The Strictest Hyatt Award Cancellation Policy Ever

Dec 22, 2015

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As I have shared many, many times before I like to make my award reservations as far in advance as possible. For popular hotels this often means booking at least a year in advance (and sometimes more) since most major award programs make standard rooms available on points when they are for sale with cash. During peak travel seasons this means that you often need to move quickly before standard rooms sell out or otherwise become unavailable by virtue of being part of a “package” or similar.

One Hyatt property I have had my eye on for years is the former Hyatt Escala Lodge, now known as the Hyatt Centric Park City. It is located at the base of Canyons Village in Park City, Utah and at just 15,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points per night it is a tremendous value on points since nights during peak ski season can go for close to $700/night.

Hyatt Centric Park City
Hyatt Centric Park City

I found the award availability I wanted for roughly a year out and was all ready to book when my handy Hyatt Diamond Concierge thankfully pointed out that once confirmed my award reservation would be non-refundable and permit no changes. Say what?!

I called the property directly to make sure this was really true and not just some sort of typo or unenforced term, and no dice. It is real. I know many ski properties have pretty strict cancellation policies that do not permit cancellations or changes 30 – 45 days out, but a year out?! I have booked a lot of hotel award reservations in my time, but I have never encountered that strict of a policy. Even the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek which is even pricier than the Hyatt Centric Park City has a comparatively generous policy of no cancellations within 30 days.

In fairness this is not something that is unfairly targeting award reservations as paid reservations at Hyatt Centric Park City during the winter holidays seem to carry the same very strict cancellation policy. However, since award reservations are restricted to just standard room types instead of the multitude of other room types this property offers, there is a greater need to book award reservations further in advance than paid reservations.

During other times of the year at this property the cancellation rules seem to vary from 24 hours out to 45 days out, but if you are booking for the holidays you better have a darn good crystal ball and be certain of your plans a year in advance!

While I very much want to visit this property next ski season, I have now hesitated on pulling the trigger finalizing the reservation because so many things can happen over the course of a year and I don’t want to be out 15,000 points per night for the duration of our trip in the event something causes the trip to not happen as I envision it at this time. That said, I know the longer I delay debating the risk that comes with this very strict cancellation penalty the more likely it becomes that the award I want becomes unavailable.

Have you encountered a similar policy? Did you risk it or select another property?



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