The purpose of my trip to Turin was mainly business, with knowing an opportunity to gain towards elite status was possible. My agent and I set up a lunch meeting in his home city of Turin, which is one hour away from Biella, which is the city I’m currently playing in. The drive isn’t tough if that’s all I had going on for the day. Because this was not an off day for me, I had basketball practice the same afternoon of the meeting. Driving an hour to meet, then going an hour back to practice is possible, but it will undoubtedly exhaust your body. Luckily, with points and miles, I have options without burning through my wallet.
I knew that Turin had a Marriott property, so I could use this as an opportunity to gain towards retaining my Marriott Bonvoy elite status. I didn’t see this as a simple mattress run but a way to make sure I was rested for practice while earning towards status.
Currently, a Marriott promotion gives an extra Elite Night Credit and a 1,000 point bonus per stay until May 4th, 2022. Adding this into the equation also made it more worth it. During the basketball season, I don’t get the chance to travel very often, so offers like this makeup for the nights I usually miss.
Ritz Rewards Card & Schwab Amex Platinum
On this trip, I was able to take advantage of two travel cards. I used one card to spend, and I used the benefits of the other card, not the card itself. In combination, the travel cards helped make this trip free while earning points and status qualifications.
The main card used was the Ritz Rewards card (Marriott Bonvoy credit card). The room rate was $117 per night. I had the choice of using 17,500 Bonvoy points to cover the stay, but because the CPP rate was low, I decided to pay the cash rate. By paying, I will receive 2,500 points (17.5x Titanium + 6x Marriott credit card) for this stay. That’s equivalent to $20 - $25 in Marriott Bonvoy spend. It doesn’t sound like much, but this was for one night. Imagine staying twenty nights at this rate, and you’ll earn $400 worth of points.
The second card that had a benefit I used was the Schwab Platinum card. One of the top benefits of this card is the ability to “Invest with Points.” When using this benefit, your redemption value is 1.1 CPP. You’ll always have that rate no matter where you choose to redeem.
I love the Schwab Platinum because it technically protects the value of my travel points and miles. I always try to get the best value for my points when redeeming, and the Schwab Platinum makes that goal easy to accomplish.
On this trip, the Marriott redemption rate would have been .66 CPP, but as I mentioned above, my redemption value was 1.1 CPP. I used 11k Amex MR points for this stay.
AC Hotel Torino
I was upgraded to the top available suite in-app before arrival ($85 more per night).
I arrived at 10.45 p.m. The late-night crew was there for check-in, unfortunately. I don’t have any top expectations because it's not their job to be over-the-top friendly or welcoming. I was disappointed with a few things:
They gave me zero information about the hotel. The guy failed to mention the breakfast hours, fitness gym hours, jacuzzi/pool hours, or check-out times.
There was no acknowledgment of my status, which is not a big deal. But, the benefits that come with it, like a Welcome Gift Choice, are a big deal. I later went back down to ask, and I chose points because usually breakfast is included for Platinum members and up.
The upgraded suite had great space. There was a good-sized living room area with a couch and lounger. The sleeping area was grand, with great storage and plenty of space to move around. The sleeping area itself would have been a great room.
The bathroom was great. There was a big whirlpool inside. The tub and toilet were in a separate room from the bathroom si
The bed was comfortable, and the pillows were good. It was not a true Marriott mattress.
There were two TVs. The one in the living room was small but perfect for the section. The main TV in the sleeping area was big enough and had good quality. The TV had great options for English-speaking channels.
The room was very well isolated from the noise outside, in the hallways, and in the rooms next door. I could hear the people above me walking around and whatever they dropped on the floor.
My highlight of the room was the office desk! The desk was huge with two chairs and a bookshelf connected. I was able to get some writing done, and I was very comfortable the whole time.
The WiFi was ok. You could search the web easily but watching videos of Instagram or social media apps similar didn’t fare so well.
Breakfast was mediocre. There were some basic options but not very good. The scrambled eggs, bread rolls, and coffee were the only things I enjoyed.
The location is excellent. It’s a 15-minute drive from the center of Turin. Next door you have a fantastic mall with an Eataly inside (I recommend you go at least once). There’s a huge parking lot for the mall, and the AC Hotel has parking also. There’s free public parking around, but you’ll be lucky to find a spot because it’s a bustling area.
The hotel staff during the day was great. The breakfast staff was accommodating. They let me know where to sit, my options, and how the buffet worked.
The cleaning staff was helpful. I was in a rush leaving, and my key turned off (like always when you have late check-out). The lady cleaning the room next door opened the door for me after showing her documents. I’ve had to go back to the front desk before, so this was great.
The check-out staff was quick and efficient. As I mentioned above, during check-in, I was given zero details. During check-out, the gentlemen said that I had to pay for breakfast. I explained that I had no idea because I was not given critical information during check-in. I then asked to change my welcome gift. Instead of charging me or arguing with me, the guy took off the charge and said, “hopefully, you’ll be here in the future. Next time, we’ll do a better job to let you know the options.”
In conclusion, this trip worked out perfectly. I was able to accomplish my goal while being comfortable in doing so. The AC Hotel Torino is a place I’ll visit again whenever I need to stay in Turin.
Until next time, before you pack your bags, don’t forget to PACK YOUR POINTS!
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Schwab Platinum Card by Amex
Apply for an American Express Card with this link. We can both get rewarded if you're approved! http://refer.amex.us/KENNEHImXb?xl=cp105f
Platinum Card by Amex
Apply for an American Express Card with this link. We can both get rewarded if you're approved! http://refer.amex.us/NATASHkCtJ?XLINK=MYCP
Bonvoy Bold & Boundless Card by Chase
Earn 3 Free Night Awards with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card or 1 Free Night Award with the Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card. I can be rewarded too if you apply here and are approved for a card. Learn More.
Bonvoy Business Card by American Express
Apply for an American Express Card with this link. We can both get rewarded if you're approved!