When I first started reading miles and points blogs, it became clear to me that certain hotel redemptions are very popular among bloggers and hobbyists. The Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome is one, but another one that comes up frequently is the Grand Hyatt Kauai.
My family is planning a trip to Hawaii in early 2018. We spent a week on Oahu back in 2015, with two nights in Waikiki and five nights at Disney’s Aulani resort. For our next trip, we decided to explore another island for 4-6 days. After that, we will fly to Oahu and head back to Aulani to enjoy the resort for a few days.
I’ve done a lot of research about the other Hawaiian islands. Most people recommend going to Maui with kids, but there’s just something about Kauai. So after we agreed that Kauai will be our first stop, I assumed I would find a way to stay at the Grand Hyatt Kauai.
My goal is to spend as little as possible on accommodations in Kauai, since staying at Aulani is an expensive splurge.
What’s so great about the Grand Hyatt Kauai?
For the record, I don’t want to stay at the Grand Hyatt Kauai just because other bloggers and hobbyists do. However, I’m a huge fan of the Hyatt brand. My family has enjoyed getaways to two Hyatt resorts in Texas, and we’ve stayed at several other Hyatt hotels on other trips. I even had an online battle with Leana about why Hyatt is better than IHG.
I’ve talked to a few people who say that the Grand Hyatt Kauai is their favorite hotel in the entire U.S. The hotel has 4 ½ stars out of 5 on Trip Advisor. It has 50 acres of lush gardens, a golf course, spa and kids’ club.
The pools at this hotel might be the best on the entire island. The resort has multiple pools that are connected by a lazy river. In addition, there is a saltwater lagoon near the beach that offers kayaking and paddle boarding.
In short, it sounds heavenly!
How much would staying at the Grand Hyatt Kauai cost my family?
During our trip time frame, the cash price for this resort is over $500 a night per room including taxes and resort fee. With Hyatt points, this resort costs 25,000 points per night. The Points + Cash rate is 12,500 points + $150, which ends up being slightly over $200 per night once taxes and the resort fee are added. Ouch!
The kicker is, we are a family of five and would need two rooms. I called the resort directly to ask if we could book one room for the five of us if we use existing bedding. The answer was no, so the price per night is double for us. It would cost us 50,000 points per night, or 25,000 points + ~$400 on the Points + Cash rate. Double ouch!
Despite the high points cost, we could actually pull off five nights here using points. My husband and I could both apply for the Chase Hyatt Visa. The card has a $75 annual fee, but it comes with a bonus of two free nights after spending $2000.
We both have Chase Ultimate Rewards that we could convert to Hyatt points. My husband’s points are from the Chase Sapphire Reserve, and my points will be from the Chase Sapphire Preferred once I get my bonus points.
We could combine our two free nights from the Chase Hyatt Visa with points for two rooms for three nights.It would cost us 150,000 Hyatt points + $150 (two annual fees on the Chase Hyatt Visa) for a five-night stay. If we used Points + Cash for three nights on top of the two free nights, the total is 75,000 Hyatt points plus $1350 (~400 per night X 3 nights +$150 in annual fees).
Reasons to pass on the Grand Hyatt Kauai
While there are plenty of reason to book this luxury hotel, there are numerous reasons we should not.
- Cost of rooms. 150,000 points + 4 free night certificates is a lot of points to spend.
- Potential to be separated. If we book two rooms, we are not guaranteed to have connecting rooms. The resort is huge, and we could end up on separate ends.
- Another credit pull. If we decide to stay at the Grand Hyatt Kauai, we would need to sign up for the Chase Hyatt Visa. That would require a hard credit pull as well as affect our 5/24 status for future cards.
- Cost of food. Food isn’t cheap on Hawaii, and it certainly won’t be cheap at this resort. No meals would be included in our rate, so we’d have to eat out all the time or buy food to store in our room. Our rooms would for sure have small refrigerators and we could request a microwave, but we would not have access to a kitchen.
- We wouldn’t want to leave the resort? I’m afraid the Hyatt will be so lush and pretty that we won’t want to leave the resort to explore the island. That lazy river and lagoon will call to us, and we will want to spend our days there. I have a rather large to-do wish list in Kauai. Potential plans include visiting a chocolate farm and a coffee plantation, tubing down sugar cane canals, going on a family ATV ride to a waterfall, and possibly a helicopter ride.
- We will get our pool and kids’ club fix at Aulani on the second half of our trip. The pool area at Aulani is crazy-good with a lazy river, two water slides, grotto infinity pool, two-level adults-only infinity hot tub, etc. And, the kids’ club is free!
Other Kauai hotel options for a family of five
Other than Hyatt via Ultimate Rewards points, I don’t collect hotel points. Why? It’s too hard to book a family of five with hotel points. If we don’t end up booking the Grand Hyatt, we will likely use the CSR’s Ultimate Rewards travel portal to book a hotel at a rate of 1.5 cents per point.
If we really just need a decent place to sleep while we explore Kauai, the Ultimate Rewards portal has several options for my family. We could stay at the Hilton Garden Inn Kauai Wailua Bay in a room with two queen beds and a sofa bed. With taxes, the room comes to 12,884 points per night. It gets decent reviews (4 our of 5 stars on Trip Advisor).
If we spend more points, we could stay at a condo resort but still use way less than 50k points per night. For example, a two-bedroom condo at Kaha Lani Resort costs 15,301 points with taxes. My kids would get their own beds, and we’d have a full kitchen. It doesn’t have a fancy pool, but Lydgate Beach Park is just down the walking trail.
The Chase UR travel portal has several other condo resorts at various prices that would probably work well for my family.
Go big or go home? Or something in the middle?
Staying for five nights at the Grand Hyatt Kauai followed by Disney’s Aulani would certainly be “going big” for our Hawaii trip. But, I’m not sure it’s necessary to spend all of those points for the Grand Hyatt Kauai. If we spend fewer points on a hotel in Kauai, we can use those points for activities on the island, or save them for another trip.
The logical choice would be to split our stay in Kauai, with three nights at a condo and two nights at the Grand Hyatt. However, my husband is opposed to this because we plan on stopping overnight on the West Coast before and after our trip. With one hotel on each end, plus one in Kauai and one in Oahu, we’re already at four hotels for an 11-night trip.
Deciding how to best spend our points is a good problem to have. I do need to make a decision soon, though, because our dates will be bookable on Hyatt’s website in a couple of weeks. I don’t expect that rooms on points will sell out immediately, but rooms on the Points + Cash rate tend to disappear more quickly.
Am I being cheap with my points if I skip the Grand Hyatt? Or practical? What factors do you consider when you need to choose between an expensive points redemption and a more practical redemption?
If you have stayed Kauai, I’d love to hear your opinion on where you stayed.
PS—please don’t tell me to stay at the St. Regis Princeville. It’s way out of reach for my family of five!
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.