I’ve been following the miles and points world for over a decade. When it comes to hotel loyalty programs, one of the biggest gripes is how hotels exploit their “guarantees” with the “when available” exception. No matter if it’s suite upgrades, club access or early check-in/late check-out, hotels always find a way to say that while that is a benefit, unfortunately, they’re unable to provide for your stay because they’re fully booked.
This is a major point of contention with Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors and IHG Rewards, who rarely come through on these requests. However, Hyatt loyalists claim their hotel of choice is better than the rest because they honor these benefits more times than they don’t.
That is, except when Hyatt allows properties to not offer late check-out.
What? Hyatt lets individual properties skirt the rules? Yep, even Hyatt.
A quick look at the benefits shows that Explorists and Discoverists are eligible for 2 PM checkout while Globalists get 4 PM late checkout.
You have to click on the “as available at some locations” link to learn more. But the first click doesn’t show much.
Clicking on the “LOCATIONS” hyperlink brings you to a more detailed page.
If you’re a Discoverist, like me, from your World of Hyatt credit card, you might expect to get a 2 PM late checkout. However, when I asked the Grand Hyatt Kauai for a 2 PM checkout, I was denied. The desk agent did thank me for being a Discoverist member and offered me a delayed checkout time of 12 noon (1 hour past the usual 11 AM checkout time). This worked out well for us to get back to the room and freshen up after our early morning helicopter ride.
It’s only if you click through to the “program terms” for the World of Hyatt program that you find the fine print that allows properties to skirt the promises the program makes to loyal members.
PLEASE NOTE: The distinction between a Hyatt resort and a Hyatt hotel may not always be obvious and Members are encouraged to call a Hyatt Global Contact Center for help determining a hotel’s or resort’s designation. Please visit hyatt.com for contact information
Even for Globalists who are promised 4 PM late checkout, properties considered resorts are excluded. Hyatt admits that a guest may not be able to determine the difference between a hotel and a resort and the only way to know for sure is to call Hyatt.
Really? There’s no way for Hyatt to put on the website that one property is exempt from the World of Hyatt promise and another one isn’t? For a program that’s lauded for its clarity in benefits and straight talk, this seems to be an easy cop-out for any property to say it’s a resort and therefore not offer late checkout.
I’m not saying this puts Hyatt on the same level as the other chains when it comes to honoring elite benefits. Instead, it shows that not even Hyatt, the poster child of exceeding expectations, isn’t above adding obscure wording into their program rules that lets any property skirt the rules if they’re so inclined.
Admittedly this wasn’t a problem for us. We returned to the hotel from our helicopter ride, packed the car and checked out at noon. We did take one last picture from the room.
I miss this view.
While people who stay at Hyatt frequently may know about this, people who only occasionally stay with Hyatt might not be as familiar with the ins and outs of the World of Hyatt program. If you’re depending on a late checkout when staying at a Hyatt hotel, you should call in advance to know if the property is a resort and not a hotel.
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