Hyatt’s Gamble: Can the $350 Million Rio Renovation Revive Its Vegas Fortunes

Three years ago Hyatt announced that the all-suite Brazilian-themed Rio hotel would be renovated and become multiple brands as part of the chain – with Hyatt Regency to be the first and largest (1,500 of the Rio’s 2,500 rooms) – set to open in 2023.

They didn’t quite make that goal. However, as of today Rio Hotel & Casino is participating in World of Hyatt.

  • The renovation isn’t complete, and the first phase won’t complete until fall. The hotel’s pool is not currently available.

  • Upon phase one completion, the 1,501-room Ipanema tower will become part of Hyatt’s Independent Collection within the Destination by Hyatt brand.

Credit: HoppingRabbit34 via Wikimedia Commons

Renovation’s to the Rio’s 1,012-room Masquerade Tower have not yet begun. In total, they expect to spend $350 million updating the hotel. The property will be eligible for Hyatt’s 500 per night new hotel bonus April through June, 2024.

Hyatt lacks a significant Vegas presence, having lost their MGM partnership to Marriott, so I’m really looking forward to seeing completed renovations at the Rio which should hopefully elevate it out of the doldrums it had been in, competing more with the lower-end properties in Las Vegas. In the meantime, lower room rates should make it attractive to those racking up cheap stays towards status (even if actually spending the night elsewhere in Las Vegas).

I don’t expect the property to be as nice as the Hilton trio of Hilton, Conrad and Crockfords at the north end of the Strip (let alone the hotels that are better still). And the Rio is actually about a mile west of the Strip on Flamingo Road. But for Hyatt it’s progress!

And any place that means waived resort fees on free night awards in Las Vegas (and on paid stays for top tier elites!) is a welcome addition. As a category 3 hotel, I expect off-peak redemptions to cost 9,000 points per night during the week (more or less) and 15,000 points per night on weekends. Midweek rates right now start as low as $62, with weekend rates around three times as much.

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, 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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  1. Gary are you confirming Globalist gets the waived resort fee on paid stays? I just can’t find it in any official channels. Thanks.

  2. @Amol – The terms and conditions of the program have been updated to reference the Rio. It is listed as part of the “hyatt” brand (like Hyatt Grand Central). The hotel is noted as participating in World of Hyatt, and there are no other carveouts in the program terms for this property that I can find. If they try to charge Globalists a resort fee, then they would appear to be doing so in contravention of program terms.

    It is possible that they meant to update the terms or forgot to update the terms or didn’t realize they needed to update the program terms, and that they will do so in the future. But my read is that there’s no exception for resort/destination fees at this hotel. I would love to feedback from anyone who sees otherwise.

  3. The Rio actually has the potential to be a great property. It’s had multiple restaurants, several entertainment venues and oversized guest rooms that were marketed as an all suite hotel. Hope the Hyatt does the renovation justice.

  4. I still have the investor deck from Dreamscape for the capital raise for the Property Company and separate Operating company. Being off strip just made it to much of a risk IMO.

  5. At one time I would go out to Vegas for a full week. Stayed at a variety of places in those days (Bellagio, Treasure Island, and even once due to limited rooms, Main Street Station) but I honestly haven’t had interest in Vegas in years. Last time I was there was on a road trip where we spent a night and that was around 2011.

    I’ll leave it for those who are still into that stuff. I don’t mind the gambling but don’t need to excessive drinking, the over priced stuff, and the drugs.

  6. For gamers (not the people gambling, the loyalty points gamers!), you can realistically only redeem for points on weekends, because a Cat. 3 weekday redemption would be silly. Frankly, the Rio would seem more like a Cat. 2. The value is probably buying midweek rooms at lowball price as a globalist and getting free breakfast and no resort fees. I assume most readers know of the Caesars Rewards deals, where non-weekend rates at places on the Strip (other than Caesars Palace) are often under $20 all in with “credit card Diamond status,” But you can’t get breakfast included at Caesars.

  7. It’s good to see some of the hotels renovating their properties but I haven’t been to Las Vegas in years, a lot due to traffic getting there and the loss of cheap buffets.

  8. $21.75 a night and fees waived…..sounds like the new MGM. People will book stays never show up, get elite nights and boom everyone is globalist.

  9. How could they charge resort fees for ANY guest when the pool is still closed for renovations??? CRAZY!!!!!!

  10. Confirmed with Rios management today
    No resort fee for globalists
    Free self parking and free valet
    Breakfast taken in house at Hash House a go go
    27.99 for two adults and a beverage credit while dining 7 AM till noon
    27.99 per child up to 2 children
    Hyatt Ambassador @
    Looks likely too for participation in bonus journeys not officially confirmed
    And starting April 1 new property bonus nightly of 500 points according to others

  11. sullyofdoha

    Pools close in Las Vegas largely October 1 and do not re-open until Easter / Passover/ Eid

    To others they have been rapidly improving the property. New rooms through the main building and a new food court, that has more than simply fast food. On par with the Resorts World Property

  12. The appeal of the original Rio for me was the parade in the sky, Buzio’s, All-American Steakhouse, Village Seafood Buffet…plus the size of the rooms. But as soon as Harrah’s took over, it started to hit the skids…and fast. It’s a dump now. They should really implode and start over, or it might have been a better location for the A’s baseball park.

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