Tag Archives: hyatt

Should you jump on any of these daily getaway deals?

The US Travel Association runs an annual promotion called Daily Getaways that is meant to encourage US tourism. This year, they need it more than ever.

Despite who the organizer is, not all deals have to be used in the US. In the past they’ve had sales on US-based hotels, theme parks and car rentals. But they’ve also sold things like loyalty program points and gift cards, which can be redeemed at any property worldwide.

I was looking at this year’s offerings and saw a few items that I’m really tempted to pull the trigger on. You can see the full calendar of deals here, but here are some that caught my eye.

May 2nd- 250,000 Hilton points for $1,200 (236 available)

This is an opportunity to pay 0.48 cents per Hilton point. I know it is possible to buy Hilton points at 0.5 cents each when they run a 100% bonus sale, but the problem is you’re limited to buying a maximum of 80,000 points (pre-bonus) per account per calendar year. So you’d max out at 160,000 points, bought at 0.5 cents each.

This lets you get 250,000 points into your account at 0.48 cents each. To put things in perspective, you need 80,000/95,000 points per night at dream destinations like the Conrad Koh Samui or the Conrad Maldives (although recently I’ve only ever seen 95K point availability). I haven’t fully understood the ins and outs of the new Hilton redemption scheme, but my understanding is when you use the pay with points and cash option you can really maximise your value.

So if you’ve got an upcoming luxury vacation planned, you might want to consider crunching the numbers and seeing if buying points lets you enjoy a nice hotel for much less than what you’d be paying.

Image result for conrad maldives
Conrad Maldives

There is a maximum purchase of 1 set of 250,000 points per customer. You can buy a total of 5 sets of points in this promotion- the other sets come in different denominations as seen below. I find these less attractive though, given that you could get this amount or more during one of the 100% points sales, but it might be a way of circumventing the annual points purchase limit.

  • $144 for 30,000 points (450 available, 0.48 cpp)- maximum 3 per customer
  • $480 for 100,000 points (275 available, 0.48 cpp)- maximum 1 per customer

There is a line in the fine print that says “Open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia and must be a Hilton Honors member to participate.” , but I’m pretty sure that’s just in there for legal reasons. After all, this is a site meant to promote US tourism. What sense would it make if they didn’t let a non-resident claim a purchase?

Furthermore, other points buying offers (eg IHG, Hyatt) don’t have any such restriction. So I’m guessing this is a Hilton-side additional line of text, and I have doubts as to whether it really matters or not.

May 4th- $500 Marriott gift card for $400 (200 available)

Locking in a 20% discount on a future Marriott stay might also be an interesting idea. Marriott gift cards do not expire and can be used at any Marriott brand including the Ritz Carlton.

Ritz Carlton Tokyo

Marriott gift cards are not yet accepted at any of the Starwood brands, but it remains to be seen if that changes when the two companies are merged into one sometime around 2018.

It’s very hard to see how you can lose by buying some of these, if you’d be staying at a Marriott property sometime down the road anyway and seeing how the value doesn’t expire.

You can buy a maximum of 1 such gift card. Other denominations available include

  • $80 for a $100 Marriott gift card (1,070 available)- max purchase 3 per customer
  • $200 for a $250 Marriott gift card (252 available)- max purchase 2 per customer

May 5th- $1,000 Orbitz promo code for $650 (55 available)

This code is for use on hotels only, and can be used for stays any time before 31 Dec 2018.

I’m tempted to see this as a sort of omni discount code for any hotel you might fancy. It could be one of the better ways of getting a good deal at a place like the Conrad Koh Samui, or perhaps a Maldives overwater villa. Or it could help to offset hotel costs in expensive cities like London and Tokyo.

I think the concern is that if you buy this you’ll end up having to pay inflated OTA prices. But that doesn’t have to be the case- take the Conrad Koh Samui, where Orbitz is throwing up rates that are more or less similar to Hilton’s official site (US$663 vs US$647, the best rate I could find on Orbitz vs Hilton.com)

Orbitz site
Hilton site

There is a maximum purchase limit of 1 per customer.

May 10th- 72,000 Hyatt Points for $775 (25 available)

Buying 72,000 Hyatt points at $775 means paying 1.08 cents per point. Lucky over at OMAAT believes that Hyatt points are worth 1.5 cents each, so you’re actually getting a very good deal. It’s no wonder the Hyatt packages always sell out the first every time they appear on the Daily Getaways site.

Image result for park hyatt milan
Park Hyatt Milan

You could get a top tier property like the Park Hyatt Milan that costs 30,000 points a night, or US$324. Considering paid rates here start at US$650, you’d be getting substantial savings. Provided you’re the type of person who would have stayed at such a property in the first place, of course.

