Well-designed suites with knockout views at the JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa
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"There's nothing between here and the Magic Kingdom except saw palmettos and wild rabbits — and they're definitely not the 'Alice in Wonderland' variety."
I distinctly remember my dad telling us that as we passed through the gates to Walt Disney World many, many years ago. And he was right, it was pure Florida wilderness from that point until we got closer to the Magic Kingdom, Disney's Polynesian Village Resort , Disney's Contemporary Resort and Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort . That's all Disney World consisted of back in 1971.
Today, Disney World is a sprawling complex that encompasses multiple theme parks and waterparks , shopping and dining areas, recreational outposts and dozens of official resorts. But, there are also a handful of non-Disney hotels that live on this campus — some with special Disney perks and some without.
While the Swan and Dolphin , and the forthcoming luxury tower dubbed the Swan Reserve , may be the best-known among those properties (because you can use your Marriott Bonvoy points to book a room and get some swell Disney extras), there are other lodging options as well.
In addition to the hotels at Disney Springs , you'll find the Four Seasons Resort Orlando, Waldorf Astoria Orlando , Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek , Club Wyndham Bonnet Creek and the new JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa .
This place has been on my wish list since it opened in July 2020 and my interest was only piqued further when my colleague Summer Hull visited in October and shared her list of five things to know about the JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek .
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Once I got vaccinated against COVID-19, I knew the first reservation I'd make: a getaway to this resort. In fact, I booked my stay on the same day I got my first shot and picked a check-in date that was four weeks after my second shot.
Like so many other resorts, the JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek has some hefty additional daily fees to contend with. You'll pay a $35-per-day resort fee that includes:
- Shuttle service to the Disney parks (great if you plan to use the service, which has a reduced schedule right now due to COVID-19)
- Shuttle service to Disney Springs (dining and shopping area)
- Two welcome beverages (two glasses of Champagne)
- Daily wellness class
- In-room internet
- Internet in the lobby and meeting spaces
Self-parking is $29 per day in the 1,000-space parking garage, and valet parking is $37 per day. (Note that there is one electric car charging station and it's free to use.)
The hotel is a Category 6 in the Marriott Bonvoy award chart. Off-peak nights will cost you 40,000 points, standard dates are 50,000 points and peak dates are 60,000 points.
You can use one of Marriott's 50,000-point award night certificates at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program (certain hotels have resort fees)for this property on off-peak or standard dates. You can earn one of these certificates each year after your card renewal month on your Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card. Apply for this card to earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new card to make $3,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership.
I checked rates at Marriott's website as well as via American Express' Fine Hotels & Resorts website. Unfortunately, this hotel wasn't an option but I could have selected the Four Seasons, The Ritz-Carlton, Orlando, the Waldorf Astoria or Universal's Loews Portofino Bay .
By booking directly with Marriott, I was able to score a package — Luxury Celebrations Suite Escape — that included valet parking, a $200 property credit, late checkout and a discounted suite (more on that later). The nightly room rate was $658.
This 16-story high-rise resort is in Orlando at 14900 Chelonia Parkway. It's 25 minutes southwest of Orlando International Airport (MCO). It's also very close to certain parts of the Walt Disney World complex, including the entertaining/dining zone called Disney Springs, Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, Epcot and Hollywood Studios. You can get to each of those destinations in less than 10 minutes by car. The drive to the Magic Kingdom or Animal Kingdom is just a few minutes longer.
From our suite's balcony, we could see Epcot's Spaceship Earth, Typhoon Lagoon, the Disney Skyliner gondola transportation system, much of Disney Springs and even the Contemporary Resort far in the distance. This would be the perfect spot to watch the fireworks when they return to the theme parks.
If headed beyond Disney, SeaWorld Orlando is about 15 minutes by car and Universal Studios Florida is a 30-minute drive.
The resort offers shuttle service to the Disney theme parks and Disney Springs as part of its resort fee but not to Universal or any of Orlando's other themed attractions. At least, not while I was there.
I checked in via the Marriott Bonvoy app the day before arrival. I noted an arrival time between 12:30 and 1 p.m., even though the official check-in time wasn't until 4 p.m. That's also the intel I gave when responding to an email from the hotel a few days before.
On the drive to Orlando, I checked the app a few times and our room wasn't yet ready so we stopped at La Femme du Fromage (3201 Corrine Drive) to pick up some gourmet cheese for snacking later. We arrived at the hotel around 1:30 p.m. The room still wasn't ready so the bellman took our luggage to storage.
The front desk agent was friendly — despite being behind a plexiglass barrier. He told us someone would give us a call as soon as the room was ready.
From the moment I stepped into the lobby, I knew I'd appreciate the modern design of this hotel. With its soaring ceilings, marble finishings, eclectic furniture and artwork, there is a lot to take in as you arrive.
