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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Maximizing Park Hyatt Tokyo Enjoyment as a Platinum

October 23rd, 2014

I received an interesting e-mail, asking various questions about the Park Hyatt Tokyo in the context of being a Hyatt Gold Passport Platinum member. Although the experience is maximized by reaching the Diamond level, there are still ways to enhance your stay at this hotel as a Platinum member, or even with no status at all.

Here are the parts of the e-mail (along with my responses) that should be of benefit to all:

I am travelling with several of my friends on a one-week vacation to Tokyo, and we have all decided to stay at the Park Hyatt. My other friends have already made their reservations via Tablet. I want to book my stay via Hyatt to try and build up some points. Can you tell me:

- is there a big difference between a PARK DELUXE and a PARK VIEW room? is it worth it?

The Park Deluxe Room is a nice big room. It’s the first room I ever stayed at at the Park Hyatt Hotel, and it impressed me enough to maintain my Diamond status to this day.

The Park View Room is like a miniature suite. It’s the same design as a Park Suite, with the bedroom and living room “smooshed” into one.

While you won’t be disappointed with a Park Deluxe, I personally enjoy the Park View room much more.

- is the hotel okay with people splitting their stay into two bookings to take advantage of better rates on different days?

So long as you qualify for the rates, you can split your stay over as many rates as you like (the purpose of the Date Range Search tool on my site is to make searching for the optimal combination of rates a little bit easier.

However, do not expect the Park Hyatt Tokyo to automatically extend the benefits of the best rate throughout the entire duration of your station. For example, if you book two nights in a Park View and two nights in a regular Park room, it is unlikely that they would let you stay in that Park View for all four nights; they may will stick to the terms of each rate to the letter.

- should I just book a PARK DELUXE room because I am likely to get an upgrade to a PARK VIEW anyway (subject to avails).

If staying in a Park View room is crucial to your stay, then you should book the Park View room. But, as you say, you have a fair chance of getting the upgrade and, as I said, the Park Deluxe is quite nice in its own right, so I would go with booking the Park Deluxe.

- is there any way of getting around their late check in times on weekends apart from purchasing a day rate room?

In the past I have arrived about an hour early and been allowed into the room. Other times I have arrived 30 minutes early but still had to wait a bit. A lot of it depends on how busy the hotel is on any particular day. The only way to guarantee a room to be available in the morning is to bite the bullet and book the room one day earlier (letting the hotel know in advance that you will not be checking in until the following morning)

- are there any perks we should be aware of/travel tips/things to avoid.

The two things I would keep in mind are the restaurants in the basement of the building and the Spa on the Park schedule.

Park Hyatt Tokyo is part of a multi-purpose office building. Though not advertised as part of the hotel, there are several restaurants and convenience stores in the basement level that are of good quality and reasonably priced. The hotel restaurants are awesome, but you’re probably not going to want to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner there for a week!

Unfortunately, as a Platinum, you will not get free access to the spa facilities at Club on the Park. However, all of the activities at the pool and exercise area are still free to all paying guests. This includes pool exercises, fitness programs, and a good night sleep stretch. You can find details on the weekly schedule at http://www.parkhyatttokyo.com/Facility/Stay/cotp_exc_schedule_en.pdf.

Finally, if you are not a Diamond member, you can, for all intents and purposes, purchase “virtual” Diamond status for the Park Hyatt Tokyo via a Tablet Plus membership. By paying the $195 membership fee and booking through their website, you would be entitled to the following benefits at the Park Hyatt Tokyo:

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 one week stay, this would offer considerable benefits that would offset both the $195 membership fee and the points lost through not booking direct via Hyatt.

Regardless of how you stay, relax and enjoy yourself at one of the most luxurious, iconic hotels in the world!

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Inside Park Hyatt Tokyo: Weekday Lunch Buffet

September 26th, 2014

Although I have eaten dinner at the Park Hyatt Tokyo‘s New York Grill on several occasions (though none since the Diamond free drinks were moved to the Peak Bar, taking away some of the fun of the NYG experience), I have never had the chance to eat this restaurant’s lunch buffet.  The hotel breakfast is quite filling, so when we stay, we always tend to have a light lunch, either through room service or one of the basement restaurant options.

However, after reading a follower’s review of the lunch experience, I knew that this was something that I would have to experience for myself.  A month later, the stars finally aligned enough for me to take a late lunch from work to check it out!

I can’t compete with Ms. Sakamoto’s excellent review (she does food and picture taking far better than I), so I will just fill in some of the blanks.  First off, the menu:

A choice of six main courses, plus all you can eat appetizers and desserts.

