Hyatt

Lodging Review: Hyatt Place DFW

I hadn’t planned on spending the night in Dallas.  But after the delays in flying out of Aspen, I arrived at DFW too late to make a connection to Memphis, so I had no choice.  While on the plane waiting for boarding to complete in Aspen, I used the Hyatt app to book a room near the airport.

Photo from Hyatt.com

Photo from Hyatt.com

I had spent a night at the Hyatt Regency DFW in October 2015.  I thought about booking a room at the Grand Hyatt since it’s connected to the terminal.  But since I knew I’d be paying for this stay out of pocket I opted for the Hyatt Place DFW.  It’s a fairly new property, having been open just less than a year.

In general, I love Hyatt Places because I love their consistency.  I know I’ll get a large room with a separate seating area, good wi-fi, an airport shuttle and free breakfast – things I value highly.  This hotel was no exception.

My flight landed in Terminal B and I called the hotel from baggage claim.  Their shuttle picks ups at either end of the terminal so I scooted down to the B1 end of the terminal where I found two others waiting as well.  The shuttle arrived in less than 10 minutes, which was great since I’d already had a long day.  Fortunately ours was the last pickup before heading towards the hotel.

On arrival, I was able to go directly to the check-in desk since I only had two small backpacks.  Fortunately I’d planned for the possibility I might get stuck getting out of Aspen and one backpack contained clean clothes and personal grooming items.  Yay, me!

At the front desk I was greeted by Mary, a grandmotherly-type who called me “hon” and welcomed me “home” after noting my Platinum status.  Normally being called “hon” is not on my list of favorite things but after my long day, being welcomed “home” made me feel like I really was home. Continue reading

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Review: Hyatt Place Denver Downtown

After spending a night in Vail in August, my friends and I drove back down to Denver to spend a day sightseeing there.  We mapped out things we wanted to do and then looked for a hotel central to those locations.  Since there were three adults I specifically looked for a Residence Inn or a Hyatt Place knowing that the layout of these hotel rooms usually works well for us and that breakfast is included.

The only hotel-provided parking available is with the valet. We thought about parking on the street but the valet pointed out it was cheaper to park at the nearby Pavillions shopping center.  He even watched our car for us while we checked in.  Of course that meant we had to walk a few blocks to the car but that was not an issue for us since the weather was so nice.

What we like about Hyatt Places is that there’s a separate area with a large sleeper sofa which along with the 2 queen beds meant that we each had our own place to sleep.

hp-denver-2q-beds

Hyatt Place Denver 2 Queen Beds

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Review: Hyatt Place Milwaukee Airport

For the second night of my long weekend visiting friends in Milwaukee I used the free night certificate from my Chase Hyatt Visa for the Hyatt Place Milwaukee Airport.

I chose this hotel for a few reasons:

  • I knew there would be a nice large sitting sofa where my friends and I could gather to watch one of our favorite shows
  • Breakfast was included
  • The hotel had a free airport shuttle

Even though my room was just across the street from the airport, airplane noise was never an issue.

I’d reserved a king room and received one on the fourth floor.  Just inside the door was the living area with the sleeper sofa, a desk and a cabinet which held the mini-bar and on top of which sat the coffee maker.

hp-mke-airport-sofa

Sleeper Sofa with Ottoman

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Hyatt will refund redeemed points

Today Hyatt announced a way to get 10% back on redeemed points to those who carry its co-branded credit card. Just register for the promo by August 31 and complete a stay by October 31. Once your stay is completed 10% of the points you spent will be returned to your Gold Passport account! And this works on both points-only and cash+points stays.2016-07-11 Hyatt Points Back Promo

If you hold the Hyatt credit card from Chase, check your email for a registration link.

Nice job by Hyatt!

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SPB Hyatt Regency DFW

SPB Trip Planning
SPB Qantas First Class to Sydney
SPB Park Hyatt Sydney
SPB Sydney Opera House
SPB Around Sydney
SPB Flying to/from Uluru
SPB Emu Walk Apartments
SPB Uluru and Kata Tjuta
SPB Park Hyatt Melbourne
SPB Around Melbourne
SPB Flying to Fiji
SPB Hilton Fiji
SPB Snorkeling Trip
SPB Fiji Air Business Class to Los Angeles
SPB Hyatt Regency DFW

It was after 11 PM when my flight from Los Angeles touched down in Dallas. I was rather tired after starting my day in Fiji, flying overnight to the States and it was now approaching midnight central time. I used the phone in baggage claim to reach the front desk of the Hyatt Regency DFW, which is on the airport grounds. I was given instructions as to where to meet the shuttle and was told it would be along within about 15 minutes.

