Hyatt Excludes More Hotels from Confirmed Suite Upgrade Benefit

The single best benefit in all of hotel loyalty is, to me, Hyatt Gold Passport’s confirmed suite upgrades. Diamond members, four times a year, get to confirm at booking a suite on any paid stay booked on a Gold Passport-eligible rate.

This way there’s no more hoping nervously at the check-in desk, it allows members to get the benefit they want most when they most want it.

On a one-night business stay at a city hotel, on your own, odds are you don’t care about the suite … although occasionally you may plan to gather a group to plot, strategize, or just have some cocktails in which case the suite matters. But most of the time you’ll want it traveling with family, ,perhaps at a resort, and you can plan your hotel stay accordingly — your dates or the specific property based on the ability to have the suite you really want, rather than showing up and being disappointed.

Hyatt posted on Milepoint yesterday clarification of how the confirmed suite upgrades work.

Diamond Suite Upgrade Awards are valid on any Hyatt Gold Passport eligible rate for a maximum of 7 consecutive nights, and can be booked up to 13 months in advance based on availability. The suite upgrade award provides for one-bedroom standard suite accommodations and is not valid toward specialty, premier, presidential or diplomatic suites.

The program’s terms and conditions have specified a handful of properties that don’t participate in the benefit, ostensibly because they don’t have ‘standard’ suites.

The program terms and conditions currently provide a list of hotels that do not participate because they do not have standard suite inventory. This includes: Hyatt Regency Kyoto, Hyatt Regency Paris-Madeleine, Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort, Park Hyatt Maldives, Park Hyatt Sydney, Hyatt Place, Hyatt House or Hyatt Residence Club Resorts.

Unfortunately they’re adding more hotels to this list.

In addition, our terms and conditions are currently being updated to include Hyatt Santa Barbara, Key West Resort and Spa, Hyatt Regency Wichita and Hyatt Regency Tulsa, as they do not have standard suites.

But wait. How is it possible that hotels used to have standard suites but don’t anymore, unless there’s been some kind of construction — turning rooms into non-suites, or tearing down some walls and making them two-bedroom suites?

The Park Hyatt Maldives, in the pre-existing list, makes total sense. There are three room types, all villas, and all roughly the same size which can reasonably described as suites. The only differences are whether the villa has a pool, or whether it villa is overwater (the overwater villas are a tab bit smaller in total footprint).

Some hotels assign what are really more like junior suites than true suites when giving confirmed upgrades, that was certainly my experience at the Grand Hyatt Mumbai where a ‘Grand Suite’ was just a larger room, not divided at all.

Here’s how they describe that room:

Sophistically designed featuring floor to ceiling windows offering a garden or a city view, this suite is a spacious 52 to 61 sq-meters guest room with self contained work desk with complimentary high speed Internet access, and marble bath with separate shower area. Lavish Grand Club amenities including complimentary boardroom usage, airport transfers and a private lounge offering American breakfast, refreshments, cocktails and canapés.

So.. a 61 square meter Grand Suite is eligible for confirmed suite upgrade here.

The Hyatt Regency Paris Madeleine‘s Regency Suite King, however, is 60 square meters but not considered a standard suite for Diamond member confirmed suite upgrades. It’s not obvious what makes the room too special?

Now, the Hyatt Regency Santa Barbara doesn’t appear to have any suites, so that’s fair. Neither does the Hyatt Key West Resort & Spa.

But what about the Park Hyatt Sydney? Their entry-level suite is is the Cove Suite. It sounds lovely:

Contemporary luxury greets all who step into this 73 sqm suite, from the open plan design, architecturally designed bathroom and two private balconies to views of Sydney’s harbour and city skyline.

But the non-suite Opera Deluxe Room is actually larger at 75 sqm. The City Harbor Deluxe is as well.

