I booked New York's newest $1,000 suite for the cost of a standard room, and you can too
One thing that sets World of Hyatt apart is how easy it makes it to book suites with points. You can outright redeem points for standard or premium suites or redeem points for upgrades to suites.
What's better is that these bookings can now be made online and the rates are often very reasonable. Depending on the category of the hotel, it can cost as little as 3,000 additional points to book a standard suite instead of a standard room or just 5,000 points for a premium suite (which sometimes includes presidential suites).
Today, I'm going to share how I took advantage of the upgrades on paid nights feature to book a $1,000+ per night suite for less than the cost of a standard room. More specifically, I booked the upper-tier Executive Suite at the brand-new Hyatt Regency JFK Airport at Resorts World New York for just $89 and 6,000 points. TPG values World of Hyatt points at 1.7 cents each, so I effectively paid about $190 for my stay.
As expected, there were some kinks with my stay since I was there on one of the first nights it was open. It also turned out to be more of a casino hotel than an airport hotel. But my suite was beautiful and this is a sweet spot you can take advantage of at Hyatt hotels around the world.
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I started my search on Hyatt's homepage as I normally would. I entered my destination, dates and checked the "Use points" box.
On the next page, I was presented with all available redemption options. Many people only look at "standard room free night" redemptions, but World of Hyatt offers a number of other options as well, such as suite free nights and Points + Cash.
Although 20,000 points for a standard suite was not bad, some of the options were definitely less valuable, such as the standard suite points plus cash option for 10,000 points plus almost $500.
You might assume that the options are automatically sorted by price as they are for paid rates. However, in reality, the lowest-priced option was hidden at the end of the results.
After scrolling to the right, I found the standard suite upgrades on paid nights options, listed as "Lp Suite Pts Upgr." As is the case at all World of Hyatt properties, the cost to upgrade was just 6,000 points — worth $102 based on TPG valuations. This is a flat amount and isn’t dependent on the property’s award category. But here's the best part: The cash portion normally correlates with the standard rate, but at the Hyatt Regency JFK, it's currently just $89, regardless of the date. Ironically, the cash portion for the "Club upgrade with points" option was $479.
Although the 6,000-point upgrade rate only applies to standard suites, this hotel listed its more premium "Executive Suite" as a standard one, so I booked that one. Normally, premium suite upgrades cost 9,000 points and have a higher cash copay.
Related: Here’s how to book Hyatt suite upgrades online with points
So, how good of a deal did I get, you ask? The cash price would have come out to $1,374, including taxes, yielding a whopping 4.67 cents in value per point after subtracting the $89. That's well above TPG's valuation of World of Hyatt points at 1.7 cents each.
I still earned World of Hyatt points as per usual for the cash portion and even got 500 bonus points for staying at a new hotel. I paid using my Chase Sapphire Reserve card, so I also earned 3 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent (a 6% return based on TPG valuations).
Don’t have enough points in your account? You can transfer them immediately to Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio from Chase Ultimate Rewards or boost your balance by signing up for The World of Hyatt Credit Card. It's also worth mentioning that although you're redeeming points for the upgrade, these are still considered paid stays so you cannot apply Guest of Honor benefits if you're a Globalist elite booking for someone else.
Related: These are the current World of Hyatt promotions
Despite its name, the Hyatt Regency JFK Airport at Resorts World New York wasn't actually that close to the airport. It was a bit over three miles away from JFK, and — perhaps most surprisingly — there's no shuttle directly from the airport. Put another way, the Hyatt Regency JFK can't compete with the TWA Hotel on convenience.
The hotel did advertise a free shuttle from Jamaica Station, which is where the AirTrain from JFK stops. However, I couldn't find a schedule for the shuttle online and couldn't get a hold of the front desk when I tried calling the hotel. I ended up having to order an Uber. More troublesome was that when I asked about the shuttle situation at check-in, the front desk staff had no clue what I was talking about.
Considering the AirTrain costs about $8 and takes about 10 minutes and the ride from Jamaica Station to the hotel takes about 20 minutes, I'd personally rather take an Uber straight from the airport even if there were a shuttle. The Uber would cost about $20 but would get me to the hotel in under 10 minutes and be much more comfortable when traveling with checked bags.
Related: 10 best airport hotels in the United States and Canada
As expected from a brand-new hotel, my first impression was positive: Everything felt fresh, clean and modern. I appreciated that the entrance of the hotel was separated from the casino. This way, you could completely avoid the bright lights and flashing slot machines if you just got off a long flight and are just there for a layover, for instance.
The front desk staff was well-intentioned, but you could tell that they were new to the job. Aside from them not knowing about the hotel's shuttle, the agent checking me in forgot to provide me with my room number.
The lobby had a variety of seating options, including a stylish coworking space. Unlike the renderings on the hotel's website, there wasn't a bar in the lobby, but there was a 24-hour grab-and-go style market. In addition to a wide range of prepackaged items, there was a barista serving made-to-order beverages.
