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I’ve been meaning to take my mom to the Andaz Peninsula Papagayo in Costa Rica for a while now. I love Andaz properties, it does look very nice, and it’s not that long of a flight from Florida (which, for reasons I can’t quite comprehend, seems to be a selling point for her). 😉
Up until now I’ve kind of had a hard time justifying booking a stay there. It was a Category 6 Gold Passport property, making it 25,000 Gold Passport points per night, or 12,500 Gold Passport points plus $150 per night through Points + Cash.
Given that the hotel hovered in the ~$400 per night range, it was tough to justify redeeming points there as opposed to the Park Hyatt Maldives, Andaz Tokyo, Park Hyatt Vienna, etc. It was basically only slightly better than a “breakeven” redemption based on my valuation of Gold Passport points.
When Hyatt devalued their award chart earlier in the year (while adding other great perks like “My Elite Rate” and Points + Cash) they also announced that 38 hotels would be shifting categories. Of those 38 properties, 21 moved up a category while 17 moved down a category.
However, it appears as if Hyatt may have made a program change without any sort of advance notice or communication to their members… and I might even be willing to give them a pass on it. 😉
The Andaz Peninsula Papagayo Costa Rica seems to have quietly transitioned from a Category 6 property to a Category 4 Hyatt Gold Passport property.
That means the hotel goes from costing 25,000 Gold Passport points per night to costing just 15,000 Gold Passport points per night.
Meanwhile on a Points + Cash stay, the hotel goes from costing 12,500 Gold Passport points + $150 per night to costing just 7,500 Gold Passport points + $100 per night.
Keep in mind that Hyatt Gold Passport is transfer partners with Chase Ultimate Rewards, so if you’ve collected points on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Ink Bold® Business Card, or Ink Plus® Business Card, you can transfer those points to Hyatt to redeem at this property. For example, the Ink Plus® Business Card offers 60,000 point sign-up bonuses after spending $5,000 within three months, and after you’ve completed the minimum spend you’ll have at least 55,000 points.
That’s more than enough for seven nights here on a Points + Cash booking, and then you’ll only have to pay the $100 per night co-pay (if you really wanted to maximizing value while limiting out of pocket you could use the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite Mastercard® to pay the cash component). Then if you’re a Diamond member you could use a Diamond Suite Upgrade to confirm a suite as well.
Possibly best of all is that the annual free night certificate from the Hyatt Visa Card can now be redeemed at this property. It’s valid at Category 1-4 properties, so this is an amazing use of that certificate.
This appears to be an intentional change and not just a glitch. The Gold Passport property directory now lists the hotel as a Category 4:
And when you price out an award at the hotel, it does reflect the new Category 4 pricing of 15,000 Gold Passport points per night:
So if you’ve already made a booking at the property, be sure to reprice, and if you’ve been eying a stay at this property, now seems to be a good time to book!
(Tip of the hat to Christian)