Few months ago I wrote a post on how I was planning to use complimentary Diamond suite upgrade for a weekend at Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa It’s a Category 4, so it costs 15,000 points or 7,500 points+$100 per night. A nice thing about this hotel is the fact that you can use your annual renewal certificates that come with Chase Hyatt Signature Visa.
That’s why my cousin-in-law and her family decided to join us for a weekend since they have two Hyatt cards between them. While rates run at $210 (plus tax) per night even during off-season, getting the same room for only $75 (all-in) is definitely a bargain.
We picked a weekend, and I was able to find Points+Cash availability without an issue. Everything was set and then our plans have changed. We could no longer travel during that particular weekend due to a special event we just couldn’t miss. So, I had to rebook our getaway on a different date.
Since my husband currently has Hyatt Diamond status (that he got for free), we had 4 new suite upgrade certificates sitting in his account that were deposited back in February. Perfect. Of course, we had to coordinate with my husband’s relatives and make sure they could come as well. We did settle on a date, but there was one problem: just second night had Points+Cash availability. The first night could only be booked for 15,000 points:
It appeared that we would be traveling during a popular weekend, so many regular rooms were already sold out. As you probably remember, only cash and Points+Cash Hyatt reservations are eligible for a suite upgrade.
Keep in mind, my husband had a total of 15,000 points in his Hyatt Gold Passport account. Additionally, I just got my free night anniversary certificate from Chase Hyatt Visa. So, I had several choices:
1) Book first night via cash rate and get a regular room. That would entitle me to use of suite upgrade. The rate was $210 per night plus tax, which isn’t terrible all things considered. I could then book the second night via Cash+Points rate and use the second upgrade certificate. It’s possible that reservations would combine and I would get a suite both nights. But it didn’t matter much because I wouldn’t be able to use up all 4 suite upgrade certificates anyway.
2) I could book the first night with my Hyatt Visa anniversary certificate (adding my husband’s name to the reservation) and the second via Cash+Points rate. The first night would not be eligible for a suite upgrade.
I could call and beg Hyatt to give us a suite on both nights, but there would be no guarantee. We could end up packing up and switching rooms after the first night.
On the bright side, I would have 7,500 Hyatt points left and could book a one-night getaway with my husband at Hyatt Regency Sarasota It’s a Category 3, so it runs at 6,000 points+$75 per night. Of course, I would use the upgrade certificate for a fancy suite. This hotel gets great reviews and has a nice lounge with complimentary breakfast.
3) I could book a regular room for two nights with my anniversary certificate+15,000 points. We would not have a guaranteed suite upgrade on either night (weeps).
The big reveal
I decided to go with the third option. Here is why. While getting a suite is nice, I really don’t like the idea of paying $240 ( all-in) for the first night. I participate in this hobby so I can get hotels dirt cheap or free. Paying $240 is NOT dirt cheap. In fact, it’s quite expensive in my book, even for a suite.
Also, I’m not positive on this one, but I think I might have a better chance at getting the manager to waive resort fee of $25 per night if we stay on all-points reservation. I will be sure to ask and play “Diamond status” or DYKWIA (do you know who I am?) card if necessary.
I don’t like the second option because my husband would absolutely hate it if we ended up switching rooms. We usually bring a sleeping cot for my son, so we would have to put it back together and drag it to our suite. No thanks. I really don’t want this sort of hassle on vacation. Also, while the idea of staying in a suite in Hyatt Regency Sarasota sounds nice, we really don’t need much space when it’s just me and my husband.
Sure, it’s different when we have kids with us. But I’ll be honest, I don’t give a rat’s behind otherwise. Not to mention, we would need to pay 6,000 points PLUS $75. In Florida, there will be an additional 12% tax, which should also be taken into consideration. Yes, we would have the use of lounge and free breakfast. But I can just buy discounted gift card and go to IHOP where we would spend $25 max for the two of us.
Conventional wisdom says that I should maximize the perks of my husband’s Diamond status before it expires next February. After all, we may never get this sort of a windfall again. But nope, I won’t be doing it. I’ll be burning my IHG points instead which I have acquired dirt cheap. Yes, we will have to pay for breakfast, but kids eat free at Holiday Inn.
Sure, the upgrades at IHG are not guaranteed. We’ll take that opportunity to go outside and explore. Especially if we end up having to share a room that looks like this:
It goes without saying that I would never in a million years consider doing mattress runs just so we could keep Hyatt Diamond status another year. And yes, it looks like all 4 of our suite upgrades will expire unless I see a dirt cheap rate at that Hyatt Regency in Sarasota. Otherwise, it’s Holiday Inn, baby!
To be clear, I have absolutely no problem with those who will try to maximize this status before it expires. I would be lying if I said the thought didn’t cross my mind. I was very impressed with our free breakfast in Hyatt Clearwater and the suite we got was massive.
If you are in good financial shape and have some spare cash, by all means, go for it because it’s “use it or lose it” kind of thing. There is nothing wrong with enjoying yourself on vacation, and lounge access/free breakfast can definitely make for a relaxing experience.
But for my particular situation at this point in time, it makes more sense to conserve cash. Next year we plan to buy a new car for my husband by taking out a loan, so it’s time to start saving up money for downpayment. Every little bit helps.
Plus, who knows, we might get a suite upgrade at that Hyatt anyway. Either way, in all likelihood, after this getaway I’ll be saying to Hyatt Diamond status: So long, and thanks for the memories…
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