Diamond Treatment at @HyattOsaka, Regardless of Status

October 6th, 2017

Nearly five years as a Diamond member of Hyatt’s former Gold Passport loyalty program brought me great value for countless stays at places like Park Hyatt Tokyo, Grand Hyatt Tokyo, Hyatt Regency Tokyo, Andaz Tokyo, Hyatt Regency Hakone, and other Hyatt properties.  Alas, the improving outlook for the hotel industry brought about higher prices and deteriorating loyalty benefits until, ultimately, I could no longer justify maintaining such status on leisure stays alone, resulting in my fall to the…ugh…”Explorist” level of their new program. Though, thanks to the loophole in their reciprocal status arrangement with MLife, I will probably remain at that level for some time, even the Club Upgrade awards do not provide a compelling reason to stay exclusively loyal to Hyatt anymore.

In some ways, this has been quite liberating. Without feeling “compelled” to stay with Hyatt, I have had new experiences at places like the Prince Sakura Tower, Sheraton Yokohama, and the Marina Bay Sands resort (all of which I’m too lazy to post about, but those following my Twitter account are made aware of such enjoyment)  These stays were all enjoyable in their own way, but little things that differed brought back bittersweet memories of the way things used to be. The last two years were rang in from a Park Hyatt Tokyo suite, with access to all the hotel’s many luxuries. But without…ugh…”Globalist” status, even the most meticulous planning would not bring such a celebration within my financial reach for this year.

That's not a tear trickling down my cheek. It's just condensation.

That’s not a tear trickling down my cheek. It’s just condensation.

But all is not lost!  There is a place that rolls out the red carpet for not only Globalists, but also well-prepared Explorists, Discoverists, and even basic Members of World of Hyatt. That place is the Hyatt Regency Osaka, a place whose praises I sang long and loud earlier this year. Here are the World of Hyatt and Hyatt Regency Osaka specific rules that allowed me to book this coming New Years bash with all the trimmings of top status on an affordable budget.

1. Suite Booking Using Points: Globalists receive Tier Suite Upgrades that can be used on most types of reservations to upgrade to a suite, but those in lower levels of the program have options to do this as well. World of Hyatt offers two options for using points to help secure a base level suite. One option is to book the stay entirely with points. The amount of points required depends on the award category of the hotel. As of this writing, Hyatt Regency Osaka is classified as Category 2, so per this chart:

Suite Award Chart

A Regency Suite at the Hyatt Regency Osaka can be booked for only 13000 points per night. Per the current World of Hyatt Terms and Conditions, a stay booked in this manner must be for a minimum of three nights, so you will need at least 39000 points on hand for this option.

If you don’t have that many points available, or only want to stay for one or two nights, the other option is to upgrade a stay booked through Hyatt at the Standard Rate or higher (sorry, no Member Discount rate) and upgrade the stay using points. This option is irrespective of award category; it is 6000 points per night for all hotels.

So could be a really good deal for a place like Park Hyatt Tokyo

So could be a really good deal for a place like Park Hyatt Tokyo

Neither of these options are available online;  you will need to get in touch with Hyatt Customer Service to make these arrangements for you.

2. Hyatt Regency Osaka Suite Benefits: Globalists are automatically conferred club lounge access on all of their stays. Explorists receive some club lounge upgrade certificates that can be used to upgrade most reservations with access. But neither of these powers are necessary when you are staying in Hyatt Regency Osaka suite, because they are included in the benefits of the suite itself.

Screen Shot 2017-10-06 at 6.45.07 PM

The complicated situation regarding Hyatt Regency’s Osaka’s club lounge arrangement is explained in my hotel review posts, but, in summary, not only do all staying guests get access to afternoon and evening offerings that exceed the new arrangement at Hyatt Regency Tokyo, they also get to have a full breakfast in the restaurant that exceeds the arrangement at Grand Hyatt Tokyo!

3. High Quality At Reasonable Rates: As I’ve said before, I feel that this hotel is of incredible quality for a Category 2 level hotel in the second most populated area of Japan. While many people complain about the location, I, in the parlance of engineers, think it a feature, not a bug. Until the Hyatt Regency Seragaki Island comes online, this is the closest thing to an actual resort hotel that Hyatt offers in Japan.

