Redemption of the month: Hyatt Regency Kyoto
The Hyatt Regency Kyoto was a quiet and comfortable home for two nights on my Japan trip a few weeks ago, and I got a good deal using Hyatt points.
While the Hyatt Regency name may conjure ideas of a frenetic hotel for business travelers, Kyoto’s is nestled in greenery, across the river from downtown Kyoto in the Higashiyama ward, and has a classier feel. See if you can get a room with a view of the garden.
It’s a quick metro ride to the Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine, which helped me get there early enough for a morning hike before the tour-bus crowds showed up. And if you’re looking for good (if highly Instagrammable) coffee, there’s an %Arabica outpost a short walk away in Higashiyama. I also daytripped to Osaka on the metro, finally visiting the amazing Truck Furniture showroom.
I paid for my stay using Hyatt’s Points + Cash rate, which got me a good deal:
- When I booked, Points + Cash stays here cost 10,000 points and ¥13,500 (about $120 at current exchange rates) per night, plus almost $30 per night in taxes.
- Rooms were going for more than $400, and often top $500.
- I don’t remember the exact rate during my stay, but after subtracting the cash portion of my Points + Cash rate, I was getting well over 2.5 cents per Hyatt point — a good redemption.
- Plus, I earned 1,400 Hyatt points on the cash part of my stay, worth ~$28. (I value Hyatt points around 2 cents each.) And another 1,200 points for paying for the cash portion and taxes with my Chase World of Hyatt card, worth ~$24.
And as a nice bonus, I had an offer on my World of Hyatt card for a 20% rebate on the cash portion of my stay, up to $51, which I maxed out. So, all in, I paid 20,000 points and about $245 for two nights, and earned 2,600 points toward another Hyatt stay. I’m happy with that.
Unfortunately, you can’t get that deal anymore: Hyatt recently changed how it prices Points + Cash stays. Instead of a fixed nightly rate for the cash portion — ¥13,500 in my case — it now charges half the going cash rate for standard rooms. At nicer hotels with higher prices, such as the Hyatt in Kyoto, that’s going to be much more expensive, to the point where it’s often not worth it. (Normal points stays, which are 20,000 points per night here — and no taxes — can still be a good deal, especially when rooms are $400 or more per night.)
Anyway, next time, I plan to check out the Ace Hotel Kyoto that’s currently under construction, scheduled to open in 2019.