I love investigating the travel offers on daily deal websites. They’re usually not such great deals after all once you read the fine print. Those $99 flights to Hawaii? You have to agree to buy one of their hotel packages, and there is only one option on each island. Discounted Travelocity gift cards? You actually redeem those through a different website, not the main Travelocity.com. These offers keep appearing now and then, just like a bad dream. The newest daily “deal” is $199 for two nights at a Hyatt hotel, a Tippr deal posted by flyingdawg on MilePoint this morning.
It’s not really as bad an offer as some of the other deals I come across. But the way it’s marketed should caution you before going out to buy it. I won’t dispute that there are some savings to be had if you still think it will work for your travel plans.
This offer is only valid for 31 participating hotels in certain cities (I also don’t remember the MGM Grand or Mirage hotels in Las Vegas being Hyatt properties, but it would be nice). I have a few of the options below, links I copied directly from the offer page:
When I click on these links, the first thing I notice is that they go directly to the hotel websites. So I know which properties are actually participating. San Francisco has multiple Grand Hyatt and Hyatt Regency properties. Dallas has a Hyatt Regency and several more Hyatt Place hotels. Seattle has a Grand, Regency, and Place. You get the idea. Is it worth paying $99.50 per night for a Hyatt Place? You want to make sure you’re actually going to stay at a decent hotel.
It turns out that if you want to visit San Francisco, you get to stay at… The Hyatt Regency SFO! An airport hotel.
If you want to stay in Seattle, you get to stay at… The Hyatt Regency Bellevue! It’s not even in Seattle, and you’ll have to pay at least $7 in tolls round trip to get to Seattle across the 520 bridge.
If you want to stay in D.C., you get to stay at the Grand Hyatt, which isn’t so bad. I actually like the location. Ditto for Dallas; the property there is the Hyatt Regency at Reunion Plaza. It’s a nice hotel I recently returned to, but the trains going by all night will keep up some people.
The lesson is to carefully investigate the terms and conditions of any discount travel deal. On the whole, it seems like a decent offer. Most of these properties are good enough, just not quite what is promised by their links. I don’t think there are massive savings to be had. I’ve found rates at these hotels just over $100 in the past in most cases, so you might be saving $20-50. I do like that it states all taxes and fees are included in the discount. It is certainly NOT a $500 value, because that would imply paying $250 a night including taxes.
Finally, what about redemption? This is not an offer from Hyatt. There were some questions about whether someone was just reselling Hyatt gift certificates, and with the limited choice of properties, I don’t believe that’s the case. If you try to learn more by clicking on the “Company Website” link, it takes you to Bill Brown’s Cheap Travel Deals, with no further information, just a coupon code entry field to redeem your offer. My guess is that Bill Brown made a deal with these already cheap hotels to buy up cheap rates in advance at a bulk discount and choose the dates later.
Final warnings: You get a full year to redeem the offer, and I’m not sure what happens after that if you haven’t redeemed it. You also probably won’t earn any points or stay credit toward elite status through one of these offers, but I still expect your existing elite benefits to be honored. My opinion is that, if you do go forward, stay at least three nights and pay for one on your own (purchased through Hyatt.com) to make sure you are still able to requalify.