I’ve visited Hawaii 3 times in a span of 2 years before becoming a mom, and I’m already looking to go back again with the family. I know Hawaii is an aspirational destination for many people using points and miles (here are the best ways to get to Hawaii using miles from the east coast and the west coast), so I thought it would be appropriate to share some updated information about some of the more popular Hyatt Hawaii properties that a close friend was kind enough to report to me.
If you’re in the planning-stages of a Hawaii trip and are needing help deciding between using free night certificates/points, or points and cash, this might be some helpful information. For those who are super detail-orientated, note that there is a slight offset due to the points accrual on the dollar spend and the value of the actual stay credit (for Diamond requalification) for using cash + points as opposed to entirely redeeming points.
When I visited Maui in 2013, I stayed at the brand-new Andaz Maui at Wailea using 22,000 points per night (now 25,000 a night), and the stay was incredible with the best breakfast spread I’ve ever experienced!
Shortly after my fantastic experience at the resort, unfortunately they’ve made many [negative] changes, including a reduction of the breakfast benefit for diamond members, mandatory $40 resort fee and $30 valet parking fee (the parking fee was in affect when I stayed), and a decline in points and cash availability, which truly is a shame because the resort really was fantastic when I visited 3 years ago.Although the Andaz was spectacular, there is another Hyatt option on the island of Maui. On full points, The Hyatt Regency Maui costs 20,000 points a night. For cash and points, it’s 10,000 points + $125/night and the rate breakdown is as follows:
My friend used a Diamond Suite Upgrade award and got a nice suite with a nice view. He said the room was nice, but the property itself is starting to age. He also stated that the club lounge was the worst out of the Hyatt Hawaii properties he stayed at (Hyatt Regency Maui, Grand Hyatt Kauai, and Hyatt Regency Waikiki) and isn’t worth the extra 3,000 points per night if if you wouldn’t have access as a Diamond member.
He told me that the pools were nothing special, and overall it was his least favorite of the three resorts, but not bad by any means. He recommends the Andaz if it’s available (often times it isn’t on points, stated above).
I last visited Kauai in 2012 and spent 2 nights at the Grand Hyatt Kauai using my 2-free nights from the Hyatt Credit Card. When I stayed as a Platinum member at the time, I thought the property was lovely, and I really enjoyed the salt water lagoon pool and the resort’s beautiful lush landscaping. I’d happily stay here again the next time I’m visiting Kauai.My friend stayed here for a few nights a few weeks ago, and provided me with some up-to-date information about the property. He used 25,000 points per night because there were no cash+points options available. When using pure points at this resort, there is no resort fee (normally $30/night), and there is also free self parking for all guests at this hotel. Valet was around $25/night, but there’s really no need because the parking lot was nearby.
As such, there’s really a true $0 cost when staying entirely on points. He agreed with me by saying this hotel had the nicest overall resort. The rooms were definitely the most-outdated out of the 3 properties he visited, but the overall grounds were very impressive. Since he was staying on points and could not use a suite upgrade award, he still got a good-size room (“Deluxe”) with an ocean view and balcony. He noted that the club lounge was very good with substantial appetizers and dessert at night (one night was cheeseburger sliders, good salad bar, and miso soup, for example). If you’re not a Diamond member with club lounge access, he definitely recommends club access here because the food is plentiful.
When I visited Oahu, I stayed at the brand-new Hyatt Place Waikiki, which is just a few blocks from the beach. I paid $119 a night at the time, which was a great rate for June. Since it’s a category 3 property at only 12,000 points a night, you can even use your annual free night certificate from the Hyatt credit card. 12,000 points a night is a great value for a Hawaii property that’s just blocks from the beach.
I thought the hotel was nice and a great value, but the more popular Hyatt resort on Oahu seems to be the Hyatt Regency Waikiki, which costs 10,000 points + $125/night (or 20,000 points). Here is the full breakdown of the cash and points rate:
My friend was able to use a DSU here and got a great suite (with recently renovated rooms) on a high floor with 2 balconies overlooking the beach. The rooms here were definitely his favorite. He told me that there isn’t much to the “resort” (there’s one small pool like most regular hotels have), but there are a lot of shops within the hotel that are convenient. It’s almost a stretch to call this a resort over a regular Hyatt Regency, but it is about 10 feet from the beach, so that’s probably how they got away with it.
He notes that the staff here was by far the best, and the club lounge was awesome, with a very good selection of appetizers and desserts – probably the best he’s seen in a US hotel. Alcohol was also free for Diamond members (beer, wine, and liquor) during happy hour. My friend really liked this hotel.
Hawaii is definitely on my radar again, so it was very helpful to get feedback on some of the more popular Hyatt properties across the islands and a true breakdown of costs at each resort. You’ll have to decide for yourself based on how you value your Hyatt points (for me its 2 cents a point) if it makes more sense to use cash and points or purely points.