Planning a Trip to the Park Hyatt St. Kitts Using Miles and Points

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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.

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.

Landing in St. Kitts

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.

Delta back to the states

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.

Standard king room at the Park Hyatt St. Kitts

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.

One drink = $16

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.

Seafood paella for two = $78

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.

A portion of the Park Hyatt St. Kitts breakfast buffet

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?

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Comments

  1. Great summary MP.
    While I haven’t done it for this property, I think Citi would just give you back the average of the 4 nights, in your example it would be $375 in 4th night free rebate.

    A few follow up questions:
    1) Can you use the $300 credit for F&B?
    2)Is the Service Charge the same thing as resort fees and were they deducted for Josh as a Globalist member?

    Thanks!

    • That is my understanding of Citi too, but I know it doesn’t always work with these sort of things. Fingers crossed it would though!
      1. That is my understanding – it is listed as a resort credit, so it should.
      2. I don’t believe there is a resort fee here. That service charge is on everything there + the VAT.

  2. We’re headed here in a few weeks. Out of NYC we booked American, one way down to Miami, then onward to SKB mid-week. We then spent 35K and 70 dollars to fly United back on Saturday. One hard lesson learned is that I had a bunch of $100 gift cards for AA from the travel credits on Amex Plat cards but the flight was not eligible, even though it originates in the states. So we just bought the flights down. We used 90K Hyatt points and a suite upgrade for our stay. We were just spending some time researching some food hacks and cab / scooter options so your post is really timely. Like you, we plan on not doing much more than relaxing. Breakfast will be covered via Globalist with Hyatt but we were thinking of having our driver stop at the IGA and running in and grabbing a few snacks and treats for the room and maybe some lunch foods.

  3. Food from those Caribbean resorts are outrageously expensive. We went to Punta Cana and stayed at an non all inclusive resort. The food it self is more or less the same as in the US. But the government adds 18% tax plus 10% service tax. And that’s not including tips! Even when you go eat at Wendy’s, you still need to pay that 28% on top of everything. We definitely won’t go back to that country.

    • Pretty sure the 10% service charge is the tip in the DR; similar to the way restaurants in the US will add 18% to checks for parties of 6 and over (and some restaurants will add it to any check if they believe the guests are European and won’t tip if it’s not included). You are not expected to add an additional tip, although I’m sure no one would object if you do.

      In the US, meals are generally “marked” up between 20 and 30% when you add sales tax and a tip — in New York it’s about 24% even if you tip the basic 15%. So the DR doesn’t seem so different from the way things work here.

      While I certainly prefer the European method (where the stated price includes tax and tip, and the only thing you will pay extra for is the “cover” or “bread” charge and perhaps a few coins as the “extra tip”) it’s not surprising to find different customs in different countries.

  4. Nice review… thinking about going since I live close to Miami. But it is expensive so for what it cost I probably save my points and miles and go back to the Park Hyatt Maldives . Regarding Explorist… did you get some kind of benefit? I am Globalist soon to be Explorist in one month . Hope that Hyatt realice that it is probably the worst mid tier status and does something about it SOON!…

    • Explorist won’t have a tangible benefit here really…I mean better room maybe, you earn extra points of course, but nothing major. I hope Hyatt does something to beef up Explorist, too.

  5. The hotel COST is a bit crazy at 30K, the beach pictures of the sand/water I have seen makes me wonder If its even worth checking out this property. ( wife and I love the sea ) The pricing of food and drink is pretty normal to what I pay when I am out and about. I am NYC based so those prices don’t scare me away and just hope I see better beach and water pics in the future from this property.

    • Lots more coming – both photos and videos. The beach on the property isn’t the best. It isn’t bad, but it isn’t the best. Better beach right around the corner…but also way more crowded. The prices won’t hurt as bad if you are from an expensive city. I don’t think you come here for the on-property beach. I think you come here if you want a nice pool and high-end hotel to stay at while you enjoy St. Kitts and Nevis.

  6. We took our family to the Four Seasons on Nevis in 2016 and we will be back this summer. Great island to explore with the kids and the resort is cheaper than the Park Hyatt. Use points for flights and use virtuoso benefits to maximize your included perks at the resort!

  7. Booked with Citi 4th night free and received a confirmation that $375 would be credited after the stay. $1,830 – $375 – $150 service charge for Globalist = $1,305 and we receive $900 in credits since there are 3 in the room. Also upgraded to Suite using Globalist upgrade. Looking forward to the stay…and your upcoming review!!!

    • Fantastic deal! Only note is I don’t think the service charge is a resort fee…it is like a second tax/tip added to everything. Well done though!

    • SQNfan- Have you received confirmation from the hotel that the $150 service charge will be credited back?

      I just booked via Citi Prestige and received same confirmation as you that $375 would be the benefit received for the 4th night benefit.

      Does Citi allow to book a totally separate reservation for another room and still receive the 4th night benefit?

      Thanks

  8. How does this beach compared to the Hyatt Aruba? Heading back again to Aruba next week but was looking for another gateway and see Hyatt Aruba now playing games and only 3 dates on points for the rest of the year.. Crazy. Guess Hilton will get my business in Aruba now..

    • Karen, wow you are so right about Aruba. Even their “garden view” isn’t a “stanard room”. Are they serious? Sigh. So the beach at the PH St. Kitts is nothing like the beach at the HR Aruba. It’s not nearly as calm or pretty or clear or blue.

      • Ok, thanks. I go for the beach.. so this might be out then.. plus the high cost of food. Aruba you can go inexpensive or high end I liked that. I tweeted at Hyatt today.. they sent me a few messages and just said sorry Hyatt Aruba has not made standard rooms open.. keep checking back.. I have been able to use my points on gardenview rooms in the past and thats gone now too.. I hope they bring it back..

        • Yeah, that is some complete and utter nonsense from Aruba. If Garden view isn’t standard then what is? To clarify on the St. Kitts beach, some of the island has beaches that are nicer, but right on the property isn’t the best spot.

          • They have some rooms with only a window and no french balcony. They consider those standards.. My problems is they allowed gardenview rooms to book on points. I have my current reservations to show it and then overnight they basically just removed standard rooms from their system and now say garden rooms don’t work . I was booking my kids down there for March no problem wide open and relooking for the fall for me and everything was wide open the next day its all gone. LOL Can you tell I’m mad:)

          • I’m mad, too! Playing games like this is bologna. I’m not sure what percentage of rooms should be standard, but it sure isn’t 0-5%.

  9. Any word on how did you score the category 1 -7 award certificates and how can “normal” people get them, to make the $1800 stay for free ? same for the hyatt points.. If manufactured spending is the way you got them, then would appreciate sharing any technique as well. thanks a lot.

    • The old version of the Hyatt Credit Card came with them as a sign-up bonus, but sadly right now the old way I know of is to stay a ton and become a Globalist.

  10. Hi,

    I just booked for July 4-8, two adults an two children, stacked with Citi Prestige and the total will be $1,400. The rate will give us $1,200 resort credit. My question is, do you think $1,200.00 would be enough to cover at least a couple meals a day for two adults and to kids (6y/o and 8y/o)??
    Thanks for your input.

    • Such a great deal they have going right now! I think that an average of $300 per day will cover lots of your meals for two adults and two kids, assuming you don’t stray towards the high end of the menu and don’t go crazy with beverages. I can’t promise that $300 per day will cover everything if you eat three meals a day on the property, but it should easily cover two meals a day as long as you don’t go nuts.

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