Vegas Hotel Breaks Hyatt Rules With Impunity: Rio Las Vegas Globalist Breakfast Scandal

World of Hyatt members have been getting value out of staying at the newly-renovated Rio Las Vegas. It’s not among the swankier properties in town, but refreshed rooms combined with benefits for globalists and lower rates have made it attractive – even to pick up an elite night by checking in, if staying somewhere else in town.

With waived resort fees for Globalists, and free restaurant breakfast, there’s a lot of value for money at the elite level. (There have been some issues with the property, however.)

Unfortunately they decided to play games with how they honor Hyatt’s breakfast benefit for Globalist members hosted in their Hash House a Go Go restaurant.

At first, reviews were pretty good:

Last month they started limiting Globalists to a choice of 4 out of their breakfast menu’s 22 entrée selections.

Hyatt deemed it non-compliant and told me it would be fixed.

Rio recently joined World of Hyatt and is still undergoing an extensive renovation. To make sure our members have the best experience, we are working with Rio to ensure their Globalist breakfast offerings are compliant with our program and we anticipate the changes (the removal of the limited entrée options) to be in place shortly.

For avoidance of doubt they added, “Limiting options on the menu is not compliant with the program and the full menu will be available shortly.”

Yet Rio is still offering a restricted menu to Globalists about three weeks later.

  • Hyatt has been clear that this is a violation of program terms. The hotel is still doing it anyway.

  • And they’ve now reduced the time where breakfast is free for Globalists. It used to be offered until 11 a.m. but is now only offered until 10 a.m. In Las Vegas this means that many guests will miss breakfast, which is the point of this change.

  • There’s now a new, different set menu for Globalists. Avocado toast is in, biscuits are out.

They’ve also now created a separate seating area for Globalist members. I understand that they intend to set up a buffet for Globalist members. Since they’ve been told restricting menu ordering is not compliant, this is their workaround – if they offer a buffet, then they do not have to allow ordering off of the menu at all.

Rio Las Vegas is thumbing their nose at World of Hyatt. It will be interesting to see how this develops. In the meantime, it looks like a place you might check into while actually staying somewhere else in order to get cheap elite night credit during the week… not someplace you actually want to sleep.

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. @ Gary — What does diminished breakfast have to do with not sleeping at Rio? A renovated room for $45/nt including taxes, parking, points, elite credits, and breakfast is impossible to beat. I haven’t heard major complaints about the new rooms. It is very disappointing to see this stupid, cheap behavior, but the bulk of the fault lies with the greedy, scamming FlyerTalk hogs who have ruined breakfast for everyone else.

  2. Wow.

    Breakky is not exactly the most expensive meal to serve. This is downright petulant. I have to wonder what other shenanigans this owner is visiting upon Hyatt.

  3. You stay, or pretend to stay, at Rio for those elite night credits. If you’re already a Globalist, you don’t need them. So why stay at Rio?

  4. @Gene- I think 95% og globalist members DISAGREE with you completely and htink your ocmments are nonsensical.
    “this stupid, cheap behavior, but the bulk of the fault lies with the greedy, scamming FlyerTalk hogs.” I htink the “hogs” you are talking about are Hyatt globalist memebrs who spoend 60+ nights at Hyatts and who Hyatt values highly

  5. Why is breakfast such a hot button issue. People are too fat and can do without it (I see the photo Gary). Coffee and maybe a little fruit is good.

    BTW I assume you know the saying that “breakfast is the most important meal” was all marketing. Many nutritionists recommend 2 meals (lunch and dinner) with maybe something very light like fruit when you wake up.

    Vast majority could afford to push back and skip breakfast so whining that their “free” breakfast is limited is the definition of entitlement.

  6. Hopefully, Hyatt will hold firm. The Denver Tech Center Hyatt Regency has a buffet on par with a free Hyatt Place buffet while having an ala carte menu that they deny to globalists.

  7. @Gene…”the bulk of the fault lies with the greedy, scamming FlyerTalk hogs who have ruined breakfast for everyone else”

    So much THIS. Spot on. And the FlyerTalk type scam freeloaders have ruined so much more in the travel world.

    It’s sad.