If you're traveling with a group, you will adore this hotel that offers an incredible number of seating areas so you can stake out part of the lobby or a nook near the convention space.
This place is modern and sleek but incorporates earthy tones and finishings that warm it up. Expect plenty of wood, wicker, stone and reeds. (There's an amazing "fringed" chair in the lobby that appears to be made with macrame rope.) I also loved the use of succulents as a decor element throughout the lobby and 50,000 square feet of convention space.
At 2:30 p.m., Reception called to alert us that our room was ready. We swung by the front desk to pick up our two tickets for a complimentary glass of Champagne (for some reason, they wouldn't give them to us when we visited the desk earlier to check in).
With 516 rooms and suites, there is an abundance of room categories from which to choose.
For our trip, I booked the 1,317-square-foot "luxury" one-bedroom suite that includes a king bedroom, separate living area with sofa bed, 1 1/2 bathrooms and a huge balcony (something I highly value during any hotel stay in a warm destination).
We were assigned Suite 1250 and, honestly, I'd be more than happy to live in an apartment like this. Three sides of the suite have expansive floor-to-ceiling windows with incredible views of the Bonnet Creek area: Look in one direction and you see the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort and Waldorf Astoria. From the balcony, you can see Epcot and Disney Springs. From the bedroom, look down and you'll see the hotel's mini-golf course and rock climbing wall.
The sunset view from the balcony was absolutely stunning — it was pure magic watching that glowing orb illuminate the Dolphin's pyramid before sinking behind the building.
The deep balcony that traversed the length of the suite was my favorite aspect of the suite. Just remember that we traveled in May when Orlando is still incredibly pleasant — we enjoyed days with no humidity or rain and the sun shining down felt good on our skin.
That's not always the case when the sun's rays, the heat and humidity can be downright oppressive. Keep that in mind when booking a suite simply for the balcony. Be realistic about how much you'll use it during your trip. Hanging out on the balcony at the height of the day in July or August wouldn't be quite so lovely.
Note that from our suite, the balcony looked directly down on the ninth-floor rooftop terrace, which is part of Illume, a Japanese restaurant that wasn't yet open when we visited. While dining wasn't an option at this venue, a private party enjoyed the terrace one evening. We liked hearing the music and chatter of the attendees but you might not want that if you are sensitive to noise or traveling with little ones that go to bed early.
We like having a true suite that separates the bedroom from the living area. It makes the visit feel more authentic ... as if it's more home than hotel. The luxury one-bedroom suite features a wide foyer that leads to the dining table and expansive living area.
We liked the L-shaped sofa, though it could have been more comfortable. However, the firmness is probably a byproduct of the fact that it can be converted to a sofa bed. The living room included a wide-screen TV and there was a second TV in the bedroom.
Since there are floor-to-ceiling windows on three walls of this suite, I was pleased that the window treatments included both sheers and blackout curtains.
The suite's office — with sliding-glass privacy doors — was a huge perk as well. It had a wide desk with a rolling chair on both sides. If the office doors and the curtains in front of the door to the balcony across the hall are both open, you have gorgeous views while you work.
The only downside is that there is no air conditioner return in that room so it gets warm if you have the doors closed. But it's a fantastic addition for anyone that either needs to work or attend a Zoom meeting.
Because we knew we planned to spend most of our time at the resort, a roomy suite was important to us. We also enjoyed having a kitchenette that featured a Bosch refrigerator and dishwasher.
However, we would have loved to have plates, glasses and silverware in the cupboards. (Those items have been removed as a precaution during the pandemic.)
There is a service door in the kitchenette that leads to the public hallway — presumably so that if you order catering from the hotel, they can access your suite without entering via the foyer.
From the living room, the middle hallway leads to the half-bath on the right and then the kitchenette straight ahead at the end of the hall.
We didn't use the "Francis Francis" Illy coffee maker but it was outfitted with coffee pods and tea packets (Taylors English breakfast tea and organic chamomile).
As you walk from the living room down the hall past the private office, you head to the bedroom. There is a door you can close for privacy. The walk-in closet is to your right when you walk through that threshold with the king-size bed and two sitting chairs on the other side of a slat divider.
The suite had 1 1/2 baths. The master bath had a separate rain shower and bathtub.
The Toto toilet was behind a frosted glass door. Whenever you opened that door, the lid of the toilet automatically raised. It was a bit weird — as was the heated seat, which you could turn off or adjust via a keypad affixed to the wall — but I suppose some people like this sort of thing. I preferred to use the half-bath instead.
Toiletries were by Aromatherapy Associates and included bar soap, hand lotion, body wash, shampoo and conditioner. The shampoo and conditioner were a blend of rosemary and ylang ylang (a flower) and the body wash was lavender paired with ylang ylang.
There was also a bottle of "WhisperMint" mouthwash in each bathroom.
