New Aspirational Option to Redeem Chase and Hyatt Points: Former Four Seasons Carmelo Resort & Spa

Via the indispensable Magic of Miles, the Carmelo Resort & Spa in Uruguay has become a Hyatt.

The hotel is set in a forest overlooking the river. It’s a former Four Seasons which has only 44 rooms. The base room is 970 square feet. It’s a category 5 redemption (20,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points per night, you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt).

There are two room types.

There are 20 bungalows and 24 suites. Diamond Suite Upgrades are available to upgrade to the suites — but there is literally no reason at this point to use those. Currently non-discounted paid rates appear to run $240 – $400 per night, with both room types the same price. Awards book into bungalows. At this point the hotel hasn’t loaded any cash and points availability.

The resort is remote, which is both part of its attraction but also adds to the difficulty and cost in getting there. Here are some of the options:

  • Fly in and out of Buenos Aires. Then take a 1 hour ferry from Puerto Madero. This can be arranged through the hotel. Then there’s a 70 minute drive to the resort. (Hotel car is $165 for the drive or shared ride service for $66 per person.)

  • The hotel provides complimentary transfers from Carmelo Airport, but flights there will be cost-prohibitive for many.

  • Drive from Montevideo — it’s three hours. Hotel car will run $500 – $600.

Magic of Miles reports that room prices used to hit $1000 a night. I’d guess that it could use capital investment to maintain itself at Four Seasons brand standards. In lieu of making that investment, management of the property has changed hands.

The hotel doesn’t appear branded in any of Hyatt’s usual monikers — when the Four Seasons Aviara became a Hyatt it was named a Park Hyatt, that doesn’t seem to apply here. That may or may not change, and I wonder if it’s dependent on whether Hyatt launches a non-brand brand like Starwood has done with Tribute. (This possibility could also explain why the former Radisson LAX, now the Concourse Hotel, is merely an ‘affiliate’ rather than taking on a Hyatt brand.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Not sure this is a good use of points when the price is sub-$300 for the base suite, or when you can book into the bi-level suite for $400.

  2. I’ve stayed there and I can say it’s a spectacular hotel. It has a Balinese atmosphere, and attention to detail is everywhere. Since it’s semi remote, it’s a great place to relax.
    Rates normally run north of 600. I guess 240-400 are rates for the winter down there, which I would totally avoid.
    Great news this is now reachable through points

  3. Stayed there for 5 nights last December. Great place. Very secluded. Balinese style main building. Beautiful grounds, right on the river. Definitely recommend it to visit.

  4. Posted on Trip Advisor
    I can see why it might not make the cut for a Park Hyatt just yet

    “THIS IS NOT A FOUR SEASONS RESORT”
    2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2015

    Don’t be fooled by the pictures on the web site, or the name on the door. This is not a Four Seasons Resort and the Four Seasons company should get their name off it as fast as possible. I have stayed at more than 20 Four Seasons properties, so I know what to expect.

    This could be a beautiful place (although the pictures of the beach are a joke – it’s a river bank!), but the property is completely lacking in maintenance, and the quality of the bungalows is low. We had bees in our room, shades that fell off windows, WiFi that did not work, a television system that kept losing English channels, a leaky roof and a view that included the water tanks for the property!

    The day to day staff tried their best in general, but despite the fact I complained at the front desk about a few of these issues, and I requested to speak to the general manager not once, but twice, I was never visited, nor contacted during my entire four night stay.

    I heard during my stay that the property is franchised using the Four Seasons name only, and that the contract has been cancelled because both the property owner and the Four Seasons has decided it is not working. Nothing could be more true. Four Seasons corporate management should be ashamed since once they decided to abandon the property, they should stop listing it as a Four Seasons. The company has damaged the brand and it will make me question every time I consider staying at a Four Seasons in the future.

  5. I stayed here as well when it was a Four Seasons. We took the ferry from Buenos Aires and rented a car. Road conditions were just OK. Overall condition of the hotel was fair, staff were as helpful and attentive as could be and I laugh because the “beach” is indeed a river bed! There are some good dining options near by at a place called Narbona. Glad I did it but doubt I’ll ever need to go back to this little corner of the world.

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