Episode 21: Boutique European Hotels, Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Review, London, Venice and Rome With a Family of Four

And….We’re Back! Spring break is over and we’re here with a jam packed episode. Today we cover


0:30 Chase 30% Transfer Bonus to British Airways (link)

  • Through June 16, 2019
  • You don’t see the 30% bonus on the UR portal, BA processes the bonus on its end
  • Deal or not a deal? Enough to encourage speculative transfer?

4:45 Zero fee MCGC at Staples 4/21-4/27 (link)

  • Stack with Dosh 3% capped at $5 per day (link)
  • Payce too?
  • Am I banned by Dosh? 
  • Chase Offers
  • Amex Staples 10% back Offer

7:50 11-Day Stop & Shop Strike Over (link)

  • Had effects on sales of prepaid cards

9:35 Main Topic: Robert’s Trip to London, Venice and Rome

10:25 Parameters

  • Family of 4 out of Boston (boys 14 and 11)
  • Saturday to Saturday during April school vacation
  • London, Venice, and Rome

11:20 Flights

  • Blog post on this
  • Virgin Atlantic Upper Class both ways + Alitalia Economy
  • Paid 150,000 Delta SkyMiles pp + $100 taxes + fees roundtrip
  • Added LHR-Venice (cheap, paid with Wells Fargo GoFar Rewards)
  • Day-time flight on the way there, which is rare

All lodging and tours booked through Chase Expedia portal with 1.5 cpp uplift

23:10 London

  • Hotel: Rosewood London
    • Hotel is fantastic. Absolutely gorgeous with great service.
    • Family Room (2 double beds)
    • Public spaces, restaurants, and bars are so well done.
  • Tour: Photography Tour

29:20 Venice

  • London City Airport-Venice flight on BA was a fine 2 hour flight in Economy
  • But getting through Passport Control in Venice took 1.5 hours 🙁
  • Really makes me want to avoid short hop intra-Europe flights because they’re such momentum killers
  • Took a Alilaguna shared water taxi from airport to central Venice 15 euro pp
  • There were transport options in Chase UR portal but the options were confusing to me/poorly reviewed so I made a game out of finding our way there
  • The water taxi stopped at a bunch of places on the Grand Canal before reaching out hotel but it was a fun experience
  • Hotel: Hotel Flora
    • Highly recommend staying right in central Venice overnight (crowds are low in morning/late at night)
    • Felt like a very Rick Steves kind of places
    • Family room had King Bed + 2 twins (which was great because our 11 year old got sick)
    • Complimentary breakfast buffet
    • Good spot. Not luxurious but great location and served our needs.
  • Tour: Market Tour, Cicchette/Bacaro Snacks, Quick Gondola Ride, Lunch
  • Took a restaurant recommendation from the hotel (wasn’t so great)
  • Would recommend Rosa Rossa in Venice
  • A highlight was after-dinner drinks at the Aman Venice where George and Amal got married

41:00 Venice-Rome

  • Took the water “bus” from near the hotel to the train station
  • Super crowded, so much so that nobody took our fare
  • Train from Venice to Rome was *awesome*
  • Freciarossa goes up to 190 mph (4 hour journey)
  • Executive car holds just 8 people (it was just us + 1 other person for a portion of the ride)
  • Lounge access before departure
  • 3 course meal, great selection of Italian wine & beer on board
  • $137.50 pp (paid for with US Bank Altitude points)
  • So much better than flying intra-Europe


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About the author

- Written by Sam Simon. All ideas are my own, but I encourage you to see my point of view and I promise I'll try to do the same. Connect with me on Twitter @Milenomics.

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