the kids go to bed, we can still access the main part of the unit without potentially waking them up. That wasn’t possible with this “suite”, since we had the kids all in the main “A” suite. So once it was lights out, that meant we had to just stay in our room in the “B” suite. I mean we wouldn’t want to leave them alone in the hotel room and get thrown in jail, right?

But then I started calming down and seeing things from their perspective. Yes, both the A and B could be considered 1 bedroom units, and so I suppose that makes this a 2 bedroom unit. It was just (mildly) disappointing that it didn’t meet my preconceived expectations. And I did (after the fact) review the listing to see if I should have noticed this, and saw that the pictures / description were fairly ambiguous.

Still, it was hard to complain with a view like this right off of the lanai and direct beachfront access!

a beach with palm trees and a house

The Bottom Line

I had a bit of unmet expectations with my recent Wyndham / Vacasa booking. I booked a 2 bedroom unit, and in my head I was picturing a 2 bedroom suite like you’d get at a Residence Inn. But instead, I had 2 separate 1 bedroom units that could be closed off or connected. While it wasn’t an ideal situation for our family, it was workable and still an enjoyable stay. Still – I’m curious to hear if you’ve ever encountered a situation like this or what your thoughts are.

Readers – what do you think? Is this really a 2 bedroom suite? Leave your thoughts in the comments


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