The walk-in closet had a safe (large enough for two laptops and other electronics), six deep drawers and shelves and plenty of space to hang clothes (though if you travel with a lot of clothes, you'll likely need to use the Marriott Bonvoy app to request additional hangers). There was a hair dryer, iron and ironing board as well.
All the decorative pillows for the living room, bedroom and balcony had been removed and stored in the walk-in closet. We used a few of them on the balcony daybed when we were outside.
Other rooms and suites
Of course, not everyone wants or needs the space of a one-bedroom suite. Instead, you can book entry-level 378-square-foot guest rooms with either one king or two queen beds. You can then move up the ladder to the same type of room with different views. Pick from a view of Disney Springs, the pool or Disney fireworks.
Resort-view rooms, which are all corner executive king suites, are slightly larger at 412 square feet and have the addition of a sofa bed.
For singles or couples wanting more space, go for a 773-square-foot one-bedroom executive suite, which is outfitted with a king bed, a sofa bed and 1 1/2 bathrooms. These are available with different views, including of the nightly fireworks at Disney (note that the fireworks are currently paused). These suites do not have a balcony.
Families can book either a two-bedroom family suite (one king, one double bunk bed, a sofa bed and 2 1/2 baths) or a 1,167-square-foot two-bedroom suite (one king, two double beds, a sofa bed and 2 1/2 baths). Some two-bedroom suites are at the corner of the building and are slightly smaller at 1,141 square feet.
The presidential suite — with a king bedroom, separate living area and dining room (with a table accommodating eight) — is the pinnacle of accommodations at the JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek. At 2,125 square feet, it's larger than many homes in America. It includes an extra-large balcony with comfortable furniture and the sweeping view includes Bonnet Creek and beyond. You can see Disney's fireworks from there, too.
Food and beverage
There are several dining and lounge options at the hotel, though not everything was open on our visit.
Sear + Sea Lobby Bar
Since the mandatory resort fee includes two free welcome drinks, you'll have occasion to visit Sear + Sea Lobby Bar, toward the back of the lobby and in front of Sear + Sea Woodfire Grill.
The bar is a work of art, with a nearly floor-to-ceiling display — that reminds me of an advent calendar — showcasing the various liquors on offer.
Sear + Sea Woodfire Grill
We dined out a lot while on this trip to Orlando and Sear + Sea Woodfire Grill, a steakhouse (on the lobby level), was our favorite.
We enjoyed an incredible dinner on the outdoor patio. The ambiance was perfect ... eclectic furniture, a view of the woods and flowing sheer curtains that billowed throughout the evening in a relaxing way.
Unreserved Beer Garden
Upon check-in, our room wasn't quite ready so we headed to the Unreserved Beer Garden by the family pool.
We enjoyed a lunch of fish and steak tacos, plus an inventive carrot hummus starter. (My husband tried to order the pastrami sandwich, but the chef was all out — this was a theme not just at the JW Marriott restaurants but everywhere we went in Orlando. If you have your heart set on a chef specialty somewhere, call ahead to make sure they have it in stock to avoid disappointment.)
Unreserved Food Bazaar
While the Unreserved Beer Garden is outdoor, its companion Unreserved Food Bazaar is an indoor dining room on the ground/pool level.
Not all dining venues were operating regularly
Even though the U.S. is doing well vaccinating people, the usual volume of travelers has not yet returned to Orlando. When we visited, the hotels we stayed at (the JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek and The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes) were both at low occupancy. This meant that not all restaurants were open during our visit.
In particular, the rooftop Illume, a Japanese dining venue, has not yet opened but has a "spring 2021" date being touted. It was a shame this spot wasn't open since it has a beautiful outdoor bar area on the rooftop deck — which was visible from our suite. A private group had a party there one evening and it looked like a comfortable place to spend a few hours.
Somewhat more disappointing was the fact that JW Market, the grab-and-go deli and designated spot to get coffee, was only open daily from 6 a.m. to noon.
Likewise, room service was only available on Saturdays and Sundays from 7-11 a.m. for breakfast and 6-10 p.m. for dinner. We stayed on a Monday and Tuesday so weren't able to indulge. The breakfast and dinner menus were the same as what's served at Unreserved Food Bazaar on the ground floor.
Finally, Palm Cove, the poolside restaurant, wasn't open while we were there, though you could get a drink at the bar.
While there is no lazy river at this property — that distinction lies with the JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes — there are two heated pools, a whirlpool, pool cabanas and an "Activity Garden" with all sorts of pastimes for kids and adults.
The Activity Garden is where you'll find the indoor Kids Conservatory Lounge. It's open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and it's where children and teens can go to play a game (we spied checkers and Monopoly), read a book or draw. (Kids under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.)
Right past the kids club is a door to the outdoor complex that offers nine holes of "Garden Golf." This isn't exactly mini-golf; it's more challenging with berms that make it tougher to coax your golf ball where you want it to go.