  8. @ Josh — Visit flyertalk/other blogs/social media and read about the jerks registering their 4 best buddies to their room, going to the Rio breakfast buffet, loading up four to go boxes food and taking the food home every day to get fatter on, whlie they earn elite nights for $35/nt. I’m pretty sure those aren’t the kind of Gloabilists that Hyatt wants — jerks like this that spend $3,500 for 100 nights at the Rio and then gets 9 weeks of suite upgrades and 5-star breakfast buffests in Park/Grand Hyatts.

    @ Retired Gambler — For a change, I agree with you. It seems that 2 eggs, meat, toast, potatoes, coffee and OJ is MORE than the number of calories one needs for breakfast (or maybe the entire day). Try a HIX or Hyatt Place, and I am sure it will have even worse offerings that will keep you fed just fine.

  9. Retired Gambler repeatedly offers some of the more ridiculous, fallacious arguments imaginable. His comment might be appropriate on a health and nutrition blog but has little value when the issue is a place of business violating a contractual agreement. Is it too much to ask that people actually formulate a position that relates to the subject at hand?

    Oh, and taking “shots” at Gary is also irrelevant and demonstrates his maliciousness.

  10. WoH T&C on Globalist breakfast benefit at hotels with no club lounge:

    Globalists will receive daily complimentary full breakfast (which includes one entrée or standard breakfast buffet, juice, and coffee, as well as tax, gratuity and service charges)

    That is the problem with a program that spells out in the T&C what members can have for breakfast, which WoH is the only program that does it and self-anointed “travel gurus” gaslight their members into thinking that it is a plus. No, it’s not a plus because when programs spell out benefits, it usually means that they wish to limit them, like a “4pm late checkout ‘guarantee'” makes it easy for hotels to refuse to approve requests for checkout times later than 4pm.

    Anyhow, the way I read the WoH T&C above is that a hotel offering “one entree” (how ever it defines it), juice and coffee would be compliant — a very low bar that this Vegas hotel easily clears, regardless of this site huffing and puffing and what Hyatt might say.

  11. Hilton Diamond is hardly much better at Resorts World in Vegas – your F&B daily credit is only good at Dawg/Mouse house. But its worse than greasy dinner food (hint the veggie wrap option is acceptable). The $50 resort fee is the biggest scam as it only provides discounts on pool Cabanas (food and drink like 5% off min $800 spend) and spa treatments – but nothing of actual physical/tangible value without spending money. Almost seems like the poster child for a class action.
    Most properties try to at least provide some “marketable value item wi-fi, in room coffee/tea, bottle water, free bike rentals.

    But resort world is almost akin to a Membership store to buy discounted goods (Sam’s/Costco) no savings without spending. Hence Class-action.

    TBH not a huge fan of Vegas/Reno – it had been years since last visit (work outing).

    I Did enjoy the Sphere and the18K filmed “Postcards from Earth” but the stupid Ticketmaster junk fees – made the experience less memorable – but I guess all US Arenas/ venues have to book all performances/performers thru a 3rd party tix vendor – long live the mafia?

  12. @DCS in way more than 99% of cases spelling out breakfast benefits is better for members, in fact if Hyatt didn’t spell it out here the hotel would do far less… probably not even covering the cost of a breakfast like with Hilton. Just compare the crappy breakfast offering at the much more upscale Resorts World!

    You’re not even right that “WoH is the only program that does it” since IHG spells it out for Diamond members as well. And they, too, have a better breakfast benefit than Hilton even if they expressly permit hotels to exclude certain menu items.

  13. @DCS in way more than 99% of cases spelling out breakfast benefits is better for members, in fact if Hyatt didn’t spell it out here the hotel would do far less… probably not even covering the cost of a breakfast like with Hilton. Just compare the crappy breakfast offering at the much more upscale Resorts World! You’re not even right that “WoH is the only program that does it” since IHG spells it out for Diamond members as well. And they, too, have a better breakfast benefit than Hilton even if they expressly permit hotels to exclude certain menu items.

    @Gary — You need to get out more and stop listening to your own garbage. If you are again referring to the Hilton F&B credit that I use to cover my bar tabs in the US, while treat myself to a real breakfast, you need to go back and read my debunking of that canard just last week!

    There are 5x more Hilton hotels that offer free breakfast to all guests in the US than there are Hyatt hotels in the entire country! 5x, got that? Moreover, you cannot have it both ways! Is it not one of your criticisms of the IHG breakfast precisely that it spells out what is offered. Why then is it “better” when Hyatt does it? You make up so much stuff that you can no longer keep any of it straight.

