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My recent stay at the Park Hyatt New York really underscores, I think, why hotel loyalty can make sense.
My Approach to Hotel Elite Status
I have Hyatt top tier elite status and I’m a Marriott Platinum. I’m well on my way to requalifying with Hyatt – at 37 nights so far – and I’ll be a Platinum with Marriott again next year. I’m also a Hilton Gold thanks to my Platinum Card® from American Express.
My favorite hotel status is Hyatt Globalist,
- I never have difficulty getting 4 p.m. late check-out. It is usually proactively offered to me at check-in.
- It has the most robust breakfast benefit. There aren’t excluded brands, and breakfast isn’t continental either — Hyatt’s rules are very specific on what constitutes breakfast.
- It’s the only program that currently lets you confirm suites at time of booking. Earning Globalists lets you do this 4 times each year, for up to 7 nights each time.
- I get a dedicated Hyatt concierge which is useful for complicated bookings (combining free and paid nights or free night awards and points in a single reservation), confirming suites, and making requests of hotels. Marriott offers this but requires 100 nights and $20,000 spend to get it.
Hotel Status is Leveraged With the Right Credit Cards
I use my World Of Hyatt Credit Card where spending $15,000 is a no brainer. The card comes with a free night (up to category 4) each year, and another one after spending $15,000 on the card. And that’s in addition to the Hyatt points that are earned for spend. It’s my go to card for spending at Hyatt since it earns 4 points per dollar on my stays.
And it helps me keep my status, giving me 5 qualifying night every year just for having the card and 2 more for every $5000 spent on the card. Spending $15,000 then I pocket 11 elite qualifying nights, 2 free nights, and the points from my spend. Hyatt awards additional benefits for every 10 qualifying nights each year, and you can earn status on credit card spend alone. (What’s more your award nights count towards status, too.)
There’s only one good hotel transfer partner across all of the bank currencies in my view, and that’s Hyatt. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card points, transferred to Hyatt, are a whole lot more valuable when you have Hyatt status.
When Hotel Status Matters Most
The truth is I don’t care about my status on a lot of my stays. I grind out Globalist staying at Hyatt Place properties where status doesn’t get you much, and Hyatt Centrics or Regencys for one or two nights on a work trip. It’s just me in the room and an upgrade doesn’t matter a lot.
When status and points matter, and what makes sticking to a chain feel worthwhile, is when I travel with my family. A perfect example of this is a recent award stay at the Park Hyatt New York.
My Park Hyatt New York Stay Where Status Made all the Difference
I spent three nights at the Park Hyatt New York on points, 30,000 points per night when room rates were well over $1000 per night. I’d never spend that kind of money on a hotel room if I were paying cash. I’ve only spent over $500 once, and that was when I was applying an IHG free weekend night certificate to the stay so my average per night cost was half that.
However I do very much care where I’m staying when I’m with my wife and daughter. And right now it’s super helpful to have a suite when we travel, because she’ll take two naps during the day and goes to sleep long before we do.
On this trip confirmable suites weren’t available in advance, but I’ve had good luck with upgrades at check-in. At this property in particular I’ve usually gotten a suite — they have plenty.
When I checked in I found I was ‘only’ upgraded to what they called a studio suite, which was a single large room. I was really looking for separate rooms. So I thanked them, told them how good they’ve always been with upgrades and mentioned that ironically this was the one time I valued that upgrade the most and was there anything they might be able to do?
The front desk agent checking me in looked and looked and was coming up empty. She said “the only free suite I see is the Presidential suite, and I’m not authorized…”
I said “maybe you could call someone who is!” I said it jokingly and knew I wasn’t going to get the Presidential suite, but she called over a manager who moved a couple of guests around into different suites so that a suite was opened for the length of my stay. That was so much appreciated.
A Park Hyatt New York Suite is Gorgeous
I have to say that a suite at the Park Hyatt New York really is a beautiful thing, and the room has a very residential feel.
It was made even more homey by the excellent crib they provided for my daughter, and the additional “baby amenities” they brought up with it.
What’s more, they had noted from a previous stay that I like extra waters in my room. They provide unlimited complimentary water and I do drink a lot of water especially in hot weather.
I’ve reviewed this property several times, and a review (there’s a great pool!) isn’t the point of this post. Instead it’s elite benefits on a simple trip that I didn’t have to go halfway around the world to take advantage of.
Breakfast can be taken from room service here. On my past stays they added a delivery charge for that, but not this time. A $140 breakfast bill (easy to do here…) was zeroed.
Treating My Family Well Keeps Me Loyal
If I’m going to stay somewhere during the week on my own for work it might as well be a Hyatt when they take such good care of me when I care about how I’m treated.
Mind you this is an important lesson for airlines, too. Increasingly airlines treat you based on how much you’re spending on a given ticket. But when you’re spending a lot on a ticket, at least when it’s not transatlantic business class where you need a night’s sleep before going straight to work on the other end, you may not even care much about the treatment. Real loyalty is secured on cheaper stays or points redemptions when you’re creating moments with family.