The hotel's other dining outlet was an outpost of Sugar Factory, a sweets-loving brasserie open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Aside from over-the-top desserts and milkshakes, such as a $99 sundae that serves 12 and $33 whiskey-spiked s’mores milkshake, it offered a variety of savory dishes, like pasta, burgers and steaks. I had the California Veggie Burger and the obligatory classic sundae. I thought that they were a bit pricey for what they were but similar to Margaritaville, this is the type of place you go to for the experience.
Room service wasn't offered yet, but there were other dining options in the casino, including a food court with a Popeye’s.
The Resorts World Casino was the hotel's main attraction (yes, the casino is run by the same group as the new Resorts World Las Vegas). While hotel guests had direct access to the casino, as mentioned, it's certainly possible to avoid it entirely if you didn't come to gamble. There was a wide range of slots and electronic table games, but none with live dealers due to local laws. Unfortunately, the casino's loyalty program, Genting Rewards, didn't offer status matches.
The other main amenity was the gym, up on the second floor. It was open 24/7 and was equipped with all of the essentials (minus a Peloton bike).
As nice as the common areas of the hotel were, what I really came for was my Executive Suite. At check-in, I was told that I had the best possible suite after the $10,000 a night Presidential Suite, though it appears that the hotel has since begun selling a slightly larger "Regency Suite."
My suite was on the top floor, the 10th. While the AvGeek in me would have preferred to face the airport, my room had a great view of the Manhattan skyline in the distance.
Upon entering the suite, there was a bathroom immediately to the left. Despite this just being the guest bathroom, it still had a full shower. I imagine it was similar to what a standard room's bathroom would look like.
Opposite the bathroom and next to the entrance door was a closet. Although you might expect a walk-in closet for a suite like this, I thought it was the perfect size considering most people likely won't be spending more than one to two nights at this hotel at a time. It came stocked with all of the essentials, including two robes, a luggage rack and iron and ironing board.
The suite was about 750 square feet altogether, which was noticeably larger than my New York City apartment. I was the first guest to ever stay in the suite, so the new hotel smell was noticeable (in a good way) and I had the honor of breaking in the furniture.
The living room was spacious and well-designed, with ample space for work and lounging. It featured a comfortable L-shaped sofa, though I was a bit surprised that it couldn't be converted to a sofa bed.
There was a large minibar, which housed a small fridge, coffee maker and safe. Aside from two complimentary bottles of water, there were no other snacks or drinks available.
Also in the living room was a desk. It was stylish yet practical with a comfortable chair and built-in power outlets.
Being a true suite, there was a separate bedroom with its own TV and bathroom.
The bedroom was perfectly sized and felt downright luxurious, especially for an "airport hotel," if you can call it that. It was tastefully decorated with modern features like electronic curtains. It offered its own closet but was fairly basic compared to the one in the main room.
The bed itself was quite comfortable — despite me being the first guest to sleep on it and it not being broken into yet. Bedside power outlets and USB ports were plentiful and I appreciated that there was a Qi wireless charging pad built into the alarm clock.
My favorite part of the suite had to be the master bathroom. It was almost as large as the bedroom itself and the design reminded me a lot of the spa-like bathrooms at the Park Hyatt New York.
There was a large freestanding tub across from the double vanity and separate walk-in shower. The toilet was hidden behind a frosted glass door. I was just disappointed that the shower's water pressure was noticeably weak and the hot water originally didn't work.
Also, like the Park Hyatt New York, toiletries were supplied by Le Labo. This is my favorite brand of bath products offered by any hotel chain and I always take any leftovers home with me.
In addition to the aforementioned amenities and dining outlets, the Hyatt Regency JFK had a Regency Club lounge. Booking a suite alone doesn't provide access, but you can either purchase access for $60 per night, upgrade to a club room for an additional 3,000 points per night or book a club room award outright. You can also get complimentary access as a Globalist or by earning club lounge access awards through Hyatt Milestone Rewards.
It seemed to be a comfortable place to get some work done, with easily accessible power outlets. That said, although not an issue during my stay, I could see the lounge getting crowded during busier periods.
Related: Can you use a World of Hyatt club lounge access award for someone else?
Breakfast was available from 6 to 10 a.m. and evening hors d’oeuvres, along with complimentary beer and wine, were offered from 5 to 8 p.m. The evening spread was substantial enough to be a light dinner, including hot appetizers, a salad bar and desserts. My only complaint would be that I would've liked to see more hot vegetarian options. For instance, the omelets for breakfast had meat in them and the hot food in the evening consisted of items like mini beef wellington and chicken parm bites. Unlike some other hotel buffets I've seen recently, everything was self-serve.
Would I spend over $1,000 for a suite at the Hyatt Regency JFK Airport at Resorts World New York? Probably not, but at just $89 and 6,000 points this redemption was a steal. In fact, this ended up being one of my most valuable World of Hyatt redemptions to date. There were some service hiccups, but that was expected from a brand-new hotel. And without a shuttle directly from the airport, I don't see this being a very convenient option for a layover hotel. However, redeeming World of Hyatt points for a suite upgrade proved to be an excellent sweet spot, so I plan on taking advantage of this option more often moving forward.