There are 3 other packages you can choose from

  • 24,000 Hyatt points for $260 (54 available, 1.10 cpp)
  • 30,000 Hyatt points for $330 (120 available, 1.08 cpp)
  • 40,000 Hyatt points for $415 (30 available, 1.04 cpp)

Conclusion

I think it’s well worth taking a look at the other deals on offer and deciding whether you can fit them into your travel plans.

I’m currently leaning towards the Orbitz travel voucher simply for its flexibility, but I’m guessing it will get snapped up rather quickly. I’ve set a calendar alert for when the deal goes on sale, and if you’re thinking of getting anything on offer I recommend you do the same.

PS- I know they’re selling IHG rewards points as well, but don’t take that deal. You can buy IHG rewards points cheaper when they go on sale.

Getting Lost in the Skies with Park Hyatt Tokyo

Living the High Life in Tokyo

And having my acrophobia acting up

Stayed August 2016
Written March 2017

Gloomy skies hiding Mount Fuji

The Park Hyatt Tokyo has been a favourite of many Hyatt members and its ‘role’ in the movie ‘Lost in Translation‘ made it an international hit.

However, I have not watched the movie before so I do not really know what it is about.

The dates that I looked at to stay fell within the Bon Festival and is a long weekend holiday for the Japanese. As such, the prices were very substantial.

Thus, the chance to use my Hyatt Gold Passport points (before the new World of Hyatt currently) came and instead of paying more than 80k Yen after tax, I paid 15k points and $300USD per night.

Usually, the rooms go for below $600SGD, but in the case it was less than $1000SGD after tax.

With a points and cash rate, I was also able to use a free suite upgrade (which was one of the best perks of the Gold Passport programme) to a basic Park Suite.

 

Scary prices

And so, I made my way to where the hotel shuttle is scheduled to be at Shinjuku station and the small shuttle was there right on time and easy to spot.

The driver had my name on the list of guests checking in, and I was whisked to the hotel smoothly.

I gathered that the list helped the driver inform the hotel that I was checking in as I was greeted by name upon alighting from the shuttle and escorted to the front desk.

From there, I was escorted to my Park suite and the check-in done in the room with a swift tour around it.

Checking in done in the room

This suite is facing Mount Fuji but the skies did not allow me to see the famous mountain.

Considering how small rooms usually are in Tokyo, this was a really big space.

 

The bed was the largest I have seen, and without measuring it, I think it is a super king bed. I reckon this is probably the nicest photo of a bedroom I have taken so far.

A small welcome gift was placed in the living room for me as well.

Walking out of the room, I looked around and took in the simple yet effective décor. The corridors were however a little to dim for my liking.

 

 

As a Hyatt Diamond (I’m so gonna miss that!), I had access to the evening cocktails at the lounge.

Library décor

 

Canapés

 

Unlimited drinks!

 

Bar and Restaurant

 

View of Tokyo from the lounge

The swimming pool is located on the top floor but apparently no photography is allowed so I shall leave you with a picture of the bottles of water and the provided swim cap which one is suppose to wear.

Guess the Japanese are really particular about hygiene and floating hair in the pool.

Breakfast was taken at the restaurant Girandole which looked really comfortable with its warm colours.

Girandole Restaurant

As a Hyatt Diamond, breakfast was complimentary and that saved me some dough.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The range was definitely not like the lavish buffets of Bangkok, but the quality was good..

I really enjoyed my breakfast and the musk melon was a delight for sure.

My breakfast!

With that, I had my late checkout without hassle on the day of departure.

A great experience without doubt and a good use of my Hyatt points which is now undergoing revaluation in the new World of Hyatt programme.

My only problem was my paranoia acting up with visions of earthquakes, tsunamis while being up so high, which implies certain death. Oh well, enough of that and just enjoy the views!

Happy and Healthy Travels to all!

 

Hotel Review: Hyatt Regency DaNang

Dr Frederick Ee is a medical doctor, author, blogger and traveler. He discovered his passion for travel on his first long-haul trip to New York City in 2012. His quest for premium travel experiences started on that very same flight as he endured a smelly foot beside him from the passenger behind him for the 24 hours of flight from Singapore to New York. He blogs at goodhotelreview.blogspot.com, focusing on hotel experiences. His most memorable moment of travel was to participate in the resuscitation of a collapsed patient during a long flight to Paris. Feel free to add him on Facebook with a message and his Instagram at @drfrederickee

He would like to thank The Milelion for having him as a guest writer and hope readers would enjoy his writings and musings.


Hyatt Regency DaNang

Right at the Marble Mountains, Luxurious but perhaps forgettable

Stayed March 2016
Published June 2016

My first long visit to Vietnam and I really loved it!

