Zero Night Stay Plan at the Park Hyatt Tokyo

June 27th, 2014

NOTE:The Park Hyatt Tokyo is no longer offering this plan.

If you search through the Offers page of the Park Hyatt Tokyo, you may encounter the following unusual offer:

Your Perfect Day

Enjoy an afternoon in our Park Deluxe Room with a leisurely brunch, access to Club On The Park spa, and cocktails at the bar for a perfect day.
  • Day use of Park Deluxe Room from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Full breakfast or a set lunch at Girandole
  • Access to Club On The Park spa & fitness facilities
  • Evening cocktails at the bar per room
*This offer is not bookable on-line. For more information or to make a reservations, please call +81 3 5322 1234 or e-mail to reservation.phtoyko@hyatt.com. Not available through hyatt.com.

From the description, it sounds like you get to feel like a Diamond member for seven hours.  But can breakfast be eaten before 10:00?  Can the spa and fitness facilities be accessed before check-in or after check-out?  Which bar do you receive cocktails at, or do you get a choice?  Do the Twilight Service appetizers come with the cocktails?  And, most importantly, what does this cost?

Based on the answers to this, it might be feasible to combine the value of a Hyatt Regency Tokyo stay with a splurge of luxury just a stroll through the park away at the Park Hyatt.  But, as the description states, this cannot be booked online, and details that are online are sparse.  So I contacted the Park Hyatt Tokyo reservations department directly for further details.  And here they are!

  • Check in is at 10:00am.  Check out is at 5:00pm. The Club on the Park can only be used between these times.
  • For breakfast, you must stop by front desk beforehand so the breakfast will be registered to the room.
  • Diamond Suite Upgrade cannot be applied to upgrade from Park Deluxe Room to Park Suite.
  • Breakfast/Lunch can be received as Room Service (provided it is done after 10:00am check in time)
  • Evening cocktails are for one drink per person in the Peak Bar, and do not include Twilight Service.
  • Promotion is for weekdays only until December 26th, 2014 (December 20th-25th are blackout dates)
  • Not eligible for stay credit in Hyatt Gold Passport.

And finally, the one factor that determines whether or not this could a good deal:  the price.  I wasn’t going to ask about every rate for the rest of the year, so I choose a random weekday in mid-September, a time that I figured would offer a fairly reasonable rate.

The verdict?  A rate of 37,000 yen, or a total of 45,155 yen with taxes and fees (same for one or two adults) .

This is not very far removed from the fare for a full night’s stay!  What a shame.  While this rate is probably geared towards wealthy Japanese housewives, if they would price this around 20,000 yen (maybe a bit more if they weren’t quite so stingy with the use of the Club), I bet that they could make a lot of extra money on rooms that would otherwise go empty, and give many more people a taste of what makes the Park Hyatt Tokyo so special.

I give this rate a grade of 8 for creativity and a 3 for execution.  Not worth pursuing further.

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Two Corporate Rates Everyone Can Qualify For

June 4th, 2014

This i my first attempt at composing a post entirely with my smart phone, as I prepare for embarking on the most comprehensive Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills opening day coverage on the planet!

When you use hyatt.com to check room and rate availability, there is a special section for entering a “Corporate or Group Code”

Bring up this box by clicking Special Codes link

Bring up this box by clicking Special Codes link

This area is generally for use by businesses or groups to receive discounted rates based on contractual agreements with Hyatt. Most of these are not for use by the general public, but today I will introduce two codes that anyone can use for a 10% discount off the Hyatt Daily Rate.

1. Costco

Good for something more than buying twenty pounds of spaghetti sauce!

Good for something more than buying twenty pounds of spaghetti sauce!

The Costco rate can be accessed with corporate code 13365. It is available to anybody with a Costco store membership. This membership can be purchased for about $40 a year…but while the hotel may ask for a copy of your card, I can’t imagine that they actually call Costco to verify it, so once you have a membership card, you are probably good regardless of whether or not you choose to renew it.

2. Freelancers Union

Not to be confused with the Freeloaders Union

Not to be confused with the Freeloaders Union

The Freelancers Union rate can be accessed with corporate code B200936. They are an organization of people who do work on a free lance basis.

Don't let the bright red colors scare you, they're cool!

Don’t let the bright red colors scare you, they’re cool!

It’s even better than the Costco membership in that membership is free, anybody can apply, and the application can be done online with a simple form.

This phone makes me screenshots very long and skinny.  Sorry 'bout that.

This phone makes my screenshots very long and skinny. Sorry ’bout that.

Of course, the 20% discount with the My Elite rate is better, but for cases where that rate is not available, or if you do not have Platinum or Diamond status with Hyatt Gold Passport yet, it’s good to have these codes in your back pocket.

