Hyatt Regency Waikiki Review

It’s been over a decade since I was last in Hawaii so returning there this past summer was a whole new experience. I stayed in Waikiki for the entire trip and split the hotels into two nights at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki and 4 nights at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

Arriving at the Hyatt, it was actually too early to check-in. I was given access to the Regency Club lounge on the 39th floor and went up there to relax while my room was prepared. The lounge is no longer on the 39th floor and it has been moved to the 3rd floor. The views from 39 are beautiful so I’m glad I got to experience that before it was too late!

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Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Hyatt Visa

There are two credit card options available to anyone looking for an extra way to earn Hyatt Gold Passport points. One is the Hyatt Visa and the other is the Chase Sapphire Preferred. Looking only at each card’s potential to earn Gold Passport points,  the edge goes to the Sapphire Preferred.

The Hyatt Visa earns 3 points per dollar on spend at Hyatt hotels and 1 point per dollar on everything else. Co-branded credit cards will always give you the most points when spending at their respective business. Unless you’re practically living at a Hyatt, you’ll want to give more weight to how many points you can earn outside of Hyatt. Without that 2x multiplier to bridge the gap between one and three points, this really hampers your ability to earn additional points.

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Chase Sapphire Preferred: A Great Card for Everyday Spend

I’m obviously a big believer in using credit cards to accumulate points and I’m jumping on the bandwagon of the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card. It’s quickly become a solid “go to” card for travelers thanks to its strong sign up bonus and numerous travel partners that you can transfer points to.

Before we get into the specifics of Sapphire Preferred, here’s a quick look at the rewards program. Your spend will earn points in the Ultimate Rewards (UR) program. Your UR points can be used to get cash back, redeem for gift cards, get a statement credit and book travel.

The Sapphire Preferred has a $95 annual fee that is waived the first year. You’ll earn 2 points per dollar on travel and dining and 1 point per dollar on everything else. One UR point is worth 1 cent when you’re looking to redeem. The Points Guy explains what types of expenses are covered under “travel,” in this post. There are more categories than you may think!
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So I decided to rename/re-brand this blog. Originally I was just going to have a personal blog to share my experiences. It turns out it just wasn’t working anymore since the majority of my posts were focusing on the hotel industry. So the new name of the blog is a pretty good fit for what I enjoy doing and writing about.

Now that there is more of a clear focus for the blog, there is a lot to catch up on. Let’s do this!

SPG Gold Status Enhancements: Welcome Amenities and Lifetime Status

A number of enhancements to Starwood’s Preferred Guest program were announced today. They include lifetime status levels, confirmed suite upgrades, the addition of Gold status welcome amenities, an increase to the number of Starpoints earned and a personal Ambassador program. All of these benefits will go into effect March 1.

English: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc.

Image via Wikipedia

There’s so much to say about all of these benefit and they’re covered in depth over at Loyalty Traveler, One Mile at a Time, View From the Wing and many other travel blogs. I’m not going to try and replicate all of the information and insight that they’ve put out there because I’m sure they’ve covered all the bases (and covered them really well). Most of the new benefits are for Platinum status so what I’d like to do is take a look at the newly added Gold benefits and see what type of impact they could have for casual leisure travelers who don’t have a large amount of stays/nights to spread out.

Let’s start with welcome amenities for Gold members. You’ll get your choice of the following:

  • Bonus points (250 or 150, depending on property)
  • Free wireless or wired internet
  • Complimentary beverage

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I Heart the Grand Hyatt Seattle

I’m finally getting around to posting my Grand Hyatt Seattle review that I mentioned in my Olive 8 review. I would like to thank New Girl in the Air for inspiring me to stay on my butt and blog instead of stay on my butt and watch TV. If you like my blog, I highly recommend checking out her blog when you have time. After reading some of her posts, I can really identify with her. We share a lot of the same ideas and have covered some of the same topics. She’s very thorough, which I like, and provides some good analysis. She’s also a lot better at staying up to date than I am!

On to the review! Mattress running from the Olive 8 to the Grand Hyatt was really easy. They’re literally right across the street from each other. It was a 2 minute walk, if that. I’ve heard that the Grand Hyatt Seattle is really good about upgrading Diamond members to suites and while I’m always tempted to see if I will get that complimentary upgrade, I decided to burn one of my suite upgrade certificates just to ensure I would get the suite.

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Hyatt Announces First Global Promotion of 2012

Hyatt recently announced their new promotion for 2012 to participants of this years oneworld MegaDo. The Points Guy reports that Hyatt’s new promotion will last from February 1 to April 30, 2012.

Here are the highlights of this promotion (taken from The Points Guy’s post):

  1. The promo is based on nights, not stays
  2. Bonuses are cumulative, so you get each level threshold when you hit those number of nights, plus any prior bonuses
  3. You get a 25% bonus if you have the Chase Hyatt Visa

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