Again, something I discuss in detail in my hotel review

Again, something I discuss in detail in my hotel review

Osaka can be beautiful, but mostly so from a distance, and your suite will provide you with both the height and the distance with which to fully appreciate it.

At night, the Ferris Wheel puts on quite a light show

At night, the Ferris Wheel puts on quite a light show

A New Years Suite Stay at 13000 points a night is an absolute steal, but even the Standard Rates can be quite reasonable. Booking many months in advance, I found Standard Rates over the three nights spanning the New Years holiday for only 25000 yen a night, less than half the price of a comparable room at Hyatt Regency Tokyo over the same period.

I did such a good job of divesting points ahead of Diamond demotion that I had to use this option

I did such a good job of divesting points ahead of Diamond demotion that I had to use this option

Of course, this plan is dependant on being able to find Regency Suite availability, and, of course, it is no longer available for NYE 2017 this late in the game. But I like planning things well in advance, and I was able to pull this off back in March with no problem.

I’m no longer a big shot with Hyatt. But, thanks to the Hyatt Regency Osaka, I’m going to be treated like one, one more time.

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Andaz Tokyo: Choosing Between Points + Cash and All Points Award Reservation

April 13th, 2016

Generally, the choice between booking a Points + Cash or an All Points Award reservation is a no-brainer in favor of Points + Cash. The reasons for this are:

  1. Points + Cash stays count towards qualified nights and stays for tier renewal
  2. Points + Cash stays can generally be combined with a Diamond Suite Upgrade
  3. The “cash” portion of Points + Cash allows one to effectively buy points at a very attractive rate.

For the purposes of this exercise, we will assume that the benefit of a qualified stay is negligible.  If you’re cutting it that close on stays, then there are a lot better mattress stay options available than Andaz Tokyo.

Let us consider the Andaz Tokyo at this particular point in the space/time continuum that I am posting this (sadly, most of my previous articles are now woefully outdated…one of many reasons why actual posts here have become so infrequent)  First, the regular rates at this hotel have become so high that it is always a good value to use points towards a reservation. Unfortunately, Andaz Tokyo is one of the exempt hotels that do not allow the use of Diamond Suite Upgrades (a pity, because they are REALLY nice!)

And now, for some of you that have purchased points in the past, there is another way to buy points and a very attractive rate:

Darned right my loyalty deserves to be rewarded…

With this new promotion, let’s crunch the numbers and see what happens.

First, the Andaz Tokyo Points + Cash reservation.  As a Category 6 hotel, the cash portion of the Points + Cash rate at Andaz Tokyo should be $150;  HOWEVER, as the hotel charges in yen, Hyatt uses it’s own exchange rates to give us 17,785 yen:

Because $150 * 109 yen = 16...wait, what?

Because $150 * 109 yen = 16…wait, what?

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL!  Because Andaz Tokyo also charges the following on all paid rates (whether they’re supposed to or not):

There's even a tax on tax!

There’s even a tax on tax!

Putting my degree in nuclear engineering to good use, I calculate the total total of the cash portion of this stay to be…22554 yen.

Whereas, if you can participate in the 40% point bonus promotion, then you can purchase the additional 12,500 points needed for a full award stay (plus an extra 100) for $216.

You have more control of the exchange rate with this purchase.

You have more control of the exchange rate with this purchase.

Using a generous exchange rate of 109 yen gives us a total of 23544 yen.

So, even with all of the Andaz Tokyo tomfoolery and a 40% point bonus, it’s still a slightly better value to book a Points + Cash rate. However, given the scarcity of Points + Cash rates that are actually available at Andaz Tokyo these days, there’s no need to feel bad about topping off your points with this sale to book an all points stay and experience the fizzy jacuzzi at a discount.