There's also Mount Chelonia Rock Wall. It's open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., but unlike the golf course and kids club, you pay $15 to play on the wall. There are lounge chairs on the lawn as well as other games like cornhole.
Wellness classes are held on the lawn here at 8 a.m.
You can reserve your spot for mini-golf, rock climbing and wellness classes from your phone. There is a QR code on a poster in front of the Activity Garden. Point your smartphone at the code and it will open the app where you need to make reservations — free or paid.
Pools and cabanas
There are two heated pools at the resort: One is family-friendly and the other is adults-only. In reality, the pools are back to back so even if you are longing for a kid-free experience, you'll likely see some coming and going to your little patch of paradise.
You can rent a cabana, decked out in orange fabric, from within the app we mentioned above. These are located alongside the family pool, are outfitted with a ceiling fan and can accommodate up to four people. Prices start at $200 a day.
Closer to the adults-only pool are the daybeds, which accommodate three people. They are outfitted with flowing, sheer white curtains for a tiny bit of privacy. This is a less expensive option at $75 a day.
Both pools offer a chair lift for anyone that needs assistance entering the water.
While I never saw the spa open while I was visiting the hotel, nor did I try to book a treatment, it looked lovely from the outside. According to the hotel, it's open Thursday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday/Month from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
You can review the spa's offerings in the app or walk in to speak with a receptionist about the best options for you. All treatments revolve around four principles: calm, indulge, invigorate and renew.
Pick from an array of options like massages, body scrubs, facials, manicures, pedicures, scalp treatments, collagen treatments (eye, lip, face, neck), LED light therapy and more.
You can also buy a day pass for $40 that gives you access to the fitness center, steam room, sauna, "experience" showers and locker rooms.
If you'd like to use the gym, make an appointment for a time slot. The options are 6 a.m., 8 a.m., 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m., 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Only nine guests are allowed in the gym during any time slot. The fitness center is sanitized between each exercise session.
Once you have secured a time slot, visit the front desk to pick up a key to the facility.
Guests under 16 must be accompanied by an adult to use the fitness center.
In the age of COVID-19, discussing service at any resort can be a difficult proposition. Was service excellent? No, but I generally hold the bar pretty high for luxury properties.
The hotel was nearly empty throughout our stay. We had the lobby, Activity Garden, Unreserved Beer Garden and pool almost to ourselves whenever we were out and about. But, even with occupancy being so low, our suite still wasn't ready for check-in when we arrived. I had alerted the hotel to our arrival time via email, per their request, and also reiterated that in the app upon check-in. It wasn't a huge deal that the room wasn't ready but I'm not sure why it wasn't with so few people staying at the property during this time period.
Valet parking was included in our package and so we took advantage of it. When we arrived, there were several valets standing around and none of them seemed in a hurry to assist us. We ended up shutting off the car and getting our luggage from the trunk and then someone came over to assist.
When we did get the bellman's attention, he was great. Since our room wasn't ready, he took our things. I was hesitant since we'd stopped off at a cheese market and he offered to put that bag in a refrigerator for safekeeping. When our room was ready, he brought everything up.
Bartenders and waitstaff were busy but all were professional and friendly.
It was aggravating that the JW Market — the place we'd normally pick up Diet Cokes and coffees — was only open 6 a.m. to noon but the hours should expand as the hospitality sector starts to return to normal after the pandemic.
And I know plenty of measures are being taken for everyone's safety but I'm not sure why things like wine glasses, plates and silverware were removed from the suite. People book accommodations to have a kitchenette and expect all the accouterments to be available. The fact that we had to hunt around for plates and silverware in the lobby was annoying.
But I do believe this will be a spectacular place to spend your Marriott points and certificates when life is "normal" again and all of its facilities are up and running.
I will return to the JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek — especially when suite rates are reasonable. As a Floridian, I can visit Orlando by car and that means it's easy to book last-minute trips and take advantage of special package deals or Florida resident discounts.
With so many inviting public spaces, this is an ideal place to meet up with friends or family. It's sophisticated enough for luxury travelers but has enough kid-friendly amenities — and free shuttle service to the Disney parks — to keep families happy too.
Sear + Sea Woodfire Grill served up the best meal we had during the Orlando outing and while not everything was open at the resort due to the pandemic, service was warm — even if it lacked a bit of hustle.
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How To Use Expedia To Find Great Deals on Flights, Hotels, Vacation Packages (and More)
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How To Book a Flight on Expedia
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Expedia has been around for a while, and we’re sure most of you have used it at least once to search for a flight.
But do you really know all that Expedia has to offer? And are you really saving money when you book through Expedia?
Let’s dive deep into this site to answer all of your questions and show you everything Expedia can do for you!
While you can use Expedia to book lots of different things, flights are probably what comes to mind first. You can access the flight search by clicking Flights in the main search bar at the top of the page.
Booking a flight on Expedia is a simple process.
