I just got back home from two nights at the Andaz Maui at Wailea.
It’s a beautiful, luxurious, attentive resort with breathtaking sunset views.
It’s also very expensive, poorly located for the activities that interested me on Maui, and charges a $30 mandatory valet fee per day if you come with a car.
What are my thoughts on the service, food, room, value, and more (with tons of pictures)?
2013 was a year of several major devaluation announcements including:
- United (kicks in February 1, 2014)
- Southwest (kicks in March 31, 2014)
- Delta (already kicked in on current award bookings for travel that starts February 1, 2014 or later)
- Hyatt (kicks in January 7, 2014)
- Ultimate Rewards (with three major transfer partners devaluing–United, Southwest, and Hyatt–the program took a major hit through no fault of its own)
But the more things change, the more they stay the same. We’re still getting outsized value from our miles and points and traveling the world in style for next to nothing.
What’s my outlook for 2014 and what’s my strategy for earning and burning the major points’ currencies?
Posted in AAdvantage, Avios, Club Carlson, Delta, Hilton, Hyatt, IHG Rewards Club, MileValue, SPG, Ultimate Rewards, United, US Airways
Tagged American Airlines, Club Carlson, Delta, Hilton, Hyatt, IHG Rewards, SPG, United, US Airways
Hyatt has announced its new 2014 award chart for bookings made January 7, 2014 or later. Categories 1-4 maintain their prices. Categories 5-6 go up in price, and a new, more expensive, Category 7 is introduced. Some hotels are going up or down one category.
What are the changes to Hyatt award chart for 2014? How can you beat the changes? What credit card is made more valuable by the announcement? Which are made less valuable?
The Chase Hyatt Credit Card no longer has an annual fee the first year, a $75 savings.
The Hyatt card has my 11th favorite sign up bonus from Chase, but it’s a solid card to hold forever, and one that I have. The big draw is the sign up bonus of two free nights at almost any Hyatt worldwide after spending $1,000 in the first three months. In fact, I just booked my two free nights today.
What 10 Chase cards have better sign up bonuses? What are the other perks and drawbacks of the card? Where did I use my free nights?
Posted in Chase, Hyatt
Tagged Chase, Hyatt
I am a lodging cheapskate. My ideal trip length is four weeks, so hotel bills would add up quickly. Right now I haven’t been in the US since February, so I’ve had to come up with creative ways to sleep cheaply.
But just because I’m a cheapskate doesn’t mean I don’t want to stay at fancy hotels sometimes too. I’m jealous that Rookie Alli has two nights at any Hilton worldwide. I have my own two free nights at Hyatts worldwide that I’ll be sure to use somewhere way outside my price range.
There is a third way, though, between the extremes of free ultra-luxury and cheap adequate accommodation: under-categorized hotels are a fantastic value play.
Free nights at hotels cost a certain number of points that are decided by which category a hotel places the hotel into. For instance, a Category 1 Hilton costs 5,000 points for a free night. A Category 10 Hilton costs up to 95,000 points for a free night.
The number of points needed generally tracks the quality, location, and price of the hotel, but some hotels are under-categorized and represent fantastic value with points.
Last night I stayed in one such hotel, the DoubleTree Kuala Lumpur, which is a Hilton Category 2 property that costs only 10k Hilton points per night.
Continue for my review with photos of the DoubleTree Kuala Lumpur and a rundown of all the freebies I got. What hotel award charts might have sweet spots? What are the best value free nights you’ve gotten?
Posted in Club Carlson, Deal, Hilton, Hyatt, SPG, Travel Style, Trip Report
Tagged Deal, DoubleTree, Free Night, Hilton, Hotel, Kuala Lumpur
Update at 1:02 PM ET: I had two computers and a smartphone ready on three different-sized packages (69k, 36k, and 24k), but all got the “on hold for other customers” message within seconds of 1 PM. This is the first deal I failed to get in on. Congrats to those with faster fingers.
Today is the penultimate day of five weeks of discounted travel packages sponsored by the US Travel Association and American Express called Daily Getaways. And it’s the last one that I’m going to take part in personally.
Every weekday at 1 PM ET, a discounted travel package or packages will go on sale and will sell out in a few minutes. Some of the offers will be awesome; some will be duds. Today’s offer is fantastic.
Today’s deal is discounted Hyatt Gold Passport points in 24k, 30k, 36k, and 69k packages for under one cent per point.
How can you get the deal?
From now until June 22, Chase is increasing the sign up bonus on the Ink Bold and Ink Plus to 60,000 Ultimate Rewards after spending $5,000 in three months.
These are two of my absolute favorite cards. I’ve gotten the Ink Bold for two of my businesses and the Ink Plus for one, earning about 200,000 Ultimate Rewards in the process that I’ve used to book Rookie Alli on her first flat bed business class experience, my United Global First flight to Australia to see the Aussie Open, and my upcoming trip in Thai First Class on an A380 with an hourlong massage on the ground.
What’s the full deal, how can you use 60k Ultimate Rewards, and what has my experience been with the Ink Bold and Plus?
Sometimes I want luxury, and sometimes I want quantity.
Last week I talked about the Three Best Credit Cards for Free Nights in Luxury Hotels.
But what about going to the other end of the award chart? A lot of times when I am traveling I just need a pillow and a roof, since I plan to be out exploring the city all day. What credit card sign up would net me the most free hotel nights? (20 in all!)
Posted in Club Carlson, Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, Priority Club, SPG
Tagged Club Carlson, Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, Priority Club, Starwood
For me, first class flights would be out of reach without miles. I can’t spend $10,000 for a first class flight on an airline like Emirates.
Luckily I don’t need to because I have plenty of miles, and I could fly economy class in a pinch.
Fancy hotels are similar. I can’t pay $1,000 a night for a hotel like the Park Hyatt Sydney.
And luckily I don’t ever need to stay in fancy hotels. When I travel, all I need is a roof and a pillow. But for those special occasions when I want to indulge in absolute luxury, I can by opening a single credit card.
What are the three best credit cards for luxury hotel experiences?
According to this thread on FlyerTalk, Hyatt has tweaked the award chart category for 17 of its properties. Hyatt’s complete award chart can be found here for reference. These changes will go into effect on February 7th. Room reservations booked prior to this date will still be at the previously published award level.
The complete list of changes:
At first glance, none of these changes stick out as drastic. The Hyatt 48 Lex in New York City changing from a category 4 to a category 5 might be disappointing to Chase Hyatt Visa cardholders. Cardmembers receive a voucher for one free night at a category 1-4 Hyatt hotel each year. The Hyatt 48 Lex was definitely a great use of the voucher, especially during the holidays when hotel rates are outrageous. Now that it’s a category 5 hotel, you won’t be able to redeem the voucher at the property after February 6th.
The Grand Hyatt Tokyo also jumps from a category 5 hotel to the highest category 6. It will now require 22,000 Gold Passport points to book a standard room. This change aligns the property with the exclusive Park Hyatt Tokyo, another category 6 hotel.
Posted in Forum Buzz, Hyatt