This was over the long weekend of Good Friday and I had already booked my stay at a different hotel much earlier. A very fantastic one. But this entry on the Hyatt Regency, so please ‘stay tuned’ for the update.

While planning for the flights, I found out it was much cheaper to fly the day before my confirmed hotel booking and thus I had to extend my stay for a night in DaNang. As I love to try different hotels, I looked for another place to stay. After some research on the (poor) availability (of chain hotels) and prices, I settled on the Hyatt Regency.

The price was less than 5 million Vietnamese Dong (I really had problems with the currency), which works out to be less than SGD$300 for the night.

From Singapore to DaNang, I took the Silkair flight. However, DaNang is also serviced by Jetstar so there’s a budget option for non-stop flights as well. There is always an option of connecting flights.

The flight was uneventful and I landed safely in the small airport.

From the airport, I took a taxi to the hotel. A sign indicating the usual prices was placed at the taxi stand outside the airport. Communication with the driver didn’t seem to have gone very well, but I did get to the right hotel in the end without much issues. Cost was slightly higher than that on the board but the vehicle was better than the usual taxi as well so I am not sure what the reason for the higher rate was. Maybe it was ‘tourist price’. -shrug-

The difference was not great and therefore, I made no fuss.

The resort was rather crowded as evident by the luggage in the picture above and very open.

As a Hyatt Diamond (Gotta love elite status), I was able to check in at the Regency Lounge. The experience was not quite smooth which I attribute to the language barrier. A few staff did not seem too experienced as well, but I shall spare them any criticism.

Lounge Check In

From the lounge, we were led to our room in the block closest to the beach.

The beach is on the other side

I was upgraded to the Regency Suite for the night which was right at the lower corner of the block and just off the beach. On the side away from the beach, the suite was below ground level, but opens up to the beach on the seaward side.

Love the rolling clouds in the distance over the peninsula

The Regency suite is of a good size and has a toilet in the living room.
The setup was the usual clean and subdued Hyatt. I am one of those who prefer the loud and over-the-top W and Andaz, so this seems underwhelming.

 

 

Living Room Toilet

The huge cabinet in the living is the minibar. Rather under-filled.

The bedroom was closer to the beach and the view of the beach pictured earlier was really relaxing.

The bathtub and shower also offers a view to the outside for the exhibitionist individuals.

Beside the toilet was a big walk-in wardrobe, more than enough to hide 1 more occupant.

The bathroom amenities are from Pharmacopia and come in small bottles as pictured.

 

The resort is pretty big and there are quite a number of buildings with some greenery.

As mentioned, my suite was on the ground level and I enjoyed the easy access. It was in the corner as well so there is increased privacy.

A laminated A4 sheet was placed on the table listing the activities scheduled in the resort.

 

The Regency Club

As a Diamond (and Suite guest), I had access to the Regency Club lounge for the evening cocktails, breakfast, as well as refreshments at other times.

There is an enclosed area by the side of the Club Lounge with al fresco seating and also a swimming pool restricted to Club guests.

 

There are a few cats and kittens in the area which were rather cute. However, please be careful because they attack for food. I saw a kitten attack a child for the snack in his hand.

This is obviously learned behaviour as the cats basked fondly in human attention, and they were not interested in the pieces of bread scattered by other guests.

For the evening cocktails, there were several times of salads, some fruit, bread, sweet treats and wine.

 

 

Soft drinks were available in the fridges.

Overall, I found the selection weak for my carnivorous habits. Too many plates of salad.

 

 

 

Beautiful teapot!

Staff went around distributing some special items during the session and I thought it was going to be a life-saver. However, the dishes were not compatible with my palate.

I sat in the ‘Quiet Zone’ at one end of the club lounge.

While it was more quiet than the other end, the small number of children still broke the silence regularly.

Breakfast was slightly better with some cereals, more pastries and a few hot dishes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is also a choice of a hot dish prepared to order.

Both at the table can read at the same time!

At other times, only some biscuits and the drinks in the fridge are available.

The Gym and Pool

The Gym is located at the Residences part of the resort and they do look good. I could see into them very well, so I feel that privacy was lacking.

Gym and Spa entrance

When I visit the gym, there were about 5 people in it. That is a pretty big number as I usually find resort gyms totally empty or with at most a couple.

The equipment selection is actually rather good seeing that there are free weights with ample space and benches.

The pool was totally empty. I wonder why when the weather was mild and the pool so gorgeous.

As mentioned, the resort is right at the Marble Mountains which is shown in this picture.
The resort is also on the path to the UNESCO site of the town of Hoi An. The resort has a paid transfer to Hoi An, which was offered free for Diamond guests during my stay here.

The Marble Mountains!

Overall, it was a good stay for that 1 night. I would have liked to stay longer to enjoy the resort.

However, the next hotel beckons!

Happy and Healthy Travels!