Anatomy of a Free Audition

Part One: Getting There

Part Two: Staying There

Part Three: Getting Around There

 

Usually I try to stay with friends or family—free is great, and make sure to thank your host with a gift!—but for this particular audition I didn’t know anyone in the area. Because of this I needed to book a hotel. I contacted a friend of mine who was also taking the audition and we decided to split a room. I enjoy sharing rooms because I feel it helps lighten the mood of the already tense audition and it’s nice to hang out with friends. From the four transferable hotel programs through Chase, I find that I get the most value out of Hyatt. Searching for hotels on the Hyatt website, I found that there were 3 in Indianapolis:

Indy Hyatts

Indianapolis Hyatts

Two of those are Category 2 properties (requiring 8,000 points a night) and one is a Category 1 (only requiring 5,000 points a night). One of the reasons I love Hyatt is that their award chart is very reasonable and there are a plethora of them (458 properties) spread throughout the country.

Hyatt Award Chart

Hyatt Award Chart

I plugged the three locations into Google Maps and found that the Hyatt Regency was a 6 minute walk to the Hilbert Circle Theatre in Downtown Indianapolis. However, I needed 3 nights and wanted to save the 9,000 point difference (I wasn’t planning on being in the hotel very much), I went with the cheaper option and booked the Hyatt Place Indianapolis Airport. It was conveniently located about halfway between the airport and the hall AND included free breakfast for two (all Hyatt Place/Hyatt House properties have free hot breakfast). It also had a free shuttle to/from the airport, so I wouldn’t have to worry about transportation for the bookends of the trip.

I transferred 15,000 Chase points to my Hyatt account and booked the 3 nights. If I booked the regular Advance Purchase rate (the cheapest possible) with 2 Double Beds it would have been $508.95 with taxes, but because I used points, it was FREE (a value of 3.4 cents per Chase point – much more valuable than cashing them out for 1 cent per point). My friend’s flight ended up being cancelled due to a snowstorm in Chicago, so I wasn’t in the hole for a bunch of money. So we’ve got flights and housing taken care. Next up in part three: transportation to/from the audition.

BONUS SECTION

Here are two charts I made of every full time American orchestra (the qualifier for full time being 100+ services in a season) with the least expensive Hyatt I would consider staying at for an audition if I wanted to save some points and then the cheapest downtown properties:

Least Expensive Audition Options:

