Home Hotels I Tried To Like Hyatt, But It’s Not Working

I Tried To Like Hyatt, But It’s Not Working

by joeheg

I’ll admit it. The peer pressure got to me and I convinced myself it was my fault that I wasn’t in love with Hyatt. I must’ve been doing something wrong because how could everyone else rave about the hotel chain and I just didn’t get it? Even after staying in a few Hyatts, I didn’t find the experience much better than any other hotel chain.

I’ve been happy with our stays at Marriott properties and I find IHG to be the loyalty program that most fits our travel style. That doesn’t stop me from hearing the people saying that you’re doing it wrong if you don’t stay at Hyatt hotels.

I figured the reason I wasn’t staying at Hyatt hotels more might be because I wasn’t involved with the loyalty program. I had an account but I only used it to transfer points from Chase Ultimate Rewards on the rare opportunity I had to make a booking.

Maybe if I got the World of Hyatt credit card and earned a nice stash of points, I would be more likely to stay at their hotels. That’s exactly what I did. I even spent $15,000 on the card the first year to earn an additional free night at a category 1-4 hotel.

On my renewal, I received another certificate for a free night. That was two free nights in my account, plus all of the points from the sign-up bonus and ones earned for spending.

That’s about when COVID hit in 2020. I was glad Hyatt extended the expiration dates of the free nights to the end of 2021. Now I have three free nights in my account because I earned another one in 2021.

We had plenty of free nights in our accounts and I’ve done a good job at using them up. I used our Marriott free nights to stay at some nice places like this Residence Inn in Cape Canaveral and some not-so-nice ones, like this Courtyard at JFK airport. I used our IHG free nights on our yearly trip to Texas, even if the hotel we stayed in wasn’t as nice as our previous trips.

This was when I realized why we didn’t stay at Hyatt hotels often. It’s the major flaw of the hotel chain. It’s not the properties themselves. It’s not the World of Hyatt program, which is the most rewarding to Hyatt loyalists (or I’ve been told.)

It’s the lack of Hyatt hotels in places where I want to stay. When using my free nights from the other programs, I always looked to see if there was a Hyatt hotel anywhere nearby. I struck out every time, except when Hyatt showed me a hotel that was 30 minutes from where I searched.

I’m not giving up hope on finding a nice category 1-4 hotel to use our free nights. However, I’m considering getting rid of the World of Hyatt card. If I can’t easily find a use for the free night and the only other benefit for a casual user like myself is getting premium internet as a Discoverist over the basic version, it’s not worth the annual fee.

Right now, I feel like a person who wants to be in a relationship and does all of the things they’re supposed to do but ends up realizing that it’s just not a good fit for the long term. We’ll meet up now and then and enjoy our time together but we just don’t mesh.

I’m not saying that I don’t think Hyatt is a good hotel brand. It’s just never going to be my primary choice. Once I’ve used my free nights and the points I have in the program, I can always pad my balance with UR if needed for future stays.

Sorry, Hyatt. It’s not you. It’s me. Or, more accurately, it’s the places we like to travel to.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

14 comments

Bob p September 14, 2021 - 3:27 pm

I agree. They really also devalued the program by giving globalist out to everyone with low stay requirements. Hard to get benefits and my hotel experience has become consistently lackluster hotels trying to cut corner, nasty attitudes, not helping me be my beat, etc.

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Busyman September 14, 2021 - 5:48 pm

That just happened late last year with it kicking in for most this year and this was probably done due to COVID to encourage more patronage. I doubt this affected you in any way.

Stay requirements were basically cut in half. 60 nights were ultra-high to begin with and with COVID, it would most likely be impossible.

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Nate September 16, 2021 - 4:38 pm

I know that is the public perception, but long time diamond/globalist here and I’ve found my treatment, suite upgrades, etc pretty consistent with what’s it’s always been. Sure there’s been a few things slow to return post-covid, but generally speaking have really enjoyed Hyatt travel in the last year.

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Gene September 14, 2021 - 3:35 pm

Personally, I think Hyatt is only great if you are Globalist. Given that there are not Hyatts everywhere, that means having to have a second backup program, and it means you are looking at staying maybe 80-90 nights in total between being Globalist and your backup chain. That’s definitely not for everyone. Pre-COVID, we had been staying ~120-130 nights between Hyatt (Globalist) and IC (Royal Ambassador), but that is a major stretch these days.

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Carol Lawlor September 14, 2021 - 3:39 pm

Go to Paris. Stay at the Hotel du Louvre. 25k points. Fabulous property!

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Jimmy September 14, 2021 - 4:19 pm

To paraphrase James Carville, “it’s the points, stupid.” Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer 1:1 to all the hotel programs. Hyatt hotels cost significantly fewer points a night. So Chase UR points are worth the most if you use them to book Hyatts. Hyatt isn’t necessarily better, but it is a better deal.

