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The Hyatt Residence Club can be a great way to use some Hyatt Gold Passport points for “free” nights at family friendly locations. Obviously the Residence Club owners get the lion’s share of availability at the locations, but sometimes there is some limited availability using regular old Hyatt Gold Passport points (or Chase Ultimate Reward points from cards such as Ink Plus® Business Card, Chase Sapphire Preferred®, or Ink Bold® Business Card transferred to 1:1 to Hyatt). Availability is typically offered on a relatively close-in basis (usually 60 – 90 days prior to arrival). The rooms range from a studio to a three bedroom unit for a very reasonable number of Hyatt Gold Passport points. The number of points required doesn’t vary from location to location, but instead varies depending on the number of bedrooms in the unit.
I have seen even the studios going for $500+ at certain times, so being able to potentially secure that for 12,000 Hyatt points is fantastic! The following locations have Hyatt Residence Clubs:
Highlands Inn Carmel, California
Hyatt Beach House Key West, Florida
Hyatt Coconut Plantation Bonita Springs, Florida
Hyatt Grand Aspen Aspen, Colorado
Hyatt Hacienda Del Mar Dorado, Puerto Rico
Hyatt High Sierra Lodge Incline Village, Nevada
Hyatt Main Street Station Breckenridge, Colorado
Hyatt Mountain Lodge Avon, Colorado
Hyatt Piñon Pointe Sedona, Arizona
Hyatt Siesta Key Beach Siesta Key, Florida
Hyatt Sunset Harbor Key West, Florida
Hyatt Wild Oak Ranch San Antonio, Texas
Hyatt Windward Pointe Key West, Florida
Northstar Lodge Truckee, California
Residences at Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Avon, Colorado
As you can see there are some great beach, desert, or mountain locations to choose from. The activities offered on or near these properties can range from horseback riding, golfing, to skiing and sleigh rides. However, before you get your heart set on using Hyatt points at one of these locations, know that there is some good news and bad news in terms of using Hyatt points to make a reservation. I’ll cover both, and then you get potentially get really excited.
The good news:
When traveling as a family it is obviously always nice to be able to get extra room for a lower cost or fewer points. Using points at a Category 6 traditional Hyatt property will get you a standard room for 22,000 points a night. That is usually just a room with a king bed. However, via the Residence Club properties you can get a two bedroom suite for just 23,000 points per night. That is clearly a huge difference in space for just 1,000 additional points!
The location of many of these properties is very desirable. I’m particularly partial to the ski properties like the Grand Aspen or Mainstreet Station in Breckenridge. Rates at nice properties in these locations can be very high during ski season, so getting a place starting at just 12,000 Hyatt points a night is amazing.
In addition to saving big by getting lodging at such a good points rate, you can also save money by utilizing the kitchen for some of your meals. The website states that all the 1, 2, or 3 bedroom condos “feature a fully equipped kitchen, a master bath with jet/action spa tub, designer decor and a private balcony or patio (amenities in studio accommodations may vary).” Just be aware that some of the studio units may not have fully equipped kitchens in the studios.
The bad news:
The worst of the bad news is that availability can be, well, bad. This is not like the regular Hyatt hotels where you can book with points if a standard room is available for sale. Also, you have to call to check availability, so there is no way to just stalk the website looking for available dates. Also note that a residence club unit for sale for dollars on the Hyatt website does not mean it is necessarily available for points, though it is probably a safe assumption that if it is not available for sale it is likely not available for points.
One property, the Residences at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek, literally never has availability using Hyatt points due to such high demand from owners. Other properties do have availability from time to time, but often not during peak season for that property. For example, when I asked about the properties in Aspen or Breckenridge, there was no availability beyond about mid-December. In part that could be because it is just too far out right now, and in part that is when ski season will pick up so vacation owners likely are reserving most of the units during that time. I was also only able to locate studios or one-bedrooms at those properties (note that Main Street Station/Breckenridge does not have one-bedroom units) between now and mid-December.
