Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo

Hyatt’s loyalty scheme is intriguing to me for the following reasons:

  • Their award chart, on average, has very favorable value per point
  • Hyatt is a 1:1 transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Their award chart does not vary seasonally

If you put these characteristics together, there can be times when you can get a lot of value per Hyatt point.

The characteristic I want to get into today is the lack of seasonal variation in their award chart. Cash prices vary seasonally. Hyatt’s award chart does not vary seasonally.

While this condition exists it becomes hard for Hyatt to determine which category certain hotels should be in. If they categorize it for peak season it’ll be a terrible value off-season. If they categorize it too low it’ll be a steal of a redemption.

I think it’s worthwhile finding the times of year when there are redemption sweet spots. And also interesting to see which redemptions are duds.

Methodology

I was looking for the best actionable Hyatt redemptions for my situation. We’re limited by school vacations at this station in life and as such we’ve got the following breaks:

  • December (between Christmas and New Year’s, a very popular time for all resorts so book early)
  • February (President’s Day)
  • April (date sometimes does/sometimes doesn’t align with Easter)
  • Summer (July through August)

I wanted to see which Hyatts, in locations I might actually like to visit, had award availability with good cents per point of value on dates that I could actually visit them.

When I hear about a great redemption someone else has enjoyed, it’s tempting to get sucked into the notion that I too might visit that location some day. In reality, there are defined windows when we take our vacations. And I can only visit that property if there’s award availability and other aspects of the vacation fall into place.

Time flies by. So I think it’s important to make it a priority to take the vacations you want to take.

See: Visualizing a Family Demand Schedule

If award properties fit into my family’s priorities in terms of destinations: Great. If not, I’ll stay somewhere else.

I started doing some searches at Hyatts that looked appealing to me worldwide. I took note of the cash price, award cost, award availability, and max capacity per room and captured them in a spreadsheet.

I’d encourage you to have a look and tailor something like this to your situation to see whether there’s value to be had:

Link to Spreadsheet

Note that cash prices and award availability vary all the time. This is just a snapshot in time, mostly taken around September 2018.

Other Considerations

Getting to some of these destinations, especially during school breaks, can be expensive.

Then there’s the status factor. If you have Globalist status the generous free breakfast benefit, the potential for a suite upgrade, complimentary parking, and lounge access could make things even more appealing.

Though at peak times I don’t like to count on upgrade on a “space available” basis. I included standard suite awards in my spreadsheet, but suite award availability is hard to pin down with Hyatt. Just because a property shows a standard suite available online with cash doesn’t mean it’s bookable with points. You have to call.

I definitely observed a trend that high per-point value of guaranteed suite award coincided with a lack of award availability.

Things will only get more complicated now that Hyatt offers Premium Suite Awards for twice the number of points as a standard room. Will properties play games with availability? Which Premium Suite will you get exactly? The price range on Premium Suites is huge at some properties.

Podcast: Hyatt Premium Suite Awards and more

The Best Hyatt Redemptions

All that said, here are the best and worst Hyatt redemptions I found.

All Photo credits to Hyatt

1. Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo in Winter
7.2 cents per point

Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo

Price: $1,077/nt (February 2019)

Points: 15,000/nt (Category 4)

Actually has award availability: No, but may be possible if you book very far out?
See: Update to Andaz Costa Rica Papagayo Blocking Award Availability

Notes: Sounds like a great redemption. Will look into it.

2. Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa in Winter
6.8 cents per point

Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa

Price: $1,016/nt (December 2018)

Points: 15,000/nt (Category 4)

Actually has award availability: Yes (so long as you book a few months ahead of time).

Notes: Nice place. Includes an attached water park with lazy river and private island.

3. Park Hyatt Milan in April
5.8 cents per point

Park Hyatt Milan

Price: $1,733/nt (April 2019)

Points: 30,000/nt (Category 7)

Actually has award availability: Yes

Notes: We’ve got a trip to Italy coming up in April. Just don’t think I want to shape it around Milan for a favorable redemption rate.

4. Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa Year Round
4.9 cents per point

Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa

Price: $1,229/nt (April 2019)

Points: 25,000/nt (Category 6)

Actually has award availability: Yes

Notes: Sounds great, but requires a long journey.

5. Park Hyatt New York City in Spring
4.6 cents per point

Park Hyatt New York

Price: $1,373/nt (February 2019)

Points: 30,000/nt (Category 7)

Actually has award availability: Yes

Notes: Great hotel. Review here

6. Park Hyatt St. Kitts in February
4.1 cents per point

Park Hyatt St. Kitts

Price: $1,212/nt (February 2019)

Points: 30,000/nt (Category 7)

Actually has award availability: Yes

Notes: Great resort. Review here

The Worst Hyatt Redemptions

1. Park Hyatt Mallorca in Winter
0.9 cents per point

Park Hyatt Mallorca

Price: $186/nt (February 2019)

Points: 20,000/nt (Category 5)

Actually has award availability: Yes

Notes: Gorgeous resort. Rates are very low here off-season, and even in the more popular summer months rates have come down from when they first opened. Becomes just over a 2 cent per point redemption in the summer.

