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?
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.)