First, plug in your departure and arrival cities, dates of travel, and the number of passengers. You can also specify preferences such as ticket type (economy, premium economy, business class, first class), one-way, round-trip, or multi-city.
The search results page will include sorting and filtering options to the left of the screen.
If you have some flexibility and would like to see prices for different dates, click on Flexible dates right above the search results. This is a great tool to see if you can save some money by adjusting your travel dates (the lowest price options will be highlighted in green while the most expensive will be in red).
The prices you see are per person for a round-trip flight, and they include taxes and fees (except for any baggage fees the airline charges ).
Once you have found the departure flight you like, click Select to continue with your purchase.
Next, you will be prompted to choose your return flight. Notice the flights that show a +$0 round-trip price — these are the options included in the price you were quoted .
Some flights could have a higher price, which will be added to the original price. Again, click on Select once you have chosen your flight.
You will then be prompted to bundle a hotel with your flight to save money — more on this in the Packages section below.
From here, you can confirm your flight details and add upgrades if you wish. Double-check your price on the right side of your screen. If there are any booking fees for your purchase, they will be listed here.
Click the blue Check out button to proceed. Then you can fill out your payment and traveler information to complete your purchase.
Hot Tip: Expedia offers free cancellation within 24 hours of booking your flight!
As you are completing your booking, you may be asked if you want to purchase travel insurance. Purchasing additional insurance is a personal decision, so be sure to do what you are comfortable with. However, make sure you are an informed consumer first.
There are many travel rewards credit cards with travel insurance so you may not need an extra policy. Cards including the Chase Sapphire Preferred ® Card come with perks such as trip cancellation insurance and lost luggage insurance.
So if you are purchasing your flight with the right credit card, you could already have all of the insurance you need .
Hot Tip: For a full run-down of the types of insurance offered by credit cards, check out our guide to credit card insurance . And for the times you think you might need to purchase additional coverage, be sure to refer to our guide to buying the best travel insurance .
Does booking your flight through Expedia save you money? Let’s take a look.
We searched for a round-trip flight from Columbus, Ohio to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, and compared the cheapest option on Expedia to other OTAs and the airline’s website.
For this search, we actually got the exact same price on Expedia, the airline’s website, and on other websites like Kayak and Orbitz .
We did a second search, from Atlanta, Georgia to Paris to see where we could find the lowest price, and again, the same price was found on all of the sites.
In these situations, it’s best to decide what type of rewards you want to earn (Expedia Rewards vs. Orbitz Orbucks vs. airline miles for example), so you know the best place to book.
Bottom Line: Unfortunately there isn’t an exact science to finding the cheapest flight prices . While Expedia turns out to be a good option many times, it’s always best to take a few minutes to compare prices before you make a purchase.
To start your hotel search on Expedia , just click on Stays in the main search bar. Input your destination, travel dates, and the number of travelers and rooms, then click Search.
You’ll be able to filter your search results using the map or various features including amenities, price, or property type listed on the left side of the screen.
Each search result will show you the price per night .
The search results will also give you some other information at a glance, including the cancellation policy and any special amenities the hotel might offer (like free breakfast or a resort credit).
Click on a selection to see more information, including room types and prices. The price shown is always for a base-level room. If you want a premium room or suite, your price will increase from what is initially shown.
Once you have selected your room, click on the blue Reserve button to continue. Then you can fill out your traveler and payment information.
Pay special attention when booking all-inclusive resorts or other types of properties that charge by the person. Be sure you are booking for the correct number of people!
Hot Tip: When searching for accommodations on Expedia, you’ll find vacation rentals, bed and breakfasts, condos, and villas in addition to hotels and resorts.
Just as when booking a flight, Expedia will try to sell you hotel booking protection, aka insurance. So, what does it include, and do you really need it ?
The first thing you need to know is that this insurance will vary depending on the state you live in. Go here to access the policies for each state.
While there are definitely situations when purchasing extra insurance is a good idea, often you will have some degree of coverage from your credit card, so double-check your benefits before considering an additional purchase.
Many major credit cards offer travel insurance options, including varying degrees of travel accident insurance , trip cancellation insurance , and trip delay insurance .
You might notice that some properties offer special member pricing. All you need to do to access these prices is to create a free Expedia account .
After a comparison of prices before and after creating an account and logging in, the member prices were indeed lower .
For the properties checked, the savings ranged from $18 to $58 per night . So, it’s definitely worth creating a free account if you plan to book a hotel through Expedia!
Bottom Line: If you are going to book a hotel through Expedia, be sure to create a free account. You can unlock lower members-only pricing!
Now let’s see if Expedia can save you money when booking a hotel. Here are our search results for a week-long stay in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic for 2 people:
Expedia matched (or almost matched) or beat the prices for all 3 of the hotel examples. Plus in each instance, Expedia offered a more flexible cancellation policy .