    In the US, a globalist will be lucky to find a Hyatt hotel where they wish to travel that offers breakfast, and, overseas, Hyatt’s breakfast offering in the weakest of the major hotel programs. Where is the upside?

    Anyway, what astute readers would notice is your throwing up a smoke screen to avoid addressing the substance of my comment, which quoted the actual WoH T&C that challenge your claim that the Rio was not compliant. By the T&C, all a Hyatt hotel has to do is to offer “one entrée”, juice, and coffee — a low bar that I am sure the Rio cleared!


  14. The hotel is paying Hash House their 3rd party for the elite benefit so I can see where they wish to manage their cost liability.
    Generally speaking eggs french toast biscuits are all cheap products so haggling over pennies is silly.They should probably offer a dollar amount just like Hilton does and let the guest pay the difference for this property benefit.
    I agree with others the Dawg House is disgusting at Resorts World and a disgrace to the property and all Hilton guests worldwide.I’ll never go back to any of their brands @ Resorts World.
    I’m not certain how any two entrees up to 2 guests @ Hash House is somehow abusing the WOH elite benefit?Can someone explain?

  15. I agree with the hotel. Too many hogs showing up trying to order the entire menu for takeout. This is why we can’t have nice things.

  16. I’m not certain how any two entrees up to 2 guests @ Hash House is somehow abusing the WOH elite benefit?Can someone explain?

    Other than @Gary Leff gaslighting the masses, as usual, about his imagined superlative World of Hyatt Globalist breakfast benefit that it is no more than of the garden variety, there is no breach of benefit at all in this case. What the WoH T&C require hotels to do is to provide “one entry”, juice, and coffee — an extremely low bar to clear.

  17. @LK — If DCS is predictable, then why do his comments stumped you, and get you to spew nonsensical drivel that makes it that you have no intelligent response ?

  18. DCS is AI since he generally gets his answers wrong.. esp when it talks about how great Hilton’s program is

  19. Speaking of AI, I call on the site host to begin requiring everyone to register before commenting, so as to protect some of us who have been commenting in this space for over a decade from trolls, imposters, and the like.

    I will henceforth address only comments that address the content of mine. Until then, the soapbox is yours. Knock yourselves out…

  20. The Rio is disgusting and off strip, there’s no reason to have breakfast there at all. Maybe it’s cheap but it’s not worth legionarres. I mean, visit to see Penn and Teller, absolutely.

    The real thing that is outrageous about Hyatt and the strip is how I stayed at their nasty Hyatt Places enough to earn gloablist so I could enjoy their MGM benefits in Vegas and stay at every MGM property. Then they ended it and instead of hitting up Ceasers the only properties are off strip?!?! The NASTY Rio?

    Resorts world is gross, it’s in a terrible place on the strip, and there’s no gambling, but at least Hilton has the Waldorf on strip, Hyatt has NOTHING. I don’t want to switch to Meriott but I wanna spend my free nights on the strip.

  21. I’ve stayed eight nights in three visits since the Rio tie-up. Here’s my $0.02 on breakfast.

    On one hand, the Rio breakfast benefit at Hash House is a big improvement over the no-breakfast-at-all for Globalists staying at MGM properties when that tie-up was in play. IMO, it’s an *adequate* portion of coffee, juice, and food (see comments from Gene and Retired Gambler), especially with a room rate of $25-35. The friendly wait and bar staff are hustling their butts off all morning long, and you don’t have to wait long for a table or for your food to arrive.

    You can even *upscale* your order by subbing in toast for the biscuit, by adding ingredients such as spinach, mushrooms, cheese, onions to your two eggs, by getting the eggs poached instead of greased, and by subbing out the drip coffee for a cappuccino/latte (which they make with a TRIPLE shot).

    AND, an 18% tip (about $3.25 per person) is — per WoH T&C — included, expressly line-itemed on the bill. Feel free to leave more, but it’s covered, no grey area about it. (Not like so many Hyatts that leave the receipt’s tip line open for YOU to pay it. I’m looking at you, Regency DTC.)

    You DO have to remember to carry your ID with you. The cashier insists on checking it against your room reservation.

    It’s insulting/humiliating/deflating to be handed the puny menu reserved for Globalists rather than the expansive Hash House full menu, which is inspiring and varied. It’s parsimonious gesture, one that makes me feel like a second-class citizen, not a well-cared-for Globalist. Nobody needs to drink juice any more — it’s just a sugar-bomb. I’d rather have that $20.99 to spend on the full menu and pay the small difference, if any.

