The Jinmao Hotel Lijiang (麗江金茂酒店）is part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt. This five-star hotel is located in Yunnan Province, China.
One of the biggest features of this location is the spectacular backdrop of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. My parents recently expressed interest in visiting, so I decided to book a 3-day trip for them. I'll be covering how I was able to book this trip entirely on points and also share some photos they took.
How I Booked
This was a somewhat spontaneously trip that I booked less than a week before their travel date. As such, cash prices were higher than if I had booked months in advance.
However, the advantage of using points is that redemption rates are usually bound to a certain range, so even last-minute trips like this one was available at the standard award rate of 8,000 points/night, or 24,000 points total (taxes and resort fees are included in World of Hyatt award redemptions).
A quick comparison with cash prices showed that each night would otherwise have cost $146/night, which totaled $460 after taxes for 3 nights.
To figure out if this was a good deal, I calculated the redemption rate of this award in "cents per point" (cpp):
$460 / 24,000pts * 100 = 1.92cpp
I value Hyatt points at around 2cpp, so this was close. Although this was not the absolute best redemption, 1.92cpp is still really good value. Plus, I recently opened the World of Hyatt credit card by Chase, earning a welcome bonus of 50,000 points after spending $6000 in 6 months (which I easily accomplished by using the Paypal key rent hack), so not having to pay cash for this trip made sense.
Note that Chase Ultimate Rewards can be transferred to Hyatt, which I highly recommend if you need more ways to earn Hyatt points. More details can be found in this article:
I made the initial booking under my name, since the points were in my account. As an alternative, I could have also added one of my parents as an authorized user on my Chase Sapphire Preferred (or Reserve), and then transferred points directly to their Hyatt account.
I then emailed the hotel to have the reservation updated to my parents' names, since I will not be there to check-in. This is allowed under Hyatt rules (and they make it super easy to do so!):
In addition to the standard room I booked, the hotel also had villa room types (1bdrm, 2bdrm, 3bdrm) available. Maybe we'll try those next time with the whole family...
Since it was my parents that went, I will mostly be sharing photos they took from the trip and showing some from the hotel's official website for comparison.
I was a little worried my parents may run into issues at check-in since it was initially booked under my name. Fortunately, everything went smoothly and even though my Hyatt status did not apply since I am not present, they still got a small upgrade to the mountain view room! All the employees at the hotel were also incredibly helpful providing tips for local attractions!
My parents stayed in a Standard King Room. This is what the room looked from Hyatt's website:
And these were photos taken by my parents:
I'd say pretty accurate! The only thing different were the construction cranes partially blocking views of the mountain. While unfortunate, we were aware of it prior to booking so it wasn't a big shock.
If an unobstructed view matters a lot to you, perhaps this isn't the best time to stay at this location.
Or you can be like my parents and hike up!
The hotel compound has a gorgeous garden with a beautiful lake in the middle.
I'll let the photos tell the story...
Interestingly, although breakfast wasn't included in the rate, it seems like the hotel provided them with complimentary breakfast! There was a wide variety of Chinese and Western options to choose from.
My parents were pretty happy (especially compared to "continental breakfast" we usually get in the US...).
The hotel features many other amenities such as spa suites, saunas, heated indoor swimming pool, fitness center, etc. Unfortunately my parents did not have time to check these out.
They did, however, pass by the alpacas at the hotel (along with other animals like white peacock, black swans, etc.)
Overall, my parents had a really great time at the Jinmao Hotel Lijiang. The staff was friendly, the food was good, and even though the view was slightly obstructed, it wasn't a big deal for them since they went hiking up the mountain during their stay. For the price point, it is a solid redemption, especially considering there is so much to do at and around the hotel.
In addition, since my dad is an authorized user on my Chase Sapphire Reserve, his priority pass membership allowed them to utilize the Air China First Class Lounge at Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK)! Although I haven't been able to travel much in the past year due to the pandemic, being able to share your credit card benefits with loved ones is an added benefit of credit card travel hacking!
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