This weekend we took a quick fun trip for one reason, and one reason only: to watch the USC Trojans play the spoiler for the University of Washington’s (as-yet) “perfect” season. And we got to see just that!
But of course, a fun football Weekender requires transportation and a place to stay, and (being me) I wanted to make sure we got the best versions of those things that we could, with as little money out of our pocket as possible.
For the flights, we once again relied on our Southwest Companion Pass to get us two tickets for the price of one. And in this case, the “price” was nothing – we used 15,390 Southwest points to book Carl’s flight, and yet mine was still free. This saved us in the neighborhood of about $600 alone.
When it came to the hotel, between the hubby’s account and my own, we had roughly 10,000 points accrued from work travel throughout the past year, so I used Hyatt’s free transfer form for spouses to move his points over to my account. That was enough for me to book two nights at the Points + Cash rate at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue, located in a trendy neighborhood in East Seattle. Of course, since we had already stayed downtown and done the “touristy” stuff during our last trip to Seattle, we were ok with being outside of the downtown core.
Even better, because I still had Suite Upgrade certificates available for paid Hyatt stays because of my Diamond status for 2016, I was able to upgrade our room from the most basic room available to a Studio Suite, again, for free. However, due to a delay for not being able to checkin to our room when we arrived, the front desk upgraded us further still to an executive view corner suite, which was absolutely wonderful.
That same room, had we paid fully in cash, would have run us in the neighborhood of $552 for the weekend (had we booked early!) As such, for 12,000 total Hyatt points, plus $150 out of pocket ($75 + 6,000 a night for the points + cash rate), we had a redemption rate of around 3.35 cents per point — a very good redemption rate.
Of course, with my Diamond status, we also had access to the Regency Club, where we received free breakfast each morning. The breakfast spread was quite lavish; there were bagels and pastries, smoked salmon with all the fixins’, oatmeal, various fruit, cereals, cheeses, and a few hot options as well. The first day, there was a delicious quiche as well as bacon, and on the second day there were scrambled eggs and British-style breakfast sausages. And of course, this being Seattle, the coffee was phenomenal.
We estimate this breakfast amenity probably saved us about $40 a day as well, not to mention the free wi-fi, water bottles, and other perks of our Diamond status. (Hyatt stole my loyalty from Starwood early last year…and I’m pretty sure Starwood’s never getting it back!)
Overall, we had a great stay at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue. The staff was fantastic, the Regency Club was outstanding, and the room was comfortable and well appointed. Had we known that we’d end up spending most of the weekend in Ballard — on the West side of Seattle — we may have chosen another property, but all in all we were very pleased with this stay.
Of course, we also had a few hijinks around Seattle. Friday night, we visited the Peddler Brewing Company in Ballard, and did a full sampler of all 12 of their beers. (Personally, I thought their Wildflower Honey Wit was by far the best.) We also had dinner at the Ballard Annex Oyster House, where the hubby’s Cornish Game Hen was phenomenal, but my own Crab Gnocchi was just “meh”. After the game on Saturday night, we returned to Ballard, and had a late dinner at Patxi’s Pizza, where we sampled the quite delicious (but rather salty) Prosciutto & Arugula pizza as well as the Tre Porcellini (three little pigs) pizza.
But, as I said earlier, the main point of this visit was the game! We tailgated all day Saturday near the stadium, though, sadly, the hubby’s “sailgating” trip was cancelled due to high winds. Still, the stadium, right near the waterfront, is gorgeous. It’s one of the nicest college stadiums I’ve ever been to.
And better yet? We won! USC stepped up and did what it was incapable of doing earlier in the season: showing up for all four quarters of a game. The Huskies were unable to keep up, and it was a great cap on a nice, quick trip to the Pacific Northwest.