No, it’s not the case of DYKWIA (do you know who I am?) Though I confess, I find myself bringing up the fact that my husband is currently a Diamond, while vacationing in Hyatt properties. It just comes out randomly during conversations with perfect strangers.
Fellow guest: How do you like your room here?
Me: Oh, we love our suite! In case you are wondering (he wasn’t), we got it due to my husband’s Diamond status. (Mentally slapping myself in the face.)
Anyway, as I’ve mentioned before, getting this status (for free) has been an amazing windfall. However, I was determined from the beginning not to change our existing plans. Getting free breakfast/lounge access/suite is nice, but most Hyatt resort properties are expensive on points. I realize it’s like comparing apples to oranges, but I always measure value against my cost of accumulating IHG currency.
For example, many beachfront Holiday Inn properties in the state of Florida run at 35,000 points per night. I get a rebate of 10% with my IHG credit card, so the true cost is 31,500 points. I can usually accumulate this amount for around $100 via various promos. Redeeming during peak times and holidays will yield the best CPP, but it’s a good deal during any season, really. Additionally, kids eat free at a Holiday Inn, and dining prices are reasonable to begin with.
Hyatt Diamond status, you are driving me crazy!
While I enjoyed our stay in Clearwater Hyatt property, at 20,000 points per night I didn’t think it was a good redemption value. Free breakfast is nice, but I don’t feel the need to go back unless we can use Hyatt Visa certificates. Visiting Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa was a different story. My whole family absolutely loved our getaway.
Having free lounge access is extremely convenient when you travel with family, not to mention, saves a good bit of money. So, I started looking at our upcoming plans to see if we can swap IHG reservations for Hyatt stays.
After all, I have several suite upgrades just begging to be used. And suites are a big deal (pun intended) when you have four people. Another motivating factor was $200 I have left on my Hyatt gift card. I could book Cash+Points stay and have gift card cover the $ cost.
I did convince myself to splurge on one-night stay at Hyatt Regency Sarasota It’s a category 3, so Cash+Points rate is $75+6,000 points per night. For that amount we will get a suite with free lounge access.
I’m really torn on what to do (or not to do) for Spring Break. Here is the thing. My kids are off for one week in March, and Hyatt status will expire at the end of February. Few months ago I was able to redeem 105,000 IHG points on a 3-night stay in Holiday Inn Club Vacations Cape Canaveral Beach Resort Paid rate for the same time period is $800. So it’s a very good value redemption considering the fact that I was able to accumulate the points for around $300.
We’ve stayed at this resort 5 years ago, before it became part of IHG, and really enjoyed it. We are “easy to please” travelers and don’t need luxury. However, we really appreciate free food, which brings me to my dilemma…
I’m seriously thinking about booking a three-night getaway at Hyatt Coconut Point resort in Bonita Springs and just canceling our vacation in Cape Canaveral. Obviously, we would have to go in February in order to take advantage of Diamond status one last time. I checked several February weekends and unfortunately, Cash+Points rate isn’t available on any of them, so we would have to share a regular room.
Is free Hyatt food really free?
On the one hand, this status deal is “use it or lose it.” On the other hand, I’ve been wanting to go to Cape Canaveral resort for a very long time. I’m also not crazy about cancelling our Spring Break plans. So, basically, it comes down to free lounge food and late checkout.
How much is lounge access REALLY worth? Obviously, it’s very convenient, but then again, Cape Canaveral has room service and on-site restaurants. Yes, we’ll have to pay, but prices are reasonable. Plus, my kids will be happy with a muffin and a cup of milk, and we can pick those up at a grocery store dirt cheap.
So, it comes down to buying breakfast for me and my husband. We can pull off a super nice meal for $25 and make coffee in the room. Getting dinner and snacks in the lounge is very convenient, but I wouldn’t value this perk at more than $50 per day. So, we are talking about savings of $75.
Plus, we won’t feel pressured to leave the pool area in Cape Canaveral just so we can get our free food. We can order few meals right there and let kids play in the water. We won’t be tied to a lounge and feel free to go to IHOP, which we absolutely love. Hyatt resort costs 15,000 points per night, which can instead be redeemed for $225 towards travel. By comparison, I’ve accumulated IHG currency at a cost of 0.3 cents per point, which translates to $100 per night.
I’m pretty sure the kids will enjoy both resorts equally. Plus, I can always transfer UR points to Hyatt and just book a getaway at a later date. The thing is, unlike IHG currency, UR points represent real cash. And that’s worth keeping in mind. Whatever we end up doing for Spring Break, I would much rather utilize “funny money” likely to devalue (a.k.a hotel points) than actual dollars.
Hyatt just made my decision easier
So, while I was writing this post, the big news of Hyatt program revamp hit the web. See all the details here Basically, my husband will be downgraded to Explorist status since we are not trying to re-qualify for Diamond. And you better believe that this news isn’t going to change our plans!
Mattress runs for status rarely make sense for regular folks like us. Gracias no. While things may change between now and March 1st, it looks like we’ll be getting 4 Club Lounge vouchers that should be valid till March of 2018. Here is the pertinent info:
“Current Hyatt Gold Passport members who are awarded Explorist status on March 1, 2017, will have the four Explorist Club Upgrade Awards in their account in early March 2017. All other members will receive the awards at the time of achieving or re-achieving Explorist status. Explorist Club Upgrade Awards are valid for reservations with a checkout date no later than one year from the date of award issuance. These electronic awards are automatically deposited into your account.”
Since this Hyatt resort rarely has Cash+Points availability for the dates we need, free food is mostly what I care about. Late checkout is nice, but it’s not a game changer. Since I can use Club room upgrade certificate on award stays, I might just book a getaway at the end of 2017 or beginning of 2018. Like I said, we really enjoyed the property, so I don’t feel too bad about splurging on a 2-night weekend, especially since no airfare is required.
Elite status can make a person act irrationally
I can say with absolute certainty that it’s messing with my head and encouraging me to spend more in order to take advantage of all the perks while we still have them. But in the end, it’s just freakin’ food and extra space, folks! Yes, suite is nice, when you can actually get it, that is. We weren’t able to take advantage of any of our upgrade certificates. Well, except that one stay in Sarasota which I may end up canceling after all.
Turns out, we have to attend an out-of-town wedding that weekend, and the last thing my husband will want to do is drive to Sarasota for one night in order to get free (free!!!) food. Wait a minute, paying 6,000 UR points+$100 (including resort fee and tax) just to swim in a pool and eat a delicious omelet/pastry isn’t really that much of a bargain.
We can do the same thing at a Holiday Inn Express for 15,000 points (previously acquired for $50 all-in). The Hyatt in Sarasota looks like a nice hotel, but not a resort by any stretch of imagination. Maybe it’s better to just let the suite upgrade expire and save Hyatt gift card for the stay we really want later in the year. #FirstWorldProblems
Readers, is Hyatt Diamond status messing with your head?
Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.