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For years we had our eyes on the construction and development of the Park Hyatt St. Kitts. We love the Hyatt brand, enjoy traveling using our Hyatt points, and of course, can’t get enough time on gorgeous islands. The opening date for this property was bumped back a couple of times, but the doors eventually opened in November 2017, and we couldn’t wait to be some of the first to experience what this resort had to offer.
When most people hear about a long weekend getaway to a high-end resort on St. Kitts all they see are a bunch of dollar signs to go along with the amazing views, bikinis, and poolside drinks. “Normal” people can’t afford that sort of trip, right? Wrong. A getaway to St. Kitts probably won’t be the cheapest trip you’ve ever put together, but it doesn’t have to be out of range thanks to miles and points. Here’s how we put together our trip to the Park Hyatt St. Kitts.
Flying to St. Kitts is tricky, but affordable on miles
Flying into the St. Kitts airport (SKB) is a little tricky as it isn’t served by very many airlines, and most of those that do serve it don’t serve it every single day. From the US mainland, you can fly daily on American Airlines from Miami, but otherwise, you are pretty much looking at limited service. You can fly on Saturdays from Charlotte on American, on Saturdays and Tuesdays on Delta from Atlanta, or from the New York City area on Delta, American, or United on Saturdays. You could alternatively connect through San Juan, but no matter what you do, just keep in mind that service into St. Kitts isn’t as plentiful as some of the other Caribbean Islands.
This is not surprising given the limited number of flights to the area, but airfare to St. Kitts is often in the $600 – $700 range per round trip. That’s painful, but there is a silver lining. On our searches, we had no problem finding award flights to St. Kitts on Delta and American at the saver award level. In fact, our planes each direction were only about half-full, which is pretty rare these days.
Outside of any flash sales or other discounts, a round trip economy saver award to St. Kitts will cost you 35,000 Delta SkyMiles or 30,000 American miles. If you booked an American Airlines nonstop flight via British Airways Avios, you could fly from Miami, JFK, or Charlotte to St. Kitts for just 10,000 Avios each direction, which is a pretty great deal.
Going that route, taxes are $15.60 on the outbound and $53.61 on the return, which isn’t terrible for a Caribbean destination.
Since we were flying from Houston and not one of the American nonstop hubs where Avios really shine, we booked our outbound using 15,000 American miles each to fly from Houston – Charlotte – St. Kitts. We got 10% of those miles back thanks to our co-branded American credit card.
The American times on the return flights were not very ideal, so we used 17,500 Delta miles each to fly St. Kitts – Atlanta, and from there Josh flew on to work in New York City and I flew back to Houston.
Booking the Park Hyatt St. Kitts for less
The obvious play for booking the Park Hyatt St. Kitts for less is using your Hyatt points. That is a good strategy, but it is a top tier Category 7 Hyatt that will cost you 30,000 points per night. Even the Park Hyatt Maldives is only 25,000 points per night, so that’s a lot of points. Frankly, I think St. Kitts is slotted one category too high at the moment. However, if you have any Category 1-7 awards at your disposal, this is probably a good time to use them. Alternatively, if Hyatt runs a promo again this year where cardholders or similar get a percentage of redeemed points back, that might be a good time to book this trip.
On the plus side, they thankfully don’t seem to be playing games with award availability (most of the year) and your Hyatt points can get you a 527 square foot room with a king or two queen beds. The one caveat to good availability seems to be once you hit the winter holidays through the early winter 2019 dates when standard rooms don’t seem to be available at the moment.
If you have some cash to spend, or at least fixed value points that can be used to book travel via a card like the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World MasterCard, then know that there are some dates that are more affordable than others. I checked four nights the week of Thanksgiving 2018, and the Hyatt Member Rate was $383 per night. If you selected the 4th-night free rate with a $300 per person resort credit that Hyatt is currently offering, the rate was $375 per night, or $1,500 for four nights.
Once you add in all the service charges, VAT, etc. your total for the four nights is $1,830 for two people in a standard room. That is a ton of money, but keep in mind you would now also have $600 in resort credits to use during your stay with that promo. If you consider that $600 credit worth $600 then you are now looking at just over about $300 per night for the four-night stay. At $300 per night, you may not want to burn 30,000 Hyatt points per night since most of us usually like to get more than 1 cent in value per Hyatt point.