I had debated between the Grand Hyatt DFW, which is attached to the terminal, and the Hyatt Regency for the last night of my trip. The Grand Hyatt is a category 3 hotel, which means 12,000 points per night, while the Hyatt Regency is a category 2 hotel for 8,000 points. While I loved the convenience of the Grand Hyatt, I thought I’d be better off saving those 4,000 points for the future.

Once on board the shuttle we made stops at several other terminals and I believe the van was nearly full by the time we reached the hotel. Since I only had a carry-on (my large suitcase was checked all the way through to Memphis) I was able to head straight inside to check in. Due to my tiredness I was a bit dismayed to see a long line of people waiting to check in. There were three people working the front desk and they were all working to reduce the line but there were just quite a few of us. That’s when I noticed the kiosk. I’d not seen one of these before but decided to give it a try. There were still only a few people behind me in line so I didn’t have much to lose if the kiosk did not work.

I was thrilled to find I was able to check in, swipe my credit card and the kiosk issued me a key to a room on the 12th Floor. Success! I found the elevator and had a solo ride up.

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SPB Park Hyatt Melbourne

SPB Trip Planning
SPB Qantas First Class to Sydney
SPB Park Hyatt Sydney
SPB Sydney Opera House
SPB Around Sydney
SPB Flying to/from Uluru
SPB Emu Walk Apartments
SPB Uluru and Kata Tjuta
SPB Park Hyatt Melbourne
SPB Around Melbourne
SPB Flying to Fiji
SPB Hilton Fiji
SPB Snorkeling Trip
SPB Fiji Air Business Class to Los Angeles
SPB Hyatt Regency DFW

Our flight landed mid-afternoon in Melbourne and while we’d expected it to be cooler than Uluru, it was a good bit cooler than Sydney too. Not cold, but long sleeves and a light jacket felt good in the evenings with the wind.

We took the Sunbus Melbourne from the airport to the Park Hyatt. Their representative showed up near baggage claim very shortly after we got our bags, which was great timing. We then had to traipse over to the international terminal to find the remaining passengers for our van and then we all played “follow the leader” out to our shuttle.

Naturally we were one of the last groups to be let off at our hotel but we were warmly greeted by the bellman at the Park Hyatt Melbourne. He took our big bags as we went inside to check in. The front desk is located to the right of the main entrance and is staffed by delightful, helpful folks. They confirmed our club room and that we would have breakfast included and gave us our keys.

Park Hyatt Melbourne From The Street

Park Hyatt Melbourne From The Street

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Categories: Australia, Hotel, Hyatt, Lodging Review | Tags: , | 2 Comments

SPB Park Hyatt Sydney

SPB Trip Planning
SPB Qantas First Class to Sydney
SPB Park Hyatt Sydney
SPB Sydney Opera House
SPB Around Sydney
SPB Flying to/from Uluru
SPB Emu Walk Apartments
SPB Uluru and Kata Tjuta
SPB Park Hyatt Melbourne
SPB Around Melbourne
SPB Flying to Fiji
SPB Hilton Fiji
SPB Snorkeling Trip
SPB Fiji Air Business Class to Los Angeles
SPB Hyatt Regency DFW

 

When it comes to paying real money for things, I can be, er, frugal. So I like to use points to pay for things that I’d never pay cash for otherwise – or at least, not as much cash as the asking price! A standard Harbour View Twin room at the Park Hyatt retails for over $800 USD per night for dates in mid-October. No way would I ever pay that for any hotel but I will gladly fork over points and free night certificates for such a room.

Welcome to the Park Hyatt

Welcome to the Park Hyatt

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Categories: Australia, Hotel, Hyatt, Lodging Review, Oceania | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

A South Pacific Birthday Trip

SPB Trip Planning
SPB Qantas First Class to Sydney
SPB Park Hyatt Sydney
SPB Sydney Opera House
SPB Around Sydney
SPB Flying to/from Uluru
SPB Emu Walk Apartments
SPB Uluru and Kata Tjuta
SPB Park Hyatt Melbourne
SPB Around Melbourne
SPB Flying to Fiji
SPB Hilton Fiji
SPB Snorkeling Trip
SPB Fiji Air Business Class to Los Angeles
SPB Hyatt Regency DFW

 

I have a couple of friends I like to travel with and over the years we’ve all had a birthday that ends in a zero (with different leading digits!). Our tradition has become whoever has the “zero birthday” gets to pick the vacation spot and we try to do it up right. About two years ago I first got into the miles and points game and it wasn’t long before I set a goal of celebrating my next “zero birthday” in Australia and using miles and points to pay for as much of it as possible.

