Hyatt is known as a higher end brand and therefore most people think of Hyatt reward nights as aspiration awards. After all 22,000 points for hotels like the Park Hyatt Sydney and Paris is a steal considering they are almost $1,000 a night kind of hotels. But I’d like to argue that Hyatt has lower level hotels that are equally great redemptions. Some hotels on the category 1 list are $200 a night hotels which end up being a similar value.
Think about it. A $1,000 a night hotel for 22,000 points is nearly the same value as a $200 a night hotel for 5,000 points. For some this game is all about luxury at reasonable prices. While that’s a nice benefit, I’m mostly in this for free travel. So if the value is the same, I’m inclined to go with staying at the lower level hotels for more nights. After all, if I spent one night at the Park Hyatt because it’s a better value and pay for three nights instead of having 4 nights with points, it’s not actually a better value. Sure, it may be a better experience, and travel is about experiences, but it is not a better value. If you’re paying 3 nights out of pocket instead of none because you blew all your points on one night, I can’t imagine how you’d come out a head.
But lets be honest, the category 1 hotels are not often in the same city as the category 6 hotels. For example, in Manhattan, the most expensive hotel is 22,000 points and the cheapest is only one tier down, a category 5 for 18,000 points. You may find that the nice Hyatt hotels (or Andaz hotels) are much nicer, a much better value, a better location and the price difference isn’t huge.
In reality most category 6 hotels are not $1,000 and most category 5 hotels are not $200 but those are the kind of values we look for. While I’ve never personally stayed at a “Hyatt Place” or “Hyatt House” -hotels that fill the category one list- there are a number of Hyatt and Hyatt Regency brand hotels that occupy the bottom of the list that we’ve really enjoyed.
During a PointBreaks, everyone recommends tranfering from Chase to Priority Club to get deals on decent InterContinental Hotels for 5,000 points when these Hyatt hotels can be had at that price all the time and with better value!
Here are some of the properties that catch my eye…
Category 1 hotels for 5,000 points a night:
- The Bali Hyatt.
Although it did just announce it’s closing this summer for renovations, to which I’m actually disappointed. Yes, the rooms needed some updating, but it was still a great hotel and for 5,000 points it’s an absolute steal. My worry is that it will be a little more expensive (in points) when it opens. Plus, renovations tend to take forever. So if you get there soon, it’s well worth it.
- Hyatt Regency Kathmandu.
Nepal is on our future travel “plans” and this looks like a great option. A value of $150 for 5,000 points.
- Hyatt Regency Greenville
- Hyatt Regency Albuquerque
Category 2 hotels for 8,000 points a night:
- Park Hyatt Mendoza
This one should be mentioned first as it’s the lowest priced Park Hyatt brand in terms of points. If you have a trip to Argentina, this is a must.
- Grand Hyatt Santiago
We loved this hotel but it’s definitely “out” in the business district.
- Hyatt Regency Johannesburg
- Grand Hyatt Amman
- Hyatt Regency Toronto
- Grand Hyatt Sao Paulo
If the wind brings you to Sao Paulo, this hotel is a killer deal. I can’t believe this hotel often goes for $500+ a night.
- Grand Hyatt Jakarta
- Hyatt Regency Saipan
For each of these hotels, it’s only 2,000 points more for a Regency Club room, which would give you access to the club lounge. For most of these international locations, that could really be worth it. Not only do they serve breakfast but food and drinks in the evening for many hotels. Diamond members of course get free lounge access and Platinum members can take their chances but if the word on the street is that it’s a great lounge, you should confirm that upgrade by shelling out 2,000 extra.
Again, Hyatt is a Chase Ultimate Rewards partner and transfers from Chase UR Points to Hyatt is instant. Same great Chase cards are the Chase Sapphire Preferred (40,000 point bonus) and the Ink Bold (50,000 point bonus).
While I would rather use these points on United, they could be used for a number of nights at the Bali Hyatt or at the Park Hyatt Mendoza. That’s saying pretty awesome as Park Hyatt is without a doubt a luxury brand. 200,000 points would easily be a value of over $7,000 used at many of these hotels.
All that to say; while the Park Hyatt Tokyo is surely a better hotel, I’m not sure it’s a better value. 9 free nights in the Park Hyatt Tokyo is still a great value but it’s not as good of a value as some of the examples listed. Plus, the value of having more free nights hasn’t even been factored in. Not having to pay for a hotel the next night should be considered a value. In my opinion, you should subtract the average nights cost of a paid hotel from the “value” of a high category hotel. My reasoning is that the higher amount of points for a category 6 hotel cost you free nights that you would have had if you redeemed for a category 1, and those free nights are also worth money.
Still, experiencing a Park Hyatt is a factor in and of itself. With points we would never be able to experience such hotels and luxury.
So do you redeem your points for big aspirational stays or for as many free stays (and flights) as you can? Perhaps, the goal is to find the redemption with the best value no matter what category… What’s your opinion?