This was a small sample size, but I am betting the larger units are in general harder to secure on Hyatt points. Still, being able to book a studio for four people in Aspen in mid-December for just 12,000 Hyatt points per night is pretty great, just not as great as being able to book a three-bedroom for 30,000 points during peak ski season. Although it is always possible you will get lucky and find some availability!
Assuming you can find availability for what you want, also be aware that services offered at Hyatt Residence Club Resorts are typically more limited than those found at Hyatt hotels and resorts (e.g., food and beverage/restaurant facilities, valet parking, laundry valet services, business center and wake-up call services, etc. may not be offered at all locations). Also, for Hyatt Gold Passport award stays, complete housekeeping service is only provided on a “mid-week” basis for stays of 4 or more nights. Daily housekeeping includes trash removal only. If you want daily complete housekeeping service then it may be available for an additional fee. In other words, make your own bed.
You are also be forgoing any kind of Diamond breakfast benefit or similar by not staying at a full-service Hyatt. This really is more like renting a condo that happens to be available using Hyatt points than staying in a traditional Hyatt hotel. If some of this sounds interesting to you, here are a few more details on a couple of the properties.
Carmel and Highlands Inn Carmel, CA
This resort on the coast offers a heated outdoor swimming pool and three outdoor garden jacuzzis. There is complimentary mountain bike rentals as well as child care services available. It is host to Big Sur’s Pacific’s Edge restaurant which was voted a Zagat Top 100 Restaurant.
During the summer months a standard room at this hotel can start at close to $300 – $400. Booking a non-Hyatt Residence Club standard room at the hotel would be 22,000 points a night. Going the Hyatt Residence Club route you can get a two bedroom condo for 23,000 points, if there is availability.
The one bedroom features garden, horizon or ocean views with a private balcony, master suite and spa tub. There is a fully-equipped kitchen, dining area, living area with fireplace, sofa bed and other amenities. Two-bedrooms will have either garden or ocean views with a master suite and spa tub.
Hyatt Main Street Station Breckenridge, CO
This resort has easy access to Peak 9’s Quicksilver Super6 ski lift as well as other winter activities such as your own ice skating pond, snowmobiling, snowshoeing and sleigh rides. Guests can also use the private Pioneer Club to plan a ski tour, rafting trip, Pilates class or Frisbee golf.
During the ski season, the studios at this location often start at $500, but would be just 12,000 Hyatt points if you can find availability.
Studios have either an alpine-view or village-view and feature a king-size bed, queen-size Murphy bed, full bath and spa tub. Fully equipped kitchenette. There are no one-bedroom units at this property, but the two bedroom units with master suite and adjoining bath and spa tub look great for families. There is a second bedroom with a full bath, fully equipped kitchen, living room with fireplace, sofa bed and washer/dyer.
Hyatt Wild Oak Ranch San Antonio, TX
This Hill Country ranch resort offers things like the Wildflower Pavilion with fire pits, “Movies Under the Stars”, indoor/outdoor pool with water slides, Rattlesnake River, fitness center and media center. There is also a Camp Armadillo for children 3-12, DVD rentals, and more. San Antonio can get pretty hot in the long summer months, but it is a very family friendly destination with lots of nearby activities!
The studio has a king size bed and full bath, kitchenette with flatware, microwave, and toaster, and a sofa bed and private balcony or patio. There is also a one-bedroom with master suite, adjoining bath, walk-in shower and spa tub. It has a fully equipped kitchen, queen size sofa bed, dining area, living room and private balcony or patio. The two bedroom offers same as one bedroom plus a second bedroom with full bath. The three bedroom offers two additional guest bedroom with their own full baths.
The Hyatt Residence Club could be a great use of points if you are willing to do a little research regarding locations and availability. The good news is that when you call, the agents seem to be able to quickly view months of availability at one time, so that can help with quickly spotting available dates for a given property. I know I would often much rather use 23,000 points for a two-bedroom condo than 22,000 points for a one room standard hotel room on family trips!
Have you ever been able to use Hyatt Gold Passport points to book a Hyatt Residence Club unit? I’d love to hear your experiences with the Hyatt Residence Club!
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