My dad, who’s a 2 million miler on American, offered to give me whatever AA points I needed to make my trip happen. That left me a goal of helping my friends accumulate the miles they’d need to fly Down Under too. Then, of course, there would be points needed for hotel rooms. Lofty goals but with two years to get things planned, we were able to accomplish it relatively cheaply – well, cheaply as compared to what it COULD have cost!

The itinerary

I had visited Australia before, in 2006, and was eager to go back. One of my friends had been there as well but the other had not. So I knew that meant I’d need to re-visit some of the iconic places but I also wanted to be sure to visit some places I’d never been. My prior trip had involved stops in Sydney and Cairns, which is up near the Great Barrier Reef. While I would have loved to have gone back to the GBR, there were other places I wanted to visit as well, and with a total trip length of two weeks, we just couldn’t squeeze everything in this time around. In the end we flew from the US to Sydney and stayed there four days. Next we flew to the Red Centre of the country and visited Uluru (Ayers Rock) for a couple of days. Then it was down south to Melbourne for a bit more than two days.

During our trip planning we had talked about stopping off somewhere a little more exotic on the way back, somewhere we could just enjoy the beach, the sun and the surf. Since we’d be using primarily American Airlines miles, I quickly realized that due to their routing rules we’d need to stay in Oceania for our beach time. That led us to look at Fiji as our final stop before heading back to the US.

My friends and I each make our homes in different cities in the US so here is how our trip worked out:

The various routings for our trip. Map made on gcmap.com

The various routings for our trip. Map made on gcmap.com

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Categories: American Airlines, Australia, Award Travel, Chase, Fiji, Fiji Air, Hilton, Hotel, Hyatt, Oceania, OneWorld, Qantas, Sapphire Preferred | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Hyatt Points + Cash Now Bookable Online

2015-11-15 Hyatt Points and Cash OnlineHyatt is definitely one of my favorite hotel chains. Just last month some friends and I spent nights in the Park Hyatt Sydney and Park Hyatt Melbourne. They are beautiful properties and the staff members were all fantastic. Look for the trip report in the coming days (or more likely, weeks).

Anyway, while we enjoyed our rooms thanks to the use of Hyatt Gold Passport points, there’s no question that it takes a lot of points for the higher category properties. If you don’t have quite enough points to cover your stay, Hyatt has now made it even easier to make Cash + Points bookings by opening up the booking process online. That’s both good and bad. For those who use P+C regularly, it makes it easier than ever – no more calling Hyatt to book your stay! On the downside, it makes the option more visible to those who might not have known it existed and cause award room availability to shrink. Only time will tell if it makes a major impact to award inventory.

P+C reservations can certainly help you stretch your points but do be aware that for the top-level category 7 rooms you’ll still be shelling out $300 cash in addition to the 15,000 points. For our stay at the Park Hyatt Sydney, the $300 would have been a little less than half the cost of the room if we’d paid cash. Here’s the Points + Cash chart from the Hyatt website:

Hyatt Points and Cash Chart Nov 2015

One more thing to remember about P+C nights is that they DO count as a paid stay. So if you’re chasing status and need paid stays, this is one way to stretch your cash.

In addition to the P+C changes, Hyatt made two more features available on the website:

  • Upgrading your room to a Regency Club or Grand Club room – room types that come with breakfast included
  • Canceling award night stays

All in all, these are good changes for the website and I’m glad Hyatt has made the upgrade.

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Review: Hyatt Place Los Angeles/LAX/El Segundo

After wrapping up our visit with our friend who lived in Pasadena, we opted to stay near the airport for our last night in town.  Prior experience had taught us that though it was great to stay out in Pasadena/Arcadia/Monrovia, when it was time to catch our flights if we stayed there then we had to get up earlier.  This was our first time to stay near the airport before a flight home and I think it’s a practice we will continue.

Arranging our stay like this let us not worry about when our flights left as the hotel has an airport shuttle so my friend could return the car convenient to her flight and I didn’t have to get to the airport two hours earlier than I really needed.

We’d stayed in a Hyatt Place once before (though not this one) so I had a good idea of what to expect and this property lived up to my expectations.  We were welcomed at the front desk and promptly given keys to our room.  The staff members were friendly and went over the details about the airport shuttle – I did need a reservation even though it was free – and briefed us on breakfast.

We took the elevator to our room and found just what we expected: a small living area with a sleeper sofa, two queen beds and a bathroom.  The beds were comfortable and there were several pillows on each bed.  A central nightstand had outlets for our electronics.
Hyatt Place LAX Beds

Hyatt Place LAX Sofa Continue reading

Categories: Hotel, Hyatt, Lodging Review | Tags: , | 3 Comments

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