Lake Como, Venice & Florence on Points


How do 8 nights in Italy for $0 sound? My husband I and I recently spent 3 nights in Lake Como, 2 nights in Venice, and 3 nights in Florence. The best part? Our stays were completely free, thanks to points! (You can hear more about this trip on our podcast). Here’s a breakdown of how I did it…


Lake Como

In Lake Como we stayed at Grand Hotel Victoria. I was inspired by Pam’s stay there, and it lived up to the hype! The service, the views, the food, the spa—it was a true luxury stay.

Grand Hotel Victoria is an SLH property, so I was able to redeem Hyatt points for our stay. Not only that, but because of Hyatt’s partnership with SLH, we were able to get perks like a room upgrade and free breakfast simply by booking our stay through Hyatt.

The Grand Hotel Victoria is a category 7 Hyatt property, so standard award nights will cost 30K Hyatt points/night.


I would not hesitate to stay at Grand Hotel Victoria again!


In Venice, we spent two nights at Hotel Aquarius. Hotel Aquarius is a Choice hotel, and award nights there run between 20K-25K points/night. The best part is that Citi points transfer to Choice 1:2, so while our 2 nights cost 40,000 Choice points total, I only had to transfer 20,000 Citi points. What a steal! American Express and Capital One also transfer to Choice Hotels at a ratio of 1:1.

Hotel Aquarius is definitely not a luxury property like the Grand Hotel Victoria, but for the points price, it can’t be beat. The other nice thing about Choice Hotels is that you can book any room for the standard points price. So not only did we get a great deal, but we also booked a suite! There were only two of us, but our suite could have slept four (it had one bed + one sofa bed). This makes Hotel Aquarius an amazing option for families! Remember that with Choice Hotels, you can’t book award stays until 100 days out.

Hotel Aquarius is about a 20-25 minute walk from the main sights in Venice, but we enjoyed the quiet area around the hotel. Stays at Hotel Aquarius also include free breakfast. While the breakfast was nothing to write home about, free is free!


Hotel Aquarius is a great option for families in Venice!


In Florence we stayed at another SLH property using Hyatt points, Palazzo Vecchietti. I cannot say enough good things about this property. The location was perfect, the staff was amazing, and we felt like we had the entire hotel to ourselves! We didn’t see a single other guest the entire time we were there.

At check-in, we were greeted warmly with a glass of Prosecco. We were escorted to our deluxe room, and wow, it was more like an apartment! There was a small kitchen, a large bathroom, and a hallway that led to a beautiful bedroom with high ceilings and a fireplace.

Because it’s an SLH property and we booked through Hyatt, breakfast was included during our stay. They have a breakfast room, or you can have breakfast via room service. We dined in the breakfast room for our first morning but opted for room service afterward. The menu wasn’t too extensive, but the food was delicious.

The hotel staff was able to secure our tickets to the Accademia Gallery to see the Statue of David (even though they were sold out online), and they also helped us organize a day trip to Siena and San Gimignano.

Palazzo Vecchietti is a category 8 Hyatt property, so standard award nights will cost 40K Hyatt points/night.


Our beautiful deluxe room was more like an apartment!

Bottom Line

Our luxury trip to Italy was made even better by the fact that we used points for our 8 nights and spent $0 out of pocket on our lodging! This allowed us to have more money for spa treatments, day trips, and of course, amazing food and wine. There is still so much of Italy I’d love to see. I can’t wait to return…on points and miles, of course! Have you been to Italy on points and miles yet?

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. American Express is a Travel Mom Squad advertiser, but we always show the best public offer even when we don’t earn a commission. Terms Apply. 

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  1. Rachel says:

    Thank you!! Any suggestions for Italy properties that’s aren’t so luxe??

    • Pam says:

      There are many but we LOVE the luxe ones when we aren’t traveling with children. I would look at the hotel sites and read reviews.

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