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Travel Hacking China Hotels

While I love getting a great deal like the rest of you, the true passion I have for this hobby is the travel. Heck, I started this blog over a decade ago to document my family’s around the world journey. Yes, I am one of those crazy people who quit his job and traveled around the world for 18 months.

Back at that time we traveled quite a bit differently than we do today. While I occasionally took advantage of hotel rewards back then, we mostly stayed in cheaper guesthouses. Fine places, but nothing fancy. But that was then and this is now. Over the years my love of travel has grown, but so has my love of great hotels.

Thankfully my skill at earning points has kept up with my desire to be pampered. While I do actually stay in quite a few run of the mill properties throughout the year, I try to pick very nice ones for vacation. That is exactly what I did for my upcoming Chinese Coaster Adventure.

Travel Hacking China Hotels
A visit to Shanghai wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Shanghai Disneyland.

A Trip Across China

For the next two weeks my friend and I are finally (after planning this trip for a long time) going to make our way through China visiting some of their newer amusement parks. Our trip will take us to Shanghai, Wuhu, Hefei, Nanchang, Chongqing, Chengdu, Shenzhen, Macau & Hong Kong. It’s going to be a blast.

Besides the travel itself, one of the coolest parts of this hobby is being able to share the “perks” with others. After playing the game awhile it can be possible to not only stay in nice places, but also to get nice things while you are there.

My China strategy largely relied on my Hyatt Globalist status. Not only do I actually work hard to keep that status (just to see them practically give it away) but Hyatt actually has a very good footprint in China. More importantly, their Chinese hotels are very nice and are well known for treating elites well.

A 5 Star Chinese Odyssey

Travel Hacking China Hotels
Shanghai

As part of our fairly aggressive journey through China, we are going to be staying at a ton of awesome hotels. Let’s take a look at them!

Park Hyatt Shanghai

A bit of a splurge, but I stayed in the Grand Hyatt Shanghai last year (the building in the middle in the photo above) and want to give this property a try. Being able to stay near the top of the world’s 9th tallest building is surely going to be memorable. I emailed the property and as a Globalist I will receive a suite if available.

Cost: 10,000 points + ~ $125 USD per night

Grand Hyatt Chengdu

This property is located in a good place for us. Upon emailing the property I was confirmed into a Grand Suite upon arrival. We will also have Club Lounge access during our stay and breakfast in the restaurant. 

  • My Cost: 6,000 points + ~ $75 USD per night
  • Room Retail Cost: $161 USD
  • Suite Retail Cost: $314 USD

Hyatt Regency Chongqing

While this property is certainly tailored towards business travelers, it still looks incredibly nice. After emailing the property I was confirmed into a suite as a World of Hyatt Globalist member. Oh and it is a category 1 property meaning it is cheap!

  • My cost: 2,500 points + ~ $50 USD per night
  • Room Retail Cost: $106 USD
  • Suite Retail Cost: $212 USD

Grand Hyatt Shenzhen

I have heard a lot of great things about this property. It is in a good location for us so it will work well. I have emailed the property and have yet to hear back, but I believe we should have a pretty good chance of a suite upgrade. We will also have lounge access during our stay.

  • My Cost: 6,000 points + ~ $75 USD per night
  • Room Retail Cost: $190 USD
  • Suite Retail Cost: $458 USD
Travel Hacking China Hotels
Grand Hyatt Hong Kong lobby.

Grand Hyatt Hong Kong

Last year I stayed at this hotel with my dad and loved it. We did have an issue with the front desk manager charging my credit card without permission, but that was eventually resolved. The Grand Hyatt Hong Kong doesn’t have the best location, especially given construction, but the views, lounge, staff and AMAZING breakfast make up for it.

I used a Globalist Suite Upgrade at this property to ensure we would be given a suite. After confirming us into the base suite I emailed the hotel and was told we would be given a slightly upgraded suite with full Harbour views. Works for me!

  • My Cost: 12,500 points + ~ $125 USD
  • Room Retail Cost: $494 USD
  • Suite Retail Cost: $907 USD (it was $1,200 about a week ago)
Travel Hacking China Hotels
View from the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong last year!

Other Loyalty Programs

While Hyatt took us a long way on this trip, I did need to utilize other hotel programs to fill out our stays. Here are the other properties we are staying at:

Hilton Hefei – I was matched to Hilton Diamond status through 2018 so we should be treated quite well. This property only costs 10,000 Hilton Honors points per night and after a quick email, we are confirmed in a suite!

Sheraton Nanchang –  We only have one night in Nanchang and I picked this property because of its location. It only costs 4,000 points for a regular room, but I decided to just upgrade us to a suite for 8,000 points total. If not in the suite we would still have had lounge access from my SPG Business card.

Conrad Macau – While I have stayed at both the Conrad & Grand Hyatt in Macau before, I ultimately decided on this property because of how well I was treated as a Diamond last year. During our stay, my dad and I were upgraded to a 1,200 square foot suite and I am confirmed into at least the same category of room on this trip. The other determining factor was cost. This hotel was only $150 for the night of our stay whereas the Hyatt was much more. I have a Conrad review from last year’s stay going up in a couple of days. It will be interesting to see how our stay this year compares.

Conclusion

I have been to China many times and am looking forward to this theme park adventure. These types of trips are why I pursue hotel elite status. Being able to get pampered and stay in awesome suites while offsetting the cost with points is what this is all about.

Want to follow along? I’ll be updating the Miles to Memories Facebook & Instagram accounts regularly and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter as well!


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13 COMMENTS

  1. I noticed you did mostly point with cash. Is it because it’s better redemption value or there’s no pure point award availability? I’m just curious that as one’s ability to earn points increases via various avenues, does one find it less desirable to spend cash out of pocket? Obviously it’s a personal preference but I feel like cash will always be valued above points and churn and burn is the way to go.

    • I chose to do points & cash in order to get elite credit for the stay. In most cases P&C is about the same value as using points with Hyatt but it differs slightly depending on the category. My friend and I are also splitting the cost of the cash portion.

      • Thx for the clarification. So full point award stay doesn’t give credit? How about through Chase Portal or 3rd party like Expedia and Orbitz? Have you written an article where I can see what counts as award night or not toward each hotel chain?

        • 3rd party bookings almost never count (usually in error) towards status. Some programs like SPG do count full award stays towards status but not many.

  2. I stayed in the Conrad Macau last week. There’s no change in quality. The hotel and staff are as fantastic as they’ve ever been. I traveled with a friend who had never been before and I warned her that she would see the best service she’d ever seen and they didn’t fail me. She keeps telling me how impressed she was with the staff especially when the gentleman that checked us in came over while we were sitting in the lounge after having been out and around Macau to ask how she was enjoying her visit and addressing her by name.

  3. Shawn, love your blog and hope you have a great trip.

    I’m also a Hyatt Globalist and am wondering what you are saying in your email prior to arrival regarding the room upgrades. Any tips would be much appreciated.

    Thanks.

    • I start off by telling them how much I am looking forward to my stay and ask as a Hyatt Globalist if I will be given a suite. Since it is now in the terms, I ask for it specifically. I then ask what other benefits I get on property.

  4. If you like Disneyland, try visiting OCT east theme park when you are in Shenzhen. It’s fun for both adults and children. It features more natural scenes and we loved it!

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