I previously wrote about how my parents booked an $8,000 vacation for under $900 where they would visit London and the French Riviera with my sister. While in the French Riviera, they were planning to stay at Le Meridien Nice costing 48,000 Starwood Preferred Guest points for their five nights. At the time they booked, Hyatt had no properties in the French Riviera, but now has two:
Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Méditerranée (18,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points a night)
Grand Hyatt Cannes Hotel Martinez (22,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points a night)
Although the Le Meridien definitely more than met their needs, they decided to change their stay to five nights at the Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Méditerranée for 90,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points. I’m sure many travelers to Nice will be facing the same dilemma given the new Hyatt presence in the French Riviera so I’ll go through why they made this choice.
In terms of hotel rates, Le Meridien Nice was $340 a night for basic room and the Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Méditerranée is about $500 a night. The room rate piece of information isn’t that relevant since they’re not paying. But if we’re keeping count, they would actually be getting 3.5 cents value per Starwood point in room rate vs. 2.8 cents per Hyatt point in room rate.
So why did they switch from a 48,000 point Starwood hotel to a 90,000 point Hyatt hotel?
Both hotels are on Promenade des Anglais across from the beach. Also, they’re not getting much more room rate value for each Hyatt point than Starwood point.
The Hyatt in Nice is a much higher rated hotel than Le Meridien
Both hotels are expensive, but price is not the only factor. Hyatt Regency Palace Mediterranee is the Number 3 Hotel in Nice on TripAdvisor and is a Traveler Choice 2013 Winner in the Luxury Category (Number 18 in Top 25 Luxury Hotels in France). Looking at pictures, it really looks amazing, grand, elegant, everything you want on your French vacation. Not at all surprising it costs $500 a night!
They will have Hyatt Diamond Status
Hyatt Diamond status is the Hyatt chain’s top tier status and will get them free breakfast, free internet and well as hotel lounge access for snacks and refreshments. Because they got the American Express Hilton Surpass Card back when Hilton points were more valuable, my parents now have Gold Status with Hilton. Natalya previously matched her Hilton Gold status to a temporary Hyatt Diamond status and my parents did the same.
Hyatt points are actually much easier and quicker to earn than Starwood points
The only way to get Starwood points (without staying at their hotels) is by signing up for either the personal or business American Express Starwood Preferred Guest card and putting spending on it. Each of these cards usually comes with a 25,000 point sign-up bonus after spending $5,000 so the maximum one person can get through sign-up bonuses is 50,000 points. (The bonus is increased to 30,000 points this month only). You only get 1 point per dollar spent so additional points are quite difficult to collect and 48,000 points would take $48,000 in incremental spending. Moreover, they transfer to a ton of airline partners at a ratio of 1:1.25, making them significantly more flexible and valuable.
Hyatt Gold Passport, on the other hand, is a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards. While Hyatt has its own co-branded credit card with Chase, points to Hyatt Gold Passport can be transferred from the Chase Sapphire Preferred card or the Chase Ink Bold/Chase Ink Plus cards. The Chase Ink Bold/Ink Plus cards earn 5 points per dollar at office supply stores and each of these cards gives access to the Ultimate Rewards Mall. My mom signed up for the Chase Ink Plus when the bonus was 60,000 points and then proceeded to buy $200 Visa gift cards at Staples to use for everyday spending. Although the fee on these is $6.95, buying 18 of them for an additional 18,000 points would involve paying $125 (or $153 if you then buy Vanilla Reloads with them), a great rate for Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Méditerranée with breakfast!
- My parents changed their hotel stay in Nice from Le Meridien Nice to Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Méditerranée, using 18,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points a night.
- With the Hyatt Diamond status match, they will be receiving full benefits such as lounge access, full breakfast, internet and a possible room upgrade.
- Although the new cost for the hotel is 90,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points vs. 48,000 Starwood Preferred Guest points for Le Meridien, Hyatt Gold passport points are far easier to earn and the nicer hotel is well worth it!
Other posts you may like:
- Natalya’s Stay at Hyatt Regency Monterey and The Hyatt Diamond Treatment
- Don’t Pay For That Hyatt Suite! How To Get Free Suites and Upgrades
- London and the French Riviera: My parents’ $8000 vacation for $862
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