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TPG reader Jay sent me a message on Facebook to ask about booking Hyatt awards:
“I have two free nights from the Chase Hyatt card, and I’d love to use them at the Park Hyatt Paris with my wife and our two-year-old. When I try to reserve for two adults and one child, no rooms are ever available, because it tries to put me in a deluxe room instead of the standard room. Should I just book a standard room for two guests?”
Many hotel programs only allow you to book awards when a standard room is available. However, the definition of a “standard” room may vary from one property to another, especially outside the US. While most of Hyatt’s domestic properties accommodate four people in a standard room, that’s often not the case elsewhere.
The issue for Jay is that Paris hotels have to abide by strict fire code regulations that limit smaller rooms to two guests. The Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme website states explicitly that the standard Park Queen room allows a maximum of two guests with no rollaways or cribs. If you try to book for a larger group, those rooms won’t show up in the search results even if they’re available.
The hotel occasionally makes exceptions for young children despite the published policy. With that in mind, I would suggest booking a standard award for two adults and then contacting the hotel immediately to discuss your options. Depending on your Hyatt elite status and room availability, your family might be allowed to stay in a standard room. If the hotel is unable to meet your request, see if there are any options for a paid upgrade to a room that can accommodate a third guest. The upside of this approach is that you can always cancel your reservation if it’s not working.
What I definitely would not do is book an award for two adults and then just show up with an extra guest and hope there won’t be any problems. The hotel will have all the leverage at that point, and you may be forced to either pay the rack rate for a different room or hit the pavement and find somewhere else to stay — neither of those outcomes makes for a fun start to your vacation.
This issue is common throughout Europe, so it’s not a knock against this particular hotel or Hyatt in general. The Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme is a beautiful property, and in terms of value, it’s a great place to use free night certificates from the the Hyatt Credit Card. Because of the standard room limitations, however, it’s not an ideal destination for families.
If you’re traveling abroad with a family or group, the Choice Privileges program may be a good option for hotel stays, since you can often book larger rooms at the same award rate. Your average Choice Hotels property won’t be nearly as luxurious as the Park Hyatt, but it can help make your trip more affordable.
For more on Hyatt free night certificates and the Gold Passport program, check out these posts:
- Maximizing Chase Hyatt Visa Free Night Certificates
- Maximizing Hyatt Gold Passport for Family Travel
- What to Do When Your Hotel Doesn’t Follow Its Own Rules
Featured image courtesy of Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme
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