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I was lucky enough to grow up in a middle class East Texas based ski-loving family. That reality meant that as a kid we would drive all through the night once or twice a ski season to get to the mountains in Colorado or New Mexico. Obviously it was worth it, but as the one who is now the parent, I am just not super interested in driving all through the night to get to snow, though I do still want my daughters to grow up with the chance to love the mountains as much as I do. Luckily, miles and points make it possible for our family to ski on budget, just as my parents did, without us having to sacrifice too many conveniences or drive all through the night.
Selecting the Hyatt Centric Park City
I try to pick our ski destinations largely based on where my miles and points will stretch the farthest, factoring in where the snow is historically at least decent during the time of year we hope to visit. On-mountain resorts and hotels are infinitely more convenient than having to drive in to the mountain each day, especially when small kids are involved, but they can also be extremely pricey at $500+ per night. I don’t have $500 per night in my budget, but I do have hotel points. One of the best ski values on hotel points for the past several years has been the Hyatt Centric Park City in Utah.
We booked the hotel last year when the hotel was just 15,000 points per night before the annual Hyatt category changes, but even now as a Category 5 property at 20,000 points per night it offers a very solid return for your Hyatt points (or Chase Ultimate Reward points transferred to Hyatt), with an on-mountain location in the Canyons section of Park City. It is very common for paid rates during the winter at this resort to be in the $500 – $600 per night range for a standard room, so 20,000 points is a no-brainer during the peak season.
Mommy Points in Park City Travel Video:
I’m going to give tons of info and tips about the Hyatt Centric Park City and skiing at Canyons in this and one subsequent post, but if you are at all considering a similar trip I encourage you to check out a video we made of our weekend at the hotel and skiing at Canyons/Park City!
Getting to the Hyatt Centric Park City
In decent weather, Hyatt Centric Park City is about a 40 minute drive from the the Salt Lake City Airport. Salt Lake City is a pretty great airport since it is served by so many different airlines, thus giving you tons of choices when it comes to pricing out paid flight options or using your airline miles. We flew in on a fairly priced Delta nonstop flight from Houston, and then got an Uber from the airport to Park City. Our UberX SUV was about $50 each way before any discounts to Park City, though a rental car also could have also been a decent option since parking is included in the resort fee at the hotel.
Using Points at the Hyatt Centric Park City
The standard rooms with two queen beds at the Hyatt Centric Park City are 20,000 points per night, and ring in at a pretty decent size for a family at around 380 square feet. Those rooms have a kitchenette with small refrigerator and microwave. I highly recommend you book your award rooms as early as possible because standard rooms here can be a bit scarce in the winter months.
In my case I actually reached out to the hotel as I saw a standard room for sale for one of our desired nights, but it was not available for points. They helped make the award reservation for that final night we needed when I reached out (via @Hyatt_Concierge), so don’t be shy to ask for help if you see a standard room for sale on cash and not points. It is also worth a mention that the hotel has recently gone through a bit of a renovation, so the rooms were a bit fresher than in some older photos I had seen on previous reviews.
One-Bedroom Suite at the Hyatt Centric Park City
If you are after a suite at the Hyatt Centric Park City, I don’t blame you. Since this hotel is also a time share residence-style property, it actually has a fair number of suites relative to standard rooms. If you are a top tier Hyatt Globalist with a confirmed suite upgrade to burn, this property is a great place to use it as you can get a true one-bedroom suite with a full kitchen, large living room, etc. This would be ideal set-up for a family looking to stay multiple days and save some money on food costs while skiing during the day and relaxing in the hotel at night. Even just packing some sandwiches for lunch every other day could save a family of four hundreds in food costs on a week long ski trip since everything is pricey on the mountain. The suites also have washers and dryers available, so you don’t have to wear your old stinky ski gear multiple days in a row.
I have top tier Hyatt status, so we lucked into a space available suite upgrade on our stay, which was an awesome surprise. If you don’t have top tier elite status and/or just want to book a suite on points, you can do so for 32,000 Hyatt points per night, availability permitting.
