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As is the case with many of you, my family’s summer travel plans are currently in limbo due to Coronavirus. Will we be going to Japan, Hawaii, California or neither of those places? I honestly have no idea. But I have several trips in the works, with a very good possibility of extending our stay in Hawaii, specifically the island of Kauai.
What was once a Plan Be all of a sudden became Plan A after my husband’s diabetes diagnosis. As a result, I started doing some in-depth research on our lodging options in Kauai. My flights are already booked via Southwest.
Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort looks amazing, but…
I admit, I’m really tempted to book this place via Hyatt points. I’ve read a ton of reviews, and I know my kids would love Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa. My cousin-in-law said it’s her favorite Hyatt in the world.
I also happen to have club access certificate which would give us free breakfast and evening snacks. Also, as an Explorist (via elaborate system of MLife matches), my husband would be entitled to a better room, subject to availability.
And just look at the bird’s eye view of the pool complex:
Considering the fact that room rates for my dates hover around $600 per night all-in, paying 25K Hyatt points instead seems like a bargain. I really would have to be crazy to pass on this opportunity, right? I guess I am crazy because that’s exactly what I plan on doing.
Here are my reasons:
1) First and foremost, I HATE sharing one room with my kids. We do it locally for weekend getaways, but it’s my strong preference not to, especially when factoring in all the stress of flying. In addition, my husband and I like king-size beds, and here we would have to share a queen.
I did talk to someone at the resort about a possibility of getting a king room with a twin sofa bed, and adding a rollaway for $25 per night. She thought it might be possible, but website states triple occupancy, so I’m not sure how it works in reality. Even if we added a rollaway, we would still have to share one cramped room.
2) Many Tripadvisor reviews indicate that the resort is huge, and it can take up to 10 minutes to walk from your room to Club lounge. Obviously, walking is good for your health, but Hawaii is stinkin’ hot and humid. I prefer a relatively compact resort where you can get what you need in a mater of minutes. Navigating sprawling grounds daily for dining and doing laundry sounds exhausting.
3) My kids will never want to leave the pool area! Here is the thing. Yes, lazy river looks awesome sauce etc. But we will only have three nights in Kauai and I want to explore the island instead of the resort pool. We have nice resort pools in Florida after all.
If I don’t use Hyatt points here, I can simply burn them at Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa, located 1.5 hours from my home. It’s my son’s favorite place in the world. It costs 20k points per night and we can get club access there as well. Plus, some rooms have a king bed+ sofa sleeper, and we can bring an air mattress in the van (free!)
In short, I definitely think Hyatt points are valuable. My husband and I both applied for Chase World of Hyatt credit card awhile back, and I plan to hang on to both of them for the foreseeable future. I’ve been able to put the annual renewal certificates (valid at Cat. 1-4 properties) to good use on a number of occasions.
If you want to apply for it, I hope you consider using my referral link You will get 50,000 points after spending $6,000 in 6 months, $95 annual fee is not waived. This card is subject to 5/24 Chase restriction.
Where we might stay instead
Most AirBnB places I’ve looked at have a strict cancellation policy, something I very much prefer to avoid. With so much uncertainty at the moment, flexibility is key. Fortunately, I found a decent compromise: Kauai Coast Resort at the Beachboy
I feel like it’s an excellent option for families, and you don’t even have to have any Wyndham points on hand in order to score a deal. I’ve mentioned this place before and said that I wasn’t able to book it via Wyndham website. I’m glad that I decided to call because this is a gem of a deal IMO. But the process is a bit convoluted.
If you have Wyndham points, I recommend calling Extra Holidays (a separate company) directly at 1-866-430-9932. You can verify award availability via Wyndham.com first. Here is the price for one-bedroom condo when paying cash:
And here is the Go Fast rate for the same dates:
That’s over $100 in savings (when factoring in tax) in exchange for using 3,000 points per night. If you don’t have Wyndham points on hand, this is one time it would make sense to purchase them. You are allowed to buy 10,000 points per calendar year, so if you decide to buy 9,000 points, this is what you will pay:
That would be a great price for a vacation rental in Kauai. My cash portion for 3 nights is $403 (I already had some Wyndham points in my account). I haven’t stayed at the resort, but it looks very nice. It’s located right on the beach, though it’s not swimmable. BTW, neither is the beach next to Grand Hyatt.
There is a beautiful pool, a hot tub and a bar that serves alcohol and food. Every unit has a washer/dryer combo, a full kitchen and a separate bedroom with a door. In other words, it’s an ideal setup for families, all at a fairly affordable price. You can cancel 72 hours ahead with no penalty.
Some dates have availability for two-bedroom units, you just have to use 6,000 points per night.
The main goal is not to convince you to forego staying at the Grand Hyatt. If you want to, go for it. As I’ve said before, it looks beautiful, and I can’t imagine any kid not liking the pool area. But for our situation, it’s just not the right fit. I won’t show my kids the photos of the place, and they won’t know what they’ve missed.
I feel like in this hobby folks tend to follow the same pattern. Going to Paris? Only Hyatt Vendome will do. In Maui, everyone wants to stay at Andaz. Nothing wrong with it, and I go for the usual suspects myself on occasion.
But my point is, at any given destination there are many options, and what works for one person, won’t work for the other. If you are looking to transfer UR points to Hyatt, you may want to read Nancy’s review of Waipouli Beach resort in Kauai first. During off-season you can get a 2-bedroom unit for less than 20,000 UR points via Chase Sapphire Reserve. A much better deal than Grand Hyatt IMO, especially for large families.
While saving cash is always my goal, paying $403 for three nights in Kauai is dirt cheap. Especially when we are getting a large unit with all the conveniences of a home instead of a tiny room.
Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.
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.