How would you like to book a 3,294 square-foot Presidential Suite for 16,000 points per night? How about a two bedroom, 3 bath Diplomat Suite with club access to a private beach for 10,000 points per night? Or how about a two bedroom Ambassador Suite that includes a private butler for only 24,000 points per night?
This isn’t made up stuff. Remember my recent post about Luxury in Budapest? There I showed an example of a hotel that seems to be categorized too low in the Hyatt hierarchy and it’s therefore much cheaper on points than it should be. It costs only 8K points per night for a standard room, 13K per night for a standard suite, or 16K points per night for a luxury suite.
The cool thing is that Hyatt has made it possible to book luxury suites at many properties for double the standard award rate. And in many cases, an otherwise ordinary hotel may have an incredible suite available to be booked for a reasonable rate. As a reminder, here’s Hyatt’s award chart. Note the right-most column showing the Premium Suite prices:
As you can see above, you can book a night in a premium suite in a category 4 hotel for the same price (30K points) that it costs to stay in a top-tier category 7 Hyatt (At this time, category 8 is reserved for hotels that participate in the Hyatt program but aren’t really Hyatt hotels. E.g. Small Luxury Hotels of the World). This is interesting because it’s sometimes possible to get far more luxury in a specialty suite at a lower category hotel than you would get in a regular room at a higher category hotel.
Great for families
Suites and Premium suites can be a great way to keep the family together. Instead of booking two rooms, book one specialty suite for the same price. Sometimes it’s possible to find specialty suites with two bedrooms. If not, there should be plenty of room for kids to sleep on sofas or rollaways.
Hidden award availability
Suites and premium suites cannot be booked online with points. As a result, you may find award availability in a suite at times when there are no regular rooms available. This is exactly what happened to me with the hotel in Budapest (read about it here).
Often close to home
Often in the miles & points game, the best opportunities for extreme luxury require going far away. Like, Maldives far. This opportunity is different. While we have found some knockout opportunities in far flung locations, we’ve also found great luxury deals in ordinary cities in the United States such as Greenwich Connecticut, Albuquerque New Mexico, and Rochester New York. And I believe that these are just the beginning of the opportunities to be found.
The Presidential Suite at the Hyatt Regency Greenwich, CT
This entire post was initially motivated by an email from our own Stephen Pepper to Nick and me. He wrote:
The Hyatt Regency Greenwich, CT is a category 2 property, so only 8k per night. They have a 3,300 sq ft Presidential Suite which is classed as a premium suite. Now that premium suites can be booked with points, that means it should be bookable for only 16k points.
He further confirmed with Hyatt that the suite was indeed bookable for just 16,000 points per night!
I looked at the paid rate for the Presidential Suite at the Hyatt Regency Greenwich on a few different dates and found: $436, $502, $727, and $727. Let’s call that $600 per night, on average. At 16K points per night vs. $600, you get a per-point value of 3.75 cents. It’s actually better than that since paid bookings incur additional taxes and fees, but points bookings do not. Getting better than 3.75 cents per point is very good, but hardly astounding. Still, Stephen had found a gigantic Presidential suite for only 16K points per night. That’s worth noticing.
I love this kind of stuff. By “stuff” I mean finding hidden gems like the one shown above. I replied to both Stephen and Nick: “Lets play a game: find the most outlandishly lavish suite for the fewest possible points.” Here we go…
Hyatt Regency Sharm El Sheikh Resort, Egypt
I thought I had won the game from the outset with this find. At the category 1 Hyatt Regency Sharm El Sheikh Resort in Egypt, I found that the Royal Villa (pictured above) was listed as a premium suite. Since regular rooms are bookable for only 5K points per night, I figured that meant that the Royal Suite was bookable for 10K points per night. The website states that the villa includes (among many other things): a private chef for serving breakfast at the villa, a dedicated butler, free limousine transfers from and to the airport, and even babysitting services.
I was pretty excited about this find. I mean, yes, Egypt is really cheap most of the time, but not when you book a Royal Villa. The Villa goes for about $3,600 per night before taxes. I started gathering up all of my Hyatt points so that I could move in permanently, but then decided to check to make sure it was bookable. I tweeted the Hyatt Concierge:
Unfortunately the concierge said that the Royal Villa wasn’t bookable. Bummer. So I took a look at the Diplomat Suite…
Sure the Diplomatic Suite looks nice, but compared to the Royal Villa it’s a dog. Worse, it doesn’t appear to include a private chef or butler or free limousine transfers or babysitting services (yes, I know I don’t need babysitting services, but I would have invited Nick and family to visit. Geez).
Still, the Diplomatic Suite sounds tolerable. It has two bedrooms, three baths, access to a secluded beach, etc. This is from the website:
Experience the luxury of a 164 square metres suite offering stunning views of the Red sea from a 26 square metres terrace. Mediterranean inspired décor features a large living area, three bathrooms, a kitchenette, two bedrooms and a work area with high speed internet access. Includes access to a Club House offering secluded beach, gardens, a private swimming pool and whirl pool. The private Club lounge serves Continental breakfast, evening cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. This is a premium suite. See World of Hyatt program terms for upgrade eligibility.
