Italy 2015: Preview & Costs

During this trip report, I’ll be reviewing:

  • Lufthansa First Class IAD-MUC
  • Lufthansa First Class Lounge & MUC Airport
  • Lufthansa Business Class MUC-NAP
  • Hotel Excelsior Naples
  • Santa Caterina Hotel Amalfi
  • Palazzo Avino Hotel Ravello
  • Lufthansa Business Class NAP-MUC
  • Lufthansa First Class MUC-IAD

It was an amazing trip–probably my favorite we’ve ever taken, though perhaps because we visited the town in Italy where we’re getting married later this year (Ravello).  I really think Ravello is my favorite place I’ve ever been–just so relaxing and charming, but I’ll get to that later on.

Ravello, Italy

Ravello, Italy

It was also the only trip we’ve been on recently where most hotel costs were out of pocket instead of on points, but there aren’t many chain hotels on the Amalfi Coast, so we pretty much had to.  So with that said, the trip costs were:

Washington to Naples – Lufthansa First Class: 62,500 Aeroplan miles per person + roughly $475 per person in taxes and fuel surcharge. We actually booked this departure itinerary a day before leaving!  Lufthansa doesn’t release first class awards to partners except within 14 days of departure (and not always that far out), so booking last minute was no surprise.

Hotel Excelsior Naples – 10,000 SPG points. As an SPG Platinum, we also received the full breakfast buffet here–which is the norm outside the United States where unfortunately most hotels offer only the bare minimum “continental” breakfast.

Santa Caterina Hotel, Amalfi – 378 EUR per night (Virtuoso rate including breakfast, upgrade subject to availability and 85 EUR food voucher).  We sprang for a sea view room here just to be sure, because we didn’t want to count on an upgrade.

Palazzo Avino Hotel, Ravello – 280 EUR per night (Virtuoso rate including breakfast, upgrade subject to availability and 90 EUR spa credit).  We only booked a base room, though we were ultimately triple upgraded — as I suspected we might be since we’re getting married here later this year, so our room had a great view.  The hotel also had a 4th night free promo during the offseason, so it was really more like 210 EUR per night.

Naples to Washington – Lufthansa First Class: 85,000 Lufthansa Miles & More miles per person + roughly 275 EUR in taxes and fuel surcharge.  We booked this several months in advance since Lufthansa First Class is bookable with their own miles as soon as the schedule opens.

So overall, the trip cost us 305,000 points and miles — mostly Lufthansa M&M and Aeroplan — plus around $4000 cash.  It certainly could’ve cost much less in cash if we tried to book away from airlines that charge a fuel surcharge, but we value the experience of flying Lufthansa (or, I suppose, the “marginal increase” in experience of Lufthansa vs. other options that don’t charge fuel surcharge) more than the fuel surcharge, so it was worth it!



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  1. What was your strategy for obtaining Lufthansa miles?

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