When you are booking a chain hotel such as Hilton or Hyatt , it usually makes sense to book through the hotel’s website even if the price is the same. Hotels booked through Expedia won’t earn hotel points , and any elite status you have may not be recognized.
Bottom Line: When booking a hotel that has its own rewards program (like Hilton Honors or Marriott Bonvoy) through Expedia you won’t be able to earn points or enjoy elite benefits. If those things are important to you, book directly through the hotel’s website.
If you’d like to book a combination of a flight, hotel, and/or rental car, check out the Packages section of Expedia.
You will see search results that look familiar — you can sort and filter your list just as you do when you search for a hotel or flight separately. The thing that is different is that the price listed is per person and includes all portions of your trip (hotel and flight, for example), plus taxes and fees.
After you choose your hotel, you will be prompted to choose a flight.
When reviewing the second part of your package, you might notice that there are different prices. If the price is negative, your trip cost will go down; if it is positive, the cost will go up.
Continue to select the rest of your flights and any other portions you bundled with it. Right before you finalize your payment, you will have the opportunity to upgrade your flight or add things like airport transfers and activities.
While not a guarantee, during our research, we’ve found that package deals can be where the biggest savings are.
Let’s take a look at some examples for a week-long hotel stay and round-trip flights for 2 people:
While you can see that you don’t always save money when booking a Package deal, there is the potential to save quite a bit — as much as $440 from these examples!!
Bottom Line: Expedia package deals combine a flight, hotel, and/or car rental in 1 package. While these deals don’t always save money, more often than not, you can save quite a bit.
Expedia Car Rentals
To book a rental car through Expedia, select the Cars tab in the top menu bar.
You’ll need to input your pick-up and drop-off locations and dates, and you can also specify your preferred rental company or input a coupon code by clicking the I have a discount code dropdown arrow.
Your search results list will default to Expedia’s recommended choices. To change the list to sort by price, just select Total Price in the sort options right above your search results.
To narrow your list, use the filtering options at the left side of your screen. You can filter your results by options including car type, price, and even payment options.
Before completing your booking, you’ll be able to double-check the details of the reservation and request extras such as a navigation system or child car seat.
Hot Tip: You might notice that there are 2 different prices listed: per week/day and total price. Pay attention to the total price — this will be the higher of the 2, which includes all days and taxes and fees.
Next, you will need to fill out your payment information and decide if you want to add insurance.
You can feel confident declining the insurance if you have a card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve ® , which comes with primary rental car insurance . This benefit covers any loss, theft, or damage to the rental car, as well as towing.
There are many credit cards with rental car insurance, so check your wallet before purchasing an extra policy.
Keep in mind that these policies don’t apply to all car types (luxury sports cars are generally not included) and can vary by card, so be sure to double-check the specifics for your card .
In comparing prices between different online travel agencies, we have come to this conclusion: there is no single place where you will find the best prices every time .
Here is what we found when searching for a week-long economy car rental in Punta Cana:
In this example, Priceline offered the lowest price, but you had to pay for your reservation upfront . All of the other prices were for reservations that you could pay at the time of rental. So if flexibility is important to you, Expedia would be a good option here.
The search feature for Expedia cruises is pretty simple. First, click on Cruises in the main menu bar. Input your destination, month of departure, and the number of travelers, then click Search.
If you choose a popular destination like the Caribbean, there will be a lot of choices, so you will want to use the filtering options to narrow your results by things like cruise length, departure port, or cruise line.
You will also have the option to sort your list of results by price (listed per person), departure date, and length of cruise.
Each cruise result will display basic information and the price per person .
Next, you’ll choose your cabin type . This can be a bit overwhelming if you have never cruised before! You will have options including interior cabin, ocean view, balcony, and suites. Then there are even more options in each of those categories.
You will also be able to see if there are any special offers that come with each room type — these offers are usually from the cruise line and not exclusive to Expedia.
Hot Tip: Read the description of your room very carefully — many categories of rooms sound similar. An ocean view room usually just has a small porthole ( often with obstructed views ). Large ships can have balcony rooms overlooking the atriums in the center — so if you want a balcony that faces the ocean, be sure to book an ocean view balcony, not just a balcony!
When pricing out several cruises, we found that most of the time, the price was the same on Expedia as it was on the cruise’s website and other online travel agencies.
While the base prices tend to be the same across most websites, you’ll often find that the extra perks and benefits like ship credit or free specialty dining can vary by website, so it’s always best to check a few before booking.
If you collect Expedia Rewards points, it might make sense to book through Expedia. Otherwise, you might want to book directly with the cruise line or see if any other sites offer any extras.
Either way, make sure you are using a credit card that earns bonus points on cruise travel when booking direct or a card that earns points on general travel when booking through Expedia to earn lots of points for your purchase.
Hot Tip: Booked your cruise but not sure how to prepare? Check out this ultimate cruise packing guide with tons of tips and advice.
