Park Hyatt New York Proves Why Hotel Loyalty Makes Sense

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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.

park hyatt new york suite

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.

park hyatt new york crib

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.

park hyatt new york water

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.

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. Totally agree. I stay here a few times a year, always on points. Even at thanksgiving, they almost always manage a suite. The one time they couldn’t shuffle open, they offered to garaunty one at booking without using a certificate.

    By contrast, i’m At the st Regis aspen for the 4th, let’s just say I don’t feel valued lol.

  2. My wife and I were upgraded to the Carnegie suite once on a points stay. It was absolutely unbelievable. This place gets it and we’ve always found that they go above and beyond to make their customers happy.

  3. By the way Gary it looks like you were upgraded to the Residential suite, not the “Presidential” suite

  4. As I said a long time ago about airlines and hotels:

    “How you treat me on my leisure trips is at least as important to me — and probably even more important than — how you treat me on my business trips.”

    The airlines just made things worse for my leisure trips despite what they were getting out of my choice for business trips. The hotels will be heading increasingly in the direction of “you are your fare/rate this time” as government-approved and/or -ignored consolidation and collusion increases in an increasingly oligopolistic market.

  5. I totally agree about the priority of benefits on leisure trips. My work trips are about efficiency. My main desire from status is to skip lines and get where I’m going quickly. Suite upgrades on single-night, solo business trips are all but worthless. On family trips, however, suite upgrades are great for our family of five, and elite benefits like free breakfast are real money in our pocket.

  6. I agree with DB; it’s the Residential Suite. I’ve stayed with them 4 times and the last 3 times were all in the Residential Suite. And your analysis is spot on with a hotel loyalty program. I’m already lifetime Titanium with SPG but I’ve only spent 4 nights with them this year and on my way to 80 nights already with the Hyatt. I go out of my way to stay with the Hyatts and if there’s no Hyatts available, I resort to Airbnb. SPG really lost me when the merger happened.

  7. Yep. I totally agree with you Gary. The leisure trips with my family are what matters the most. I’m also a Globalist and just stayed at the Andaz in Vienna and I was upgraded to a nice suite. I booked two rooms to be with my kids and it was fabulous. The breakfast benefit alone for the 5 of us was $200 a night or $400 for the 2 nights.

    Hyatt is the best for top premium status.

  8. they moved around some other people so he could get a larger suite, but he didn’t say he got the presidential. very nice for the family though!

  9. Unless he’s changed the article, Gary wasn’t saying he got the Presidential Suite

    He said the Presidential Suite was the only one left, the manager moved people around, which opened up the Suite shown for the length of his stay

  10. Gary, have you moved on from the Andaz 5th Avenue? As you know, the TSU books into a real suite there.

  11. @Beachfan stayed at the Andaz 5th Ave in February and December but the Park Hyatt was walking distance from where my Aussie family was staying in the city

  12. OMG.. how much plastic bottles did you use up during your stay? Another bunch of plastic into the wastedump.

  13. Treatment on leisure/family trips is important because the guest is actually paying for it (cash, points or combination thereof) while on business trips Mr. Employer or Mr. Client picks up the tab. And of course when travelling with family its nice to show off your status and benefits.

  14. The Park Hyatt New York is notorious for being stingy with Globalist benefits. I stayed there recently for two nights and was only offered a proper suite for an upcharge (though on my previous visit I was assigned a northwest corner suite). One can hardly take the experience of a prominent travel blogger as the norm at the property. Oh, and the pool/steam room facilities are terribly cramped and nothing special compared to those at other Park Hyatts around the world. Park Hyatt Tokyo or Vienna?

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