06 Apr Using my Hyatt Annual Free Night Certificate – What to do?

I’ve had the Chase Hyatt Visa for a few years now after originally getting it for the two free night bonus, which my husband and I used at the Park Hyatt Sydney, saving us about $2000 and affording us the opportunity to stay at an amazing hotel! Last month was my anniversary with the card, which means my $75 annual fee hit, and my free night in a Category 4 property has been deposited into my Hyatt account. Now I need to decide how to use my free night! There are some great category 4 properties available in the US and elsewhere. Below are some of my favorite options, and the short list of where we might use ours. Let me know your thoughts! What would you do?


Park Hyatt Toronto 

Obviously, a Park Hyatt on a free night certificate is a huge win! This property may not be the most expensive paid stay option out there, but that also gives me the ability to add a night or two paid and EARN some additional points. Neither my husband nor I have been to Toronto, so it’s a good chance to explore a new city for a long weekend.

This is a centrally located hotel in a city with lots to see and do. There’s a non-stop flight option from Tampa on Air Canada. While I don’t want to use airline miles for a flight like this, I have my Chase Sapphire Reserve travel credit or the points from my Merrill Lynch Visa.



Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Resort

This looks like a great resort and with nightly rates in the $500 range, it would be an awesome use of a free night certificate. I love Costa Rica, and look forward to the opportunity to return in the very near future and hopefully stay at this Andaz. The resort has a relaxing spa and beautiful beaches to enjoy. It would be a great spot to relax and rejuvenate over a long weekend.

View of Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica from my trip in 2011

Unfortunately, I don’t think this is going to be the winner this year. The flight options from Tampa require connections, and it takes a little more travel time to get from the airport to this property than I’m looking to spend for a quick weekend retreat.

Hyatt Centric Fisherman’s Wharf

Jessica & Peter checking out Pier 39 and the sea lions

Cable car stop near the Hyatt Fisherman’s Wharf

I’ve redeemed a free night certificate at this property in the past. My parents were heading out to California and the certificate was going to go unused, so they were able to use it at this property. They had a great stay, loved the location, and saved about $300 for the night. This property is in a great location right by Pier 39 where you can see the sea lions and catch the cable car nearby. We used to stay in this area while visiting San Francisco when I was little, and I look forward to enjoying this property with our daughter when we take her. Peter and I visited San Francisco on our way to Sonoma about a year and a half ago. It’s definitely on our list to get back there quickly as a couple or as a family of three.

Now that United has a direct from TPA – SFO, and summer is coming quickly in Florida, this property is even more tempting!



JJ & Susanna – should they get the free night?

Grand Hyatt Melbourne              

This property is beautiful and conveniently located in downtown Melbourne, Australia. While we have no plans to visit Australia this year, Melbourne is where my brother, JJ, and his wife, Susanna, live. I’ve given this Hyatt free night certificate away in the past, so “gifting it” is another option for me. I could help them enjoy a “staycation” at a nice hotel near their home. This property routinely costs over $400 AUD per night and would make for a nice getaway. Note, there is no official way to transfer the certificate, but I have had success adding others to the booking.

We have a few months left to decide. What’s your favorite property to use your Hyatt free night certificate?




  • Angie
    Posted at 13:03h, 06 April Reply

    Hello! If you’re going to use the cert for Toronto, I recommend the HR over the PH. I’ve been to both, and been to TO a bunch of times. There is nothing around the PH in terms of authentic food options. It’s mostly touristy stuff like Mcdonalds, Subways. It is very dead there at night, with nothing to do. Yes, there is a museum (ROM) a block away, and also a shopping area, but that’s it. The area around HR is much better. Everything is there – great authentic food, things to do, and is easier to get around. With the PH, it was a pain in the neck to have to take the train and then the tram just to get anywhere. The PH is also unlike other PH’s. It really shouldn’t be called a PH. It’s closer to a GH or even a HR. The breakfast was bleh. Everything was dated. old. The HR was perfect since it was exactly what I expected for a HR. Breakfast and service was also great too. The location really can’t be beat. I’m heading back to TO for July 4th, and I redeemed my cert for HR again over the PH. Good luck planning! So it depends what you’re looking for, and which hotel will be a better fit for you.

    • DW
      Posted at 13:44h, 06 April Reply

      Thanks for the comment this is some great Toronto insight! We will keep it in mind when planning! It’s always a bummer when you expect greatness and receive goodness. But when you expect goodness and receive goodness, all is well!


  • Angie
    Posted at 13:11h, 06 April Reply

    Did you just delete my comment? Hmmm…… my comment is gone….

    • DW
      Posted at 13:41h, 06 April Reply

      Hey Angie! Don’t worry I didn’t delete! When you originally post a comment it will initially appear, but if you refresh it goes away until I approve. I just approved so you should see both your original and follow up!


  • Shabbir
    Posted at 14:28h, 06 April Reply

    I second Angie. The Park Hyatt Toronto really shouldn’t be under the Park Hyatt label. Not Grand Hyatt either as it isn’t that… grand. Think Centric and then you’ll know what to expect. Also, the area is called York and is a high end / touristy area. The Regency is in a much better location, lots of things to do and places to eat at nearby and I’ve received better service there.

    I’ve been to PH Toronto twice and the HR Toronto maybe 5 times (all this in the past 2 years) and the HR always has the better service.

    • DW
      Posted at 17:19h, 06 April Reply

      Thanks for the advice! Seems that the PH is now officially out of consideration!


  • Rob
    Posted at 18:55h, 06 April Reply

    There are plenty of great restaurants around the PH Toronto, in Yorkville.

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