Monday I wrote about how the Andaz West Hollywood keeps World of Hyatt members from using their points.
The hotel benefits from being a Hyatt. They attract stays from guests loyal to the brand, and looking to earn elite night credit when staying in the area. But they appear not to want to honor the other end of their obligation by redeeming free night awards.
Andaz West Hollywood, credit: Hyatt
A reader that’s been in touch with the General Manager at the Andaz West Hollywood shares the GM’s response to my blog post, which he had already seen.
First, let me start by stating that I agree with you that if the hotel were restricting Award stays on their own, it wouldn’t seem like a very logical way to reward loyalty and for someone who very much values loyalty myself with airlines and other partners, I would never allow that to be the case at our hotel.
We are a very small hotel and have a high demand, being the only Hyatt in the area, so we do have to manage our inventory for longer length of stays for all booking channels – not just Hyatt- and particularly for our base room category which is by far the most in demand and only a small portion of our rooms.
Our average length of stay here for all channels combined is over 3 nights, so we do have strategies in place to manage for that longer stay and work hard to make it beneficial for those travelers to obtain and\or redeem for that reason. The decision to do that has nothing to do with loyalty- it is about managing the availability so we are fully committed all 7 days of the week. If we freely allow any channel to book a 1 night stay inevitably it blocks out guests that wish to stay with us longer and we have to turn them away.
Based on your feedback and from the review online, we are working internally to open up more 1 night redemption stays for at least half of any given week avoiding the highest demand days for us which tend to be Tuesday and Wednesday. I do hope that will help many of our valued travelers to obtain the nights they seek whether 1 or 10 here in West Hollywood.
Here’s what we learn:
- They’re going to try to make award nights available for fewer than 3 nights for part of the week.
- They don’t want shorter stay award guests on Tuesdays and Wednesdays when they can sell those rooms for more money.
However it strikes me as disingenuous in the extreme to suggest that they’re really just trying to keep all guests from booking shorter stays. The reality is that this policy largely applies to World of Hyatt members looking to redeem their points.
- They allow booking every other room type besides the one attached to the award rate plan for fewer than three nights.
- It’s not like they’re only making the most expensive rooms available for short stays, either. They’ve carved out a limited number of their basic rooms and call those award rooms. It’s that subset that the 3 night restriction applies to.
- The rooms that are available for cash on 1- and 2-night stays are often even the same price as the rooms that are made unavailable on points.
The hotel has essentially carved out a room that’s identical to their lowest category room in order to place greater restrictions on award guests than cash guests. They do this because they get more money from cash guests than from World of Hyatt, so limiting award redemption is a money-making strategy for them. And they’ve figured out that doing so may be dirty pool, but it’s within the rules of the program.