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New Years Eve 2014 at a Tokyo Hyatt Hotel

May 28th, 2014

I may be in the minority, but I can think of few better ways of ringing in the new year than safely within the busom of a Tokyo Hyatt hotel.  As of today, all four of the metro-Tokyo area Hyatt hotels are still available for booking via the Hyatt website (availability has yet to be made available for Hyatt Regency Hakone Resort and Spa;  if it does open up, it will likely be even more expensive than any of the Tokyo hotels).  Here is the current breakdown of rates for two adults for a one night stay on New Years Eve, courtesy of the Tokyo Hyatt Power Search tool:

Hyatt Regency Tokyo: 

The lowest published rate for a King, Queen, or Twin Room is the Advance Purchase rate of 30200 yen.  Breakfast for two can be included for an additional 4000 yen.  This is a fully prepaid, non-refundable rate though, which is a non-starter for me.  The lowest price rate with free cancellation up to 2pm December 30th is the Hyatt Daily Rate at 37000 yen.

If you are a Costco member, you can use Corporate Code 13365 to bring the refundable rate down to 33600 yen.  Be sure to have your Costco membership card with you upon check-in, as they do verify this!

But the best option may be to use your Hyatt Gold Passport points, as award availability still exists for only 12000 points.  Even if you don’t have any points at this time, they are currently on sale until the end of the month, and 12100 points can be purchased for only $264 USD.  If you are not a Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond member, you can also upgrade to a Club Room and receive Regency Club access for an additional 5000 points.

Grand Hyatt Tokyo:

The lowest published rate for a Grand King or Grand Twin room is 61000 yen for the Hyatt Daily Rate, which offers free cancellation until 2pm December 24th.  The Costco discount is not applicable on this date, but award availability is open for 25000 points.  During the current sale, 25300 points can be purchased for $546 USD.

Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills:

The lowest published rate for an Andaz King or Andaz Twin room is 70000 yen for the Andaz Rate, which is a fully prepaid rate, but offers free cancellation until 2pm December 24th.  The Costco discount is available, which brings the rate down to 63000 yen and offers the same prepaid/cancellation terms as the Andaz Rate.  Award availability still exists for New Years Eve, at the same 25000 point rate as the Grand Hyatt.

Park Hyatt Tokyo:

The lowest published rate for a Park Deluxe King or Park Deluxe Twin room is 72000 yen for the Hyatt Daily rate, which offers free cancellation until 1pm December 24th.  Unfortunately, the method of forcing guaranteed availability for a base room doesn’t work because this is a special exemption night.  Costco discounts are not valid at Park Hyatt hotels, and award availability doesn’t exist on account of there being no base rooms available, so this is best that we can do for the time being.

In addition to the above, there is also the new Points + Cash program that could potentially save you a great deal of money, but you will have to call Hyatt directly to check availability on that.

None of these rates are what we could call a great deal, but there’s still over seven months until New Years Eve, and rates and availability can (and will) change many times during that period.  If you absolutely have your heart set on staying during any one of these nights, I would suggest making a refundable booking now, bookmarking the links that you can create with the tool, and just keep on refreshing every now and then until something better pops up.  Persistence is rewarded in the hotel booking game!

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Special Offers at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo

May 27th, 2014

Out of all of the Hyatt hotels in Tokyo, I believe that the Grand Hyatt Tokyo offers the most interesting special offers, stays that come with things other than room and board.  While my normal mode of operation is to strictly look for the best value rates, for the Grand Hyatt alone, I will always check out the Offers page on their website.  And every now and then, I will find something that entices me to pay more to get more.

The first special offer that I ever booked was the “Wa Ginger Stay” a little over a year and a half ago, which offered two special features with the stay.  First off was a special ginger drink in the Maduro Bar.  I’m generally a teetotaler, and wouldn’t normally step foot inside of such an establishment, so it was kind of interesting venturing out of my comfort zone to figuratively let my hair down. It was a very vibrant place, full of banker types boasting about their financial conquests that morning, and chatting up ladies for a different type of conquest later that night…

If you’re into that sort of thing, the place apparently also has an excellent cigar bar with the finest Cubans money can buy, but you’ll have to ask Tokyo Cigar Fan to verify that.

I wish I had thought to take a picture of my drink at the time, but here’s something similarly fruity that they serve:

Gives you a buzz and 50% of your daily requirement of Vitamin C.

Gives you a buzz and 50% of your daily requirement of Vitamin C.

But the main attraction of the Wa Ginger Stay was the Nagomi Ginger Massage in the Nagomi Spa.  I was really looking forward to experiencing my first ever massage, and the masseuse didn’t disappoint, delivering heavenly bliss far beyond even that of an Aesop shampooing…with the added bonus of smelling like ginger ale for hours after.  Unfortunately, I just cannot reconcile spending 18,000 yen on a luxury like that for myself, so I am grateful that this rate compelled me to pay for these services in advance and force me to experience things that I wouldn’t otherwise get myself to do.

