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Why I checked out minutes after arriving at a top-tier Hyatt resort

June 24, 2021
5 min read
Why I checked out minutes after arriving at a top-tier Hyatt resort
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Way back in the middle of 2020, I booked a speculative stay at Ventana Big Sur. With cash rates approaching $3,000 per night on many dates, it's an aspirational stay any way you shake it, even though you can occasionally score an award night for just 30,000 World of Hyatt points.

Related: 14 things to know about Hyatt’s Ventana Big Sur

In the summer of 2020, none of us knew whether or not we'd be able to freely hop around the country by June 2021, so I was able to lock in not one but three nights at that 30,000-point rate.

With meals and snacks included on awards, Ventana Big Sur is an incredible deal at 30,000 points per night. (Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy)

Many travelers aren't so lucky, however, and may end up booking a stay at a nearby Hyatt at the same 30,000-point rate instead.

After my phenomenal three-night Ventana visit, I decided to spend two nights at the Hyatt Carmel Highlands to see if this more accessible resort should command the identical Category 7 award rate that it currently does.

While the views are absolutely incredible, my post-Ventana visit simply served to highlight the resort's shortcomings.

While the views are spectacular, Hyatt Carmel Highlands' restaurant wasn't open for dinner. (Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy)

For one, the Hyatt Carmel Highlands is still operating with many of the mid-pandemic restrictions we learned to accept in the middle of last year, despite California now being entirely open for business — to the extent that masks aren't even required around the hotel.

Still, daily housekeeping isn't provided, a concierge isn't available, there's no room service at the moment and the on-site restaurant isn't even open for dinner. That isn't stopping Hyatt from requiring 30,000-point redemptions or tacking on a $22 resort fee on paid nights, however.

Most importantly, the hotel is ill-equipped to accommodate remote workers, making a stay impossible for anyone hoping to blend a few workdays with a leisure trip.

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The biggest issue, by far, was the resort's horrendous connectivity. While included without an additional charge for all guests, the Wi-Fi was even slower than anything I've experienced on a plane within the last few years. I struggled to load the most basic websites and barely eked out a successful speed test. My girlfriend wasn't able to check email or browse the web with her laptop at all.

(Screenshot courtesy of Ookla)

I checked in with the front desk, where the first agent I spoke with insisted that no other guests had mentioned connectivity issues — an unreasonable claim, considering I struggled to browse the web in our room, near the pool and in the lobby as well.

I asked for a manager, who did acknowledge inconsistent performance. She said some guests have had better luck in the business center and lobby, but my iPhone registered the same cruddy speeds there.

Related: How the pandemic has altered hotel amenities we once took for granted

The manager said she could send someone to reset the router, but I was able to connect — the performance was just incredibly sluggish throughout the hotel. So, channeling my inner Ariana Arghandewal, I asked if the hotel would refund our stay if we needed to leave.

Surprisingly, the manager's mood improved — she actually seemed relieved and immediately said that wouldn't be a problem, perhaps thankful to have one less road warrior on-site to complain about the shoddy connectivity.

Even if the Wi-Fi had been working, I'm not sure I'd be thrilled redeeming 30,000 points per night. (Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy)

I went back to the room and started looking for options — using my phone's cell connection since the Wi-Fi couldn't even handle that. With nothing comparable available nearby, we ended up finding a great deal in San Francisco and making the 2.5-hour drive up to the city.

As excited as I was to stay at Hyatt Carmel Highlands, it wasn't worth suffering through two days of terrible Wi-Fi, potentially adding hours to each day of remote work.

Related: Why I checked out of the Hotel Indigo Lower East Side after 15 minutes

I'm appreciative that the hotel was willing to allow me to check out right away and refund my booking in full, but I won't consider returning until the connectivity issues are resolved. If you encounter a similar issue after checking in to this hotel or any other, I'd speak up quickly, and if there isn't another solution, you might want to ask for a refund and check out right away.

All photos by Zach Honig/The Points Guy

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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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
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

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
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.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
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 unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • 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

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023