The hotel promo lucrative enough to get my attention during a pandemic
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
I'm not traveling enough at the moment to care all that much about hotel or airline promotions. I mean, I care a little, but I have yet to see one that caught my attention enough to spur me to book unnecessary travel during a pandemic ... until perhaps now.
These promos aren't brand-new but also didn't catch my eye until recent days. But now that they have, I'm borderline obsessed with the thought of a fall getaway at a new all-inclusive socially distanced resort courtesy of way fewer Hyatt points than it would normally cost.
Here's how you can stack two promos for a phenomenal deal if you may be ready to get away later in 2020.
Via the World of Hyatt program, you can use points to book a stay at three different wellness-focused Miraval resorts. I've stayed at the one in Arizona, there's a brand-new one in the Berkshires and a still pretty new one outside of Austin. You don't go here for a place to sleep, you go here for a wellness reset. (Which, being honest, I could really use.)
Normally, an award stay at Miraval is pricey on cash or points.
If you use Hyatt points, it normally costs 45,000 points per night for single-occupancy or 65,000 points per night for double occupancy in a standard room. That's a ton, but starting rates for paid stays can creep toward $1,000 for double occupancy during normal times.
When you stay on points, you not only benefit from the all-inclusive model with meals and many activities included but on top of that, you also get a $175 credit per person, per night to use toward additional activities, spa treatments, etc.
The first part of this deal is a buy-one, get-one deal on Miraval award nights booked through Hyatt. Instead of paying 45,000 points for one night -- that gets you two nights. Or, 65,000 points gets you two nights for two people in the same room.
Related: Why the World of Hyatt credit card is great for families
That's a good deal, though not totally unheard of as Hyatt has had a somewhat similar offer in the past where you get 50% of your points redeemed at Miraval back. But now, it's even better because you can stack a second promo that awards 15% to 25% of your redeemed Hyatt points back on all award stays, not just those at Miraval. Those with The World of Hyatt Credit Card get the higher 25% rate of return on redeemed points.
Adding it up, a two-night Miraval stay with double occupancy would normally cost a staggering 130,000 Hyatt points and come with $350 in credits per person.
With this promo, assuming you have a cobranded Hyatt credit card to trigger the full 25% points rebate, you'd pay just 48,750 Hyatt points for the same two-night stay and have $175 in credits per person to use.
If you are short on points, you could transfer them over at a 1:1 ratio from a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or similar Ultimate Rewards card.
That's a 62.5% decrease over the normal award rates. It's also obviously a smaller resort credit total than if you paid the full points rate for each night since you aren't getting credits to use on the award night you're not paying for. That doesn't bother me much at the moment as my time in the spa using up that credit during a pandemic probably won't be what it would have been in normal times.
Related: Review of Miraval Arizona
The offer for one free award night for each award night paid with points at Miraval is valid for stays until Dec. 31, 2020.
The offer to get up to 25% of your redeemed points back is valid for stays until Oct. 8. You must book over the phone by calling 866.792.3395 and using the code "World of Hyatt Miraval BOGO." You'll need to register in advance to get 25% of your points back.
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Beware, potential hurdles redeeming at Berkshires property
TPG's Zach Griff recently stayed at the brand-new Miraval in the Berkshires. Overall, he enjoyed his stay (read the full review here), but one of the biggest pain points was how hard it was to actually book a stay at the property.
It took countless calls to multiple customer service departments before finally confirming the reservation.
In the month since his stay, much has changed. And not necessarily all for the better when it comes to this deal. We've heard countless reader reports of the Miraval Berkshires adding in a bunch of conditions to the BOGO offer.
Some readers have reported that you now need to stay a minimum of six nights to take advantage of the offer at that property. Others are reporting that standard points availability has been removed entirely. Upon reaching out to the hotel reservations department, we confirmed that the six-night minimum stay does indeed apply to stays through September — the tail end of peak season. And standard points availability is only available for a minimum of three consecutive nights.
We reached out to Hyatt to confirm these new conditions, and were told that due to demand and "efforts to maintain social distancing and other COVID-19 safety protocols, Miraval Berkshires has occupancy restrictions in place through August and September. Therefore, the property has a three-night minimum length of stay requirement for all stays on many, high-demand nights (mainly weekends) during this timeframe, including for World of Hyatt members who call to book a stay with the special BOGO offer during that timeframe."
Hyatt also said that they do not expect the minimum length of stay requirement to remain in place at the Berkshires property come October and beyond.
It's worth knowing these same issues aren't being reported for the Austin or Arizona properties which both aren't nearly as new as the Berkshires resort.
Related: How to redeem points in the World of Hyatt loyalty program
Coronavirus is still a very real thing and needs to factor into your decision making on heading to any hotel or resort right now. Reading through the current Miraval procedures and offerings, I am strongly considering this as a much-needed early fall respite.
Since I'm just a few hours by car from the Austin location, I could drive there in one shot, and then enjoy outdoor activities such as horseback riding, time by the pool, outdoor fitness classes, included take-out meals, smoothies and more. It wouldn't be exactly the same experience that I had at the one in Arizona in 2018 that went heavy on indoor group classes and spa time, but it still sounds like a pretty perfect 2020 nearcation getaway.
The story has been updated with additional information provided by Hyatt.