The “C” in PYCR stands for “cards”, referring to the beautiful tools that help us earn points and miles. But what happens when you play your cards right? Discounted (or even free) travel.
I stayed at the beautiful Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch last week for a family vacation. This resort in Scottsdale, Arizona is a Category 5 in the World of Hyatt. It has several restaurants and bars, 10 pools, tennis courts, and a nice spa.
My family and I have previously stayed at the nearby (Marriott) Westin Kierland as my parents are Marriott (and formerly SPG as well) loyalists. This was before the SPG-Marriott merger when the Westin was an SPG property. But I wanted to try a new hotel after learning about the World of Hyatt. That’s what we did on this trip.
Was it worth the risk?
Check-In & Check-Out
In our modern society, technology does wonders for many people. Hyatt has nicely embraced this technology with their mobile app. I was able to check in on my phone before we arrived at the hotel. Upon checking in, the app said that it would alert me when the hotel had a room available. But the app didn’t do so when we arrived.
After arriving, I went to the front desk and asked about the room. The front desk person was extremely helpful, and she verified that a room was available for us. She also offered me a prickly pear vodka drink on the house, which is the resort’s signature drink. I thought that it was too sweet, but my Mom loved it. I finished the check-in process easily and quickly and we were on the way to our room.
On my last day, the check-out process was the same as the check-in process. I simply checked out using the mobile app and I did not have to return to the front desk.
This part of the trip was unusual for me because we had two different rooms during our stay. Both were standard rooms with two queen beds.
Our first room was on the third floor above the Regency Club. It had a decent view of a large koi fish pond. However, we had a terrible night’s sleep the first night. Both mattresses were saggy, having large dips on each side. There was also a faint smell of smoke in the carpet even though I booked a non-smoking room.
The next day, I went to the front desk and complained about the room. The front desk person was very helpful and understanding. She checked in the computer to see if there was another room that was clean and available. Fortunately, there was one that fit the criteria as I was standing there. We moved our belongings upstairs to the new room and it was much better.
Our second room had a beautiful view of the main courtyard area, the adult pool, and a backdrop of the McDowell Mountains. The view was a huge improvement over our last room’s view. It also helped that we were moved to the fourth (and top) floor. The beds were much nicer, and we had no complaints about sleeping for the rest of the trip.
Luxury resorts are known for their amenities and this one is no exception. The Hyatt Regency Scottsdale had a lot to activities to do and places to go on property.
This Hyatt Regency had more pools than I had ever seen at a resort at 10. This claim is kind of misleading though. Half of the pools were in one area and were just one big pool that was separated off into smaller ones. I am not complaining as the main pool area was very nice. The main pool also featured a water slide, which was fun for many of the kids (and adults) staying at the hotel. I went down and had fun as well.
Because we don’t have a pool at our house, we decided to take full advantage of the pool area at the hotel. Most of our trip was hanging out by the pools and relaxing. The main pool had food and drink service, which we often ate lunch at.
The resort also had an Adult Pool, which was quieter and featured a swim-up bar. However, the Adult Pool was smaller and did not have any food service. Also, there were a few more pools on the other side of the resort that we didn’t make our way over to.
Restaurants & Bars
The Hyatt Regency had multiple restaurants that offered a plethora of food and drink.
We ate at SWB our first night there. SWB is a Southwestern Bistro (hence the name) that had very good Mexican and Southwestern cuisine. I was very impressed with the food there, but it was very costly. Like a premium credit card, you get what you pay for.
SWB also offered breakfast, which we ate our first and last mornings at the hotel. We didn’t know where the Hyatt Regency Club was on our first morning, so we ate at SWB and enjoyed ourselves. We also assumed that SWB offered free breakfast because we had Club access. But they explained to us where the club was and how to get free breakfast. Our server also said that they would comp our breakfast because we were under the assumption that it was free. This was extremely nice of them and totally unexpected.
Because the food was expensive, we didn’t eat much at the hotel. However, the menus for the other restaurants looked fantastic. They were enough to give me incentive to go back at least for dinner next time I’m in the Scottsdale area one night.
Hyatt Regency Club
This hotel featured a Hyatt Regency Club, which was reserved for top-tier Globalists and those who paid with points. I was lucky enough to pay for our stay with Hyatt points, so we were granted access to the club.
The club was very quiet. They served free breakfast with a featured main course changing each day. They also had appetizers, pastries, juice, soft drinks, and coffee. It was a nice place to hang out if you didn’t want to be by the pool or at the bar.
Breakfast was just OK. But at least it didn’t cost us anything extra. I formed the same opinion for the appetizers that were served in the late afternoon.
The Spa Avania is one of the biggest amenities at the resort as its also mentioned in its name. It had its own separate building and its own separate pool. The pool at the spa was special because it was filled with mineral water. Other services included saunas, steam rooms, showers, hot and cold plunges, and outdoor relaxation areas. Like points and miles, not all spas are created equally. This one is no exception.
I was impressed with how much they had to offer, and I wish that I could have done more at the Spa.
I was impressed by the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch. The customer service was impeccable as were the restaurants and pools that we visited. I would definitely stay at this resort again. Furthermore, I am confident that my next visit will be even better because I will have Hyatt Discoverist Status by then.
They also advertised the World of Hyatt card very heavily. A little ad came in each check from the restaurants and poolside service. This card is currently on my wish list but I’m above 5/24 until June 2019, so I can’t apply right away.
My biggest complaint (besides the first room) was that we left too soon. I wanted some more time to explore the hotel and partake in all the amenities.