Orchestra
City
Cheapest Close Hyatt
Category
Alabama Symphony OrchestraBirmingham, ALHyatt Place Birmingham/Hoover1
Atlanta Symphony OrchestraAtlanta, GAHyatt Place Atlanta Airport-North1
Austin SymphonyAustin, TXHyatt Place Austin-North Central2
Baltimore Symphony OrchestraBaltimore, MDHyatt Place Baltimore/BWI Airport2
Boston Symphony OrchestraBoston, MAHyatt Place Boston/Medford2
Buffalo Philharmonic OrchestraBuffalo, NYHyatt Place Buffalo/Amherst1
Charleston Symphony OrchestraCharleston, SCHyatt Place North Charleston1
Charlotte Symphony OrchestraCharlotte, NCHyatt House Charlotte Airport1
Chattanooga SymphonyChattanooga, TNnone
Chicago Symphony OrchestraChicago, ILHyatt Regency O'Hare/Hyatt Place Chicago Midway2
Cincinnati Symphony OrchestraCincinnati, OHHyatt Place Cincinnati Airport/Florence1
Cleveland OrchestraCleveland, OHHyatt Place Cleveland/Independence1
Colorado Springs PhilharmonicColorado Springs, COHyatt House Colorado Springs1
Colorado SymphonyDenver, COHyatt Place Denver Airport2
Columbus SymphonyColumbus, OHHyatt Place Columbus/Dublin1
Dallas Symphony OrchestraDallas, TXHyatt House Dallas/Uptown1
Dallas OperaDallas, TXHyatt House Dallas/Uptown1
Dayton Philharmonic OrchestraDayton, OHnone
Detroit Symphony OrchestraDetroit, MIHyatt Place Detroit/Livonia1
Florida OrchestraTampa, FLHyatt Place Tampa Airport/Westshore2
Fort Wayne PhilharmonicFort Wayne, INHyatt Place Fort Wayne1
Fort Worth Symphony OrchestraFort Worth, TXHyatt Place Fort Worth/Hurst1
Grand Rapids SymphonyGrand Rapids, MIHyatt Place Grand Rapids-South2
Hartford Symphony OrchestraHartford, CTHyatt House Hartford North/Windsor2
Houston SymphonyHouston, TXHyatt Place Bush Intercontinental Airport1
Houston BalletHouston, TXHyatt Place Bush Intercontinental Airport1
Houston Grand OperaHouston, TXHyatt Place Bush Intercontinental Airport1
Indianapolis Symphony OrchestraIndianapolis, INHyatt Place Indianapolis Airport1
Jacksonville SymphonyJacksonville, FLHyatt Place Jacksonville Airport1
Kansas City SymphonyKansas City, MOHyatt Place Kansas City Airport1
Kennedy Center Orchestra/Washington National OperaWashington, DCHyatt House Falls Church/Merrifield2
Knoxville Symphony OrchestraKnoxville, TNnone
Los Angeles PhilharmonicLos Angeles, CAHyatt Place Los Angeles/LAX/El Segundo3
Los Angeles OperaLos Angeles, CAHyatt Place Los Angeles/LAX/El Segundo3
Louisville OrchestraLouisville, KYHyatt Place Louisville-East2
Lyric Opera of ChicagoChicago, ILHyatt Regency O'Hare/Hyatt Place Chicago Midway2
Memphis Symphony OrchestraMemphis, TNHyatt Place Memphis/Primacy Parkway1
Metropolitan OperaNew York, NY (Manhattan)Hyatt Place Flushing/LaGuardia Airport3
Milwaukee Symphony OrchestraMilwaukee, WIHyatt Place Milwaukee Airport1
Minnesota OrchestraMinneapolis, MNHyatt Place Minneapolis Downtown2
Naples PhilharmonicNaples, FLHyatt Place Coconut Point (in Estero)2
Nashville SymphonyNashville, TNHyatt Place Nashville Airport2
National Symphony OrchestraWashington, DCHyatt House Falls Church/Merrifield2
New Jersey Symphony OrchestraNewark, NJHyatt Place Secaucus/Meadowlands3
New York City BalletNew York, NY (Manhattan)Hyatt Place Flushing/LaGuardia Airport3
New York PhilharmonicNew York, NY (Manhattan)Hyatt Place Flushing/LaGuardia Airport3
North Carolina SymphonyRaleigh, NCHyatt Place Raleigh West1
Omaha SymphonyOmaha, NEHyatt Place Omaha Downtown Old Market2
Oregon SymphonyPortland, ORHyatt Place Portland Airport/Cascade Station2
Pacific SymphonyCosta Mesa, CAHyatt House Cypress/Anaheim2
Philadelphia OrchestraPhiladelphia, PAHyatt Regency Philadelphia at Penn's Landing3
Phoenix SymphonyPhoenix, AZHyatt Place Phoenix-North1
Pittsburgh Symphony OrchestraPittsburgh, PAHyatt House Pittsburgh-South Side2
Richmond SymphonyRichmond, VAHyatt Place Richmond Airport1
Rochester Philharmonic OrchestraRochester, NYHyatt Regency Rochester2
St. Louis SymphonySt. Louis, MOHyatt Place St Louis/Chesterfield1
Saint Paul Chamber OrchestraSt. Paul, MNHyatt Place Minneapolis Airport-South2
San Antonio SymphonySan Antonio, TXHyatt Place San Antonio-Northwest/Medical Center1
San Diego SymphonySan Diego, CAHyatt House San Diego/Sorrento Mesa2
San Francisco BalletSan Francisco, CAHyatt House Emeryville/San Francisco Bay Area2
San Francisco OperaSan Francisco, CAHyatt House Emeryville/San Francisco Bay Area2
San Francisco SymphonySan Francisco, CAHyatt House Emeryville/San Francisco Bay Area2
Sarasota OrchestraSarasota, FLHyatt Place Sarasota/Bradenton Airport2
Seattle SymphonySeattle, WAHyatt House Seattle/Bellevue
Spokane SymphonySpokane, WAnone
Toledo SymphonyToledo, OHnone
Tuscon Symphony OrchestraTuscon, AZHyatt Place Tuscon Airport1
Utah SymphonySalt Lake City, UTHyatt Place Salt Lake City Airport1
Virginia Symphony OrchestraNorfolk, VAHyatt Place Chesapeake/Greenbrier2

