Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Happy Birthday Grandma!

It was recently my grandmother's birthday, so we wanted to do something special for her. Unfortunately, she was spending a few weeks in South Korea visiting her sisters, so we'd have to wait until she was back in NYC to celebrate.

However, one of the wonderful things about hotel loyalty points is that you can use them for your friends/family to book them rooms.

So when my grandmother said she was going to visit Busan, the "San Francisco of South Korea," my father went online to see what her hotel options were. As it turned out, according to TripAdvisor, the best hotel in the city was The Park Hyatt Busan.

The Park Hyatt is a Category 4 luxury hotel that can be booked using Hyatt Gold Passport points (just 15,000 pts/night). Compared to the Park Hyatt hotels in New York, Tokyo and Paris (30,000 pts/night), the Busan location is a great value. We really enjoyed the few Park Hyatts we've been fortunate enough to visit, including:
Now, we didn't have a stash of Hyatt Gold Passport points to redeem at the time, but we knew that we could just transfer our Chase Ultimate Rewards to Hyatt (1:1 ratio) which would go through instantly.

Since my grandmother wanted this trip to be a bit more special, she wanted a few of her sisters to come with her. So my father booked 3 nights for her in a Park Twin Suite (24,000 Hyatt points/night) which would have cost $501 USD/night. So he redeemed Chase UR points for 2.1 cents/pt. Not amazing, but definitely fair given how easy it's been to earn Chase UR points (5x at office supply stores/cell phone and 2x on dining/travel).

So he called up Hyatt, confirmed suite availability for the desired dates and then transferred his Chase UR points into Hyatt. The phone representative confirmed the booking and sent him an email with the reservation details. Then my father asked to put my grandmother's name on the reservation so that she could check in upon arrival without any problems. After she heard, my grandmother got pretty excited. According to the hotel's website, the Park Twin Suite is described as:

Wood and textile decor in warm beige tones welcomes visitors to this 81½-square-metre suite which comes appointed with two twin beds and a separate lounge area including a large lounge room 4 seat dining table. Floor-to-ceiling windows let the outside world in, granting views of the city and Busan Marina. A separate rain shower and tub, plus additional TV complement the bathroom's polished granite surfaces, and guests can enjoy both free WiFi and access to fitness center and indoor swimming pool.

Unfortunately, my father's Hyatt Diamond status expired earlier this year, so no complimentary breakfast for my mother and her sisters each morning. But I have no doubt that they'll find some great food in Busan.

Happy Birthday, Grandma!!!!

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