Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach Plays Games With Award Availability, and Hyatt is Powerless to Stop It

The Hyatt Centric Waikiki says they have ‘fewer than 20’ standard rooms, which means that less than 9% of their rooms are standard rooms and eligible for World of Hyatt redemption. However I couldn’t find a single date where they were making rooms available at all.

I reached out to Hyatt to see whether the property was in compliance with program rules for making standard rooms available on points whenever they were offered on cash. I also asked whether Hyatt has rules for any minimum percentage of rooms that must be considered standard?

hyatt centric waikiki beach
Credit: Hyatt

Marriott has minimum percentages of rooms that each hotel must make available on points. Hyatt wouldn’t say if they do, too. Most members think that a ‘standard’ room is the most common room at a hotel, when in fact it’s the ‘bottom tier’ room. And some hotels play games with what they call standard.

Hyatt shared that the property has a 3-night minimum stay requirement for their standard rooms and therefore for award redemption. Searching for 3 night stays midweek in low periods did turn up award availability.

But let’s have a closer look at their room rates, shall we?

The 1 King Bed standard room is only $5 cheaper than 1 King Bed Deluxe which is available almost all the time without a minimum stay requirement, but that isn’t available for standard room redemption. 2 Queens, which is a standard award room, is more expensive than the rooms that are off limits for awards.

Hyatt says that the Hyatt Centric Waikiki conforms to the chain’s rules for award availability because “[a]nytime Hyatt Centric Waikiki is selling their 1 King ADA Shower, 2 Queen ADA Shower, 1 King Bed or 2 Queen Beds room types(s) at the Standard Rate the hotel will have award inventory open.”

This hotel has turned off awards for guests looking for just a night in Honolulu on the way in or out of the islands.

The Andaz West Hollywood uses the same strategy to keep away award guests. It, too, is within Hyatt’s rules. When I raised the issue back in May, Hyatt told me they would “work to keep this stay strategy to a minimum.” It seems like they have their work cut out for them.

It is apparently legitimate to carve out a subset of a hotel’s base rooms, call them something else, and place a minimum stay restriction on them. Then it’s impossible to redeem for fewer than that number of nights. Customers may search night-by-night not even realizing if they search multiple nights together availability would come up. (After all, minimum stay restrictions are only usually used during peak of peak periods when hotel rates are at their highest.)

Some hotels want redemption guests. They fill rooms that would otherwise go unoccupied, and the property receives a premium when the hotel is fully booked. However the most popular properties at peak times are going to get less from the chain for a redemption guest than they can sell the room at for cash.

A manager at the Andaz Maui once told me that as a group they were addressing how to limit award redemptions. Such a shame, they’re benefiting from customers coming to the property on paid nights out of loyalty to the chain and shortchanging the program on the other end.
(HT: Daniel W.)

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. […] One of the most frustrating things about hotel rewards programs is when an offer of free nights depends on a certain type of room being available, and those rooms types are few and far between. Gary from View From the Wing writes about the Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach playing with room classifications and how Hyatt corporate is powerless t… […]

Comments

  1. Hyatt Centric Santa Barbara also plays these games. I think the award nights only work to ADA rooms.

  2. I have successfully managed to use the free night certificate (1-4) at this property for three separate one night stays with the last being on 4/29. However, truth be told, this property is NOT worth staying in using any form of payment be it cash or points. The location is actually more like a 10 minute walk to the beach, no different from the location of the Courtyard. Hotel amenities are also very basic. All three Hyatt properties in Waikiki essentially have the same amenities: outdoor pool, patio, restaurants. The only subtle difference is the location of this property: it’s somewhat situated in the middle of Waikiki where the “shopping” is. Nonetheless the Regency is better situated if shopping is concerned because International Market Place is literally only a 2 minute walk away. If one has globalist status, I’d recommend staying at the Regency because of the lounge facility where breakfast is a full-spread and hors-d’œuvre are almost consistently comparable to a light dinner. The Hyatt place is way at the end of Waikiki near the zoo and while yes, it has closer access to the beach (3 minute walk), it’s located in a rough part where is sand seems coarser than where the Regency is located. In addition, elevators seem to always be consistently slow compared to the Regency or the Hyatt Place. The one positive I will state is that as a globalist, even booking the ADA room will get you upgraded to a suite. I can’t speak for other’s experience but it was a 3/3 for me at the Hyatt Centric.

  3. First I think Gavin is correct in saying that this property is not what most of us consider “Hyatt” just like HP is in the same category. These are poorly/cheaply done conversations simply to take advantage of the flag and guest that don’t really know what they’re booking which is sad. It seems that the islands have seen their share of these. My company has been working in the islands for 30 years ( exterior structural ) and have seen the ups and downs of the islands having said that these “new properties ) are poorly refreshed. No I avoid them entirely. I won’t comment anymore as I know many of these!

  4. @Gary – While you were getting info from Hyatt Corporate, did you ask them if this was a Hyatt-owned property? Because one of the employees said that they were converted over to a Hyatt-owned property this year.

    If this were the case, wouldn’t Hyatt Corporate look like they’re allowing their own “owned” properties to play with award availability? They would look as if they were sabotaging their own rewards program.

  5. This happened to me at the Grand Hyatt Berlin a few years ago. I tried to book a three-night stay using a free night certificate and points for the rest. However, they made no standard rooms available for any two-night period over the span of my trip (they did for one of the nights so I was able to use my certificate but I couldn’t find a way to book a standard room for the rest of the trip). Fortunately (or maybe on purpose?) the hotel was selling an executive level room for two nights on points. I went ahead and spent the extra points, booked the executive room for two nights and the standard room for one, and ultimately the hotel put me in the executive room for all 3 nights. Interestingly, when I called Hyatt for assistance in booking the room, the agent was powerless to help. She saw that if I booked all three nights on points a standard room was available but there was no two-night period during my stay where a two-night period was available.

    I would give Hyatt all or most all of my hotel business if it weren’t for the fact they play games like this. I use Marriott instead (not that they don’t play games, because they do, but their scale usually means rooms will be available somewhere so I can feel comfortable collecting points or certificates knowing that they will be redeemable at all). I cannot collect Hyatt points and know with certainty that I’ll be able to use them when I’m ready to book a room. Hyatt is simply too small to be playing games like this because there’s usually no other Hyatt alternative in places due to their small footprint.

  6. Hilton Rio de Janeiro Copacabana was the same, at least last year when I was looking, even in low season! They had no award rooms available, yet were selling their basic rooms on discounted travel websites similar to Hotwire!

  7. I was disappointed with poor air conditioning at the Hyatt Centric Waikiki. It was too warm in my room.

  8. Hotel guests should start protesting at the hotel they’re staying at for their deceitful practices… SHAME! SHAME! SHAME!!!

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