Something tells me there are tons of new Hyatt Diamond members over the past few weeks. Back in mid-November, Hyatt started offering a very lucrative Diamond status match program, whereby they outright matched many people to Diamond status through February 2017. Over 10,000 people expressed interest, though I’m guessing only a fraction of them were matched.
I’ve been a Hyatt Diamond member for many years, and figured I’d share some tips for new Diamond members, given how many questions I’ve been asked about Hyatt lately. Hyatt Gold Passport and Starwood Preferred Guest are my two hotel loyalty programs of choice, and I more than double qualify for top tier status with each program. One of the things I love about Hyatt is that I think they do a good job of under promising and over delivering.
Hyatt Diamond benefits
To start, here are the published Hyatt Diamond benefits:
- Achieve rewards even faster with a 30% point bonus when choosing points
- Enjoy the best room available upon arrival, excluding suites
- Receive exclusive access to the Regency Club or Grand Club lounge featuring complimentary continental breakfast and evening hors d’oeuvres. Enjoy daily complimentary full breakfast in hotels without a club lounge
- Treat yourself to a suite upgrade at the time of reservation four times annually on eligible paid nights
- Receive a special welcome point bonus or food and beverage amenity during each stay
- Receive a nightly room refresh
- Stay connected with complimentary premium Internet access where available
- Expedite check-in at a dedicated area for elite members
- Ensure a room is always available with our 48-hour guarantee
- Extend your stay until 4:00 p.m. with a late check out request
- Book reservations through an exclusive Diamond line
- Enjoy two complimentary one-time-use United Club passes annually
- Now with Guest of Honor, share your Diamond benefits with friends and family when you redeem points for a free night for them in 2015
Diamond status ordinarily requires 25 stays or 50 nights, so is one of the more achievable top tier hotel status levels, in my opinion. While the above are the published benefits, let’s talk a bit about how they work in practice, based on my years of being a Diamond guest.
Before I get started, always remember not to be that type of Diamond guest:
Hyatt Diamond room upgrades
If you’re not using a Diamond Confirmed Suite Upgrade (more on that below), you’re entitled to the best available non-suite.
This could be an upgrade to a room with a view…
View Room at the Andaz West Hollywood
…or a larger “executive” or “deluxe” room, which is considerably larger than the standard room.
Opera Deluxe Room at the Park Hyatt Sydney
Opera Deluxe Room at the Park Hyatt Sydney
In some cases I’ve also received complimentary suite upgrades, like at the Hyatt Olive 8 Seattle, though that’s not a published benefit, and it’s not something I’ve ever asked for.
Complimentary suite upgrade at the Hyatt Olive 8 Seattle
I find Hyatt associates are pretty good about proactively offering Diamond upgrade. Typically during their check-in “speech” they’ll say something along the lines of “thanks for being a Diamond member, we’ve been able to upgrade you to a ______ room.” If they don’t mention your room type, or if they don’t proactively offer an upgrade, it can’t hurt to nudge them — “do you by any chance have any Diamond upgrades available today?”
Keep in mind that in some cases the hotel is sold out and there’s not much they can upgrade you to. But it still can’t hurt to ask.
Hyatt Diamond suite upgrades
As a Hyatt Diamond member you receive four confirmed suite upgrades each year, which are the most valuable suite upgrades in the industry. You receive these when you qualify for status, and then receive four more on March 1 of the following year, assuming you requalify for status.
Suite upgrades expire at the end of February of the year after which they’re earned, though can be used for an upgrade after February, as long as the upgrade can be confirmed before the expiration date. In other words, if you were just matched to Diamond status you should have received four Diamond Suite Upgrades valid through February 29, 2016, and then should receive another four on March 1, 2016, valid through February 2017.
Each can be used to confirm an upgrade to a base suite for a stay of up to seven nights. All paid rates booked directly with Hyatt, as well as Points + Cash bookings should be eligible for these suite upgrades. American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts and Virtuoso bookings are also eligible for Diamond Suite Upgrades.
Park Suite at the Park Hyatt Vienna
Park Suite at the Park Hyatt Vienna
Hyatt Diamond suite upgrades have to be applied by calling up Gold Passport customer service, at which point they can instantly be confirmed by phone. You can’t beat being able to confirm any “base” suite at the time of booking.
It’s worth noting that if a suite isn’t available for sale when you go to book, be sure to check back, as they often become available as the arrival date approaches. That’s because people booked in suites may cancel.
Lastly, Diamond Suite Upgrades can’t be used at the following properties:
Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort, Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa, Park Hyatt Sydney, Andaz Tokyo, Hyatt Regency Kyoto, Hyatt Regency Phuket Resort, Hyatt Regency Tulsa, Hyatt Regency Wichita, Hyatt Paris Madeleine, Hyatt Herald Square, Hyatt Key West Resort and Spa, Hyatt Manila City of Dreams, Hyatt Santa Barbara, Hyatt Residence Club resorts, Hyatt Place and Hyatt House hotels and M life resorts
Hyatt Diamond club lounge access
Hyatt Diamond members receive lounge access, assuming the hotel has a club lounge (most Hyatt Regency and Grand Hyatt properties have lounges, while a few others do as well). If you have access to a club then you’re not automatically entitled to complimentary restaurant breakfast (though some hotels still allow it, like the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, which gives Diamond members restaurant or club lounge breakfast).
Grand Club at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong
One “trick” is that when a Hyatt club lounge is temporarily closed, you get restaurant breakfast plus 2,500 bonus Gold Passport points per stay. This is an extremely generous promotion, and something I’ve taken advantage of often, like at the Grand Hyatt Tampa, where the lounge is closed on weekends.
The Grand Club at the Grand Hyatt Tampa is closed on weekends
This FlyerTalk thread has a pretty comprehensive list of which hotels have closed club lounges on weekends.
Hyatt Diamond complimentary breakfast
In the event a hotel doesn’t have a club lounge, you automatically receive complimentary restaurant breakfast. This is advertised as a full breakfast, and should include tip.
Different hotels approach this differently. Some hotels offer Diamond members the buffet, while others let you order whatever you’d like off the menu, while others even let you do room service. Each hotel will explain the breakfast benefit at check-in.
Diamond breakfast at the Andaz Liverpool Street London
Diamond breakfast at the Blue Duck Tavern Restaurant at the Park Hyatt Washington DC
In general you’ll have to sign for the bill when you’re done with breakfast, and can add a tip to the total. It should all be taken off at check-out. Other times they’ll just ask you for your room number when you arrive at breakfast, and then won’t even make you sign when they see you’re a Diamond member.
Hyatt Diamond 4PM check-out
Hyatt Diamond members are guaranteed 4PM check-out at all non-resort properties. This is a guaranteed benefit, so just let them know at check-in if you’ll need late check-out and they should be able to accommodate.
See this page for a full list of Hyatt resorts, at which late check-out is on a space available basis. It’s worth taking a look at that page, because some of the properties categorized as resorts may not appear as such (like the Grand Hyatt Doha). If a non-resort gives you trouble over late check-out stand your ground.
Late check-out isn’t guaranteed at resorts, like the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi
Hyatt Diamond welcome gift
At full service Hyatt properties you receive a welcome gift of either 1,000 Gold Passport points or a food & beverage amenity.
I value Hyatt points at 1.5 cents each, so by my math the amenity has to be “worth” at least $15 for it to be a better option than the points.
As a general rule of thumb I find the amenities at more “aspirational” properties to be worth more than $15, while at non-aspirational properties I’ll almost always select the points.
For example, at the Park Hyatt Sydney we chose the amenity, and were asked what type of wine we wanted — I value a bottle of wine with a view of the Opera House at much more than $15!
Park Hyatt Sydney drink with a view
Meanwhile at the Park Hyatt Vienna we were offered a bottle of champagne, a gorgeous cheesecake, and some fresh strawberries.
Maximizing the Hyatt points you earn
With Hyatt you ordinarily earn five points per dollar spent, and as a Diamond member you earn a 30% bonus, for a total of 6.5 Hyatt points per dollar spent. Valuing those points at ~1.5 cents each, that’s a return of ~10% on your Hyatt spend. So what are the best ways to earn more Hyatt points?
- Hyatt Gold Passport is a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner, so you can transfer points instantly at a 1:1 ratio
- Hyatt seems to run a few targeted promotions per year whereby you earn tiered bonuses on the purchase of points; be sure to maximize these best you can
- Stay at hotels with closed club lounges on weekends, where you earn 2,500 bonus points per stay
- Book Points + Cash stays rather than free night stays, as the former earn you points along with elite night and stay credit, while the latter don’t
- Hyatt sells points with a bonus several times per year, which is a great way to top off an account as needed
I love both Hyatt and Starwood, and am thrilled with their elite recognition for top tier elite members. I am slightly concerned about Marriott’s takeover of Starwood, and the implications that has for their loyalty program.
Congrats to everyone who was able to take advantage of the Hyatt status match opportunity. Hyatt does a great job with on-property recognition, consistency, and not over promising. Coming in with the right expectations, Hyatt Diamond is awesome.
Were you recently able to get status matched through Hyatt Gold Passport? What questions can I answer?