Last week I’ve published a post on a terrific deal and a new Hyatt redemption option in Prague. I got an interesting comment from one of our readers and was curious to see how you guys feel about it. As a reminder, I’m talking about Lindner Hotel Prague Castle that you can get for as low as 3,500 Hyatt points per night in the summer, normally a peak season in Europe.
Anyway, the reader said that 2.1 CPP (cents per point) is good, but not great. In his/her opinion, it makes sense to simply pay 68 euros per night and save Hyatt points for something else. I was surprised by that comment, as to me getting 2 cents per Hyatt point seems like an amazing deal. AMAZING.
Here is my response in the comments section:
“The thing to remember is that many times Hyatt properties cost a fortune in cash, and not something I would actually pay in real life. So while getting a $3000 per night hotel for 40k Hyatt points will yield a more impressive ROI, it’s not a fair comparison. On the other hand, I am happy to pay $70 per night for a centrally located room with A/C, so getting it for 3,500 points instead is a no-brainer.”
But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it’s not a no-brainer at all. At least not to everyone. If you have no desire to stay at this particular hotel and instead have your eye on another luxury Hyatt property, then paying 3,500 points is not a good deal at all.
This reminded me of a conversation with my late FIL. I asked if he wanted to join me and my husband for a dinner at Carrabba’s. His response was that he could get 50 cups of ramen noodles for what a dish at Carrabba’s costs. To that I countered that I didn’t really want to eat ramen noodles for dinner (50 times in a row) no matter how cheap it was. I was happy to pay $20 for one order of Chicken Bryan, a dish I happen to love.
I guess it’s kind of like that with miles and points. Personally, I feel that Park Hyatt Kyoto is grossly overpriced via cash and points, and argued that renting a machiya or even paying for a non-chain hotel probably makes more sense. Then again, if you really love the looks of the property and are prepared to pay cash, then using Hyatt currency instead will yield a spectacular return. You can say that you got 9 cents per point, and you would be 100% correct.
So, ultimately, it comes down to your preferences. I’ve said many times that just because I enjoyed something, doesn’t mean that you (the readers) will love it too. I certainly try to be as impartial as possible in my reviews, and it helps that I pay for all of our travel myself either using cash or points. But at the end of the day, we are all different people with unique tastes.
I’ve never really defined my taste in travel as “budget.” Rather, I look for optimal use of money or points, based on my family’s needs. We do often lean towards budget options, but I splurge on occasion as well. For example, next summer, I’m thinking about redeeming Hyatt points on Château d’Ouchy in Lausanne (SLH collection). It’s not cheap, but then again, almost nothing in Switzerland is. Since the room only fits two, we would need to cough up 40k Hyatt points per night. Sure, it includes breakfast, but still.
That said, if we can sort out the flights, I’m 99% sure that we will end up staying in this property. It looks special, and the location on the lake can’t be beat. In order to book a stay here, I will need to empty out my Hyatt stash. Completely.
But that’s the whole reason I collect points: to help offset the cost of travel I plan to do anyway. Sometimes it’s not possible, like in the case of renting a machiya in Kyoto. Though even then you can technically offset the cost by using points from various credit cards. But it’s not quite the same as saying “I got 9 cents per point”, is it?
The bottom line is, I try to find a happy medium between using hotel points and getting something I would be OK paying cash for. All other decent options in Lausanne (including AirBnB) would cost us $450-$500 per night, with no breakfast. So, using 40k Hyatt points instead is not that outrageous, especially taking into account prime location and possibility of an early check-in. While I would love to use 3,500 points per night to stay in the lakefront property in Lausanne, it’s simply not realistic. At least not yet! But this hobby is full of surprises.
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.