The Last Hotel in St Louis abruptly left Hyatt on Monday. Customers with reservations were notified that,
- Existing reservations for paid stays would be honored, but without Hyatt points or benefits
- Existing award reservations would not be honored.
I asked Hyatt what they were doing for customers with award bookings at this hotel, that had been part of their ‘Unbound Collection’ of independent properties. A spokesperson offered, “Hyatt is working with the hotel owner and guests and members to minimize any disruption in service, including transitioning World of Hyatt award reservations for stays May 24, 2021 and beyond to other Hyatt and Hyatt-affiliated hotels.”
Credit: The Last Hotel, St. Louis
I was curious what would happen to those who were already on property in the midst of stays. Eligibility for promotions, for instance, often will be based on check-out date. However Hyatt tells me points and elite nights will be awarded “for the portion of the stay that is affiliated with Hyatt, regardless of the checkout date.” So points and stay credits, in this case, can be earned for a portion of a stay up through May 24, 2021.
Hotels sometimes change from one brand to another. That means you may have a reservation at a hotel, it leaves the chain, and you won’t be able to earn points, elite stay credit, or receive elite benefits when that happens – although if the hotel joins a different chain you’ll be able to participate in the other program’s points and benefits.
Award nights are a little more complicated. Often a hotel is required to honor future award stays as part of their contract, even after they’ve left the chain. However it often is complicated and gets messy. When the Le Meridien Tahiti left Marriott they didn’t want to honor future award redemptions, and started wrangling for Marriott to pay them more to do so.
Guests are in a tough spot, and so is the hotel chain. There are often nondisclosure agreements that prevent customers from being told earlier – and leading the chain to break trust with their members. When a hotel doesn’t honor future award stays the chain needs to find a way to make it right, if they don’t have their own similar quality hotels nearby to rebook into I’ve seen examples where they paid regular rates for rooms at other hotels on behalf of their members.
Even when a chain comes through to take care of customers, it can take time and winds up really stressful for the member.
I asked Hyatt what assurances a program member has that, when they book a redemption stay, it will be honored when the date of check-in arrives? Hyatt responded with something not very comforting at all – if a stay isn’t honored, points will be refunded.
We make every effort to minimize disruption in service and delivery of loyalty benefits to World of Hyatt members when staying at Hyatt affiliated properties. However, all transitions are unique, and we work with hotel ownership to ensure as smooth a transition as possible. We always ensure members’ points and rewards are refunded in these types of situations.
When staying on points, and a hotel leaves the chain, your award stay isn’t guaranteed.
By the way, is it just me or does “The Last Hotel” bring to mind The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe?