Hyatt’s dedicated concierge program is much easier to qualify for than Marriott’s. Yet there will likely be far fewer members qualifying for a concierge in 2022. That’s the perfect time to amp up the service in ways it was originally envisioned, and the current Hyatt leadership is well-positioned to drive this.
Marriott’s Ambassador Program Is On The Decline
Starwood first introduced the Ambassador program, a dedicated agent to assist with 100-night guest needs, nine years ago. The program continued when Starwood was acquired by Marriott, however:
- It’s been made harder to earn, with top tier status not just requiring 100 nights but also $20,000 in spend ($14,000 this year)
- It’s been watered down after mass layoffs of Ambassador agents. Ambassador members no longer get a dedicated… ambassador. They get access to ‘the Ambassador team’ instead.
Marriott has surveyed customers on how to fix the mess they’ve made of the Ambassador program.
Hyatt Is Well-Positioned To Overtake Marriott With A Top Tier Program
2022 represents a great opportunity for Hyatt to improve its own version of the program. And they’re well-positioned to do this since World of Hyatt head Amy Weinberg used to have oversight in her portfolio of… Starwood’s Ambassador program.
Hyatt has actually had a dedicated concierge program since long before Starwood introduced their formal Ambassador benefit. I was a member of the Private Line program since about 2010, back when any Diamond member could ask to join if they knew about it. This became the My Hyatt Concierge program.
Members who stay 60 nights are assigned a dedicated agent they can contact to handle all things related to Hyatt, such as:
- missing points
- reservations (which can be complex, like piecing together free night certificates and paid rates in a single booking)
- confirmed suite upgrades
- communicating requests to a property
This benefit is not tied to Globalist status. One can be a Globalist from a match or by reaching just 30 nights this year instead of 60 and not have access to a concierge.
There will likely be plenty of Globalists in 2022, but far fewer members with a concierge. And that creates an opportunity for a reboot. Each agent will have fewer customers to work with. They should have more time for training and workshops and more time to spend on each member assigned to them.
Opportunity To Improve
The program was supposed to involve concierges getting to know member preferences and helping insure those are met on each stay. That hasn’t been my experience. I like sending off an email with my very specific reservations need (the rate I want booked, over what dates, using what kind of upgrade) but unlike at Starwood when I was an Ambassador,
- I don’t get recommendations for other rates to consider (like applying a ‘SPG50’ discount on a suite promotion rate)
- I’ve never gotten gifts or amenities from my concierge (though I’ve seen reports from some members who have)
Part of the challenge with customized amenities is that the World of Hyatt program eliminated check-in amenities for top elites in the first place. A food and beverage option at check-in is no longer a benefit. I never much liked the Canvas wine they used to leave in my room anyway, but a good concierge would know that and arrange for something else (even extra bottled water).