Ah those good ole times when you jump through numerous hoops and it still doesn't work out for you. The frustrations that happen while booking award travel.
Etihad is running a decent promotion offering a free 2-night Stopover in Abu Dhabi complete with two free nights in specified hotels. This offer is even available on cheap economy flights.
It took a Hurricane, phantom availability and cancelled flights to get an exception, but it is possible to get Chase to reverse points transfers from Ultimate Rewards to travel partners.
A new hotel booking site called Hotel Engine is offering a $25 new member credit with no minimums. They have a great site and competitive rates.