The Best Hotel Redemption I’ve Ever Made! A ~$3,259 All-Inclusive Resort Stay for Only 65,000 Points!

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For our 5th wedding anniversary, in June, my wife Jess had her heart set on an all-inclusive resort.  So when team member Joseph shared the Miraval 50% points rebate promotion for this summer, I took the leap.

I knew Hyatt hotels are easy to book for free with points, but this one really took the cake!

It was definitely the best hotel points booking I’ve ever made.  I’m not just talking about the headline-grabbing value per point, but the experience as a whole.  We couldn’t have been happier or more relaxed when we left.  The service, food, and setting were top notch.

I’m Not Sure Where the Miraval Arizona Finds Their Staff, but Everyone We Met Was Friendly AND Competent!

If you’ve had the Miraval Arizona on your to do list for a while, now might be the time to make it happen.  But even if this promotion doesn’t fit into your schedule, there are a few things you’ll want to know so you can get the most out of your future stay there.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Miraval Stay

Because the Miraval Arizona is an all-inclusive resort, you’ll pay more per person for both cash and points bookings.  And award nights don’t fall into the normal Hyatt award chart, which tops out at 30,000 Hyatt points a night.

Free nights at the Miraval Arizona start at 45,000 Hyatt points per night for single occupancy and 65,000 Hyatt points per night for double occupancy.  You can also book the Points + Cash rate for 22,500 Hyatt points + $450 per night for single occupancy or 32,500 Hyatt points + $550 for double occupancy per night.

If you want to get into a suite, it’ll cost you 75,000 Hyatt points per night for single occupancy and additional 20,000 Hyatt points per night to add a second person.

Understand Your Resort Credit

When you book an award night, you’ll get a $175 per person per day resort credit.  This credit can be used for almost anything except alcoholic drinks.

The full credit for your entire stay is available to you from day one.  So for our 2-night stay, we could have each booked $350 worth of classes for our first day there.

The catch is the credit is per person NOT per account.  So Jess booked ~$390 in activities and I only used up ~$270 of my credit.  Even though we didn’t go over our combined $700 in credits, we still had to pay ~$40 out of pocket.  It wasn’t a big deal, but if you’re not aware of that, you could be in for a big surprise when you check out.

The 400-Acre Resort Feels Like the Desert Exhibit at the Zoo

If you’re paying cash for your stay, you’ll sometimes have the option to book different packages, some of them include the $175 credit.  But if you compare the price to the cheaper packages, you’ll notice you’ll typically be paying $100 to $175+ more person to get the $175 credit.  So booking the more expensive package isn’t as good of a deal as its first appears.

One of the things that makes award nights at the Miraval so lucrative is if you pay cash, you’ll also have to pay an extra ~35% in resort fees & taxes!  The Miraval is NOT cheap, and on a 3-night stay, your taxes + fees will cost as much paying the room rate on the 4th night!

When you book with points, taxes and fees are included.  And it’s a no-tipping resort.  So once you get there you won’t have to pay for much except alcohol and certain activities.

Leave Room in Your Budget for Activities

There are 100+ activities listed in the booklet you’ll get at check-in, although all of them won’t be on the schedule during your stay.  We booked our activities only a few weeks in advance.  And because it was low season, we didn’t have any problems getting the ones we wanted.

However, you’ll want to book your activities as far in advance as possible, especially if you’re traveling during a busier time.  Lots of the activities have limited space and they can fill up.  The same goes for dinner.  You’ll want to make reservations at the restaurant each night, but when we were there it was more of a formality because there were always open tables.

This Crazy-Eyed Horse Can Peer Into Your Soul!

I used most of my credit at the spa.  I got a relaxing deep-tissue massage and a hair-cut (2 separate activities not a combo deal).  The spa offers just about every flavor of massage or treatment you could want.  But it is pricey, so your $175 per day credit won’t go as far as you think.  For example, the 50-minute massage I got was $195!