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Tablet Hotels Offering Tablet Plus Benefits Free for Park Hyatt Tokyo

December 12th, 2014

I have mentioned Tablet Hotels Tablet Plus program in the past.  For paying $195 a year for Tablet Plus membership, you get additional benefits on your hotel stay throughout a variety of hotels in their portfolio.  The benefits afforded to Tablet Plus members at the Park Hyatt Tokyo are very similar to what is received by Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond members:

  • Complimentary upgrade upon hotel check-in, based upon availability
  • Guaranteed 4pm check-out
  • Complimentary daily continental breakfast per guest (max 2 guests), a value of 3000 JPY (approx $35US) per per person per day.
  • Complimentary access to ‘Club on the Park’ spa facilities for up to 2 persons during the entire stay (a value of 4200 JPY per person per stay- Approx $50US)

For a limited time, Tablet Hotels is offering Tablet Plus benefits on Park Hyatt Tokyo reservations for free!  No Tablet Plus member ship needed!

Not only are there a ton of great benefits that are normally only afforded to Diamond members, but the Tablet Hotels rate can actually turn about to be cheaper than booking direct through Hyatt.

In a random check conducted today for the dates from April 6th to April 9th, 2015, a Park King room can be reserved for as little as 56,100 yen:

Make sure that "A Gift For You" section displays before making your reservation.

Make sure that “A Gift For You” section displays before making your reservation.

On hyatt.com, the cheapest rate available is 63,100 yen for a Park Deluxe King:

Park Hyatt Tokyo can be stingy about making base rooms available on their website.

Park Hyatt Tokyo can be stingy about making base rooms available on their website.

As the Tablet Hotels reservation includes a complementary room upgrade (based upon availability, but which should very likely be available on week days such as this), you would pay over 7000 yen less for the same room, free breakfast, free spa access, and 4pm checkout!  Even though you won’t get Hyatt points for the stay, if you are not already a Diamond member, then I think that these benefits more than make up for that.

This is one of the rare occasions where I would recommend booking the Park Hyatt Tokyo via a third party booking service.

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30% Holiday Promo sale at Tokyo Hyatt Hotels coming soon (again)?

November 14th, 2014

As followers of my Twitter feed, (the place where I first post my Tokyo Hyatt related breaking news) already know, for a couple of hours the Park Hyatt Tokyo was offering a “Holiday Promo” rate, offering 30% off of the Hyatt Daily Rate.  Not only was this a great discount, but it also offer seemed to offer special inventory that was not available with any other rate.

Unfortunately, I only got one screenshot from the Hyatt app on my smart phone (the rate also showed up on the regular Hyatt site), but it shows that, at 10:35am Friday Tokyo time, there was availability for a Park Deluxe Room on New Year’s Eve for under $500, the lowest rate that I have ever seen for that special date.

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For weekdays in January, I was seeing Park King rooms going for under $300…even cheaper than the $300 Points + Cash rate that would also set you back a whopping 15,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points!

I did not see the Holiday Promo rate anywhere on the Park Hyatt Tokyo website.  And soon after noon, the rate was completely gone.  However, I do not think that this rate was a mistake.  I do think that we will see this rate again very soon, perhaps for every other Tokyo Hyatt hotel as well.

This is very similar to a promotion that Hyatt ran last year at this time in the Asia-Pacific, with the terms slightly altered.  Going by memory, the Terms and Conditions stated that the reservation was non-refundable, with full prepayment required at the time of booking, must be booked at least three days in advance, and was good for stays between December 1, 2014 and January 31, 2015.  Hacking away at the source code, it seems that this year’s special offer code will be APRAC.

Although I personally am not interested in a non-refundable rate, I think that this would be a great opportunity for people to get to try the Park Hyatt Tokyo at close to Hyatt Regency Tokyo prices.  Or, for that matter, perhaps get to try the Hyatt Regency Tokyo at well below Hyatt Regency Tokyo prices.

Here’s hoping that the Holiday Promo makes a more long-lasting return in the very neat future!

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Discounted Hyatt Points Plus Points + Cash Rates Equals Potential Tokyo Hyatt Hotel Savings

November 11th, 2014

Through December 10th, 2014, Hyatt is offering a 30% bonus on the purchase of 5000 or more Hyatt Gold Passport points.

In most cases, purchasing points for all but a small top-off needed to acquire an award is a bad deal, for two reasons:

  1. It’s usually cheaper to just pay for the room than to buy enough points to pay for it.
  2. Award stays (using just points) do not count towards receiving points, or receiving stay credit for obtaining or maintaining higher status levels like Platinum or Diamond.