At $840 per night vs 10K points, you get 8.4 cents per point value from your Hyatt points before including taxes and fees that would make the point value even better. That’s quite a bit better than Stephen’s find, but the resort is also quite a bit more out of the way.
Hyatt Regency Albuquerque, NM
Closer to home, I found that the 1,556 square-foot Presidential Suite at the Category 1 Hyatt Regency Albuquerque is available for only 10,000 points per night. There are no butlers or chefs waiting for you here, but it still looks pretty nice. There is a piano.
On each of the dates I checked (all in the winter), the Presidential Suite cost $609 per night. At 10K points per night, this suite gives you a very respectable 6.9 cents per point value.
Hyatt Regency Rochester, NY
My next entry was the category 2 Hyatt Regency Rochester. You can book this 2,100 square foot Rochester Suite (shown above) for only 16,000 points per night.
I wasn’t able to find any nights where this suite was available for sale. I don’t know if it’s super popular or if they don’t proactively sell it but rather keep it on reserve for special guests. Still, I found that a significantly lesser suite was often on sale for over $700 so I expect that this one would normally list for over $1,000 if it ever listed at all. At $1,000 per night, we’re looking at 6.25 cents per point value. But of course, the real number could be much higher (or a bit less).
Nick enters the game
Andaz Capital Gate Abu Dhabi
Out of the gate (pun intended), Nick found that the Executive Suite at the Andaz Capital Gate Abu Dhabi is bookable for 16K per night. While this one looks striking, the suite only costs between $300 and $450 per night on several dates I checked. That makes this suite less of an amazing deal than some of the others in this post. Let’s call it a $400 room. So then we get $400 / 16,000 = 2.5 cents per point. It’s still a solid deal, but not a contender.
Hyatt Regency Osaka, Japan
At the category 2 Hyatt Regency Osaka, Nick found that the Diplomat Suite is bookable for just 16K points per night. The hotel usually charges over $800 per night for this room, so we’re looking at about 5.25 cents per point value. Now were talking.
I believe (but haven’t checked yet) that you can also book the Tatami suite at the standard suite rate of only 13K points per night. I think the Tatami suite looks cool:
Greg: Round 2
Hyatt Regency Casablanca, Morocco
I’m feeling good about winning the game with this one. As a category 3 hotel, it’s not as cheap as the others, but it is sweet. The Ambassador Suite at the Hyatt Regency Casablanca is available for 24K points per night. This one includes two bedrooms, a kitchenette, and a private butler. On the dates I checked, this suite was going for over $3,000 per night. But it can be yours for only 24K points! That gives us a value of more than 12.5 cents per point! Take that Stephen and Nick!
Find your own opportunities
There are many, many Hyatt hotels worldwide where we haven’t yet looked at the premium suite options. My recommendation: if you plan to travel to a city or town that has a Hyatt, take a look at the “Rooms” tab on the hotel’s website. There you’ll find descriptions of each suite. Suites with the words “this is a standard suite” should be bookable at Hyatt’s “standard suite” award rate. And those with the words “this is a premium suite” might be bookable at Hyatt’s premium suite award rate. The only way to know for certain is to ask Hyatt. I like to direct message @HyattConcierge on Twitter.
Here’s an example. At the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay, we see that their most prestigious suites are the Presidential Suite and the VIP Suite:
As you can see above, the Presidential Suite is not marked as a premium suite. This almost certainly means that it is not bookable with points. Meanwhile the VIP Suite is marked as a premium suite. This means that the VIP Suite might be bookable with points. In my experience only maybe 30% of the hotels I’ve looked at will let you book their top premium suite with points.
Hyatt’s expansion of their program to allow premium suite awards has led to many new opportunities for extreme luxury at reasonable rates. Even better, many of these opportunities are close to home in places you might really go rather than just dream of going some day. Of course, if you’re adventurous it’s possible to find some really amazing opportunities overseas. My favorite find so far is the Ambassador Suite at the Hyatt Regency Casablanca where you can get a two bedroom luxury suite, with a dedicated butler, for only 24K points per night.
If you need Hyatt points, you can obviously get them from paid Hyatt stays or from the Hyatt credit card, but the best opportunity is to amass Chase Ultimate Rewards points since they transfer one to one to Hyatt. For details, see: Our Ultimate Guide to Chase Ultimate Rewards.
So, who won this game? Unfortunately for Stephen, he was in transit all day while Nick and I hunted for suites. So, while his Presidential Suite was the motivation for this post, this one entry didn’t hold up to the competition. Nick found a couple of good opportunities, but nothing that particularly excites me. Meanwhile, I found some outstanding opportunities in the US (Rochester and Albuquerque) and abroad (Casablanca and Egypt). So, I’m declaring myself the winner. Does anyone disagree?