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It's exceptionally difficult to stay at these World of Hyatt 'unicorns' on points — here’s how to book them

April 21, 2022
8 min read
Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort
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Hyatt is one of the TPG staff's favorite hotel loyalty programs for a few reasons:

And still, there are some Hyatt hotels that live in infamy among the award travel community – luxury bucket list properties that are the bane of points collectors due to their elusive reward availability.

Let’s look at some of the most popular offenders and tips on how to book them.

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Some hotels play with award inventory

One of the only infuriating things about Hyatt is that it can’t seem to honor one specific promise. It guarantees that you can book standard rooms with Hyatt points if available.

Here’s how some hotels get around that: They won’t show you any standard rooms unless you book a specific number of nights. In my experience, I’ve seen hotels hide standard rooms until you’ve amended your search for a stay of nine nights or more.

Hawaiian hotels are notorious for monkeying with award inventory, namely:

The Andaz Maui is a bucket list item for many points and miles collectors. It’s exceptionally beautiful, and it consistently sells for $1,000 or more per night. In other words, you’re competing for award availability with an exceptionally large number of Hyatt customers and Hyatt itself.

Possible trick

I’ve done this myself at the Andaz Maui and a handful of other Hyatt hotels. You can often find award availability at hotels like these by simply extending your search dates. For example, below, the Andaz Maui has no award availability from Nov. 7 to 9. According to Hyatt, this means there are no standard rooms available.

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(Screenshot courtesy of hyatt.com)

However, by extending this hypothetical stay by one night, standard rooms suddenly appear for all three nights. Hyatt was holding out on you.

(Screenshot courtesy of hyatt.com)

If the hotel you’re after demands that you stay more nights than you’d like, here’s what you can do:

  1. Sign in to your Hyatt account.
  2. Find availability, no matter how many consecutive nights you have to book.
  3. Click to view the standard rates instead of award nights.
  4. Click “Pay My Way,” which allows you to book a stay with a mix of Hyatt points and cash.
  5. Book the entire stay, choosing to pay cash for all the nights you don’t plan to stay.
  6. Direct message @HyattConcierge on Twitter with your confirmation number and ask them to cancel all the paid nights and leave the award nights.

Again, I’ve done this more than once, and it works like a charm.

Related: The ultimate guide to World of Hyatt

Many Small Luxury Hotels seem difficult to book

Small Luxury Hotels of the World inked a deal with Hyatt to allow customers to redeem Hyatt points at its hotels.

There are many instances in which some hotels appear nearly impossible to book — some hotels are seasonal, some require a minimum number of nights per stay, etc. Examples of difficult-to-book hotels are:

Properties like Hotel Schweizerhof Zermatt are in chef’s-kiss locations and are closed nearly half the year.

Possible trick

To help you find award availability at SLH properties, you can begin your search at the SLH website. (Each hotel has a landing page both with SLH and Hyatt.)

You can easily view which dates the hotel is closed and which dates have restrictions (such as no check-in, no checkout, minimum night requirement, etc.).

(Screenshot courtesy of SLH.com)

This isn’t always a foolproof method to immediately find Hyatt award inventory, but it can help you narrow your search and save lots of time.

Related: How to earn Hyatt points

Some hotels may legitimately be out of award availability

Alila Ventana Big Sur. (Photo courtesy of Hyatt)

In rare cases, a hotel might simply be so popular that no award inventory exists.

A great example of this is Alila Ventana Big Sur, an all-inclusive five-star resort guarded by California redwoods. Many of us check frequently for availability but rarely find anything. I’ve even invoked my Hyatt Globalist concierge to help me find availability with no results.

Possible trick

The only sound advice at this point is to check daily for properties like this. Occasionally, a big chunk of award nights will magically appear that weren’t there the day before.

One tip that has worked for me in the past (though not with this particular resort) is using Google Hotels to view large swaths of room rates at once. Because Alila Ventana Big Sur appears to be out of standard rooms, you can use Google Hotels to help you make an educated guess as to where availability might be.

Take a look below at the price for Feb. 18, 2023. It’s a good $500 or more cheaper than the dates surrounding it. This indicates a cheaper room is available, and therefore a standard room may exist.

(Screenshot courtesy of google.com)

Upon investigating this date, I found a “1 King Bed” room category available — which appears to be one category lower than a “1 King Bed with Fireplace” room, which is the category you can book with points. So again, the method isn’t perfect.

Related: The 12 hotels where you’ll get the most out of your Hyatt reward night certificate

How to earn Hyatt points

Chase issues two cobranded Hyatt credit cards:

  • World of Hyatt Credit Card: Earn up to 60,000 points: 30,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening, and up to 30,000 more points by earning 2 bonus points total per dollar spent in the first six month from account opening on purchase that normally earn 1 bonus point, on up to $15,000 spent.
  • World of Hyatt Business Credit Card: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in your first three months from account opening.

Another easy way to rack up Hyatt points is by transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points at a 1:1 ratio. You can transfer points to Hyatt if you have one of the cards below:

Even rewards accrued from no-annual-fee Chase Ultimate Rewards-earning cards (Chase Freedom Flex, Ink Business Unlimited, etc.) can transfer to Hyatt. Simply transfer them to an annual fee-incurring Ultimate Rewards card first.

Bottom line

There are many great Hyatt hotels to choose from, but some of the most aspirational are nearly impossible to book.

Whether your hotel of choice likes to play with award inventory, requires a minimum number of nights or is just maddeningly popular, there are a few strategies you can implement to try and find award availability.

Let us know which Hyatt hotels you’re having a hard time booking. We’d love to have a comprehensive list of Hyatt unicorns with awards we can try to decrypt together.

Featured image by (Photo courtesy of Hyatt)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
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Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more