Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Palacio Duhau Park Hyatt BA

Hotel Stay Details
Hotel: Palacio Duhau Park Hyatt BA
Dates: April 2-4, 2013
Rate Paid: 18,000 Hyatt Points/night 
Suite Upgrade: Complimentary
Room Rate: $641/night (incl. tax)
Suite Rate: $943/night (incl. tax)
Total $ Benefit: $1,888
Point Redemption: 5.2 cents/pt

Even though we got ridiculously spoiled with the upgrade at the Park Hyatt Mendoza (a Category 2 hotel) we managed our expectations for our upcoming 2 night stay at their even more luxurious sister property in Buenos Aires - the Palacio Duhau (a Category 5 hotel).

Unlike last time, my father booked a regular room (Park King) using only Hyatt Gold Passport points (18,000 per night) because the cash rate at the time was $530 + $111 tax per night for a regular room! Spending that much money for a place to sleep at night was WAY out of my father's comfort zone. So instead, he used some of his many Hyatt Hotel points that he "earned" from normal course spending on his Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card.

While we could have confirmed another upgrade to a suite using more points, we chose to keep our points and play the riskier "complimentary upgrade at check in" lottery. This was highly dependent upon your hotel status and how generous the manager/front desk feels at the time.

Hyatt Suite Upgrades
For a refresher on the Hyatt program, the rules for an upgrade are as follows:

1. If you book a room for cash, you can upgrade to an entry level suite (if available) using either:
  • 6,000 Hyatt points total for your stay (good for up to 4 nights/stay); or 
  • 1 suite upgrade award certificate (good for up to 7 nights/stay)
2. If you book a room using only points, then you can upgrade to an entry level suite (if available) using 50% additional points per night. In this case, the regular room was 18,000 points/night so a suite would have been 27,000 points/night or 54,000 total for our 2 night stay.

3. If you have Diamond status, then you may get upgraded for free at check-in, but definitely not guaranteed even if suites are readily available.

Park Hyatt One Bedroom Suite
And for those of you who didn't read the intro header on the weblog post, yes, we did get a complimentary upgrade to their basic Park One Bedroom Suite (656 sq feet, marble bathroom with dual sinks, tub and rain shower, and a living room with a desk). No more Presidential suites for us. But like I said, we were more street food / backpack types by nature, so we'd be happy with anything - especially when it was free.

We had entered the hotel through their "traditional" entrance on Avenida Alvear. However, our room 1208 was on the other side closer to their more "modern" entrance on Calle Posadas. The Park Hyatt uses both as their "main entrances" but to get a stroller from the Alvear side to the Posadas side is quite complicated involving 4 different elevators if you don't want to carry it down the stairs. So for those Lapchild travelers who can't yet walk, tell your parents to enter from the Posadas side entrance.

When we finally reached our room, it was quite different from the Mendoza hotel in terms of size (obviously), layout and design. The Mendoza room was intentionally vast and spacious in feel. 

The BA room was more efficient in its use of 650 sq feet with the 3 rooms (living, bath, and bedroom) all connecting to one another like a square doughnut (yes, I use the traditional spelling of doughnut). 

When you first enter, there's a long hallway that leads you into the living room. The doors and walls are so sleek, that you pass by the bathroom door on your right without even noticing it.

The living room area is about 15'x15' and overlooks Calle Posada from its massive windows. You can see the large wooden desk, the flatscreen tv and dvd player, the stocked minibar with 2 free bottles of water and the two comfortable chairs that I'd be climbing into later. No couch, but who's complaining?

Then from the second door (on the left in the living room photo), you walk into a central closet area that has doors to all 3 rooms. Turning right, you'll find the closet hangers, drawers and security safe (that has electrical outlets inside so you can charge your valuable electronics while protecting them).

Turning left from the central area, you enter the bedroom. The room is in the corner so you get 2 views from the large windows that partially open. Additionally, there is another TV and DVD player along the wall that didn't show up in the photo. The Park Hyatt style is very modern and minimalist which I very much prefer over the gaudy over the top decorations of more traditional hotels while my mother prefers the gilded decor of European hotels, so to each their own.

Then you go back and turn into the bathroom which is really 3 separate areas. One for the dual sinks, one for the toilet/bidet (aka water fountain) and one for the bathtub/shower (my favorite one). I chose not to photograph the toilet as my father was christening it at the time, so you can just use your imagination there.

And what hotel report would be complete without a view of the Recoleta neighborhood from the bedroom?

I don't know how people could/would pay for these rooms with cash (unless they're on some business expense account) but I'm glad we can stay at such nice places for free using points!

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