    The 10 a.m. cutoff is new to me. I think the 11 a.m. cutoff was reasonable: they do have to switch over to the lunch menu at that point. Totally understandable. But making people come to breakfast by 10, especially when breakfast is in full swing for Ma and Pa Kettle? That’s also parsimonious/petty.

    Buffet? I don’t want the hustle of jostling with other Globalists for steam-table standards. I would prefer that Hyatt step in and get them to step it up to the full menu, but my complaints are mild at most, and anything more strenuous I think would amount to first-world whining.

  22. Also, Wallace, I disagree: the Rio is not “disgusting.”

    The pools/spas have all been spiffed up, the lobby is in the midst of a massive remodel, much of it finished. There are a couple of decent eats: burgers in the food court, and the noodle house. The Starbucks is fine (though so far lacking seating). The Globalist priority check-in lounge is on par with any at Caesars (except for Nobu).

    The only thing that’s disgusting is the plethora of human bodies lying near death on the freeway overpass you must cross to get to Caesars, but that’s not the hotel’s fault.

  23. People who speak that a smaller menu makes them feel like second class citizens while spewing comments about “Ma and Pa Kettle” as if they are lesser people is what’s disgusting. And why people think the FlyerTalk and miles/points people are entitled blowhards.

  24. NedsKid, congratulations on blowharding your way into the conversation; classic social-media cheap shot. Let me address your picayune spew.

    First, you are here, reading and replying to Gary’s blog, which means you are part of the miles/points tribe, just like the rest of us here (“You are not stuck in traffic; you ARE the traffic.”)

    Second, have you noticed how bland most posts and replies are in the unedited blogosphere? I was striving to write with a speckle of craft.

    Third, compound modifiers get hyphenated. It’s “second-class citizen.” With a hyphen. Here’s a short tutorial for you:

    Fourth, people who know me IRL know that I am not a member of the DYKWIA tribe. FYI, I edited my reply before posting it; I was intentional about my choice of words. But your snit necessitates that I unpack what I wrote, Herewith, I attempt to assuage your tender sensitivities.

    At the Rio, traveling from one’s room in the Ipanema Tower to breakfast requires a walk past the entire length of the restaurant, which is open to the hallway, separated only by a crotch-high wall. You hear the bustle of the kitchen, and you can smell and spy the food as you walk past the dozens of tables.

    On my first visit to the property (which was also my first-ever visit to Hash House), I literally had that classic Pavlovian mouthwatering response: my mouth began to pucker in anticipation as I passed by tables heaped with oversized, colorful, boisterous breakfast plates.

    When the host ascertained that I was a Globalist, she put down the colorful oversized menu (replete with beguiling photos and wacky fonts and enticing descriptions) and instead grabbed one of the 8-1/2-by-11-inch, single-page menus desultorily typed out in a single, bland, bureaucratic font, center-justified. An afterthought that signals management’s disdainful reluctance, or reluctant disdain. Take your pick.

    And yeah, in that moment, my hungry heart kinda sank a bit. I knew what all this implied — namely, what the OP mentions, that Hyatt and Rio have some kinks to work out, that Rio is flouting the spirit (if not the rules) of the Hyatt tie-up — that Rio has some *’splainin’ to do* — and “second-class citizen” was the phrase that came to my mind. So I wrote it to help faithfully convey what I was feeling at the time.

    As for “Ma and Pa Kettle,” I’ll admit to being lazy. I hastened out a cliche as well-worn as an American Airlines armrest.

    I used it as sloppy shorthand for “This new 10 a.m. cutoff for Globalist breakfast seems like management yet again dissing Globalist clients. From my perch, surveying the landscape of my first-world problems, Globalists are the losers in this zero-sum approach to the bottom line. With this gesture, management is choosing to belittle Globalists, in effect enhancing the guest experience offered to less-frequent (and probably loyalty-agnostic) travelers. Do they — management — really not want this tie-up? Is this just too much of a pain in the ass? Are we the problem?”

    I expected that the cliche would convey a wealth of implications and spur a stable of suppositions (among the audience of entitled miles/points hounds). If I offended you or any of the Kettles in your life, I will have to live with that. At least I chose brevity.

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