I do not know if the Citi Prestige 4th night free benefit will stack with this offer Hyatt 4th night free offer, but I’d love to hear if you have tried.
If you booked through a program like The Platinum Card® Fine Hotel & Resorts program you would have breakfast for two included as well as a $100 resort credit, so consider that option as well if you are thinking of using cash. For our trip, we used a mix of Hyatt points and Category 1-7 awards so we did not have any cash out of pocket costs for our stay. On our January dates, rates were still relatively high, even though occupancy was quite low.
Getting around St. Kitts
For our long weekend trip, we did not have any interest in renting a car since our main objectives were checking out and reviewing the resort, relaxing, and partaking in some on-site or nearby activities. However, if your stay is anything more than a long weekend then you will probably want to explore more of the island than just the hotel area, so you will need to either rent a car or secure a taxi service. The hotel told us that shared transportation from the airport to the property was $100 for the two of us each way, which sounded way high based on what I had read online. We told them we would just catch a cab at the airport, and indeed one was available for about $35 cash.
It just so happened that our cab driver, Leo, was amazing and gave a phenomenal history lesson on our 25 – 30 minute drive to the resort. You can book him in advance for airport transfers or full island tours, and he has car seats available upon request. His phone number is 869-662-7227 (he doesn’t use email) and I would use him again in a heartbeat.
If you do want to rent a car, just be aware that in St. Kitts they drive on the left and the road to the resort is a small and winding road that follows the cliffs on the coastline. We saw a head-on collision on our trip into the resort and that scared me off from wanting to drive, though I know others successfully rent on the island without a problem. In general, the driving on St. Kitts seemed pretty organized and in control (unlike our time on Jamaica).
Leaving the kids behind
We did not bring our girls on this trip mostly it was simply time for an adult getaway, but also because, to me, there seem to be better destinations for families than a high-end resort on the small and expensive island of St. Kitts. St. Kitts is pretty far out there compared to other closer-in islands, so the distance alone made it a less-than-perfect choice for hauling them that far for such a short trip.
Once you are on the ground, it is entirely possible to have a phenomenal family vacation at the Park Hyatt St. Kitts (wait until I talk about the kid’s club!), but don’t feel bad if you decide to let the kids sit this one out. I met some families having fun at the hotel, including some who read this site, so your kids probably won’t be the only ones there if you decide to make this a family getaway. That said, most folks at the hotel are adults who are enjoying quieter relaxation.
Budgeting for food on St. Kitts
You can book your flights and lodging at the Park Hyatt St. Kitts on a reasonable enough budget using miles and points, but once you start enjoying your stay, this is where the bill will grow…quickly. There is no club lounge at this property, so having Hyatt Explorist status and the annual club lounge passes won’t help you out with breakfasts costs. If you happen to have Hyatt Globalist status you will be glad because it will score you and your partner about $100 per day in breakfast. You can eat breakfast for less than that if you are careful, but breakfast for two will easily be $50 once you factor in all the fees, and quite likely more than that.
Lunch and dinner will only go up from there, so if you are on a budget you will want to get a little creative. If breakfast isn’t included in your stay then you might want to have your cab driver stop on the way to the resort so you can get some simple breakfast items to keep in your room. If you are really feeling thrifty, you could do the same with peanut butter sandwiches or similar for lunch a few of the days.
You can walk to a public beach area just a few hundred yards from the hotel for more reasonable food prices, but lunch for two will easily be $50 anywhere in the area. Dinner will be at least that and quite possibly closer to $100, especially if you dine on the resort property. If you add in drinks, dessert, or pricier entrees you can hit $200 without even trying very hard. If you have breakfast included or you can otherwise eat one meal a day in the room, two people can stick to about a $150 per day meal budget if you are careful about what you order. Any less than that will be tough to stick to unless you pick-up ramen, don’t eat very much, or head to another part of the island for your meals.
I hope to put together a video all about our experience at the Park Hyatt St. Kitts as well as multiple posts with dozens of photos very soon, but now you know the basics on how we booked our trip to the Park Hyatt St. Kitts using miles and points.
Is this island or hotel on your must-visit list? What are some things you want me to be sure and cover in future posts on this resort?
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.