One of my favorite ways to rack up Hyatt stays is through visiting Las Vegas. In order to achieve and maintain Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond status (top level) you must stay at Hyatt properties for 50 nights in a year OR stay 25 times (number of nights per stay doesn’t matter). I find the 25 stay requirement much easier to achieve through my standard travel means. With the Hyatt Mlife partnership, you are able to earn Hyatt stay credits through Mlife stays in Las Vegas when you book via Mlife or Hyatt directly. Note: Mlife stays have not counted towards Hyatt Status Challenges in the past.
Living in Seattle, Vegas is an easy two hour flight and my go to weekend getaway destination. Alaska has 8-10 direct flights on most days out of Seattle to Vegas. It is easy to catch a flight Friday after work and be back in time for work on Monday morning.
Vegas is unique in that there are 12 different Mlife resorts on the strip; meaning that there are 12 Hyatt earning properties within 3.5 miles of one another. Additionally there is a true Hyatt property just off the strip (Hyatt Place). It makes hotel hopping extremely easy if you are looking to rack up some stay credits.
Mlife stays also can be extremely cheap compared to other Hyatt properties. Rack prices can be found for under $30 a night (plus the resort fee which adds another $30 on) on weeknights. If you book through the Mlife website you can often find even lower prices after you log in. For reference, the Hyatt Place in Las Vegas was $228 for the same night.
When I visited Vegas in early September I did three nights in three different Mlife properties: Vdara, Bellagio, Mandalay Bay. While it is a pain to switch hotels, I find it fun to compare and contrast. I also found some ways to ease the pain of hotel hopping on my latest stay.
Looking at my travel through the end of the year, I would be finishing 2015 with 22 Hyatt stays. If it had been 15, I would have given up on Diamond status. But three stays to reach Diamond for 2016? A trip to Vegas was calling my name.
I combined three different ways to book stays to maximize my value and earn Hyatt stay credits through Mlife.
Booking Through Mlife
The first night of my trip I booked a room at Aria directly through the Mlife VIP desk at Aria over the phone. As an Mlife member, I often am sent offers for reduced room costs that often come with bonus Food & Beverage credit to use during the stay or free play; money the casino gives you to play on slots. Often these deals can be found by looking in to Mlife.com, other times they are mailed or emailed to you, other times I have found just calling the VIP desk at the hotel gets me the best deal.
One caveat to Mlife offers is you can only use one deal in a 72 hour span. Therefore, you couldn’t stay Friday night at Excalibur on an Mlife offer and move to Mirage for Saturday night and use another Mlife offer. So if you are going to be hotel hopping, do some research to find the best deal for the best hotel on the best night of your trip.
Another thing to know is that completely comped nights (meaning you don’t pay out of pocket) do NOT count towards Hyatt stays. So if you get an offer of a free night at Luxor and an offer for a night at Monte Carlo for $25, it is better to go with Monte Carlo if you want it to count towards Hyatt status.
For my stay, I was able to book a room at Aria for Friday night for $150 ($203.84 with Resort Fee and tax). While a pretty good deal for a high end Vegas hotel on a Friday night, I could have booked a cheaper night at another property. However, I like Aria and the offer also came with a $100 F&B credit and $50 in free slot play. The bonus F&B and free play was for my stay; whether I stayed one night or five I would be getting $100 F&B + $50 free play.
Aria is a modern property in a good location. I was given a strip view room on the 26th floor. The recently upgraded their Wifi (it is FAST now) and also replaced their aging room control consoles with updated tablets to use in your room.
Booking through Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts
If you have an Amex Platinum card, you are able to book hotel rooms through their Fine Hotels & Resorts program. Rooms booked through FHR still earn Hyatt stay credits through Mlife, unlike hotels booked through other online travel agents like Expedia (don’t get me started) or Orbitz.
Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts program gives you some great benefits and are also competitively priced. The main benefits are:
- Noon Check In (when available)
- Room Upgrade (when available)
- Daily Breakfast for Two
- Guaranteed 4:00pm Check Out
- Unique Property Benefit
The best option, in my opinion, for Las Vegas is probably the Bellagio, which is the property I stayed at for my second night.
On a Saturday night I was able to book a room through FHR for $197 ($256.59 with Resort Fee + tax). The best part about using the FHR for my second (middle) night was that I was able to check in early and check out late. For hotel hopping this is great because you aren’t stuck checking out at 11:00am from one hotel and waiting until 3:00pm to check in to the next one. I was able to go immediately from checking out of Aria to checking in to Bellagio (same thing with checking out of Bellagio and moving on to my next property).
I was given an upgraded view room in the Spa Tower.
The Bellagio’s “Unique Property Benefit” is a $100 resort credit good for use at the spa or at a number of on site restaurants. Many other properties through FHR offer $100 spa credits only.
Since I travel solo, two breakfasts doesn’t help me out much. However, at Bellagio you are able to use the breakfast vouchers (given to you at check in) at any time. I was able to get a nice dinner at the Bellagio Cafe and returned for a nice breakfast the next morning. Each voucher is good for $30.
Booking with a Coupon Code
The third way I scored Hyatt stay credits through Mlife is by booking directly through the hotel website and using an offer code. My favorite place to find these is smartervegas.com. Since you are booking directly through the hotel, your stay earns a Hyatt stay credit. Typically with some hunting around you can find a reduced cost for the room plus a F&B credit bonus.
For my third night I wanted to try the new Delano Las Vegas (bad decision). Using a coupon code from smartervegas.com I was able to book a room for $102 ($147.84 with Resort Fee + tax) with $75 F&B credit. Again, since it was just me staying for one night, the $75 was able to cover dinner, a drink and breakfast.
Hyatt Stay Credits through Mlife
If you are just looking for stay credits, you could hop between Luxor and Excalibur for about $70 a night after Resort Fees and tax. However, if you want to get your Hyatt stay credits through Mlife while also enjoying a nice vacation, there are ways to do it to maximize your money.
For three nights (Friday-Monday), it cost me $449 to stay at three higher end properties ($608.27 with Resort Fee + tax… yes, over 30% in tax and fees). However, I received $335 in food and beverage credits and $50 in gambling credits. It would be very easy to pay about $600 all inclusive for a nice long weekend away (… as long as you don’t gamble your own money!) and earn three Hyatt stay credits through Mlife.