Category: Hyatt

A 5-Minute Practical Guide for First-time Travelers to Paris, France

TravelWhimsy and I took advantage of the Presidents’ Day long weekend and spent 3 delightful winter days in the City of Light.

Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
Three Winter Days in the City of Light (February 2013)

This post, listing things not present or emphasized in Rick Steves’ Paris Guide, is meant to help those of you planning your first trip to Paris save some time and money (and maybe points). For our readers who are Paris veterans, feel free to add your tips and suggestions in the comment section.

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Putting Non-Bonus Category Spend on the Club Carlson Visa – A Secret Weapon to Earning Free Hotel Nights with Minimal Effort for Infrequent Travelers and Families

If you and your family

  • Only travel once or twice a year;
  • Don’t mind staying at Country Inns, Park Inns, or Radissons (for free) for your vacation or road trips;
  • Would like to minimize the number of credit cards your use on a daily basis;
  • Have no time or desire to manufacture credit card spending;

Then, there might be an easy solution. All you have to do is to put ALL your non-bonus category spending on a single hotel credit card.

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Booking a Last-minute Trip to Kauai for 4 Adults 7 Days Prior to Departure with Miles & Points

It is often debatable whether collecting miles and points is even worth our time and effort, given the existence of 2% cash back credit cards. TravelWhimsy and I just returned from a whirlwind long-weekend trip to Kaua’i, HI, with our moms. The entire trip was conceived and booked on a whim – 7 days prior to departure, to be exact. A last-minute trip like ours seems to indicate that miles and points could trump cash back, and we will let you be the judge.

Kauai's Napali Coast from the Kalalau Trail
Kauai’s Northern Coastline Viewed from the First Half-Mile on the Kalalau Trail

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Use Your Miles and Points to Book a Ski Weekend in Park City, Utah, for Less Than $80 per Person!

Would you like to ski for free at a Park City ski resort of your choice this winter?

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If you are not a resident of Utah and can get on a flight that takes you into Salt Lake City (SLC) at reasonable morning hours, you can turn your same-day boarding pass into a free ski lift ticket at one of the three Park City ski resorts, including the world-famous Deer Valley Resort.

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How to Pay for a Night at the Park Hyatt and Get Almost All Your Money Back

TravelWhimsy and I recently spent our Easter weekend in Washington, DC for the 100th Anniversary of Cherry Blossom. For most of our cross-country weekend vacation runs, we’d use the $50 Country Inn & Suites certificates or Choice points we scored in last year’s Daily Getaways for hotel stays ($30-50/night).

For this trip (not our first time in DC), we decided to book and pay for one night at the Park Hyatt Washington DC, which normally goes for $400+/night. After the 14.5% tax, our hotel bill came in at $227.85; all the benefits we received for booking through American Express FHR (Fine Hotels & Resorts) made this stay practically free. I am going to talk about how you can do this, too, even if you don’t have the American Express Platinum card required for an FHR booking (I’ve cancelled my card already).

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Daily Getaways 2012 – Week 5 Deals Posted – Buy Hyatt Points at 1 Penny & Stay at Park Hyatt for $220!

Daily Getaways 2012 deals for Week 5 (May 7 – 11, 2012) have been posted. (You can see my thoughts on Week 1 & 2 deals here, Week 3 here, Week 4 Choice Hotels & Hertz points here.) There are no screaming bargains like the Wyndham or Choice points offers, but you might still find something that works for your upcoming hotel stays (I checked all offers for airline transfer redemption possibilities, but nothing attractive came up – cheapest transfer comes at a cost of ~2 cents/mile).

My personal favorite of the week 5 deals is the Hyatt points offer. You can buy Hyatt points for about $0.01 each (about 58% off the regular purchase price of 2.4 cents). A top Hyatt category-6 hotel requires 22,000 points, so you can stay at the Park Hyatt Paris, Park Hyatt Milan, or Park Hyatt Maldives, for about $220 all-in. Hyatt points do NOT expire; however, the official terms & conditions state that accounts inactive for more than 12 months are subject to closure (but in reality, accounts don’t get closed easily, and Hyatt offers outstanding customer service and will usually help you out).

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4 Nights at the Park Hyatt Paris Suites for Free? – A $6,000 Value

Reader Question: How Do I Use Miles & Points to Plan a Trip for Two to London?

Our Twitter reader Chris asked us for help with planning his upcoming 6-day/5-night trip from Washington DC to London in October with his girlfriend to celebrate his graduation from graduate school (Congrats, Chris!). I thought that this topic might be helpful to some of our other readers who might be considering a similar trip.

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9 Nights of 4-, 5-star Hotel Accommodation in Italy for $300

On the heels of TravelWhimsy‘s recent post on our delayed honeymoon to Italy, this is part 3 of a 4-part series to answer some of our readers’ questions on the nitty-gritty of how the trip was booked to maximize savings.

(1) Flights
(2) Train Tickets
(3) Hotels
(4) Everything Else


Taking full advantage of some of the hotel promotions offered in late 2010, we booked ourselves into some phenomenal hotels for a total out of pocket expense of $300 (vs. a normal cost of almost $4,000).

5 Nights at 4-star Hotel Berchielli in Florence: $45 (including full breakfast & free wi-fi)
2 Nights at 5-star InterContinental de la Ville in Rome: Free
2 Nights at 5-star Park Hyatt Milan (Milan & Lake Como): $75 (annual fee for Hyatt Visa Card)


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“Daily Getaways” Promotion – Coming Soon!

Update (10:45am PST, March 29, 2012): Just got a tweet a few minutes ago regarding this year’s Daily Getaways – “Love #travel loyalty points? #SneakPeek: This year’s DailyGetaways will offer unprecented point sales!”

Some of you may have heard of the “Discover America” promotion, jointly offered by American Express and U.S. Travel Association in 2010 and 2011. This year, the same promotion is coming back, and I just received an email notification this morning.

Daily Getaways 2012 Coming Soon!

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