The other special rate that I purchased was the Harry Potter Summer Stay rate, when the Harry Potter exhibition came through Tokyo last year.  I live close enough that I could have just gone on my own, but the lure of another night at the Grand Hyatt, the ease of the five minute commute to and from the Mori Art Museum where the event was being held, and the special tickets that came with the rate that would allow us to bypass the crowds and reservation times convinced me to just leave all the planning to the good folks at Hyatt.  And they did not disappoint, not only delivering on all that was promised, but surprising us with a special souvenir waiting on our bed when we returned to our room.

The “Wa Ginger Stay” has been slightly retooled, and is now known as the “Summer Well-Being Stay“.  The drink in the bar has been replaced by a special healthy room-service breakfast, which makes it even more appealing to me.  But what really peaks my interest is the new “Horse Riding Experience” stay, that includes a horse riding experience at the historic Tokyo Riding Club, and a special hamburger lunch at the Oak Door restaurant.  I have no idea whether I’d enjoy riding a horse…but if the Grand Hyatt has gone out of the way to set this up, then who am I to doubt their learned opinion?

Just as the Park Hyatt got this dude to enjoy washing his hair, the Grand Hyatt got this control freak to let go and enjoy whatever they wanted to offer me.  So before your next stay, do yourself a favor before you click on that My Elite Rate;  check out the their Offers page and see what else they have to offer besides lodging!

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Stupid Hyatt Website Tricks: Forcing Guaranteed Availability

May 22nd, 2014

In my recent post introducing the Hyatt Gold Passport program, one of the benefits I mentioned about the Platinum and Diamond tiers was “guaranteed availability”.  In theory, given sufficient advance notice (48 hours for a Diamond, 72 for a Platinum), this benefit would allow these higher level members the ability to book a base level hotel room even for a night when the hotel is fully booked, kicking somebody else out of the room if necessary

In practice, hotels are allowed to designate certain periods of anticipated very high demand, such as New Year’s Eve, as exceptions.  Another limitation is that guaranteed availability rooms only come up when the hotel is fully booked.  If there’s even one Diplomat Suite at the Park Hyatt Tokyo available for booking, then that constitutes “availability”, and you will not be allowed to book the cheaper base level room.

However, there is a way to do an end around and force the booking engine to show you a Guaranteed Availability rate for the non-exception periods, which I will demonstrate below.

For example, suppose that you want to stay at the Park Hyatt Tokyo during the last weekend of the year:

I've heard good things about the kadomatsu.

I’ve heard good things about the kadomatsu.

As at many times in the year such as Golden Week or the Obon period in Japan, the Park Hyatt Tokyo will show no inventory for a base level room (the Park Twin or Park King rooms)  On this particular date, the lowest priced room rate available is for the Park Deluxe, at 63000 yen.

Over 77000 yen including taxes and service fees.

Over 77000 yen including taxes and service fees.

Allow me to give a brief history lesson before explaining the trick. In years gone by, Hyatt used to sell an item called Stay Certificates, in which you paid a fixed price for a certificate that allowed the holder to redeem it for a free night at a certain level of Hyatt hotel.  Though intended to be used as gifts, many people bought and used them for themselves, because they could be much cheaper than regular reservations, especially during periods of high demand.  Unfortunately, this trick became too popular and too much of a money drain for the hotels and the parent company, and Hyatt discontinued the program for consumers last year.

However, the codes for registering a Stay Certificate stay remain in the system.  In this case, we will use the Elite level certificate group code of 58872.

This is similar to the method that we used to reveal the Unpublished Andaz Tokyo discount rate.

This is similar to the method that we used to reveal the Unpublished Andaz Tokyo discount rate.

Rooms are no longer made available under the Stay Certificate codes.  If you enter this code and you are not logged into to your Hyatt Gold Passport account, or you are not a Platinum or Diamond level member, you will see a message stating that there is no availability.

Picture 23

It’s actually a rather helpful page, showing you the lowest normal rates at all of the Tokyo Hyatt hotels.

But if you are logged in as a Platinum or Diamond, you now have access to the guaranteed availability rate for the Park Twin or Park King room that is 6000 yen cheaper than what was previously available.

And you'll probably be upgraded to at least a Park Deluxe anyway.

And you’ll probably be upgraded to at least a Park Deluxe anyway.

Not the greatest rate you’ll ever find for this hotel, but if you have your heart set on staying on this date, that’s another 6000+ yen that you can put towards a nice steak at the New York Grill.

Guaranteed availability rates are often quite expensive, but the Park Hyatt Tokyo is one of the few hotels in the world where it can make sense to use them.

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