2. Hyatt Place Porland-Old Port, Maine in Winter
1.2 cents per point

Hyatt Place Portand-Old Port

Price: $150/nt (April 2019)

Points: 12,000/nt (Category 3)

Actually has award availability: Yes

Notes: Actually becomes a great value in the summer when cash rates jump and award prices stay the same.

3. Park Hyatt Bangkok in February
1.6 cents per point

Park Hyatt Bangkok

Price: $322/nt (February 2019)

Points: 20,000/nt (Category 5)

Actually has award availability: Yes

4. Park Hyatt St. Kitts in Summer
1.6 cents per point

Park Hyatt St. Kitts

Price: $467/nt (July 2019)

Points: 30,000/nt (Category 7)

Actually has award availability: Yes

Notes: This is why we see cash deals at this hotel in the summer. Probably one of the hardest properties to categorize due to seasonal variation.

5. Hyatt Carmel Highlands in Winter
1.7 cents per point

Hyatt Carmel Highlands

Price: $502/nt (July 2019)

Points: 30,000/nt (Category 7)

Actually has award availability: Yes

Notes: This hotel is a surprisingly mundane award value year-round, rarely seeing more than 2 cents per point of value. And the townhouse suites, if booked for 48,000 points/nt, are an even worse value. This property is over-categorized.

Dishonorable Mention: Andaz Maui Year-Round
2.1 cents per point

Andaz Maui

Price: $525/nt (July 2019)

Points: 25,000/nt (Category 6)

Actually has award availability: Almost never

Notes: This property is famous for playing games with room categories and blocking award stays. What’s ironic is that it’s not even a particularly good award value. Save your points and stay elsewhere.

Bottom Line

Since Hyatt’s award chart doesn’t vary seasonally it creates some redemption sweet spots. While these are in place it’s worth exploring which redemptions might be useful to you.

There are a bunch of interesting tangents that became apparent while performing these searches. I’ll look forward to discussing them in an upcoming post.

And I’m sure we’ll talk about this more on an upcoming Milenomics² Podcast.

What are some of the best (and worst) Hyatt redemptions you’ve found?

– Written by Robert Dwyer, contributor at Milenomics. Connect with me on Twitter @RobertDwyer

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9 thoughts on “Sweet Spots: The Most Seasonally Miscategorized Hyatt Hotels

  1. Hyatt Place Asheville during high season is frequently around 4 cents per point–12K points, rooms between $400 and $500. It’s not the screaming hot deal it was as a category 1, but it’s still a good value.

    • Hyatt Place is our go-to for our family of five within the Hyatt brand, with the two doubles and pull out couch. There is an occasional Hyatt Regency that will take five with a rollaway.

  2. Excellent post, though it’s really just a starting point. There’s such a range of hotels and prices in these areas it may be possible your $1500 a night room might actually be almost the same as a $500 night a room at a different nearby hotel on a Priceline deal. If you can get nearly the same thing for $500 as your redemption, as you getting $1500 or $500 in value

    • Totally agree.

      In a sense it’s a pretty non-Milenomic way to look at things. Figure out what you *really* want to do first then figure out how to best pay for it.

      In the case of the Park Hyatt Milan what I really want to do is stay at an agritourismo in Tuscany. It’s $200/nt for a 3 bedroom villa. It’s on the Chase UR portal so I can book it for like 14,000 URs a night. So that’s what I’ll do.

      That said, I’ve had some great experiences at Park Hyatts. Nothing wrong with letting a great redemption inspire at least part of a trip.

  3. I digress, but wondering what your Italy plans are for April. We too are tied to spring break but just snagged a good airfare deal to Rome. Since then I have been hemming and hawing about plans/point hotels/whether to use 1.5 uplift, etc. Agree I am definitely not detouring to Milan for the Park Hyatt! P.S. all these cash deals to Europe the last few years have hosed up my family demand schedule!

    • Not sure yet either.
      Italy is a favorite of ours and I’d like to go back to some spots we’ve been to previously and enjoyed.
      I’m liking the low season rates I’m finding.

      For as much as we’ve been banging on the new Chase Expedia portal I’m finding smaller hotels in Italy that I’ve really liked.

      Like Hotel Dei Mellini in Rome. One of my favorite hotel stays of all time, and I can book a suite that accomodates 4 with breakfast included for like 25,000 URs/nt. It’s actually signifcantly cheaper in the Chase Expedia portal than booking direct.

      Similarly Borgo Iesolana in Tuscany is terrific. A 3 BR villa for 15,000 URs a night, also cheaper through Chase Expedia than booking direct.

      Sam would be proud of me being my own elite. You don’t own me, Hyatt! 😉

  4. Glad you put in Highlands as an overvalued property, but what a great deal during the Faster Free Night days and 20k redemptions (prices in shoulder season were 550 + taxes back then). Of course, I just looked up peak wedding season…June 15-17 is $2399/night, so ymmv.

    Any tips on Japan for next June? Taking DW and pop-culture-obsessed pre-teen daughter for a week.

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