However, the current bonus does a lot to make purchasing points for a stay feasible, and the Points + Cash option at Hyatt hotels seals the deal.

Started just this year, Points + Cash rates allow you to use points to receive a deeply discounted room rate (the exact amount of points and cash required varies depending on the Award Category Level of the hotel).  Because it is a paid rate, you also receive points for the stay, and a stay credit.  And, like a regular rewards stay, it is a fully refundable rate.

The best part about Points + Cash rate is that it is a flat rate, regardless of time of year it is used.  So the more high demand/high cost time period it is, the more potential value you can receive from this offer.

Let’s look at how Points + Cash stacks up against the Tokyo Hyatt hotels.  I will choose a three night stay for two adults, during an arbitrary high demand period:  March 27-30, 2015.

First, the Hyatt Regency Tokyo.  This hotel is Award Category 3, so according to the Points + Cash chart, the rate requires $75 USD and 6,000 points per night.  For our three night stay, that is $225 and 18,000 points.

With the 30% discount, we can purchase 18,200 points for $336.  Adding to our $225 gives us a total of $561.  Dividing that by three nights gives us a Discount Purchased Points + Cash (I’ll call it “DPP+C”) rate of $187/night.

As of today, the lowest Hyatt Regency Tokyo refundable rate for those nights is $212.

Score one for PP+C!

Score one for PP+C!

DPP+C gives us a little over 10% savings…and shows that we shouldn’t even bother with this if we must purchase points at the regular price.

Next is the Andaz Tokyo.  This hotel is Award Category 6, doubling the nightly P+C cost to $150 USD and 12,000 points a night, or $450 + 36,000 points for all three nights.

With the 30% discount, we can purchase 36,400 points for $672.  Adding to our $450 gives us a total of $1122.  Dividing that by three nights gives us a DPP+C rate of $374/night.

This just barely beats out the best Andaz Tokyo refundable rate of $397, and if you’re willing to accept a prepaid, no-refundable rate, is worse than the Advance Purchase rate price of $338.

Given the time and effort required, we'll call it a push.

Given the time and effort required, we’ll call it a push.

Grand Hyatt Tokyo is also an Award Category 6 hotel, so the DPP+C rate is also $374/night.  Here we do much better than the Hyatt Daily Rate of $432…an over 15% savings!  It even beats out the inferior Advance Purchase rate.

DPP+C wins the rubber match.

DPP+C wins the rubber match in convincing fashion!

Sadly, I’m not even going to look up Park Hyatt Tokyo.  First of all, the P+C rate can only be used for base room, for which none are currently available for March 27th-30th.  Second, the Park Hyatt Tokyo is an Award Category 7 hotel, which requires 15,000 points and a whopping $300 USD/night.  Buying enough points to cover the 45,000 required for three nights will cost $840, which adds to $900 cash fee for a grand total of $1740, giving us a per night rate of $580.  And if you have to settle for $580/night for a base room at the Park Hyatt Tokyo, then you’re just not trying hard enough.

But, outside of the Park Hyatt Tokyo, I think that I have shown that purchasing discounted points for a Points + Cash rate at a Tokyo Hyatt hotel can be beneficial.  And, in the case of the Hyatt Regency Tokyo and the Grand Hyatt Tokyo, the DPP+C rate can be significantly beneficial.

Unfortunately, the Points + Cash rate cannot be booked online;  you must call Hyatt Gold Passport to book it.  And, unlike a straight points reservation, inventory may not be available for a Points + Cash reservation even if it is available for the Hyatt Daily Rate.  But, if you’re willing to put in a few minutes of time on the phone, the resulting savings may be well worth your effort.

Bonus Content: Like the Grand Hyatt Tokyo and Andaz Tokyo, the Hyatt Regency Hakone Resort & Spa is also an Award Category 6 hotel, so DDP+C rate remains $374/night.  And like the Grand Hyatt Tokyo, DDP+C would give you a savings of over %15 off the Hyatt Daily Rate.

Whether it's actually worth $374 a night is open to debate...

Whether the Hyatt Regency Hakone is actually worth $374 a night is open to debate…

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