As many of you know, I’m on a mission to regain Executive Platinum status on American Airlines. I’m fairly certain American will announce changes to the AAdvantage program soon, and I anticipate they will more closely tie in revenue targets to the various status levels. I tend to qualify based on miles and not points, so that potentially puts me out of the running for EXP in the future.
Part of getting to Executive Platinum (at least the fun part) is mileage runs. I enjoy mileage runs even though I know the concept sounds completely insane to some people. What’s a mileage run? Flying to a place for the sole purpose of getting miles. Now there are some people who will fly all the way to, say, Sao Paulo, only to turn around and get on the same plane back. I’m not that guy, so maybe I’m more of a mileage jogger. I’ll find cheap deals to place a long way away, head out there, stay a night or two, and come home.
And so it was a few weeks ago, when I found myself boarding an American Airlines A319 for a 5 hour flight to: Bogota, Colombia. Why Bogota? It’s a surprisingly long way away from Dallas, it left after work on a Friday, and I’d be back in time for church on Sunday. All for $205 roundtrip. Not the cheapest ever, but well within my mileage jog target (less than 6 cents per elite-qualifying mile). Plus I got to see this view:
I ended up getting into Bogota shortly after midnight. My plan? Take advantage of the strong US dollar (it’s at nearly record highs against pretty much every South American currency) and stay at a nice hotel for a night. But how would I pick the hotel? I needed a chain hotel with which I had elite status and could be reasonably guaranteed a late checkout.
I pulled up SPG.com, taking advantage of the complimentary SPG Gold status that comes with my American Express Platinum card. Lo and behold, I found out there’s a W Hotel in Bogota. I’ve always heard great things about W and their modern, quirky take on hotels but had never stayed at one, so why not? It ended up being just over $100 for the night in a very nice room. Upon check-in they confirmed my late checkout request of 4pm, so my plan was working incredibly well.
My room was in line with everything I’d heard about W Hotels: quirky, modern, and great attention to detail. My room was draped with all manner of white curtains, which made me feel like it would’ve been more suited for a nightclub, but not in a negative way.
Everywhere you looked there were subtle touches and detail, everything had its place and was well thought-out.
The Gold Digger pillow was funny (in the middle of the below picture, it said Gold on one side and Digger on the other)
Other than that there was a swanky club in the hotel that was very classy and clubby. I’m neither clubby nor particularly classy, so I did not partake of the club (I prefer a beer in a pub-like environment). It seemed to be popular though. Everyone at the hotel spoke wonderful English, which is good for me because although I speak Spanish it gives me tiredhead, it’s nice to revert to English every once in a while.
So the answer to this post is yes, W Hotels are as quirky abroad as they are in the USA, and it totally works. Can’t wait to visit more properties!
Oh, by the way, how was Bogota? HUGE. Man that city is enormous.