When a hotel program promotes that you can use points for any ‘standard room’ available on property, you think that means the most common room at the hotel. It doesn’t. It means the worst or lowest category room at the hotel.
And some hotels use this to prevent members from using their points. Hyatt has had real problems with this at some of its premier properties.
But there’s a big hole they haven’t been able to do anything at all about: just creating a room type that’s worse than all the others, and selling it for just a few bucks less. No one in their right mind would book it on cash, but it becomes the only one available on points. It’s the game that the Andaz Maui plays. The crazy thing is that it’s not even rogue ownership there, Hyatt owns the Andaz Maui and they still play games with inventory.
Another hotel that’s been sticking it to program members is the Hyatt Regency Aruba.
Hyatt Regency Aruba, credit: Hyatt
It’s a category 6 hotel like the Andaz Maui, Andaz 5th Avenue, Park Hyatt Vienna and Park Hyatt Maldives. An award here runs 25,000 points per night if it’s available. However I couldn’t find any awards at this property at all so I reached out to Hyatt to ask what was going on.
I shared that even when rates are comparably low at this property during the off season, where where Garden View king and two queens are available, I couldn’t find award nights. (In the past Garden View rooms were attached to the award rate plan.)
After a week and a half a Hyatt spokesperson tells me they were able to “connect with the property and resolve the issue.”
They say that the “hotel should now offer World of Hyatt redemption nights available in their standard room type (QUEN- 2 beds)”
It seems there’s a room type for a standard room with no view, that the garden view is too nice for the hotel to give to World of Hyatt members redeeming points. That’s even though the hotel’s website claims that a standard room has stunning views.
Apparently in the past “the hotel would add additional room types to their ‘standard’ category for award redemptions when the hotel’s demand was low.” However they are no longer doing this. I have been unable to find any nights where redemptions are available — not in low season, nor for the very last day of the booking window where you wouldn’t think any room types would be sold out yet.
Hyatt tells me that “there is scattered availability from 1 to 3ish nights off and on throughout the next few weeks.” And that currently there are 22 out of 357 ‘standard’ rooms eligible for redemption at this property.
According to Hyatt’s spokesperson the current situation “is not in violation to the program terms, it caused guests much confusion when these rooms would only offer redemption nights at certain periods of time.” However they are “are in further conversations with the hotel to evaluate returning 1VWK roomtype back to permanent redemption inventory.”
Like the Andaz Maui, Hyatt actually owns this hotel.