2016 Hyatt Diamond Upgrades Are Now Available

A few days ago I posted a reminder that Hyatt’s 2015 Diamond Suite Upgrade Awards would expire on February 29. The suite upgrades which expired yesterday were bittersweet, because they were the last ones which could be redeemed for stays after their expiration date (as long as they were booked by the expiration date). That policy has changed starting with 2016 suite upgrades.

I figured I’d also post a reminder that if you qualified for Hyatt Diamond status for the 2016 program year, your four annual Diamond Suite Upgrade Awards should have posted to your account today. These are valid for stays through February 28, 2017.

Hyatt-Suite-Upgrades

However, there seems to be one oddity, which hopefully some of you can chime in on. I’ve received several reports this morning from readers who status matched to Hyatt Diamond (Hyatt was running a huge status match campaign last year), who said they didn’t receive four suite upgrades this morning.

I can’t confirm or deny that, but it looks like as part of their IT updates last year, Hyatt may have finally added the ability to give someone Diamond status without the system automatically issuing four upgrades, which wasn’t previously the case.

It looks like Hyatt may be taking advantage of the ability to do that, by not issuing Diamond suite upgrades to those who matched and didn’t “earn” status for 2016. Can any other matched Diamond members chime in as to whether or not they were issued Diamond upgrades? (Update: it looks like this isn’t the case, and that Hyatt might just be slow in issuing them for matched accounts)

For those of you who have been issued these suite upgrades, here are the basics of redeeming them:

  • Each suite upgrade can be used to confirm a suite for a stay of up to seven nights at the time of booking
  • Suite upgrades are valid on paid bookings as well as Points + Cash bookings; they aren’t valid on outright free night awards
  • New as of this year, the suite upgrades needs to be redeemed for stays by the expiration date, and not just booked by the expiration date (meaning these suite upgrades are valid for stays through February 28, 2017)
  • Suite upgrades must be redeemed over the phone, and can be applied at the time of booking or anytime up until the arrival date, pending availability
  • If a phone agent tells you that a Points + Cash booking only gives you access to a sub-set of suite inventory, this is incorrect, per Gold Passport management; hang up and call again
  • Suite upgrades are not available at Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa, 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

In terms of searching upgrade space, the Diamond Suite Upgrade Award almost always confirms into the entry level suite.

So how do you figure out which suite is the hotel’s entry level suite?

Let me give an example. Lets say you’re looking at the Park Hyatt Vienna. When you go to their website click on “ROOMS” across the top.

Suite-Upgrade-Availability

Then you’ll be brought to the page listing all their room types, and on the bottom right click on “Suite.”

Park-Suite-1

The first suite listed should be their entry level suite, which is the Park Suite.

Park-Suite-2

Then you can search availability for your dates, and if they’re selling the Park Suite you should be able to confirm a Suite Upgrade Award for it.

Park-Suite-3

In terms of my redemption strategy for the Suite Upgrade Awards, my goal is to redeem for longer stays at luxury hotels where I’m traveling with others. The goal is of course to ideally not use them on one night airport hotel stays, but rather for 4+ night stays at hotels where suites represent significant upgrades. I generally prefer to redeem them at resorts rather than at city hotels, since I usually spend more time in my room at resorts.

But I also wouldn’t save these upgrades too much, since I have a tendency to hoard them and then have a bunch left over when their expiration date approaches. That’s even worse this year than before, given that starting this year the upgrades expire for stays by the expiration date, and not just for bookings by that date.

The “ideal” redemption for me is to use them on Points + Cash bookings at more expensive hotels. For example, my two favorite uses of them this past year were at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong and Park Hyatt Vienna, and at both of them they added a lot of value.

Grand-Hyatt-Hong-Kong-Grand-Suite - 12
Grand Suite at Grand Hyatt Hong Kong

I also redeemed one for a week-long stay at the Andaz West Hollywood, and then redeemed my last one for a future stay at the Andaz Shanghai.

Andaz-West-Hollywood-Hotel-11
Suite at Andaz West Hollywood

Bottom line

I consider the Diamond Suite Upgrade Awards to be the single most valuable guaranteed suite upgrade perk offered by any hotel chain. As long as there’s a suite available for sale, you can lock it in at the time of booking, which is pretty awesome. It allows you to really upgrade the stays which matter most to you.

I’m not a fan of the changes they made this year with regards to having to redeem the awards for stays by their expiration date, though.

Do you have any specific plans for your 2016 Hyatt Diamond Suite Upgrade Awards yet?

Comments

  1. @ ghostrider5408 — Which issue? I’m sharing how to find upgrade availability, and also that matched Diamond members are reporting *not* receiving suite upgrades, which I hadn’t previously heard elsewhere.

  2. Hi Ben,

    That’s exactly the case for me. I was matched to diamond on December ’15 (Through Feb 2017) and as of right now there are NO suite upgrade awards on my account.

  3. Hey Lucky,

    I have heard numerous times from Hyatt reservation agents that Diamond Suite Upgrade availability does not work as you described it here. Just because the entry-level suite is available for sale doesn’t mean you can redeem a DSU voucher for it. Apparently every hotel releases a particular quota of Diamond Suite upgradable Suites aside from the suites on sale. Also, it’s not always the case that DSUs are applied to the entry-level suite (in most cases it is). Specific example would be the Grand Hyatt Singapore where DSUs are applied to the duplex suite (which is pretty sweet).

    As I said, not sure whether this is true but I’ve heard that from Hyatt reservation agents three times now. Anyone know anything more about this?

  4. I did a Hyatt status challenge last year for Diamond status. I did receive my suite upgrades today.

  5. It shows 3 earned/3 used for 2017 which is what it showed yesterday. I believe those are from the workaround that allowed post 2/29 uses of DSUs from 2/2016 expirating DSUs.

