We all have award stays that really meant something special to us for one reason or another. Whether it be a travel package, a chance to finally get to that one hotel you've always dreamed of, or a stay on a busy high priced weekend that got you extrordinary value, what has been your favorite (that's a singular - no one wants to read your list all the fancy hotels you've stayed in). The reason this question came to mind is because I think for me it will be an award I booked today. My wife has always wanted to go to the Greek Isles. After the last 7 days of trying to figure out what the big announcement would be, and then analyzing what it all actually meant, I started to consider going to Domes of Elounda Autograph Collection in Crete, a property that I always felt was way out of our budget (and remains that way with cash). However, I was sitting on a pile of points, and realized that I would probably have to use twice as many if I waited a few months to book it, so I called and booked a fifth night free stay for 180,000 points. We'll see when the hotels get dropped into the new chart exactly how good a deal it was, but we will go during the summer with rates on those dates for this room averaging 660 Euros per night. Pretty good math on cents per point.
All that is great, but it isn't why this award is so special. You see, we had the agent use 26,000 of my wife's points for the booking even though I had plenty and she had already transferred 50,000 to me earlier in the year. (It was explained to me that after the first 50,000 transfer, you can do one more single exception transfer of points as part of a booking.) This brought my lifetime total to 1,609,034 which coupled with my 650 nights got me LTG status which will be upgraded to LTP in August. That means lounge access forever, which is the main benefit I care about.
So not only will Domes of Elounda likely be the trip of a lifetime, this reward will impact all our future travel as well.