A reader stayed at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay for his wife’s 50th birthday weekend. He’s a “Globalist,” a top elite with Hyatt for the past decade or more. And one of the benefits of this status is a dedicated ‘concierge’ who helps with reservations, upgrades, billing and points issues and other hotel matters.
Since his concierge knew that it was a special weekend, she contacted the hotel about delivering something to the room for the occasion. The hotel did. And they charged the guest for it, at full room service prices.
There were four soft drinks, four domestic beers (Coors Light, Miller Lite, Sam Adams, and Yuengling) and the following:
The guest saw the charge at checkout, and relays that he was told the hotel ‘didn’t have anywhere else to bill it’ so they put it on the folio.
- He contacted his concierge, who spoke to the hotel, but they would not budge.
- They claimed it was ‘room service lunch’ though correspondence with the concierge that’s been shared with me shows that does not make sense.
- The concierge gave him the general manager’s e-mail address. He’s e-mailed three times, he says, but hasn’t heard back.
What’s interesting is that I’ve never received an in-hotel gift from my Hyatt concierge. I’ve had one since the outset of the My Hyatt Concierge program six years ago, and I had a ‘private line agent’ for years before that.
At one point five or six years ago Hyatt was experimenting with personalized amenities, and I’d get extra bottles of water in my room. But that went by the wayside some time ago.
When I was a Starwood Ambassador I received amenities from my dedicated agent. However it doesn’t appear that Hyatt has a budget to do this. Often contacting a hotel about a special occasion might get them to do something nice. And that’s what the Hyatt concierge was trying to organize. She didn’t know, and the guest didn’t know, that there would be a $137 charge for it.
Prior to Hyatt’s elite program revamp six years ago, top tier elite members got to pick a food and beverage amenity at check-in, or bonus points. At the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay I selected a Cuban sandwich and fried plantains, since I knew I’d be famished. They were quite good, I wasn’t charged, and that was… the standard. Not even for a 50th birthday weekend.
At a minimum it seems to me that this hotel shouldn’t charge for something that the guest did not order themselves and did not have the price quoted to them. The concierge did the right thing here, but doesn’t have the tools from Hyatt to fix things since the property has decided to take the position that someone is going to pay. And the hotel manager certainly shouldn’t ignore the guest after this screw up as well.