Hyatt Residence Club is the smallest of the “luxury” timeshare systems originally created by major hotel chains, which include (in order of size) Marriott, Hilton, Vistana (formerly Starwood), and Hyatt. The Hyatt Residence Club consists of 16 resorts based in 7 states and the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. Those states (and the number of resorts which reside within them) are:
While the smallest of the luxury systems, Hyatt Residence Club resorts are of consistently outstanding quality, set in unique locations far away from the overbuilt venues that characterize most of their competitors. You will not, for example, find a Hyatt resort in Orlando, Las Vegas, Branson, Palm Springs, or any major urban location. As Ken Lepic (aka “Kal” on TUG) pointed out in his original article in 2008, “Hyatt’s focus is on high quality resorts at incomparable settings by creating ‘boutique’ resorts with luxurious accommodations, fine amenities, and intimate nature”. For any of us owners who have had the privilege to stay at any of the Hyatt Residence Club resorts, we can attest to both the truth and accuracy of Kal’s vivid description.
The Hyatt Company entered the vacation ownership industry in 1994 with its first property, Hyatt Sunset Harbor, in Key West, FL. Over the next 14 years, Hyatt Vacation Club introduced a total of 13 additional resorts. In 2009, Hyatt Vacation Club was reintroduced by Hyatt as Hyatt Residence Club, the name it carries today. In 2010, Hyatt introduced its fifth Florida property, Hyatt Siesta Key and added its most recent property, Hyatt Ka’anapali in 2014—the only Hawaii location within the HRC system.
Also in 2014, the Pritzker family sold Hyatt Residence Club to Interval Leisure Group (ILG). ILG is a publicly-traded company (ticker symbol: ILG) based in Miami, FL. ILG owns the following key timeshare companies: Interval International, the second-largest timeshare exchange company in the world; Hyatt Residence Club, acquired in 2014; and Vistana Signature Experiences (formerly Starwood Vacation Club), acquired in 2016. Although ILG owns both HRC and Vistana, the two systems are not co-mingled. Hyatt owners own and internally trade Hyatt resorts. Vistana owners own and trade internally Vistana resorts. Hyatt is no longer involved in the HRC but has a financial arrangement to allow ILG to continue to use the Hyatt name and trademark.
The synergies of ILG’s ownership of the Hyatt and Vistana systems will begin to be realized in 2017 with the rollout of the HPC Club (Hyatt Residence Club Portfolio), which will allow owners in the HRP to reserve floating weeks in a separate Points Club trust. Details at this writing are sketchy, and the program is being rolled out slowly and is first being introduced at Hyatt’s Florida resorts. No official notice or program description has been sent to existing HRC owners.
Hyatt Residence Club Locations
There are currently 16 Hyatt Residence Club locations. More than half of those locations are centered in two states: Florida and Colorado:
- Sunset Harbor; Key West, FL
- Windward Pointe; Key West, FL
- Beach House; Key West, FL
- Coconut Plantation; Bonita Springs, FL
- Hacienda Del Mar; Dorado, Puerto Rico
- Highlands Inn; Carmel, CA
- High Sierra Lodge; Lake Tahoe, NV
- Northstar Lodge; Truckee, CA
- Pinon Pointe; Sedona, AZ
- Mountain Lodge; Beaver Creek, CO
- Wild Oak Ranch; San Antonio, TX
- Main Street Station; Breckinridge, CO
- Grand Aspen; Aspen, CO
- Residences Park Hyatt; Avon, CO
- Siesta Key Beach; Siesta Key, FL
- Ka’anapali Beach; Lahaina, HI
How the Hyatt system Works!
Here's how Hyatt Residence Club works (not to be confused with the new and still-not-fully-explained Hyatt Points Club Program which is in the process of rolling out now):
In most properties, HRC owners have fixed weeks which can be reserved within the first six months of their new ownership year. This is called the HRPP: Home Resort Preference Period, and is the six month period beginning one year before the start of the owner's deeded week. The decision about whether to use the deeded week is pretty straightforward and simple--do I reserve my fixed week and unit or let it go this year?
