After being happily surprised by the premature posting of my American Express Platinum credit card 100,000 point sign-up bonus, I went researching into the second part of any good trip on miles and points: FREE HOTEL NIGHTS. After all, wasting the $1000 or so I will save on my plane ticket to Argentina on hotels is stupidly spendthrift.
Let’s start with Hyatt’s offering: the Park Hyatt Mendoza. Park Hyatts are the most luxurious hotel brand Hyatt offers. They are sleek but opulent, a modern Rococo cocoon of service and natural elements (often expensive, and expensive-looking, stone and wood) that envelopes your being.
This may sound disgustingly one-percent slash a deleted paragraph from a three-cent rip-off of Eat, Pray, Love, but when I stayed at the Park Hyatt Seoul, and especially, especially, the Park Hyatt Tokyo, it felt like I was swaddled in cosmic greatness all the time. From in-room check-ins to comped happy hours to ever-observant staff to thread counts Egyptians don’t even dream about to, finally, unreal penthouse pools; the treatment just feels royal.
The Park Hyatt Mendoza, from what I can gather from TripAdvisor, the web and the hotel’s own website, has congruous ideas on hospitality. Situated in the middle of the city in an old mansion, the building has that boss, banana republic swag from old movies, less the casual racism and inequity.
And, it’s silly inexpensive. It’s a Category 2 Hyatt Gold Passport (HGP) hotel, which means it’s only 8,000 HGP points a night for a basic room. Upgrading to a suite is only another 5,000 HGP points (or, alternatively, transferred Chase Ultimate Rewards points), which is a crazy steal! Most Park Hyatt hotels are Category 6 or 7s, which means they cost at least 25,000 HGP points a night and that’s for a base room, not a suite!
Here’s what a suite looks like at the Park Hyatt Mendoza (all images, above and below, via the PHM website):
Putting a random summer check-in/check-out of July 2-4 gets me a quote of $386 a night.
My friend also told me the pool is next to the wine cellar, so tastings à la natation are encouraged. Location’s great. The Aesop bathroom amenities at Park Hyatts are fantastic; even the spa has hour-long massages for less than $60…sheesh, I can’t wait to get lost, here. I’m in!
The second great deal in Mendoza is the Sheraton Mendoza, which according to my friend who lives in Mendoza, is also veddy swanky. Sheratons are more highly thought of overseas than in America (especially with a Club Room), and this one appears to be no different, even though the price on points is totally inverse to the hotel’s reputation.
This Sheraton is a Category 2 Starwood Preferrred Guest (SPG) hotel, which means the base room cost is only 4,000 SPG points, 3,000 on weekends, and a suite upgrade is only an additional 4,000 points a night. So, for 8,000 points, maximum, I can get this Junior Suite:
and not pay:
This is a super-duper fact.
Normally, SPG points are the hardest to gain; you have to either stay at SPG hotels or spend money on the AmEx SPG credit card – there are no other workarounds. Since Target Redcard came along, however, the latter way to gain points has been jumpstarted and I have no hesitation about spending the extra points by upgrading to a suite, especially at such a nice hotel as this one.
I mean, it IS a vacation.
What a great city, Mendoza; the capital of the bountiful region that produces 80% of Argentina’s wine (the fifth largest wine industry in the world), featuring hiking, rafting, skiing, killer food (more food) and cheap hotels.
Summer’s going to be fun.