 

Closest Audition Options:

Orchestra
City
Cheapest Downtown Hyatt
Category
Alabama Symphony OrchestraBirmingham, ALnone
Atlanta Symphony OrchestraAtlanta, GAHyatt Place Atlanta/Downtown2
Austin SymphonyAustin, TXHyatt Regency Austin4
Baltimore Symphony OrchestraBaltimore, MDHyatt Place Baltimore/Inner Harbor3
Boston Symphony OrchestraBoston, MAHyatt Regency Boston4
Buffalo Philharmonic OrchestraBuffalo, NYHyatt Regency Buffalo/Hotel and Conference Center2
Charleston Symphony OrchestraCharleston, SCHyatt Place Charleston/Historic District3
Charlotte Symphony OrchestraCharlotte, NCHyatt Place Charlotte Downtown2
Chattanooga SymphonyChattanooga, TNnone
Chicago Symphony OrchestraChicago, ILHyatt Place Chicago/Downtown - The Loop3
Cincinnati Symphony OrchestraCincinnati, OHHyatt Regency Cincinnati2
Cleveland OrchestraCleveland, OHHyatt Regency Cleveland at The Arcade2
Colorado Springs PhilharmonicColorado Springs, COHyatt Place Colorado Springs/Garden of the Gods2
Colorado SymphonyDenver, COGrand Hyatt Denver3
Columbus SymphonyColumbus, OHHyatt Regency Columbus2
Dallas Symphony OrchestraDallas, TXHyatt Regency Dallas2
Dallas OperaDallas, TXHyatt Regency Dallas2
Dayton Philharmonic OrchestraDayton, OHnone
Detroit Symphony OrchestraDetroit, MInone
Florida OrchestraTampa, FLHyatt Place Tampa Airport/Westshore2
Fort Wayne PhilharmonicFort Wayne, INHyatt Place Fort Wayne1
Fort Worth Symphony OrchestraFort Worth, TXHyatt Place Fort Worth Historic Stockyards2
Grand Rapids SymphonyGrand Rapids, MInone
Hartford Symphony OrchestraHartford, CTnone
Houston SymphonyHouston, TXHyatt Regency Houston3
Houston BalletHouston, TXHyatt Regency Houston3
Houston Grand OperaHouston, TXHyatt Regency Houston3
Indianapolis Symphony OrchestraIndianapolis, INHyatt Regency Indianapolis2
Jacksonville SymphonyJacksonville, FLHyatt Regency Jacksonville Waterfront2
Kansas City SymphonyKansas City, MOnone
Kennedy Center Orchestra/Washington National OperaWashington, DCHyatt Place DC/Downtown/K Street3
Knoxville Symphony OrchestraKnoxville, TNnone
Los Angeles PhilharmonicLos Angeles, CAnone
Los Angeles OperaLos Angeles, CAnone
Louisville OrchestraLouisville, KYHyatt Regency Louisville3
Lyric Opera of ChicagoChicago, ILHyatt Place Chicago/Downtown - The Loop3
Memphis Symphony OrchestraMemphis, TNnone
Metropolitan OperaNew York, NY (Manhattan)Hyatt Place New York/Midtown-South5
Milwaukee Symphony OrchestraMilwaukee, WIHyatt Regency Milwaukee2
Minnesota OrchestraMinneapolis, MNHyatt Place Minneapolis Downtown2
Naples PhilharmonicNaples, FLnone
Nashville SymphonyNashville, TNHyatt Place Nashville Downtown3
National Symphony OrchestraWashington, DCHyatt Place DC/Downtown/K Street3
New Jersey Symphony OrchestraNewark, NJnone
New York City BalletNew York, NY (Manhattan)Hyatt Place New York/Midtown-South5
New York PhilharmonicNew York, NY (Manhattan)Hyatt Place New York/Midtown-South5
North Carolina SymphonyRaleigh, NCnone
Omaha SymphonyOmaha, NEHyatt Place Omaha Downtown Old Market2
Oregon SymphonyPortland, ORnone
Pacific SymphonyCosta Mesa, CAHyatt Regency Orange County3
Philadelphia OrchestraPhiladelphia, PAHyatt Regency Philadelphia at Penn's Landing3
Phoenix SymphonyPhoenix, AZHyatt Regency Phoenix3
Pittsburgh Symphony OrchestraPittsburgh, PAHyatt Place Pittsburgh-North Shore3
Richmond SymphonyRichmond, VAnone
Rochester Philharmonic OrchestraRochester, NYHyatt Regency Rochester2
St. Louis SymphonySt. Louis, MOHyatt Regency St Louis at The Arch2
Saint Paul Chamber OrchestraSt. Paul, MNnone
San Antonio SymphonySan Antonio, TXGrand Hyatt San Antonio3
San Diego SymphonySan Diego, CAManchester Grand Hyatt San Diego5
San Francisco BalletSan Francisco, CAHyatt Regency San Francisco4
San Francisco OperaSan Francisco, CAHyatt Regency San Francisco4
San Francisco SymphonySan Francisco, CAHyatt Regency San Francisco4
Sarasota OrchestraSarasota, FLHyatt Regency Sarasota3
Seattle SymphonySeattle, WAHyatt Place Seattle/Downtown3
Spokane SymphonySpokane, WAnone
Toledo SymphonyToledo, OHnone
Tuscon Symphony OrchestraTuscon, AZnone
Utah SymphonySalt Lake City, UTHyatt House Salt Lake City/Downtown2
Virginia Symphony OrchestraNorfolk, VAnone