So why is the suite not a standard suite? Certainly not the name though that’s a giveaway that they don’t consider it standard. Frankly, though, if the Grand Hyatt Mumbai can call a single room a suite, why not call the Opera Deluxe Room a standard suite, it’slarger even than the rooms Mumbai is assigning. I wouldn’t mind that a bit, the ability to confirm an Opera Deluxe Room rather than a Cove Suite, that would be a great use of one of these certificates I think.

The program can certainly exclude certain properties from the benefit, though adding more properties to the excluded list is a concern, I’d rather see the benefit expanded (to include award stays, though I do not expect we’ll see that). It worries me because properties seem to be able to opt out of the benefit, and new properties coming into the program might be able to negotiate an exclusion. I don’t have any special knowledge of the internal logic here, but I’d have to guess that there’s a negotiation process between the Gold Passport program and the hotel and it’s tough to get some properties to participate.

This is still the single best benefit in hotel loyalty in my view, but I don’t like the exclusions, and while the Hyatt Regency Wichita may not have a lot of suites can they really all be that special? Or is it that the property advertises them as ‘newly remodeled’?

This was a great benefit from me a few weeks back at the Grand Hyatt Singapore. Just know that Hyatt has shared an update with additional exclusions.

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, 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. Why is the HR DTC (Denver) not on the list? I’ve been told they don’t have any suites…..

    This sounds really fishy. Is Hyatt outsourcing their PR to COdbaUA?

  2. And as I posted on FT, I’d like the ability to use a suite UG cert at a Hyatt House to go from a 1BR to a 2BR. I know, that’s not an aspiration award, but I’m soon to have 2 kids, and just being able to put them in their own room is really nice!

    Sure, I’ve occasionally been given comp UG’s to BR’s at Hyatt House, but most recently at the HH DIA, they told me that the computer wouldn’t allow it. (Does Hyatt use SHARES?) So it seems like being able to confirm a 2BR at a HH would be decent little benefit, and cost Hyatt virtually nothing compared to a suite at a real property.


  3. Most of the examples you’ve cited are situations in which the lowest class of “suite” isn’t much or at all better than a standard room. I think Hyatt here is being kind, preventing you from unnecessarily burning a suite upgrade.

  4. Meh. I agree with Jacob. These aren’t hotels where I would consider using the upgrade to begin with. It’s not like they’re excluding the PH Tokyo.

  5. @Scottrick they exclude PH Sydney!! But sure, Wichita may not be an aspirational property. Imagine though you’re there for a 7-night stay… might not be a bad use of the cert.

  6. @Jacob I don’t think they’re just protecting the member from inferior upgrades, remember the room I note at the GH Mumbai that’s permissable as an upgrade? And the way to protect members is to disclose the room they’re being upgraded to, describe it. As I say, I’d be happy with the Opera Deluxe Room at Sydney as a confirmed upgrade, it’s bigger than the suite, just isn’t called a suite..

  7. Great post G. Can’t agree more.
    Right, if they are “protecting us” from an inferior suite then by all means, give me a bigger suite at the PH Sydney. After all, I hear they have some great suites that they just added on. 😉
    But seriously, I wish Hyatt would read this post. This is a fair post. Don’t get me wrong they are my favorite loyalty program. But I certainly feel that hotel loyalty is really reciprocating back to it’s customers when they need it. I don’t think they’ll be doing FFNs again unless they need the cash. I feel this way with Marriott at least.
    Hey but maybe we are just as loyal. If SPG ran FFN… well, I wouldn’t be reading your post on how to use my Hyatt upgrades.

  8. It’s an ambitious ask to have free suite upgrades on an award stay when you can flat out use more points to reserve a suite.

    Agree the Paris suite doesn’t look anything special other than revenue protection.

  9. Sorry a little off topic, but can you comment on hyatts policy on upgrades to “preffered” rooms? I stayed at the hyatt kiyv, and they wouldnt put me in a room with a view as a hyatt platinum member, claming my room category was eniligible ( if you look on the hotel property’s web page its a “king” vs “deleuxe king”. There is no mention of this limitation on the explanation of gold passport member benefits. Thoughts?

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