Dreaming of a trip Down Under? What if you could stay at luxury hotels for $0? I recently returned from a trip to Australia, where my stepdaughter and I spent five nights in wonderful Melbourne. We took a page out of Pam’s book and did some hotel hopping while we were there, too. Here’s how we stayed in Melbourne on points…
It’s no surprise that the two hotels we stayed at in Melbourne were both Hyatts. Hyatt offers such oversized value when it comes to award stays that it’s hard to choose anything else when Hyatt is an option.
Our first stop was the Grand Hyatt Melbourne. To get there, we took the Melbourne City Express SkyBus from the airport to the Central Business District (CBD). From there, we took the tram to a stop not far from the Grand Hyatt. Melbourne has a free tram zone, so our tram from Southern Cross station (where the SkyBus drops you off) to the Grand Hyatt was free.
The Grand Hyatt Melbourne is a Category 4 Hyatt. That means standard award nights will cost you 15K Hyatt points/night, or you can redeem category 1-4 free night certificates. I redeemed two category 1-4 free night certificates for our two nights there (I earned one from Hyatt Bingo and one from spending $15,000 on my personal World of Hyatt credit card in a single calendar year). Hyatt does not charge taxes or resort fees on award stays, so our two nights were completely free. I booked a standard two-twin room, and on the day of check-in we were upgraded to a Grand Suite thanks to my Globalist status.
The Grand Hyatt has a club lounge on the 31st floor with amazing views of downtown Melbourne. Globalists and those who book a Club Access room can access the club lounge. Breakfast is available from 6:30 AM-10:30 AM during the week and from 7:00 AM-11:00 AM on weekends. Evening drinks and canapés are available from 6:00 PM-8:00 PM, and refreshments are available throughout the day.
We had dinner in the lounge on our first night in Melbourne, and we both enjoyed it. Breakfast offerings were also solid and included fruit, pastries, eggs, sausage, toast, yogurt, and more. There was plenty of seating in the lounge, and the views of Melbourne (especially at night) were stunning. This is a property where it’s worth paying more for a Club Access room if you don’t have access to the lounge with status.
The Grand Hyatt is located in the center of the action in Melbourne. We were within walking distance of many fun restaurants and coffee shops. Lune Croissanterie is directly across the street from the Grand Hyatt (and yes, the croissants are worth the wait). We also walked to Chin Chin for dinner one night, and it was so good (you normally need a reservation, but they allowed us to sit at the bar, which was fun).
Overall, I thought the location was great for our first time exploring Melbourne, and we enjoyed our stay. I would absolutely return to the Grand Hyatt Melbourne.
Next up, we headed to the Park Hyatt Melbourne. The Park Hyatt is only located about half a mile from the Grand Hyatt, but it’s in a much quieter part of Melbourne (which I liked).
The Park Hyatt Melbourne is a category 5 Hyatt, so standard award nights will cost you 20K Hyatt points/night. When I was searching for award availability, I saw that they had a Terrace Suite for 9K Hyatt points + $227/night. Instead of paying 20K points/night for a base room, I decided to splurge on the Terrace Suite (which is a premium suite and not one I would have been eligible for via Globalist upgrade). And I am so glad I did! We stayed at the Park Hyatt for 3 nights, so our total for the Terrace Suite was 27K points + $681.
We were greeted by Mr. Walker, the Park Hyatt’s canine ambassador. Check-in was efficient, and we were off to our suite shortly after arriving. My stepdaughter Ella remarked that the common areas and restaurant at the Park Hyatt reminded her of a cruise ship, and I have to agree. While a bit dated, all of the areas were spacious and clean, and staff was friendly and attentive.
We enjoyed a complimentary Globalist breakfast each morning at the Park Hyatt’s restaurant, Radii. The assortment of foods available was very impressive. They had made-to-order pancakes, eggs, omelets, and dim sum. There was a deli fridge full of meats, cheeses, yogurt, and berries. There was a wide assortment of fruits (you have to try the kiwi in Australia!) and a variety of other options like breads, pastries, bacon, potatoes, and more. We didn’t go hungry, that’s for sure!
The Park Hyatt also has an indoor pool and hot tub that is open to all guests, as well as a sauna and steam room. We took advantage of their large spa during our visit; we each got a 90-minute massage and really enjoyed ourselves! After a few days of go-go-go, it’s always nice to have a day to relax and recharge. We also got really lucky with the weather and were able to enjoy our terrace quite a bit.
When your flights and hotels are nearly free, that leaves more money to splurge on food and experiences. Here’s a list of some other things we did in Melbourne that we enjoyed:
We loved our stays at both the Grand Hyatt Melbourne and the Park Hyatt Melbourne. I preferred the location of the Park Hyatt a bit more (it was a little further outside the busy area and a little quieter). I also preferred the breakfast at the Park Hyatt. But if you have some category 1-4 free night certificates to redeem, or you prefer to be right in the middle of the action, then the Grand Hyatt is a fabulous choice. You really can’t go wrong either way…especially when you’re staying for pennies on the dollar, thanks to credit card points!
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