Some links to products and travel providers on this website will earn Traveling For Miles a commission that helps contribute to the running of the site. Traveling For Miles has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Traveling For Miles and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities. For more details please see the disclosures found at the bottom of every page.
I’ve just been checking for award availability at a Hyatt property in California and stumbled across a small but potentially significant anomaly that I didn’t know about – it’s possible for the Hyatt website to display no award availability for your chosen travel dates when the property that you’d like to stay at actually has rooms available for award bookings on the dates in question.
One of the bigger bonuses of the World of Hyatt program is that if a hotel has entry-level rooms available for cash bookings, those rooms have to be made available for award bookings too. This is great news for World of Hyatt members as although some properties like to play games with how they define an entry-level room and some only release entry-level rooms for stays of multiple nights, it makes Hyatt points remarkably easy to use.
Sometimes, however, award searches can get a little odd so I thought I’d share an experience that I just had when trying to book a stay at the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells in case it helps the next time you’re not seeing award nights available for a stay that you’d like to book.
When searching for award availability for 10 – 12 August (2 nights) at the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells, the Hyatt website showed that the property was “not accepting World of Hyatt points or wards” for the dates in question.
Undaunted (as I really want to play some truly terrible golf in the searing heat), I decided to see if I could book a single night award stay on either of the nights that I’m happy to travel and sure enough, an award night booking was available for the night of 10 August.
Just as I was about to book this night, it occurred to me that it was a little odd that a resort property of this size was so full in the middle of the week and at a time of year when temperatures in its area are well over 100° (it was 108° in the Coachella Valley yesterday) so I decided to see what would happen if I tried to make a single night booking for the other night that I wanted to stay – 11 August.
To my surprise, the Hyatt website offered me an award booking.
Considering my first search showed me that there was no award availability for the two nights commencing 10 August, it was a little odd to be offered award availability when I searched for the nights of the 10th and 11th of August individually. So what’s going on?
Well, it looks like I was wrong to question how busy the property is right now because it looks like most of its entry-level rooms are booked up (a search for cash rates on the same nights confirmed this) so the answer to the question of what’s going lies elsewhere. Specifically, it appears to lie in the nature of the entry-level rooms that the hotel has available.
The Hyatt Regency Indian Wells classifies more than one room type as an entry-level room (and therefore bookable with points) but when it’s not possible to book the same room type for all the nights of a stay, the Hyatt website shows that awards are not available at all.
I can see this at work with the two nights that I booked individually. On my first night (10 August) the room that I have reserved is an accessible room with 2 queen beds…
…while the room that I have booked for my second night (11 August) is a standard room with 1 king bed.
I’ve come across instances where a property won’t display award availability unless a guest is looking to book more than two nights, but I’ve never noticed this anomaly in action before.
Personally, I’m not concerned about the room types shown on my reservations as my World of Hyatt Globalist status should see me upgraded to a higher category room anyway but even if that wasn’t an option, I’d happily put up with having to change rooms mid-stay and/or put up with a room with 2 queen beds instead of 1 king bed if it meant saving a considerable amount of money on a stay that I’d really like to make.
If you’re concerned about having to move rooms during your stay or aren’t happy with not having your preferred number of beds in a room, the fact that this anomaly exists probably won’t be a big help to you. If, however, your primary goal is to stay at a specific property without having to pay the going cash rate then this shows that it’s always worth checking to see if awards are available on individual nights even if the Hyatt website is showing no availability for your chosen dates.
Images courtesy of Hyatt