You'll soon be able to use World of Hyatt points to book villa-style rooms at 9 new resorts
When families or larger groups travel together, it often means reserving multiple hotel rooms, which drives up the cost of lodging.
But, there are hotel properties scattered around the country and world that specifically cater to larger groups or families, offering villa-style hotel rooms, some with multiple bedrooms, full kitchens and in-unit laundry machines.
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Even better, you can use points at many of these hotels, which typically are part of a timeshare program.
Marriott Vacations Worldwide is one of the largest players in the timeshare industry, and it recently announced that it would be purchasing a total of nine Welk Resorts -- a longtime fixture in the timeshare world but with less recognition than other major brands.
Interestingly, though, when the deal closes in the second quarter of this year, Marriott will incorporate the newly acquired properties under its Hyatt Residence Club brand. Marriott Vacations is a separate company from Marriott International and owns Hyatt Residence Club.
The acquisition will bring the Hyatt Residence Club brand to several new destinations in North America and, best of all, will allow World of Hyatt members to redeem points for large, villa-style accommodations at the following resorts:
- Sirena del Mar in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
- The Lodges at Timber Ridge in Branson, Missouri
- Welk Resorts Branson Hotel in Branson, Missouri
- El Corazon de Santa Fe in Santa Fe, New Mexico
- The Ranahan in Breckenridge, Colorado
- Welk Resorts San Diego in California
- Desert Oasis by Welk Resorts in Cathedral City, California (near Palm Springs)
- Northstar Lodge in Truckee, California (near Lake Tahoe)
- One Village Place in Truckee, California (near Lake Tahoe)
TPG's Chris Dong recently stayed at the Hyatt Residence Club in Sedona, Arizona, and was upgraded to a one-bedroom villa that had a full kitchen, separate bedroom and in-unit laundry.
As noted by Ed Pizzarello at Pizza in Motion, most Hyatt Residence Club properties fall in the range of Category 4 to 6, making these properties a great use of World of Hyatt points, especially if you redeem for a larger unit with multiple bedrooms.
Remember that it's relatively easy to accrue World of Hyatt points since the program is a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards. Points earned from cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which is offering a sign-up bonus of 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening, can be transferred into Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio allowing you to quickly build up your points balance.
One drawback, however, is that Hyatt Residence Club properties don't recognize some elite benefits of the World of Hyatt loyalty program, including the breakfast perk for top-tier Globalist members. However, these "shortcomings" are easily overshadowed by the extra space and family-friendly amenities these resorts provide.
Hyatt Residence Club is increasing its portfolio significantly with the acquisition of Welk Resorts and gives the brand an opportunity to expand into several new markets. And for travelers, it means more places -- many in places where Hyatt Residence Club didn't exist before -- to redeem your hard-earned credit-card points for family- and group-friendly resorts.