A choice of six main courses, plus all you can eat appetizers and desserts.

I didn’t quite get the price in that picture, but the base price for the appetizer buffet, dessert buffet, and main course is 5,000 yen.  This includes neither the 13% service charge nor the regular 8% tax (sadly, Park Hyatt Tokyo has chosen to post tax exclusive prices, which Japan law has allowed since the sales tax increase from 5% to 8% on April 1st), pushing the actual minimum cost to just over 6,000 yen.  While I would have liked to have tried a beef dish, all of them would have incurred extra cost that would have pushed my lunch into five digits.  Ms. Sakamoto’s review already shows the chicken and the lamb, so I decided to order the penne.

The appetizer buffet is set up at the large table in the New York Bar:

Kind of loses its mystique in the daytime...

Kind of loses its mystique in the daytime…

There are many different kinds of cold meat and vegetable dishes to choose from, but it was hard to distract me from the shrimp cocktail:

Protip: In Japan, it is rude to take the entire bowl back to your table.

Protip: In Japan, it is rude to take the entire bowl back to your table.

Shrimp cocktail like this is quite rare in Japan, and usually quite expensive.  I have paid upwards of 1500 yen for just six shrimp of these size, so at this point I was already feeling like I was getting my money’s worth.  And this cocktail sauce was awesome…not quite “homemade ketchup that comes with the duck-fried french fries awesome”, but still among the best I’ve tried…tangy, a little bit spicy, but not so much that it overpowers the flavor of the shrimp.

Of course, man cannot live on shrimp alone, so I picked up a few other items as well.  My favorite of the rest was the Caesar salad…tasty crispy bacon, plenty of Paramasan cheese, and a bold dressing that puts the store-bought varieties to shame.

When I returned to my table, I was pleasantly surprised to find the freshed baked bread that I often enjoyed at dinner.

You get a full loaf even when eating alone.

You get a full loaf even when eating alone.

After two such heaping helpings of appetizers (27 shrimp in total!), the penne arrived:

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Penne Rigatte Gragnano

To be honest, I was underwhelmed with this.  It seemed to be technically well-executed, but I’m not a big fan of Arrabiata sauce to begin with.  I wish they had two different kinds of pasta to choose from, a tomato base and a cream base.  Actually, I wish they had an option to do without the main altogether;  I would have been happier going back for another round of the appetizers.

But at this point I was already quite full, so I had to turn my attention to the dessert:

Placed right next to the food so as to taunt you. I very nearly topped my Caesar salad with a brownie.

Placed right next to the food so as to taunt you. I very nearly topped my Caesar salad with a brownie.

I couldn’t quite try everything, but everything that I did try was marvelous.  My favorite three were:

3. Key lime pie.  I’ve been a key lime pie fan since I was a kid, so I’m fairly fussy in this regard.  This was a bit lighter than I’m used to in a key lime pie, but the flavor was well-balanced and quite delicious.

2. Chocolate brownie: Thick, moist, and fudgy. Perhaps my favorite brownie in Japan.

But number one, by a large margin, was the strawberry ice cream:

Strawberry ice cream is on the right. My stomach vetoed coming back to try the frozen yogurt on the left.

Strawberry ice cream is on the right. My stomach vetoed coming back to try the frozen yogurt on the left.

I do not know if this was their own special recipe, but I do know that I cannot go back to eating Haagen-Daaz after knowing this.  So fresh.  So creamy.  So strawberryey!  My words can’t do it justice.  Next time I stay at this hotel, I am definitely ordering this ice cream again from room service, regardless of what it costs.

The staff certainly does its best to earn their 13% service charge.  They brought me a newspaper without asking, water was always refilled quickly, and no matter how many times I went up to the buffet, somebody was always waiting to tuck in the table cloth for me when I returned to my seat.  Unfortunately, the only hiccup was a significant one for me;  it took over 20 minutes for the check to arrive once I asked for it, delaying me from getting back to work quite a bit later than I was hoping for.  But it’s hard to hold this against them;  they certainly aren’t gearing their services to the salarymen, and the rich Japanese housewives that seem to make up the majority of their clientele probably couldn’t care less about extending their time in the restaurant…I certainly would if I could!

Delay aside, the New York Grill lunch buffet was a wonderful, luxurious experience.  Not something that I could pull off everyday, but it would be great way to celebrate such accomplishments as discovering gold in Shinjuku Central Park or defeating the Kraken.

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