On Thursday evening I attended a Hyatt event for Chase co-brand cardmembers at the Park Hyatt New York. It was a food event featuring dishes from chefs at 3 Hyatts around the world — the Park Hyatt Vendome Paris, Park Hyatt Vienna, and Hyatt Regency Hangzhou.
Tickets were $100 and included not just food from the chefs and a variety of passed hors d’oeuvre, a premium open bar with specialty cocktails, but also 10,000 Hyatt points — so that was a great deal. As a result it was $100 well spent, a no brainer really (the Hyatt points are worth $140 or so on their own).
I had the chance to speak with Hyatt Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications Debra Goetz as well as members of the Hyatt and Chase co-brand card products team. Debbie mostly listened, though when talking about what changes might come next as they learned about what they got right and wrong in World of Hyatt it’s clear that there won’t be imminent changes because of the need to give notice to program members of significant change and she emphasized that’s part of what Hyatt has always demonstrated and would continue to stand by.
Debbie Goetz Welcomes Guests to the Hyatt Chase Chef Event
Debbie described the collaboration with Chase on the event as the first of many, so there should be further opportunities like this one.
It’s clear as I mentioned a couple of months ago that now that Chase has re-upped its Hyatt deal and they have a fairly long runway to the relationship they’re starting to figure out how to improve the card product.
They realize other Chase cards are stronger earning points — even earning more Hyatt points because under the deal Hyatt remains a transfer partner — along with offering the ability to transfer to other programs as well. They’re very interested in experiences. It’s not imminent that we’ll likely see changes, the process to figure out what’s next for the card will proceed over the next several months.
I spent the night at the Park Hyatt New York where the event was held. Cash and points was available. That’s still pricey — normal cash and points for a category 7 hotel is $300 plus 15,000 points. I don’t worry about the points so much since I have a seven figure Chase balance and can transfer to Hyatt as-needed.
However standard cash and points wasn’t what was available here. Instead it was 15,000 points and $400 but for a suite instead of a standard room (and of course I’d 10% of my points rebated from the current Hyatt co-brand card promo).
Not everyone has had as good luck, but I’ve always been upgraded here and this time booking a suite I was upgraded to a West Side Suite on the 14th floor which had windows wrapping around half of the room so on two sides in the living room.
There was a large window in the bedroom as well.
It was remarkable how much light the room gets, as there was a large window in the full bath as well.
Shades and blinds are electronically controlled which is nice. There are plenty of outlets in the room. Lighting is gorgeous, controlled by well-labeled switches in several places around the suite.
There was also a separate half bath near the entryway along with a closet there and also a large dressing room. This would be a phenomenal New York apartment.
The hotel was as good as when I reviewed it before and in some ways better (more polished) although in other ways showing a little bit of wear (not even worth mentioning except that the property can go for as much as $1000 a night so the little things count).
Ultimately given the choice this is my favorite hotel I’ve stayed in in New York, and possibly my favorite city hotel in the U.S. in absolute terms. I still love the Andaz 5th Avenue for all-around value, large rooms and good amenities at the price point. But with money or points not an object this hotel is hard to beat and especially as a top tier Hyatt elite where upgrades can happen and where they offer breakfast in the restaurant or a $45 per person room service credit.
Service is also lovely. When I arrived I was carrying a small rollaboard so they figured I was checking in and I was asked my name in front of the hotel. About 20 feet inside a woman met me, welcomed me by name, and walked me upstairs and to the front desk where they were prepared for my arrival. There was no need to identify myself, they had everything ready and another staff member escorted me up to my room.
Incidentally when I came back downstairs 90 minutes later for the start of the evening event they greeted me by name at the front desk.
Entering the event I didn’t order a drink from the bar because they were passing out specialty cocktails and anything with whiskey or bourbon and candied bacon is a show stopper for me, though they could have taken it a step further and smoked the glass.
I loved the setup of each hotel’s chef station, with video screens behind each chef with imagery from nearby their hotels. Here’s the chef from the Park Hyatt Vendome Paris.
And the Park Hyatt Vienna.
Hyatt Regency Hangzhou.
Here’s the chef from Paris Francois Rouquette preparing “Duck Pot au Feu, Foie Gras Royale”
The event was great. Talking with the chefs was fun, and the food and drink was good. I’d rate it as “something great to do in New York” (which is saying something given all the competing options) and a great value since the points that came with the ticket to the event are worth more than the event cost.
However it wasn’t a life event, and experiential reward the way that other chains are now offering on a scale that’s worth traveling for. It was three hotel chef stations with two dishes each, and a unique opportunity to interact with the chefs, but it was a relatively small room and really just six dishes to try plus the hotel’s passed items like crab cakes and tuna tartare.