Is Hyatt Withholding Award Inventory at One of its Best Properties?

The Park Hyatt New York is one of the more anticipated luxury hotel openings of the year. It has 210 guest rooms and is accepting reservations for August 12 and beyond.

But is it ever possible to redeem points for a room here? Is Hyatt playing games?

The entry level room there is the ‘Park King’ (standard nomenclature for a Park Hyatt). Entry level rooms are generally what you redeem for when claiming free night awards with points.

Natural stone flooring with residential area rug and museum-quality artwork create a lavish yet home-like feel in this 484- to 623-sq.-ft. guestroom that features one king bed topped in fine Italian linens and city views through floor-to-ceiling windows. A walk-in rain shower, signature Le Labo products and luxurious soaking tub await in the five-fixture bath, while modern amenities include wireless Internet and integrated media hub.

Only there never seem to be any Park King rooms available for sale, which means there aren’t award rooms available either.

The lowest category room I’ve been able to find available is the Park Deluxe King. This room often goes for $750 to over $1000 a night.

They do have standard rooms at the hotel. I inquired and Hyatt told me,

Park Hyatt New York will offer 26 standard rooms

Only 26 rooms. Out of 210. They call 12.4% of rooms standard.

Here’s the first definition of ‘standard’ as an adjective from Google:

I think it’s the most common room. Hotels think standard means the base, lowest-level room. The Intercontinental Thalasso on Bora Bora used to have a single room, that they didn’t even offer for sale, that was their entry level room and thus their award room. That made getting awards difficult. They’ve since changed that policy.

Still, a major city hotel with over 200 rooms calling only 12% of those rooms award eligible? Incredibly cheeky. And that’s if they even load inventory for those rooms.

It does not appear that making only a handful of rooms available on points is an actual violation of the Hyatt Gold Passport terms and conditions, however. Those terms and conditions say

Hyatt Gold Passport Free Night Awards apply when standard rooms are available at the Hyatt Daily Rate. Standard rooms are defined by each hotel and are not subject to blackout dates.

(Emphasis mine.)

Clearly this is something being done at the hotel level. But it doesn’t pass the smell these if they are:

  • Failing to load inventory for the room type one can claim with points.
  • Assigning such a negligible subset of rooms to that category.

No doubt this is a pricey hotel, and they may not like to allow guests to redeem points when the hotel isn’t booked solid (because their reimbursement rates are low).

On the other hand, Hyatt introduced a new category 7 this year precisely for expensive hotels like this one, and a redemption here costs a whopping 30,000 points a night just like the Park Hyatts in Paris and Sydney. At that price, and with Hyatt’s promise of no capacity controls on award rooms, it should be possible to redeem points for a room here. But currently it appears that it is not. The hotel appears to simply not load any inventory for the handful of rooms of type designated for awards.


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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Comments

  1. That is BS since 30,000 points is worth about $600. You should be able to book a room for that many points and that much value!

  2. Wouldn’t it be easier to just contact Hyatt first and then maybe you wouldn’t have to speculate here?

  3. As for 8/12 opening date, I’ve heard that will probably get pushed further back. I’ve booked a Junior Suite (which is the only category they will allow to be booked using the Hyatt Credit Card Diamond Suite free night) for August 24th – I’ll let you know how it is.

    The building itself is still under construction – so there is a possibility that the rooms aren’t ready and even though they say they’re opening the 12th publicly, that may only be a small percentage of the hotel. They may only open say 50 or 60 rooms to begin with and slowly add the rest as this happens quite frequently with hotels.

    That said, only 12.6% of the rooms as standard? If I was a travel buyer for a corporation, I’d have a very hard time wanting to negotiate a corporate rate with that hotel if there’s pretty much NEVER going to be availability. I know hotels in NYC like to limit availability in standard rooms to push folks into premium rooms, but having only 12.6% in NYC is likely a recipe for disaster as it’ll piss off a lot of customers (as it is you now, Gary!)

  4. I tried to book my two free nights in a suite at the new Park Hyatt New York and was told nothing was available.

  5. 30K points are not worth $600 to Hyatt, do we even know what the property receives for 30K points, my guess would be less than $200? Perhaps they need some more award levels…

  6. It’s worth noting that when they pushed back the opening date they just had Hyatt corporate cancel the reservations, only offering current Hyatt.com options as alternatives.

    There was a “feature” of the old Hyatt.com mobile page that (possibly) showed you the reimbursement rate of your award stay. It was $420 for my PHNY one-night stay. 48 Lex was $200 for the same night.

  7. Just got off phone with supervisor. Word from corporate is that PHNY is not offering any award nights at this time (points or from Hyatt cc.) August 12 opening stands.

  8. Called last week on same issue. Was told that availability would not be made until the hotel opened on August 12. The manager of the hotel is not required to open a award space until the Opening Day of the hotel. We’ll know in 16 days.

  9. Although I am by no means a Hyatt devotee, the irony of this approach (no availability in standard rooms) when considering ads are being run for the Hyatt credit card which emphasize two free nights and showing this property is notable.

    While this property may be amongst the “most anticipated” by Hyatt devotees, the property won’t be considered a top luxury hotel in New York. With the exception of the PH-SYD, frankly it would be tough to put any other PH in the top three in their respective cities. Though the rooms do look nice in the marketing photos, the hotel is limited to low floors with essentially no views. Does anyone think they will figure out how to offer service which is superior to the other PHs in the US? They’ll need to in order to have a shot to compete with their local competition.

  10. “No doubt this is a pricey hotel, and they may not like to allow guests to redeem points when the hotel isn’t booked solid (because their reimbursement rates are low).”

    This doesn’t make sense to me.

    If the hotel is operating at or near capacity, it gets reimbursed the average daily rate or some similar amount. So, in that case, they have no incentive to not offer rooms for awards.

    If the hotel is NOT operating at or near capacity, they have excess rooms that will simply go vacant for the night. So why not offer rooms for awards? In that case, what’s the incentive not to offer rooms? The variable costs?

  11. I was going to make the same comment at @AJK. What incentive would the hotel have to not offer the rooms? Perhaps this is coming from corporate?

  12. Made a reservation some time ago for a room in December. Used the Hyatt Visa free night. Only room type available was an ADA accessible room, which is describe at 800+ sq. ft. which is bigger than a standard room. Not sure if the Visa free nights pull from same inventory as awards, but thought I’d mention this as a data point.

  13. I looked at this a few weeks ago. They are holding back. The “standard room” thing is a total scam. They do not want to give up rooms for points only at this property (clearly) so by having 26 rooms in a 210 room hotel means there will never be any availability. There are some good things about Hyatt but this is an issue. How many “stanrd” rooms are available at the Hyatt Vendome. Every blog is so excited about telling you to get the card for two free nights. Vendome is another small hotel with VERY few “standard” rooms. The NY Park Hyatt has some of the higest average room rates I have seen in a while. Right up there with Ritz Central park.

  14. Putting clauses like Hyatt does, will not make customers happy. The good thing about SPG is for the most part things are far more transparent.

  15. Club Carlson also seems to be be withholding points availability at the Radisson Martinique in New York City too. I can’t find any availability.

  16. There’s a big difference Ann
    Hyatt promises a standard room availability like SPG and Hilton
    Club Carlson doesn’t
    Somethings fishy in Denmark in this case its called the new Park Hyatt New York
    I’m booking revenue and award nights at a competing hotel none the less as they have broken trust with me and the wife

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