Using Hyatt Points at SLH Hotels Is Great, but Here’s How to Check for the Best Deal When You’re Paying Cash
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It’s been a good year for Hyatt fans like me, because they’ve been hard at work fixing the biggest problem with their loyalty program – adding more hotels.
Last year, Hyatt acquired Two Roads Hospitality and will integrate those hotels into their program later this year. They also partnered with Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) and you can already use and earn Hyatt points at 167 SLH locations.
It’s great to have more options to redeem Hyatt points or the Category 1 to 4 free night certificates you can earn with World of Hyatt Credit Card. But are SLHs a good option for earning Hyatt points on cash stays?
Hyatt SLH Partnership
When I first heard about the Hyatt & SLH partnership I was excited, and even more so when I saw some of the out-of-this-world properties I would soon be able to book with Hyatt points.
Not only that, when you book SLH hotels through Hyatt you earn Hyatt points, elite night credits, and you get the following perks:
- Free Wi-Fi
- Daily free continental breakfast
- A 1 category room upgrade (at check-in if available)
- Early check-in (noon, based upon availability at check-in)
- Late check-out (2:00 pm, based upon availability at check-in)
It seems like a straight forward win-win, but as reader Sarah points out, the prices can be higher when you book SLHs through Hyatt’s website. So you could be paying extra for these “freebies.” Whereas other times they really are free.
While this is technically true, you must also consider that the cheaper rates you can get when booking direct are pre-paid. So you’re giving up flexibility to save some cash.
For example, I found these rates at the Santorini Secret Suites & Spa. As you can see, the prepaid rate (no cancellations or changes) is $86 cheaper than the “Best Available Bed and Breakfast Rate,” which allows changes or cancellations up to 3 weeks before check-in.
If you book through Hyatt, you’ll pay the fully refundable rate with the same cancellation terms.
So you can save money by booking through the SLH website, but only if you’re okay giving up the ability to make changes to your reservation. You also would be missing out on at least ~4,325 Hyatt points since you earn 5 base points per $1 spent with Hyatt.
One other thing I noticed is that breakfast is included, even in the cheaper prepaid rate (in this case). So that’s something to pay attention to because some SLH hotels might already include free breakfast without the need to book through Hyatt.
That said, if no pre-paid rate is available, then booking through Hyatt is a better deal. You’ll pay the same rate and get a bunch of perks. At the end of the day, you’ll want to do a bit of research to see which option is a better deal for the specific hotel and dates you want to travel.
Sometimes, especially for the more expensive hotels, the rate you’ll pay through Hyatt can be significantly higher. Like this room at the Hotel Le Strato where the cheapest rate is $283 less than the Half Board rate. And the cancellation terms are the exact same for both rates.
Not only that, but the Half Board rate would include an extra meal each day (not including drinks) and if you paid the same price through Hyatt it doesn’t look like you’d be getting that perk.
What About Other Discounts & Perks?
You can also book SLHs through Orbitz and apply a discount code, which you can sometimes easily find on Google.
And there are other ways to save as well. Through January 31, 2020, you could book SLHs through Hotels.com and earn 10 Venture miles per $1 you spend on bookings with your Capital One Venture cards. To earn the bonus, you must book through this link and pay with your Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card or Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card.
This 10X bonus also stacks with Hotels.com’s reward program, which gives you every 10th night booked through Hotels.com for free. The 10th night free benefit is calculated by averaging the cost of all 10 nights. So it’s essentially 10% off, which means you can save up to 20% off the Hotels.com price by stacking these deals!
There are also some SLHs that you can book through AMEX Fine Hotels & Resorts or Chase Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection. The perks you get through these programs can vary a bit depending on the hotel, but generally mimic what you would get if you booked through Hyatt, including benefits like:
- Early check-in (if available)
- Daily resort or hotel credit
- Free daily breakfast for two
- Late check-out (if available)
- Room upgrade (if available)
Currently, there are 500+ SLHs in the world, but only 167 of them partner with Hyatt. And some of the hotels that don’t partner with Hyatt can be booked through these programs. It’s hit or miss, but it’s worth checking out before you pay cash for your stay. Personally, I like the Chase Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection because you don’t need a high annual fee credit card to use it.
The addition of Small Luxury Hotels to Hyatt’s loyalty program is a great move. You can now use your Hyatt points at 167 new hotels around the world.
You’re also able to earn Hyatt points, elite night credits, and other perks like early check-in, upgrades and free breakfast at these hotels. But you’ll only earn those benefits if you book through Hyatt.
Sometimes, that’s not always the best deal if you’re paying with cash. You can often book pre-paid rates when booking directly with SLH for less than what you would pay booking through Hyatt. Or you can use other discounts, like this promotion with Capital One, to save as well.
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