If the owner does not reserve his/her unit during that period, the fixed week is automatically converted at six months out to CUP points: Club Use Period. From the time when an owner first receives the year’s points, he/she is working within the HRC points system and--like any exchange system--can search through the HRC website/reservations system to see if there is availability for a desired property and can complete a reservation along with a (~$40) transfer fee.
The owner can also place requests in advance (these requests, by the way, can be made up to 18 months in advance of desired travel). Importantly--unlike II or RCI--once the Hyatt system finds a match, the request is immediately confirmed and the owner is notified and their credit card is charged for the transfer fee. II and RCI typically give an owner a 24-hour decision window to confirm, but HRC's system does not provide this service. It is also important to note that the credit card used to place the request must remain current. If the card has expired or has been discontinued, the system will go to the next person on the request list.
The CUP period is critical for the owner, since the next step substantially reduces the owner's value if they let CUP points slip unused into the Limited Club Use Period (LCUP). CUP points cannot be carried from one year to the next. They can be used in one of three ways:
- Make a reservation within HRC using CUP points anywhere from 12 months to one day before the first day of the owner's deeded week. For example, if the owner owns Week 18 at Hyatt Highlands Inn, he/she can use CUP points to exchange within HRC as soon as the new week's reservation window opens (in other words, during the HRPP period) all the way to the end of Week 17 of the year of usage.
- Transfer the CUP points into the External Exchange (EEE), also called the Extended Use Period. This transfer is made directly into Interval International, allowing the owner to exchange into other properties in II. Importantly, a Hyatt owner cannot exchange back into a Hyatt property through II. The only way to make a Hyatt for Hyatt exchange is through the CUP or LCUP process.
- Owners who do not reserve during the CUP period allow the CUP points to pass into LCUP (explained below), which is the least desirable option by far.
If CUP points are not used and are not transferred to EEE, the last use before expiration is the Limited Club Use Period or LCUP. This allows the owner one last chance to salvage point usage for reservations made within 6 Months of the first use date of the owner's deeded week. The LCUP period begins on the day of the owner's fixed week usage. Reservations can only be made 60 days or less in advance. Also--unlike HRPP or CUP--guest certificates cannot be issued for LCUP reservations. The best way to think of LCUP is similar to II's Getaways--usually off-season availability, and often only for a few days. One way to extend LCUP points is to confirm a reservation before the LCUP points expire. In effect, this could add an additional 60 days of point’s usage.
At the end of the LCUP period, any remaining unused points expire. This means points cannot be accumulated from year to year.
HRC does allow borrowing from a forward year into a current year, but all MF's on the forward year must be paid in advance in order to borrow. Obviously, MF invoices have not been sent out at that early date, so the owner must call HRC Owner Services to get an estimate and make the payment.
As mentioned at the outset, most--but not all--properties are fixed week. The properties which have floating week seasons include all of the Colorado properties, Hyatt Northstar Lodge near Lake Tahoe, and Hyatt Siesta Key in Florida.
Hyatt Point Values
One of the nice things about the Hyatt system is that point values have remained remarkably consistent. This is not a complete listing of all options, but does show point values for the large majority of ownership options. For example, Grand Aspen provides ownership of a 4-bedroom villa with point values not shown here. For a complete listing, please refer to the sticky “Hyatt Points Chart” in the Hyatt subforum on TUG.
One of the unique advantages of ownership within the HRC system is that resale owners carry all of the privileges of an owner who purchased from the developer, save one: resale owners cannot convert HRC points into Hyatt hotel points (now referred to as World of Hyatt). This is not a critical feature, in any case, as conversion to hotel points represents a terrible value. For example, the owner would be relinquishing a 2 BR villa for a hotel studio unit. All other ownership features, trading privileges, and reservation placement and priority devolve to resale owners in identical fashion to developer owners.
