Hyatt Now Lets You Redeem Points For AFAR Experiences

We’ve seen major hotel loyalty programs increase the ways in which you can redeem points, beyond just traditional hotel stays. Probably the most popular opportunity to redeem points for “experiences” is SPG Moments, which lets you redeem points for access to sold out concerts, sporting events, etc.. This is something that Marriott Rewards has adopted as well, with their experiences marketplace.

O2-Arena-Suite-SPG - 9
SPG Suite at The O2

World of Hyatt launched on March 1, and prior to that I shared how the new “World of Hyatt” concept goes beyond just the loyalty program. Rather it’s their new global philosophy for the brand, which they describe as follows:

World of Hyatt is our new global platform, driven by our purpose to care for people so they can be their best. It’s about engaging more deeply with our community and understanding that community better. It’s an expression of who we are and what we stand for, as well as an opportunity to extend what we do with our guests, colleagues and partners beyond just hotel stays.

They even launched an ad campaign centered around this:

Hyatt announced that they were going to launch some experiences packages for which you can redeem points, in cooperation with AFAR.

No, this won’t be an SPG Moments package to go see Shawn Mendes or Adele in concert, but rather is all about culture.

Well the first such package is now available, and you can redeem World of Hyatt points for it. The package is now bookable through this AFAR experiences website. It till take place from November 10-13, 2017, and is open to the first 75 people who register.

World-of-Hyatt-Tokyo

It’s described as a “curated trip to Tokyo exclusively for World of Hyatt members,” and is bookable through September, or as long as spots remain available. Here are some more details:

This is the first time AFAR Experiences has partnered with a hotel brand to offer a trip just for its loyalty group members, plus it’s the first time AFAR Experiences will visit Tokyo. This exclusive opportunity will include dining with innovative chefs, discussing art with curators, and learning from local experts who are engrained in the fabric of Tokyo.

Details include:

  • 75 available spots, exclusively for new or existing World of Hyatt members. Beginning today, members can register for the trip by visiting http://afarexperiences.com/Tokyo/partners. Spots are available on a first-come, first-serve basis through September
  • Four-night, three-day trip to Tokyo from November 10-13, 2017
  • World of Hyatt members can register in one of two ways:

Redeem World of Hyatt points (airfare and transportation to and from airport not included)

  • 200,000 World of Hyatt points includes one AFAR Experiences Tokyo registration and one standard room at Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills (single occupancy) for four nights
  • 300,000 World of Hyatt points includes two AFAR Experiences Tokyo registrations and one standard room at Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills (double occupancy) for four nights

Pay with credit card

  • The cost for the trip is $3,900 USD (airfare, transportation and accommodations not included). If members who book via credit card would like to stay at Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills, there will be a discounted rate available (website will take you to page to make reservations)

The Andaz Tokyo would ordinarily cost 25,000 points per night, so four nights at the Andaz Tokyo would ordinarily cost 100,000 World of Hyatt points. That means the AFAR Experience package is costing an extra 100,000 points based on single occupancy, or 200,000 points based on double occupancy.

Andaz-Tokyo
Room at the Andaz Tokyo

Alternatively, you can pay in cash, at a cost of $3,900, which doesn’t include accommodation. So if you’re gong to do this, then redeeming points is definitely the better value, as 100,000-200,000 points are worth less than $3,900, in my opinion.

There’s no information yet on the speakers or itinerary, though I imagine the schedule will be packaged with art, food, etc. As they describe it:

Through this exclusive opportunity, you’ll get to dine with innovative chefs, discuss art with its curators, and learn from local experts who are engrained in the fabric of Tokyo.

Here’s a video about an AFAR experience in Seattle, which should give you a sense of what to expect:

It actually does seem pretty cool, though at the same time the concept of big group tours doesn’t appeal to me. I know this is probably different than your traditional big tour group experience, but still, it seems rather structured, which I’m not a huge fan of. I know others feel differently.

Bottom line

Hyatt is certainly taking a different approach with their experiences than Starwood, Marriott, Hilton, etc., have. This probably doesn’t have quite as much mass appeal, and also isn’t as accessible to most, due to the specific dates, cost, need to get your own airfare to Tokyo, etc. However, for someone who is into this kind of stuff, this is a very cool opportunity that I figured was worth passing on. It also seems to be a good use of points, at least in comparison to the cash cost.

Does anyone plan on participating in this Hyatt AFAR event?

Comments

  1. Thanks for the great website and the coverage, Lucky!

    With a maximum number of particpants (aka paying customers) of 75 I can’t get rid of the impression that
    this is something like a standard visiting programme for high-yield clients. And *could* be also a rip-off. So no special service or unique event:

    + No world-famous leading chef has a “chef’s table” with a seating of 40 (early and late session) or 75 to watch the team preparing food.
    + A museum/cultural event seems to consist simple of contacting a museum and then hire museum tour with one of the leading representatives of the museum. I am convinced that every group can organize this against a payment/donation to the museum.

    If they don’t unveil something really special I am convinced that the 100,000 points would be better “invested” in something else like a vacation of four days or more. For that price you can get high-class accommmodation in one of the leading Hyatt’s in Asia.

    Here you can see what one of the leading porcelain manufacturers would charge for a visit of the museum in Meissen, Germany:
    https://www.meissen.com/en/visit-meissen/group-travel/guided-tours
    or here:
    https://www.meissen.com/en/visit-meissen/group-travel/table-culture-meissen%C2%AE

    I am convinced that many museums in the world have similar arrangaments in pricing/quality not requiring 100,000 Gold Passport points just for the events…..

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