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jeffk September 16, 2021 - 8:33 pm

you are 100% correct. and that makes them extremely valuable.

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Brutus September 14, 2021 - 4:38 pm

I don’t see how anyone can stay 60 nights a year in a Hyatt other than hardcore business travelers and travel bloggers. Unless you are in a major city or resort area, your chances of finding a Hyatt are slim. Want to stay in downtown Pittsburgh? There are a multitude of Marriotts, several Hiltons, and a variety of others (Fairmont, Omni, Choice, Wyndham, IHG), but no Hyatts.

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123ccb123 September 17, 2021 - 3:09 am

There is a Hyatt Place in North Shore Pittsburgh, near the stadiums, Andy Warhol Museum and Carnegie Science Center. Across a walkable bridge to downtown Pittsburgh.

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Ryan September 14, 2021 - 4:54 pm

I’ve had top status at IHG, Hyatt, Hilton, Marriott, Starwood and even Radisson. Hyatt is best. SPG was second best (For me).

The differentiator with Hyatt could almost boiled down to the implementation of the suite night aware. In SPG-land, it was stay and pray. Hyatt – it was confirmed at time of booking. SPG played games. Hyatt played for keeps.

Hyatt, for me, is where I want to be. They existed in 1st tier cities, mainly, and have recently had more locations in 2nd/3rd tier cities. If your travel patterns put you in remote locations or 2nd/3rd tier cities; Hyatt is going to be tough to earn and burn with. Beyond 1st tier cities – Hyatt resorts are pretty fantastic. Marriott and Starwood both offered a lot in this space as well. Hilton has a few less resorts, IMO, but they are not far behind. IHG is the real laggard here. The flagship IHG properties, especially in North America / Western Europe, are lacking.

Not to diss on Intercontinental, but that brand is just all over the place for me. IC Amstel was not something I would write home about, after having stayed at the Andaz. Some IC’s like Monterey Bay – are fantastic.

The rest of the IHG brand is pretty unappealing – for me. Candlewood Suites = uck. Staybridge Suites = okay, but not desired. Crowne Plaza = all over the place, often dated worse than Sheraton. HIX and HI brands = not that appealing, would rather be in a Hyatt Place or Courtyard.

The value of the Hyatt point has always been something else I hold in high regard. IHG, Marriott and Hilton have devalued their points to such an extent; it is necessary for them to offer promotions as high as 64 points per dollar.

There are a lot of smaller luxury brands like Mandarin Oriental that could also apply in this discussion about not having hotels in the right location.

I am glad you recognize what does (and does not) work for your travel patterns. IHG in particular is a brand I often don’t see many people flock towards. I definitely scratch my head and try and understand why. The brand just doesn’t have anything that makes me want to earn their points.

As a result; I am always staying in Hyatt first, with a backup of Marriott. Even if I am not earning Hyatt points; I often end up transferring UR to Hyatt…..because Hyatt is awesome.

We haven’t even gotten in to things like free $50/per person breakfast buffet for entire duration of stay for Globalists/Diamonds, free valet parking, waived resort fees. The globalist perks are truly on another level. Over a 7 day period of time; it is easy to save more than $1000 by being a globalist (valet parking, $100/day breakfast, confirmed suite upgrade).

Ultimately; it is a choice, and people have to do what is right for them.

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Busyman September 14, 2021 - 5:52 pm

Hyatt is killer between their points value and their all-inclusives.

No one hotel chain is fantastic all the way around. It depends on the brand within the chain and often the location.

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Christian September 14, 2021 - 10:10 pm

YMMV indeed. Hyatt is far and away my favorite program. I’ve held top status with Gold Passport/WOH for some years now because they are the last company standing on providing consistent quality to loyalty members but if they don’t have hotels where you’re going it doesn’t make much sense to exert the effort to stick with them. I’m increasingly in a similar boat with IHG.

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Island Miler September 15, 2021 - 1:39 am

I can’t stand Hyatt. There are many options in places I usually want to stay, but I can never redeem my points or certificates at these properties. Nearly every property I’ve tried to stay at plays with the availability, either making it impossible to find space or implementing some stupid minimum stay request or whatnot. I’ve had far greater luck with Hilton and Marriott. And the program isn’t all that rewarding for those of us that aren’t Globalists.

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khatl September 15, 2021 - 9:45 am

The primary issue I have with Hyatt is the difference between Globalist and every other status. Globalist is awesome and you pretty much get everything you could ever want from the free parking to free breakfast to suite upgrades etc. The issue is if you fall just short. An Explorist with 49 nights gets no breakfast (unless it has a club, which is far from common), no parking, no suite upgrades etc. It’s a big fall and if I’ve been loyal to a hotel for that many nights, I’d expect something better. Yes, it’s comparable to Bonvoy Gold but if Hyatt wants to differentiate and entice other folks, they should be better than Marriott

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