In the past few weeks I've gone from vaguely speculating about booking a winter weekend at a tropical all-inclusive resort to starting to plan an actual trip. Since, for good or ill, I'll be a Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond/World of Hyatt Globalist next year, I've been looking at Hyatt's all-inclusive properties. Here are a few things I've learned so far.
Standard award availability is very tight
At the Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall I happened to reserve the last standard room available over Presidents' Day Weekend, which is quite a few months from now.
At the Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall, the only room types bookable at the 25,000-point level are the "Hyatt Zilara King" and "Hyatt Zilara Double" room types.
Suite award availability may be a bit better
While there are no more standard room awards over Presidents' Day Weekend at the Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall, there are still suite night awards available.
According to the phone representative I spoke with, at the 40,000-point level I could still book the "Junior Suite King" room type.
The point is that even if you don't have any reason to book a suite, if you're willing to spend the additional points you should ask anyway, since you may have access to additional award space you wouldn't have if you insisted on booking a "standard" room award.
Since during peak times those rooms can be phenomenally expensive, you may still save money even when "overpaying" for suite night awards.
Cancellation policies are brutal
My award reservation at the Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall has a 45 day cancellation policy. That means in the first couple days of January I've got to decide whether I'll really make it to Jamaica in late February.
Feel free to book these awards speculatively, but also keep track of their cancellation policies and don't get caught paying some preposterous cancellation penalty for missing it by a day.
Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond point loans still apply
On a final note, it is possible for Hyatt Gold Passport Diamonds to book award nights without sufficient points in their account. This is a pretty cool feature which can be used for domestic and international award stays, and can also be used for all-inclusive award stays.