Recently, I wrapped up a brief series covering the cheapest way to book Hyatt stays on points. One of these posts dealt with the most efficient way to book Hyatt suites on points earned via manufactured spending. Generally, the best option is to book a Points + Cash award, charge the stay to your Arrival Plus card, redeem Arrival miles for the cash portion, and use a Hyatt Diamond upgrade to book yourself into a suite. Unfortunately, Diamond upgrades can’t be used at all-suite hotels like the Park Hyatt Maldives. So most folks have been booking the standard Park Villa on points and then paying $365-$580 per night for an upgrade to a Water Villa.
This method would require $25,000 in manufactured spending on an Ultimate Rewards earning credit card (not factoring in category bonuses) and $16,425 – $26,100 in spending on the Arrival Plus card for the upgrade fee (including the 10% discount on travel redemptions). In total, it would take $41,425 – $51,100 in spend to generate enough points for an Overwater Villa.
How to Book it for Less
Recently I came across a post on Travelsort that offers a cheaper alternative. The blog’s author is a Virtuoso agent and she discusses a promotion they’re having for bookings made at the Park Hyatt Maldives through September 27, 2014 for travel through December 25, 2015. Clients who book at least a 4-night stay through Virtuoso get a double confirmed upgrade. Booking the cheapest room, a Park Villa, would get you into an Overwater Villa if those are available at the time of booking. The following blackout dates do apply: December 24, 2014 – January 11, 2015 and February 18, 2015 to February 24, 2015.
The Virtuoso promotion creates an opportunity to book these Overwater Villas for fewer points. If you’re able to find a rate under $900 per night, it makes more sense to charge the stay to your Arrival plus card and redeem Arrival miles than to do an outright point booking with a cash upgrade. A rate of $900 per night would require 81,000 points per night or $40,500 in spending on the Arrival Plus card.
You can certainly find lower rates than $900, which would make the Arrival redemption even more of a great value. For example, through the Hyatt Free Time promotion, guests booking at least 4 nights can get rates as low as $747.53 per night including taxes in September. Booking a rate like this would cost 67,278 Arrival Miles per night (after the 10% rebate) or $33,639 in manufactured spending. This presents a saving of almost $7,000 over the typical method of combining a point stay with a cash upgrade.
Not only is there potential to save points during this promotion, but you can also score a huge point pay day if your stay coincides with the latest Hyatt Gold Passport promotion and/or you stack it with the Hyatt Diamond Challenge. This is in addition to the standard 5 points per $1 Hyatt Gold Passport members earn on hotel stays.
If you’re interested in taking advantage of this promotion, contact a Virtuoso agent (in this case, go with the author of Travelsort since she’s the one who wrote about the deal) and they’ll walk you through the process. I’d like to point out that I don’t have any kind of relationship with Virtuoso, nor do I know the author of the post I referenced. There’s nothing in it for me if anyone take advantage of this promotion. With the Park Hyatt Maldives being on many people’s bucket list, I thought it worthwhile to bring it to the attention of my readers.