Question: Why Can’t I Book These Particular Hotel Nights on Points?

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Question: Why Can't I Book These Particular Hotel Nights on Points?

Question: Why Can I Book These Nights but Not Those with Points?

Our question of the week looks at something that frustrates everyone: why can’t I book these hotel nights with points? I can book other dates right around it. What gives? We’ve all been there. Let’s take a look at why this happens.

The Question

Our question of the week comes from David in our Facebook group:

I plan on staying at the Hyatt Maui on Feb 10-13 but there’s no award availability. But if I book Feb 9-13 then there is award availability. Could I just book Feb 9-13 and call the hotel on the 9th saying that something happened and I won’t be checking until the next day? Will this cause any issues like my reservation getting cancelled? I’m not looking to get my points refunded for the 9th or anything as it’ll be cheaper to do it this way than using cash / points equivalent for my actual travel dates of 10-13th.

My booking now: 10-13th, 3 nights x 50K = 150K points (Cash booking, using Chase Pay Yourself Back).
Proposed booking: 9-13, 4 nights x 25K = 100K points (plus no resort fees or parking fees as a globalist)

I’m ahead 50K points by doing it this way.

Oh man…I feel you, David.

For everyone’s reference, the hotel David wants is the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa.

Here’s What’s Probably Happening

There could be a few things happening here:

  • Blackout dates – this is usually the first thought. However, that’s not David’s issue. Since he can clearly book the dates around his desired stay, it’s not a blackout dates issue. We’ve also looked at the fact that Hyatt in particular isn’t supposed to have blackout dates on awards anyway, yet we all know hotels bend the rules here.
  • Minimum stay – around holidays or popular tourist seasons, hotels may have a minimum stay. Some hotels just have a general policy on this, such as really popular hotels that always make you stay more than one night. For others, it depends on the time of year. No hotel near Times Square is going to let you book for just one night around New Year’s Eve. David may be running into a minimum stay requirement. How can he verify? You can call the hotel or ask Hyatt’s Twitter team, which is usually pretty good. Oddly, the hotel David wants is allowing a one-night check-in on February 9 (the day before he wants to arrive) but won’t allow a 3-night stay starting on the 10th.
Detailed look at minimum stay

When you can stay 4 nights at a hotel from one booking but can’t book nights inside that with your points, something is going on. We clearly know the room is available all 4 nights, so why can’t I just get 3 or 2? This makes me think it’s a minimum stay “during this time”.

It’s likely that the minimum stay either:

  • Starts on the day David wants to arrive, so his stay must follow the rule but his desired stay isn’t long enough, or
  • Involves all the days around David’s desired stay, but the minimum is 4 nights, so his idea of adding a night is why this works now.

So what’s happening? Here’s what I tried:

  • The hotel has cash bookings available for the nights David wants to stay.
  • I also see the ability to book February 9, 2022 as a one-night points stay at this hotel.
  • And I can book February 9-13 to cover the dates David really wants (February 10-13).
  • I can’t find any availability (cash or points) for a few weeks following the dates David wants.
  • To me, it looks like the hotel is going into a busy period, possibly combined with Valentine’s Day and President’s Day holidays, so they’re implementing a “minimum stay” going into this busy time.
  • I didn’t search into March, but even on February 28, 2022 (15 days after David wants to check out), I can’t book the hotel on points for just 1 night or 2 nights.

Question: Why Can't I Book These Particular Hotel Nights on Points?

So What Should David Do?

David already suggested booking February 9-13, 2022 and then contacting the hotel to say something happened / now he’s arriving on the 10th. He’s worried that the hotel would cancel his stay. I find that unlikely, as long as he communicates with them. People miss flights all the time.

David also mentioned being a Globalist. I would bet the hotel won’t cancel his reservation if he contacts them early on the 9th and says he can’t arrive today / is coming tomorrow. If he asks the staff to hold his room, they likely will.

In the meantime, David can make a booking for all 4 nights but keep checking for the possibility to book just the 3 nights he really wants.

He could also consider another hotel, if that’s possible.

Final Thoughts

It sucks when hotels play games with award availability. It looks like the hotel David wants is going into a busy period, and so they probably are instituting a minimum stay around that time. That’s likely why David can’t book the dates he wants using points at this hotel.

If it were me, I’d book the 4 nights while continuing to explore other options (trying to find just the 3 nights, considering other hotels, contacting Hyatt customer service to get some info).

Have a question? Ask in our Facebook group or email me at ryan[at]milestomemories.com

Ryan Smith
Travel hacker in 2-player mode, intent on visiting every country in the world, and can say "hello" or "how much does this cost?" in a bunch of different languages.

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7 COMMENTS

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7 COMMENTS

  1. David, it’s because the property owners are petty individuals. The reimbursement they receive from the hotel network is less than a paid room. Same goes for the breakfast benefit — some properties can SAVE $1 to $2 million per year simply by not offering breakfast and then substitute points. As for suite upgrades, some lie about suite availability at check-in. I had a manager say to me that, in spite of suite availability, he simply wasn’t going to give me a suite for seven days. Yes one is available but no I’m not going to let you have it. Others, pull suite inventory from the hotel network — making it unavailable for elite upgrade or award stay — and outsource it to AirBnB. More recently, we’ve heard about property owners imposing a fee on award stays — which are contrary to programs’ terms and conditions. And, there you have it.

    They would rather not give one the breakfast benefit and would

  2. Hi MTM team! This is David from this article. Ryan – correct, I have Globalist via credit card spending to the lower requirement from last year – 30 nights – so I don’t have concierge. (I own a small business so I was able to use company expenses to qualify for globalist).

  3. Before wasting the points for an extra day or risking them cancelling his reservation, why not reach out to his Globalist concierge and ask them to reduce the number of nights. This is a very common work around at the Andaz Maui, which frequently has a minimum stay requirement.

    • Mark – there’s also the possibility he got “30 night Globalist” last year and doesn’t have My Hyatt Concierge, so while I mentioned he can check other options I didn’t assume that he has this. Many Globalists don’t have this right now.

    • Hi MTM team! This is David from this article. Ryan is correct, I have Globalist via credit card spending to the lower requirement from last year – 30 nights – so I don’t have concierge. (I own a small business so I was able to use company expenses to qualify for globalist).

  4. The hotels block those dates that align with Spring break dates and Christmas breaks and Thanksgiving. Like clockwork, those are the hardest times to book the most prestigious hotels on points.
    The Grand Wailea in Maui is booked already for December 2022 last 2 weeks for points redemptions.

    • This is David from the article. Yup, makes sense for holidays. I’m going in mid-Feb, so it shouldn’t be such a popular travel time as spring break is usually Mar-April. Maybe there’s a bump in travel due to Valentine’s day?

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