Expedia Things To Do
You can use Expedia to book activities at your destination , too. Just go to the Things to Do tab in the main menu, enter your destination and dates of travel, and then click Search.
You will likely have lots of results, which you can filter by criteria including activity type and budget.
Each result will give you some basic information about the activity, including the price per person and the name of the tour company. Remember, it’s always a good idea to check what the prices would be if you booked direct.
Click on any result to get more information, check availability for your dates, and complete the booking.
Hot Tip: You can earn or redeem Expedia Rewards points when booking activities through Expedia.
When pricing out a few activities, we found that the prices were all over the map:
- Some activities were the same price on Expedia versus the tour company’s website
- An activity was available on Expedia but not the tour operator’s site
- An activity was more expensive on Expedia, but Expedia offered the ability to book for 1 person; the tour operator’s site was less expensive but had a minimum of 2 people
So, again, there is never a right answer here. Expedia is often a good choice for booking things to do during your vacation, but it never hurts to do a quick check on the tour operator’s site .
If you’ve got some flexibility, check out Expedia’s featured deals under the Deals tab under the More travel dropdown menu.
The deals are broken down by location and are usually only available for specific dates, so it’s good to have some flexibility if you’re looking to save the most money.
When you click on each deal, you should be taken to a search results list with your chosen deal at the top, but we found that wasn’t always the case. Sometimes we could see the deal, but sometimes it was nowhere to be found.
You can find Expedia coupon codes in a few different places.
First, you can try the Expedia coupons page . Coupons are not always available, but it’s good to check before making a purchase.
You can also check some of the popular coupon sites. Here are some links to check out the next time you are using Expedia:
- Expedia coupons on Groupon
- Expedia coupons on Rakuten
- Expedia coupons on RetailMeNot
One Key Rewards
One Key is the rewards program shared by Expedia, Hotels.com, and Vrbo. It allows you to earn points called OneKeyCash on eligible hotels, vacation rentals, flights, car rentals, and more across the 3 brands.
Members receive 2% in OneKeyCash for every dollar spent on eligible hotels, vacation rentals, activities, packages, car rentals, and cruises. Unfortunately, the earning rate for flights is poor — just 0.2% in OneKeyCash for every dollar spent on eligible flights.
Members can also receive discounts of 10% or more on hotels and up to 30% when booking a hotel and flight together.
Just as with most frequent flyer or hotel rewards programs, One Key offers different levels of status. Status levels are determined based on how many trip elements you collect. You’ll get 1 trip element for each hotel or vacation rental night, each flight, each car rental day, each cruise night, and each activity ticket.
VIP Access Hotels are a group of over 3,000 properties that offer higher standards and consistently get rave reviews and ratings.
All members earn 2% OneKeyCash when booking VIP Access properties and Silver, Gold, and Platinum members get extra perks.
Bottom Line: One Key is Expedia’s loyalty program. OneKeyCash is earned at variable rates by booking eligible flights, hotels, cars, activities, and vacation packages through Expedia, Hotels.com, and Vrbo.
Expedia offers special deals and benefits when you book through its mobile app ( iOS and Android ). You can earn double Expedia Rewards points on every booking through the app and save up to 30% by booking a mobile-exclusive deal.
If your trip is booked through Expedia, you will also get notifications on changes or delays and will be able to access your itinerary.
Expedia used to offer 2 co-branded cards, the Expedia ® Rewards Card from Citi and the Expedia ® Rewards Voyager Card from Citi, however, they are no longer available.
AARP Travel Center
As an AARP member , you can enjoy extra benefits through the AARP Travel Center Powered by Expedia. Reservations can be made through the AARP Travel Center or by phone at 800-675-4318.
AARP Members get an extra 10% off the following hotels:
- Best Western
- Best Western Plus
- Premier Best Western
- Ascend Hotel Collection
- Cambria Hotels & Suites
- Clarion Hotel
- Comfort Suites and Comfort Inn
- Econo Lodge
- Mainstay Suites
- Quality Inn
- Rodeway Inn
- Suburban Extended Stay Hotels
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts
- Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham
- Howard Johnson
- Knights Inn
- La Quinta Inn & Suites
- Ramada Europe, Middle East, & Africa
- TRYP by Wyndham
- Wingate by Wyndham
- Wyndham Hotels and Resorts
AARP members will get a $50 prepaid Visa gift card when booking a vacation package that includes a flight.
AARP members receive a 5% cash rebate (up to $350) on eligible group hotel bookings in 9 or more hotel rooms.
As an AARP member, you are eligible for up to 30% off select car rentals at participating Avis and Budget locations and 5% off at Payless locations, as well as free upgrades and 1 free additional driver.
AARP members can receive up to $100 in extra onboard credits on select cruises. The amount will be determined by the cost of the cruise.
Reservations can be made through the AARP Travel Center or by phone at 800-675-4318.