 

SUPER BONUS SECTION

And here is a super bonus chart: all of the Hyatts for Canadian auditions.

Orchestra
City
Cheapest Close Hyatt
Category
Calgary Philharmonic OrchestraCalgary, ABHyatt Regency Calgary3
Canadian Opera CompanyToronto, ONHyatt Regency Toronto3
Edmonton Symphony OrchestraEdmonton, ABnone
Kitchener-Waterloo SymphonyKitchener, ONnone
National Arts Centre OrchestraOttawa, ONnone
National Ballet of CanadaToronto, ONHyatt Regency Toronto3
Orchestre MétropolitainMontreal, QCHyatt Regency Montreal2
Orchestre Symphonique de MontréalMontreal, QCHyatt Regency Montreal2
Orchestre Symphonique de QuébecQuébec City, QCnone
Regina Symphony OrchestraRegina, SKnone
Saskatoon Symphony OrchestraSaskatoon, SKnone
Symphony Nova ScotiaHalifax, NSnone
Thunder Bay Symphony OrchestraThunder Bay, ONnone
Toronto Symphony OrchestraToronto, ONHyatt Regency Toronto3
Vancouver Symphony OrchestraVancouver, BCHyatt Regency Vancouver3
Victoria SymphonyVictoria, BCnone
Windsor Symphony OrchestraWindsor, ONnone
Winnipeg Symphony OrchestraWinnipeg, MBnone

Unfortunately there are only 5 Hyatt properties in the entire country (these 4 and the Park Hyatt Toronto)! We’ll discuss more hotel options (like my super effective Priceline bidding strategy) in future posts.