Jess used some of her credit on horse activities, which she loved.  The classes focus on using the horse as an emotional mirror to reflect how you’re truly feeling inside.  You’ll go through a series of activities with the animal, with the Miraval staff offering insight and asking questions based on what they are seeing.  Jess said that by the end of the class everyone was in tears.  If I end up back the Miraval again, I’m definitely signing up for this one.

Most of the activities focus on wellness, either physical, mental, or emotional.  So in addition to meditation and fitness classes, you can also book culinary experiences.  And there are educational events with the in-house beekeeper and local farmer that supplies some of the resort’s food.

Enjoy the Food!

I love a good buffet as much as the next guy, but in general when I hear “all you can eat” I expect to get Golden Corral quality food…in the best case scenario.

The Miraval food is NOT the Golden Corral.  They’ve got professional chefs preparing 3 great meals a day, including an amazing breakfast buffet and a 4-course dinner menu.  And you’ll have access to a smoothie bar and snacks throughout the day.

You’re allowed to show up (and start eating!) at 11:00 am on the day you check in.  And you can stay until 2:00 pm on the day you leave.  Although you’ll still have to be out of your room by the check-out time, they’ll hold your luggage while you enjoy one final lunch.

It Was a Dessert Paradise in the Desert!

I don’t know how to put an exact value on the food you’re getting.  But if you booked a top-tier Hyatt hotel, you’d pay 30,000 Hyatt points per night.  With the 50% points rebate, we ended up paying 32,500 Hyatt points for a luxury hotel AND 3 fancy meals a day!  That’s only an extra 2,500 Hyatt points for all the resort’s amenities and food.

I wouldn’t hesitate to pay 2,500 Hyatt points to eat just one meal at the Miraval.  So this felt like the ultimate deal!

Is This a Good Deal for You?

If you can book a stay with a 50% points rebate promotion, then it might be.  And if you can’t make it to the Miraval Arizona by August 31, 2018, to take advantage of the current deal, they have had this promotion in the past.  So maybe we’ll see it again in the future!

The biggest drawback of this promotion is it’s a rebate, NOT a discount.  So you’ll have to pay the points up front.  And for a lot of folks, that means transferring valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points into your Hyatt account.  Because even the big bonus on the new Hyatt credit card isn’t enough for a single award night for 2 people!

This Was the View of the Santa Catalina Mountains From Our Room!

If you don’t already have the Hyatt points you need in your account, then you’ll want to consider what you’re giving up.  Even a weekend at the resort for 1 person would require you to transfer 90,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points!  And that could be a lot of award flights or free nights elsewhere.

We were okay transferring 130,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt because Jess is a Hyatt Globalist until February 2019.  So we were able to apply a confirmed suite upgrade to our stay.  If we had booked the same room with cash it would have cost ~$3,259, which is a great deal for only 65,000 Hyatt points out of pocket!

And we know we’ll make good use of the points we’ll be getting back.  In fact, there is a Miraval resort opening outside of Austin in the fall of 2018, so we might end up using them there.

Bottom Line

If you want to really get away, you’ll have a harder time finding a better place to use your points to relax than the Miraval Arizona!  It really is a desert paradise.  All of your meals & non-alcoholic drinks are included.   And there are lots of activities like hiking, mountain biking, yoga, and fitness classes.

Staying at the Miraval Arizona isn’t cheap whether you’re paying with points or cash.  But if you stay during low season (summer) you can find better rates.  And if you book an award stay this summer, you’ll get a 50% points rebate if you check out by August 31, 2018!  Just know that it’s hot during the summer.  And the area around the resort can get a lot of rain in July & August.

But this is still a deal that’s too good to pass up for some folks.  I was able to book a 2-night stay worth ~$3,259 for only 65,000 Hyatt points!  That’s a value of ~5 cents per point (~$3,259 room rate / 65,000 Hyatt points), which is fantastic for a hotel stay!

Have you ever stayed at the Miraval Arizona?  What was your experience like?

Jason Stauffer was a writer for Million Mile Secrets where he covered points, miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels and general travel. His work has appeared in The Points Guy and NextAdvisor.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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