Purchase price for private transactions is determined by the market’s supply and demand. Sale listings for Hyatt Residence Club properties can typically be found on the TUG Marketplace, Redweek, and the websites of resale brokers who specialize in Hyatt.
Options for Usage
Owners have an exclusive right to use their villa for the entire fixed week or portions allotted in increments of 2 days, 3 days, or 4 days. Should an owner decide to use a part of the owned unit, stay less than the full week, or not stay in the owned unit, the remaining unused points will be converted into the Club Use Period (CUP) points, described above. They can also be deposited into the External Exchange system through Interval International.
Hyatt Residence Club is an outstanding system. It is flexible, offers superior value with generally reasonable maintenance fees that typically do not outpace the annual rate of inflation, and offers its owners the opportunity to vacation in some of the most beautiful and pristine settings in America. Its owners express a high level of owner satisfaction, and a passion for their club.
Not only are the properties located in beautiful areas, but they are exceptionally well-maintained. The hotel section of Highlands Inn in Carmel, California, for example, was originally built in 1917. The timeshare section was opened in 1995. Even though it is now more than twenty years old, the units have recently been refreshed, the stunning Pacific’s Edge restaurant—built on cantilevers overlooking the Pacific Ocean below it—has been remodeled to include a spectacular outdoor deck, and the great room in the resort’s lodge offers live music and wine tasting nightly. Hyatt’s other resorts are similarly maintained and updated, with unique features. Units are constantly being updated and in many cases using the Aspen Resort unit design layout as a template.
Another characteristic of the Hyatt system that resonates with owners is its commitment to outstanding and friendly service. The staffs make every effort to ensure owners enjoy a relaxing and pleasurable stay during their time at the HRC resorts—and owners are made to feel special and even pampered..
The Future of Hyatt Timeshares
As mentioned above, HRC owners are anxiously awaiting detailed information from ILG regarding the new HPC Points Club Program. While this program will not directly affect HRC owners, there will likely be at least two indirect effects: 1) Hyatt is buying select Diamond and Platinum season weeks by exercising its Right Of First Refusal (ROFR) rights on resale units under a prospective sales contract. These purchased weeks are being removed from the HRC system and placed into the HPC Points portfolio under a separate ownership trust. How this will affect HRC owners is unknown, but most HRC owners believe any effect will not materialize for several years at least; 2) there is some speculation that—because Hyatt is buying the most prized weeks on a selective basis, and because Hyatt is now saying that all future development investment will go into properties for the HPC Points Club—the resale values of fixed weeks (always more desirable for owners than floating weeks because of the guarantee of location, view, and time of year) in the HRC may actually increase due to growing scarcity over time. This may or may not materialize, but at this writing, anyone interested in buying into the HRC system is encouraged to do so. It is also noteworthy that due to various internal decision making, Hyatt will continue to sell fixed weeks at some of the HRC resorts. Taken together, the Hyatt Residence Club is an outstanding value for resale buyers!
The Final Word!
Disclaimer: This information is accurate to the best of my knowledge. Any inaccuracies are my fault. The information is provided for the enjoyment and use of TUG members and guests and should not be used as a basis for financial decisions relating either to investment in ILG or other financial considerations. I am not a Hyatt or ILG employee and have received no compensation for the development of this document.
Credit and Thanks: As indicated at the very top of this article, Don’s effort here is simply to update the original document created by Ken Lepic 9 ½ years ago. I have tried to attribute information originally provided by Ken wherever possible, but if I have missed some of those attributes, my apologies to Ken. Ken (aka “Kal” as he is known by his TUG handle) is not only vastly more knowledgeable than I am of the Hyatt system, but remains the father of all things HRC on the TUG bulletin boards. Big kudos, Ken, for all you’ve done to educate many of us on TUG.
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