Sunday, July 28, 2013

Staycation - Hyatt Regency Jersey City

Hotel Stay Detail
Hotel: Hyatt Regency Jersey City 
Dates: July 19-20, 2013 
Rate Paid: 15,000 Hyatt points/night 
Regular Room Rate: $250/night (incl. tax) 
Total $ Benefit: $250 
Point Redemption: 1.7 cents/pt

If you were around the Northeast U.S. two weeks ago, you probably endured one of the hottest stretches of weather in my recent memory (all of 20 months). It repeatedly hit 95-100 degrees almost each day that week. And living in Manhattan, the heat was exacerbated by the fact that all the tall buildings block any breezes from cooling you off. But our apartment building was no escape, because it had those environmentally friendly A/C units that just have an on/off switch. It will just never really get that cold. Well, by that Friday, we had enough and needed a little getaway.

But instead of booking a last minute fare to Iceland (expensive!), we opted instead to find a local hotel with a swimming pool and powerful air conditioning. As regular LCD readers know, my father loves Starwood and wants to earn Platinum status (50 nights), but he was on track to hitting that goal without any additional stays required.

However, since my father was a Hyatt Diamond for 2013, we'd get VIP treatment, free breakfast and internet if we chose a Hyatt hotel instead.

Our Hyatt choices were plentiful in Manhattan: Andaz 5th Avenue, Grand Hyatt 42nd Street, 48 Lex, Hyatt Place 36th Street, Andaz Wall Street and Hyatt Union Square. But unfortunately, none of these NYC Hyatt hotels had a swimming pool. Plus rates were all $250-350 for the night.

However, there was the Hyatt Regency in Jersey City just a PATH train away (in fact the PATH Exchange Place stop is right next to the Hyatt). They had an indoor swimming pool and had regular rooms available for $219/night (+ another $31 in taxes). But of course, my cheap clever father knew he had a large stash of Chase Ultimate Reward points that he could convert instantly into Hyatt Gold Passport Points.

So instead of paying $250, he opted to transfer 15,000 Chase UR points to Hyatt for the award stay. By basic math, he was getting a weak but acceptable 1.7 cents per Chase UR point, but it was better than having our family sweating profusely in our apartment for another 24 hours.

Plus, because he had Diamond status, we would get free breakfast the following morning (which is arguably worth another $10-25 per person). Of course, by using points, he was foregoing 5x points on his stay and another 3x points for charging it to his Chase Hyatt Visa card, but missing out on 1,752 Hyatt Gold Passport points didn't cause us to lose any sleep - especially in a 68 degree air conditioned room!.


  1. Hi Lap Child,
    Although I am a few years older than you, I want to say THANKS to your Dad for making my family's last vacation awesome! After thoroughly reading about your travels, my Korean-American Dad also managed to get Hyatt Diamond status and upgraded us to a suite at the Park Hyatt in Seoul for my uncle's wedding last week. I swam every day in the spectacular infiniti pool and stuffed myself at the gourmet breakfast included with our room. Our last day we told the front desk we were checking out very early before the Cornerstone would be open, and my mom was stunned when they had room service delivered to us at 5:30AM. Wow!!

    I have to say my parents are not easily impressed with what is written in most blogs, but they say if they ever run into your dad in NY, they will buy him a drink!!

  2. Thanks for the great story! I'll let my dad know to expect some free drinks from the next Korean-American family he sees.