Yes, I know. I put a big fat pun in the title of my blog post. I couldn’t resist. Back in December, Mazzy wanted nothing more than to have a sleepover party for her 9th birthday. Unfortunately, our apartment was still under renovation (it still is, but that’s another story) and having a bunch of kids sleep over was impossible. At the time, Mike and I were sleeping on a mattress in our living room.
I asked on Instagram what we should do for her birthday and everyone suggested a hotel sleepover. At first, this seemed kind of extravagant, but when I looked into my options, and remembered how much regular birthday parties cost in NYC, I realized the price was pretty much the same.
At around the same time, I was contacted by Summer from The Points Guy, who wanted to find ways to work together to build out their family travel content. The Points Guy (originally one guy and now a company) specializes in travel rewards from credit cards, airlines and hotels. I asked if they would be interested in helping me book a hotel sleepover party in NYC to see what we could get for points. The Points Guy was on board (woohoo!) and made me a reservation for a suite at the Park Hyatt hotel on 57th St, which has a pool on the 45th floor— swimming being an excellent birthday party activity for a bunch of 9-year-old girls.
Mazzy was beyond excited and we invited six friends. The suite we booked had a bedroom and a small living room area with a couch, so I figured I would sleep in the bed and the kids would all bring sleeping bags for the living room. It would be tight, and I would most certainly get little to no sleep, but I was okay with that. Mazzy had been displaced from her home for months and I really wanted to give her the sleepover party she wanted. At first I thought that Mike and Harlow would stay home, but then Mazzy wanted Harlow at the party, at least until the actual sleepover part. Mike decided that he would take her home after cake, since it would be a little weird for Mike to sleep in the room and Harlow would totally meltdown if she stayed up too late.
We arrived at the Park Hyatt at 4pm and went up to reception to check in. It was at this point that the woman behind the desk informed us that we had been upgraded to the Carnegie Suite and started talking to us like we were VERY IMPORTANT PEOPLE. Mike and I stood there and nodded casually, like this was all very normal. Then he whispered on our way to the elevator, “I think we are in for a big surprise.”
When we opened the door to our room, it was immediately clear that this was a HUGE upgrade from what we booked. The Carnegie Suite is about 1650 square feet, with a full size living room, a master bedroom, a dining room, a kitchen stocked with all the plates, glasses and silverware you would need to throw a cocktail party, two bathrooms (one of them bigger than the girl’s bedroom at home), and a huge walk-in closet. Not to mention, wrap around floor to ceiling windows with a view overlooking Carnegie Hall, hence the name of the suite.
The room, in a word, was INSANE. We found out that it normally sells for $15K a night. OH SHIT.
I actually thought that someone at the hotel or the Points Guy had made a big mistake and contacted them to make sure that no one was going to end up paying for this thing. The Points Guy told me— “Nope, no mistake. When you are staying on Hyatt points from the account from someone with top Hyatt elite status and the room happens to be available, it’s possible to get this kind of massive upgrade. You got lucky and it’s all good!”
By 5pm, all of Mazzy’s friends had arrived and decided the first thing they wanted to do was see how long they could all survive in just the bathroom. It was huge, had an enclosed toilet, a jacuzzi tub, a picture window with an awesome view and a TV installed in the mirror. You probably could live in there for quite some time.
Next up, we got pizza delivered to the room and I sat there wondering why we had invited all of Mazzy’s friends instead of mine.
Then, Jodie from Mission Solvers arrived, which was our first and only organized activity. Mission Solvers does escape room type activities fro kids aged 8-12-years-old, and it was truly the perfect hotel room activity.
The girls got a series of clues that allowed them to solve a crime as a team, which included lock boxes, pens with invisible ink, scrambled riddles, magnifying glasses, a map and a decoder. They were all super into it, including Harlow who was the first to guess the answer to this riddle: What has arms, legs and a back, but no head or tail? The answer was a chair and underneath the chair, they found a key which opened up a box with puzzle pieces inside that spelled out the next clue.
After about an hour of puzzle cracking, Mission Solvers culminated in a riddle that was answered by the word “Mazzy” which was the code to open a safe revealing the hidden stash from the Babyface crime family— stacks of fake bills and colorful gemstones from a jewelry heist. Mission solved!
Seriously, I would recommend Mission Solvers to any parent looking for a fun team activity for a bunch of elementary school kids.
After that, everyone changed into their bathing suits and headed to the pool on the 45th floor.
The pool was in a gorgeous space with high ceilings and a crazy view of the city. I don’t think these pics do it justice. If you have a hotel sleepover for your kid, I highly recommend finding a hotel with a pool.
This was the highlight of the evening and I got to sit back in a lounge chair and relax. Yay for the lifeguard on staff!
At one point, Mazzy had to go to the bathroom and I took her to the adjoining locker room, which was also attached to the spa. The locker room was super luxurious with long white robes, cozy slippers, huge showers and all the amenities you might need to get yourself ready like shampoo, body lotion, hair dryers, q-tips, toothbrushes, etc. One look at all that and Mazzy asked, “Can we all take showers here?”
After everyone was finished with the pool, they all took a massive shower in their bathing suits. Then they dried their hair, cleaned their ears and took advantage of every amenity in that spa exactly like my friends and I would do if faced with the same opportunity. It was pretty adorable.
Then I told them to all pose for a picture so I could send to their parents as proof that they showered. They all happily obliged.
When we got back to the room, everyone changed into their pajamas and it was time for cake.
After cake, it was Mike and Harlow’s bedtime and they headed home. I got everyone set up in their sleeping bags, put on a movie for them and retired to my room.
I’m not sure what went on after that, except at one point I was called in to film an episode of “Comedy Couch.” From what I can gather, “Comedy Couch” is Mazzy and her friends trying to tell jokes, but then bursting into giggles so they are not able to finish.
Once the floor was properly strewn with popcorn and chips and the girls were watching their 27th episode of Modern Family, I said, it was time to turn off the lights and at least pretend they were trying to fall asleep. Oddly enough, I think Mazzy was one of the first people to shut her eyes and go to sleep.
I think I was next. Everyone was still alive in the morning, so I’m calling that a success.
In the morning, we got breakfast delivered to the room via room service— pancakes, waffles, french toast, and of course, COFFEE for me. Parents picked up their kids at 10am and then, what’s a mom with a crazy hotel room upgrade to do? I arranged for a late check-out and invited my sister, her family and my mom to come hang out for the day.
THANK YOU, the Points Guy!!!! Truly the best 9th birthday party ever. Maybe best birthday party ever period.
I know that I’m 44 and I don’t think I’ve ever topped it.
If you are interested in learning more about the World of Hyatt card, plus six other cards that I recommend for people interested in making the most of family travel, check out the new Mommy Shorts page on the Points Guy! People always ask how they can get the kinds of travel perks that I get on sponsored trips and I’m hoping this helps. Mike has been following The Points Guy and using their recommendations for years, way before I started doing family travel for the blog, so I totally trust their insights.
If you check out my page, you can click around to find my recommended starter card, a card best for travel perks, best for flying on Delta, best for staying at Hyatt hotels, best for staying at Marriott hotels and best for small business. None of them are sponsored, but I do get an affiliate fee if you sign up. I’ll also be working with The Points Guy to switch up my recommendations based on who is currently giving the best offers.
And based on this initial experiment (which hit it out of the park), I’m excited to see how they’ll help me continue to maximize my travel perks too!