There’s a first time for everything, and recently on an Alaska Airlines flight, I volunteered to be bumped. It’s not that I’ve never heard the call for volunteers before. We all have. But something about this time made me ask myself if now was the time and this was the opportunity to do it. After all, can a bona fide travel blogger NOT have a bump experience to talk about? Given the crazy day I ended up having, I’ll never forget my first time!
I was originally on a morning Alaska Airlines nonstop flight from San Diego to Boston. I’ve taken this flight before but always in the winter months. Apparently, since it’s the only nonstop of the day to Boston, it can get crowded. I heard the call for volunteers before we started boarding the flight.
Great Circle Mapper: San Diego (SAN) to Boston (BOS)
I landed in Montego Bay, Jamaica, and was happy to see a Hyatt Ziva Rose Hallcheck-in desk inside the airport, just past immigration. The employees were efficient and served drinks while they checked you in. Within minutes, the Hyatt hotel shuttle was there to pick us up. The trip to the Hyatt Ziva was less than 30 minutes.
Ziva vs. Zilara
Hyatt offers two all inclusive products: the Ziva, which is for families, and the Zilara, which does not allow children. In Jamaica, the properties are next to each other. Both products share a common beachfront and you can go to any of the restaurants on either property. Of course, if you have children, they are not allowed on the Zilara side, which includes the Zilara beach, pool, and restaurants. The Ziva has its own beach, pool, and restaurants so this would probably not be a huge problem.
The Butler Suite
I was upgraded to a butler suite. The room is large, as you would expect of a suite, including a mini-bar that was free, and the most unique feature was the butler service. This room would normally cost over $1,500 USD per night, but I didn’t pay anywhere near that.
Butler suite with balcony overlooking the ocean at the Hyatt Ziva in Montego Bay, Jamaica
I was in the planning stages of a trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, when I started looking at Hyatt hotels options. I quickly found the Hyatt Ziva and it captured my attention. With rates on their website being easy to search, I tried many rate options, including AAA, to see what the best price would be. The Hyatt website listed the room rate at $838 / night. AAA and other discounts yielded only slightly lower rates.
One of my favorite cities in North America is Boston, and when I visit and play tourist, I stay at the Hyatt Regency Boston Harbor. Prior to my recent visit, I’d stay there for only a few nights and then transit usually to Europe. It’s very close to the airport. But on my recent visit to Boston, when I wasn’t transiting to anywhere else, I stayed there for five nights as an experiment to see what it would be like to use it as a base for a Boston holiday. And though it’s not a hotel I’d recommend for everyone, it worked out really well for me. I enjoyed my stay there and would definitely recommend it. I’ll get to who I wouldn’t recommend it for, but first, let’s discuss the high points.
I mentioned this Hyatt as a possible North American choice for using your Chase Hyatt Credit Card free anniversary night certificate, and I stand by that recommendation, especially during the high season when Boston is busy with tourists, conventions, and weddings. Some people think this hotel needs to be refurbished, but I’m guessing they haven’t been there in a few years. The rooms were redone about two years ago and I like them. The standard rooms are on the large size, and the furnishings and color schemes work well. I don’t like a lot of artwork on hotel walls. These rooms have one big piece of artwork on the side wall with a sailing theme that fits the decor.
Hyatt Regency Boston Harbor Standard Room. Image: https://bostonharbor.regency.hyatt.com/en/hotel/rooms/standard.html