We had decided to do a Lake Tahoe trip early this year, and looking up hotels in the area, the Hyatt Regency stood out as the top choice for us. It’s a Category 5 property, and with rates running from the mid-300’s to 500+ per night on the weekends we were going to have to leverage points. We had a few thousand Hyatt points from recent Vegas trips, but that wasn’t going to take us very far, so we followed your lead and got the Hyatt Visa credit card. We easily hit the promotional spend target (thanks to a bathroom remodel project), so with 60,000 points available, that was enough to cover 3 of our 6 nights at the Hyatt.
The hotel exceeded expectations. Upon check-in, we were each given a glass of sparkling wine. It was fun hearing the “pop” of the cork throughout the week as we passed by the front desk as new patrons checked in. We were not offered bell services but that was okay, we were fully capable of dealing with our own luggage. They also asked if I had a car, to which I replied “no”, knowing the daily self-parking rate of $18 / night. More on this later. I also mentioned it was my wife’s birthday mid-week and asked if the hotel had any special “birthday” perks. The clerk said nothing specifically but did give us two coupons for 2 free items from the convenience store. (specially marked items only, roughly $5 in value each.) We used them on some pastries and iced coffee products.
The standard room was nice with a view of the mountains to the northwest overlooking the pool. Hallway noise was a minor issue at times as our room was adjacent to the elevator bay. A ceiling fan was a nice addition. I can’t recall another hotel room I’ve had which had one. Standard bathroom layout with 1 sink, plenty of vanity space. Extra “products” compared to what we are used to, with a sewing kit, shoe mitt, and even complimentary toothpaste. Housekeeping services were beyond adequate.
The hotel is a sprawling complex on the north shore of Lake Tahoe. They boast a “private” beach, limited to hotel guests only. It is a 3 or 4-minute walk from the hotel to the beach as you need to cross Lakeshore Blvd and take a bit of a “switchback” walkway downhill to the actual beach. There are signs saying a wristband is required to be at the beach, although I was only checked once. Also, no “outside food or beverage” is allowed, but we had no problems bringing some snacks, even a bottle of wine. The beach was really nice. Complimentary chairs, umbrellas, and towel service. The beach attendants were excellent and we had no problems finding 2 chairs together and they are more than happy to bring extra umbrellas. Beach food/drink service was as expected, though we only ordered a beach lunch once, the food was good. Cabanas are available for $400, good for a group but we didn’t go for that. Kayaks, paddleboards, paddleboats, and jet skis are available to rent. We did kayak for about an hour for $40.
We ate at each of the 4 onsite restaurants, ranging from a convenience store with grab-n-go items, a café with a pretty vast menu, a bar/grill, and one of the higher end restaurants on the entire lake, the Lone Eagle Grille. All options were excellent.
There is a nice pool complex with multiple pools and hot tubs. We preferred the beach so we didn’t utilize the pool area very much. I mentioned the parking situation above. We did have a car (thankfully a coworker of mine who lives in Reno loaned us his car for the week) and we simply parked across the street from the Hyatt lot to avoid the $18 nightly fee. Upon checkout, I was reviewing the bill at the front desk and the clerk said, “Oh, I see you’re a Hyatt Discoverist member, here let me cut the parking fees in half.” That’s when I noticed the 6 charges of $18. I said, “I didn’t use the parking lot at all, we didn’t park here all week.” He said, “Okay no problem, I’ll take all the parking charges off.” This kind of rubbed me the wrong way. The parking lot had a typical gate/ticket entrance which one would think would somehow trigger the parking fee. I didn’t use that once, so it seems like they just flatly charged me the $18 nightly fee even though I said upon check-in that we weren’t parking hoping I wouldn’t notice or complain about it.
There is a $40 nightly “resort fee” which seems pretty high. The room does come with a coffee maker, mini-fridge, and a “daily” $5 match play coupon for the attached casino. (For casino details, listen to the next You Can Bet On That for my gambling trip report). The front desk only gave me 1 coupon at check-in, and I said it was a daily coupon. The girl didn’t seem to know nor care and handed me several more. I will say that for the 3 nights we booked with points, the resort fee was also waived, so it truly was 100% FREE.
The other thing I want to mention was the booking process, which we did in mid-May for our mid-August trip. I had been following the nightly rates and knew they were in the mid-300’s. When I went to book, the price had jumped to $520 per night which made me re-think the entire trip altogether. I checked each individual night’s rate and saw that only 1 of the nights was listed at $520, but booking multiple nights, EACH night was given the highest rate of any of the individual nights. TFB confirmed this, I believe, too. We ended up booking 3 individual reservations in order to get around this. The first was 3 nights for 60,000 points, then 2 nights which had the mid 300’s rate, and finally, a single night which was in the low 300’s. I mentioned the multiple reservations at check-in and the clerk said it was no problem, she gave us the same room for all 6 nights and we didn’t have to re-key or anything of that nature.
Despite the few minor annoyances, the trip was outstanding. The Lake Tahoe area is simply breathtaking, right up there with the south island of New Zealand. I feel like we were pretty smart and economical with our bookings. We also used our Delta airlines Companion certificate so Amanda’s flight was free (minor taxes/fees not included). I would definitely recommend this hotel, just make sure you’re careful with the final bill.