Amenities at Hyatt Centric Park City
The Hyatt Centric Park City has a fun heated outdoor pool area with two hot tubs, as well as a larger pool that my (crazy) daughter jumped in and said wasn’t too cold. I can’t personally vouch for that one, but I do love being able to soak in an outdoor hot tub after a day of skiing.
On our way to the pool we also noticed a kid’s activity room as well as a steam room in the restroom nearest the gym and pool.
Hyatt Centric Park City is technically a ski-in and ski-out property with an on-site ski valet and rental shop. You can leave your skis at the front of the property in some bins at the end of the day, or you can use the official ski valet area off the back of the hotel where you can technically ski-in.
However, I must caution you that novice skiers will not be able to really utilize the ski and out feature as there is simply no green route all the way down the Canyons side of the mountain and to the hotel. In fact, the lack of lots of beginner runs is the one true drawback to Canyons in general.
You truly must be an intermediate skier to be able to get all the way down to Hyatt Centric without having to take the gondola mid-mountain back down to the base and then either walk the 10 minutes back up the hill to the Hyatt Centric, or utilize the Hyatt’s shuttle. We walked each day and used the ski valet at the base of the mountain to hold our skis at night. This was free for us since we rented our gear next door, but otherwise it is $7/night. They will not hold your boots overnight in the mountain ski valet, so you either need to rent a locker or carry them back and forth.
Eating at the Hyatt Centric Park City
By the end of each ski day we were officially beat, so despite my best intentions we never made it into true Park City on this trip and instead stayed in the Canyons section near the hotel. The Hyatt does have a free shuttle to Park City for those with more available time or energy than we had. In Canyons there aren’t tons of food options, so we ate at the Hyatt restaurant on two of our nights, and ordered delivery via the Mountain Express service for the other night. If the whole family had been with us it would have made sense to get some groceries and cook since neither option was especially budget friendly.
The hotel’s restaurant wasn’t crowded on any of our visits, but it did have live music on some nights in the early evening. The service was prompt on all of our visits, but the prices aren’t particularly budget friendly other than the kid’s menu.
You can order much of the same menu as a take-away from the attached market, which is what we did for dessert most of the nights.
The Hyatt Globalist free breakfast benefit can be taken from this same restaurant or through room service via the market…that gets their food from the restaurant. The convenience of room service in the morning was obvious, but the food selection and quality was better getting it fresh from the restaurant than in the containers sent up via room service.
If you opted for the buffet it also came with pancakes or french toast + a visit to the omelette station.
If you are lazy like we were, then ordering from Mountain Express can be great as you can then have tons of Park City’s restaurants food brought right to your bed. My tip is to order early as they can get very busy as the evening rolls on. There was a $5.99 delivery charge + tip, but our delivered Momo Sushi order still came out cheaper than eating another night in the hotel restaurant…and my daughter loved eating in bed!
If you want to use Hyatt points to stay in the Park City area but either want to spend fewer points, or don’t have Hyatt elite status and prefer to avoid a resort fee and still get free breakfast, then you might want to consider the nearby Hyatt Place Park City. This hotel is about a 5-10 minute drive from the Hyatt Centric and the base of the mountain, but it is a Category 4 that goes for 15,000 points per night.
Overall Impressions of the Hyatt Centric Park City
I thought the hotel was great for what we paid, and it is convenient for a long ski weekend near the mountain. Obviously our suite didn’t hurt my impressions, but even without that extra space I think the hotel is a great mix of value (on points), service, and convenience. Its location isn’t as convenient as say the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek, but it also isn’t as high of an award category. Those staying on points won’t pay the $30 per day resort fee, but still get access to all of the amenities, making it a solid redemption value.
I’ve mentioned this already, but do be aware that beginner skiers will still need to walk or take a shuttle to the base of the mountain from this resort, but even my seven year old was able to handle that short walk without much of an issue. If you like to ski the Park City side as opposed to the Canyons side then also factor in that this location is not as convenient for that side of the mountain. I very much intend to return here again for a future family ski trip as I think the Hyatt Centric Park City is a winner, even at its new points rate of 20,000 points per night.
If you have stayed at the Hyatt Centric Park City, or even the nearby Hyatt Place Park City, I’d love to hear your thoughts and tips!
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.