Expedia is a huge online travel agency that offers lots of different products and services, including flights, hotels, car rentals, and cruises. While it isn’t a slam dunk for the lowest price every time, there are deals to be had.
One Key offers points-earning capabilities to get even more value out of every booking you make through Expedia.
Whether or not Expedia is your go-to travel search site, it’s worth taking a look at when booking your next trip.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is expedia rewards.
Expedia Rewards was Expedia’s loyalty program until mid-2023 when it was replaced by One Key.
How much are Expedia Rewards points worth?
Expedia Rewards points are worth 1 cent each. Until February 1, 2022, they were worth 0.7 cents each.
How do you earn One Key rewards points?
You’ll earn OneKeyCash each time you purchase an eligible hotel stay, vacation rental, rental car, flight, and more across 3 brands — Expedia, Hotels.com, and Vrbo. Members receive 2% in OneKeyCash for every dollar spent on eligible hotels, vacation rentals, activities, packages, car rentals, and cruises and 0.2% in OneKeyCash for every dollar spent on eligible flights.
Does Expedia offer a credit card?
No, Expedia doesn’t offer a credit card anymore. The Expedia Rewards card and Expedia Rewards Voyager card are no longer available.
Are Expedia vacation packages a good deal?
Expedia vacation packages can be a good deal, but not always. Most of the time, bundling 2 or more things together (like a hotel and flight) will save you money, but it’s best to do a price check before you make a purchase.
How do I contact Expedia customer service?
To contact Expedia customer service, click here . If you need help with a trip that is already booked, you will need to log in to your account.
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About Katie Seemann
Katie has been in the points and miles game since 2015 and started her own blog in 2016. She’s been freelance writing since then and her work has been featured in publications like Travel + Leisure and Forbes Advisor.
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January 17, 2019
Nice information about Expedia !
January 19, 2019
Thanks, Lombok – we’re glad you found it useful! 🙂
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- 9938 Universal Blvd Orlando, FL 32819 #104 Get Directions
- Lake Cay Commons Shopping Center Near Orange County Convention Center on Universal Blvd right off Highway 528 Exit 2 across from Rosen Shingle Creek right off Hwy 528 Exit 2. Other hours available by appointment.
Shout out to our extraordinary travel agent Vicki Newman Piper! We have just returned from an absolutely amazing vacation in Greece that included island hopping flights, boats, transfers etc. Each time we got off of a plane or boat there was a friendly driver holding a sign with our name on it who was ready to help with our bags and take us to our hotel or next mode of transportation. The hotels she booked for us in Athens were breathtaking with views, from the room, of the Acropolis and Temple of Zeus. On the islands we kept asking ourselves, at each hotel, how did we afford this? Everything was seamless and amazing! Thanks so much for everything. Misti L
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Let’s get together We’re hosting an open house event at our new center located at 5833 South Goldenrod Road Suite 5L Orlando Fl 32822, and we’d love to see you there. Join us for Expedia Cruises Lake Nona Open House Event, November 4, 2023 at 10:00 am-2:00pm Stop by to meet our team and to hear...
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Excellent service with the best selection of cruises. Michael helped me to make the right choice on a great cruise with my family. His experience with handling my group made it easy for my family.
Best service and great staff. We enjoyed many events at the center and we learned a lot. It is very nice to have an agent that listens and provides recommendations based on my needs. I highly recommend you visit here.
If you are looking for help selecting and booking a cruise the Expedia Cruise Ship Center in Orlando is the place to go. Our 16-night Australia / New Zealand excursion was everything we’d hoped for and more! Expedia Cruise Center listened to what we wanted and hooked us up on the trip of our lifetime. Thanks Expedia!
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Port Canaveral Cruise Guide
Millions of passengers stop by Port Canaveral each year, the cruise port located in Orlando, Florida. Major cruise lines such as Carnival, Disney, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean frequent this port. These ships primarily cruise to the Bahamas, the Caribbean and the Panama Canal. The port itself also features many family-friendly attractions nearby, making it a good place to extend your trip before or after a cruise.
A must-see is the Kennedy Space Center, an original NASA Launch Operations Center where launch operations for the famous Apollo, Skylab and others were held. The site features educational experiences, dining, an IMAX theater, and shuttle launch simulations. For more interactive fun, stop by the Exploration Tower, which has seven floors of games, exhibits, and an observation deck at the very top.
If you’re looking to optimize your beach time before heading off to the beautiful beaches of the Caribbean, Cocoa Beach is a popular spot. It’s home to the original Ron Jon Surf Shop, where you can take surf lessons, or just soak in the warm temperature.
Lastly, no stay at Port Canaveral would be complete without a day trip to Walt Disney World. Some cruise lines even offer motorcoach transfer to the parks, so you won’t need to worry about transportation. When you’re just miles from the “Happiest Place on Earth,” visiting this park is a must, especially when travelling with kids!
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