[editor's note: my worthless MacBook Pro has finally stopped working completely, so I'm using an aged clamshell laptop for my blogging this week. Grammar and punctuation will suffer, and pictures will be minimal/nonexistent.]
Since getting a tier match to Hyatt Diamond status, I've reconfigured quite a few trips this year to maximize the value of my Diamond benefits, like suite upgrades and complimentary breakfast. In many cases that means replacing Hilton HHonors points redemptions with Hyatt Points + Cash reservations, which are eligible for Diamond suite upgrades.
That's left me with an unexpectedly high HHonors point balance. For example, instead of redeeming 240,000 Honors points for 5 nights at the Hilton San Francisco Financial District, I booked a Points + Cash stay at the Grand Hyatt San Francisco and immediately redeemed a Diamond suite upgrade certificate.
That naturally got me wondering: what should I do with all these HHonors points?!?
Let's go to the beach
My partner and I have never gone on a beach vacation by ourselves (we went to Kauai with my family, but we filled up 2 condos with people, so it wasn't exactly tranquil).
That left me with today's question: what are the best beach vacation destinations served by either Hyatt or Hilton, but not both chains? If I can answer that question, I can just book a stay at the nicest Hilton property without a nearby competing Hyatt property, and feel good overall about my life decisions.
To start with, I searched Google for top beach destinations. The first page of search results had three seemingly reputable resources:
- Condé Nast Traveler: The 20 Most Beautiful Beaches in the World
- Forbes Travel Guide: 10 Top Beach Resorts Around The World
- Travel+Leisure: The 25 Best Beaches in the World (which in turn links to this Thrillist article)
After listing those 55 beaches, I eliminated all the duplicates as well as beaches with no nearby Hyatt or Hilton properties at all. Then I narrowed it down further to beach destinations with only one of either Hilton or Hyatt properties.
There are two legitimate concerns to be raised about this research method:
- Why would I use some crappy clickbait slideshows as my resource for deciding on what's a "good" beach destination?
- Why would I exclude destinations that are served by both Hyatt and Hilton? After all, the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island might be a better hotel than the Park Hyatt Maldives, in which case I should choose it anyway, even if it means passing up a Hyatt stay credit.
Those are legitimate concerns, and my only answer is that the alternative is using lists of properties that are curated by bloggers who receive money from one or both chains for promoting their co-branded credit cards. A long advertiser-supported list of properties seems marginally more objective than a long affiliate-supported list, although I'm willing to be proven wrong on that point.
Here are my results.
Beach resorts served exclusively by Hilton
- Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort and Spa. 80,000 HHonors points in June and July, 70,000 HHonors points the rest of the year.
- Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa. 80,000 HHonors points all year.
- Hilton Waikoloa Village. 50,000 HHonors points all year.
- DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel Doheny Beach - Dana Point. 50,000 HHonors points May-August, 40,000 HHonors points the rest of the year.
- DoubleTree by Hilton Ocean Point Resort & Spa - North Miami Beach. 70,000 HHonors points December-March, 50,000 HHonors points the rest of the year.
- Hilton Tel Aviv. 70,000 HHonors points all year.
Beach resorts served exclusively by Hyatt
- Andaz Maui at Wailea. Category 6, 25,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points.
- Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta. All-inclusive, 20,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points.
- Hyatt Playa del Carmen. Category 5, 20,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points.
This was a fun exercise, and it gave me a few ideas for award availability and destinations to keep an eye out for. In particular, the Hilton properties in Moorea, Bora Bora, and Waikoloa Village all seem like great hotels, and I hope to end up at one soon!