    So I didn’t get 4 new ones. Has anyone called Hyatt?

  6. @ SQflyer — The head of Gold Passport and their marketing folks have repeatedly confirmed to me that inventory is supposed to be the same. I agree that communication doesn’t seem to be there, since this problem consistently comes up. It’s very disappointing, but the policy is supposed to be that there are no capacity controls and that Points + Cash and revenue stays count the same.

  7. Well, I just checked again and now the 4 DSUs are there. What exhilarating emotional roller coaster this morning has been, haha.

  8. I’m pretty sure all diamond members will receive 4 DSUs regardless of how they obtained their status.
    Just give it a few days.

  9. Got diamond status in August and my account still shows old records. No new suite upgrades in account yet.

  10. I was matched and I have the new suite upgrades.

    One question, how would one use a suite upgrade for a stay that starts before Feb 28 and ends after? It seems that is impossible now.

  11. I matched to Diamond last November during the SPG matching brouhaha and I have four new upgrades as of today. I still have two separate ones showing from last year that I haven’t used yet but have reserved as of last week (because of the workaround). Funny because I reserved two in January for later this March, and those don’t show up at all anymore.

  12. Another matched Diamond here (in the first few hours when they were giving it away to all comers) and I do have a new set of DSUs for 2016 in my account as of today.

  13. All, Click the “Suite Upgrade Awards” button that is under the Suite Upgrade Awards listing. That is where I found my 4 new ones. Appears to be a browser issue.

  14. Lucky, are you also still showing previously booked 2015-issued DSUs?

    I had two 2015-issued DSUs applied before the deadline to stays in late 2016 and early 2017. These appear to be categorized separately with an expiration of Feb 2017 (same as my new DSUs).

    So now I am showing 4/4 2016 DSUs available (exp Feb 2017) and 0/2 remaining(?) 2015 DSUs (also exp Feb 2017).

  15. I matched status around the end of December, after the Hyatt IT shutdown, and did not get my 2016 DSUs for quite a while after I matched, but they did eventually show up (which was surprising, because my status match confirmation email conspicuously did not mention that DSUs were a benefit, whereas a friend who matched before the IT shutdown did get an email that mentioned them). Have also gotten the 2017 DSUs today.

  16. @SQFlyer – I used a DSU at the GH Singapore and did not receive a Duplex Suite (but did get a very, very nice Grand Suite King…)

  17. @Lucky sez: “I consider the Diamond Suite Upgrade Awards to be the single most valuable guaranteed suite upgrade perk offered by any hotel chain.”

    Will you guys just stop pushing that demonstrably deceptive claim?! DSUs are no more “guaranteed” than are any other top elite suite upgrades because they ALL depend on AVAILABILITY. If there is no availability you will not clear a suite upgrade, whether it be at booking or at a check-in. The twist here is that the upgrades are being claimed as “guaranteed” rather than “confirmed”. There is no such thing. Period. Just ask the HGP T&C:

    ” A complimentary suite upgrade is valid on paid nights when paying an Eligible Rate, for a maximum of 7 consecutive nights, at participating Hyatt hotels where suite accommodations are AVAILABLE. ”

    I see no mention in the T&C of suite upgrades being “guarantee”, do you?

    Also, HH-style DCS (Diamond Complimentary Suite) upgrades are expressly disallowed in the HGP T&C:
    “Diamond members will receive the best available room (EXCLUDING SUITES), including Regency Club or Grand Club rooms, at the time of check-in.”

    This is a perk that just got gutted some more. Please do away with superlatives!

  18. @DCS The Hyatt T&C doesn’t “expressly disallow” suite upgrades; it merely spells out what Hyatt Diamond members are entitled to.

    I have received upgrades to a suite without using DSU, most recently a points reservation at the Hyatt Regency Hakone last December.

  19. @DCS you are being a wordsmithing douche – the only time Lucky uses “guarantee” in his post is in the following paragraph, where he makes VERY CLEAR that it’s a function of being available for sale, in the sentence RIGHT AFTER YOU QUOTED:

    “I consider the Diamond Suite Upgrade Awards to be the single most valuable guaranteed suite upgrade perk offered by any hotel chain. As long as there’s a suite available for sale, you can lock it in at the time of booking, which is pretty awesome. It allows you to really upgrade the stays which matter most to you.”

    Go back to shoving your laminated copy of Hilton’s T&Cs in FDC’s faces when you check in. G’day!

  20. The DSU can be difficult to use when you travel with family and I only use DSU when travel with family of four ( wife, two young kids and myself) . For example, at Park Hyatt Toronto, DSU can be only confirmed to Park Suite with a maximum capacity of 2 persons per room. In this case, DSU is useless unless the hotel is willing to accommodate you with a bigger suite, which rarely happens, at least for me.
    And I do think that an DSU should at least get Diamond member a suite fits 4 persons, since a regular room can fit 4 and an upgrade in suite should at least hold the same number of guests.

  21. @UA-NYC — No upgrade is “guaranteed” or “confirmed”, which was the prior deceptive word to make DSUs seem better than they are, even though the benefit just got gutted again. Guaranteed or “confirmed” implies a “fait accompli”, a done deal, which DSUs cannot be if they depend on availability, like any other elite suite upgrade. This is not rocket science.

    G’day!

    @TOKYOHYATTFAN — The words in the HGP T&C are quite clear. While properties do often upgrade their frequent elite guests, the statement in the T&C protects properties from HGP Diamonds who might want to making a stink if they requested and were denied complimentary suite upgrades — precisely what I like about HH’s wide open suite upgrades policy. It favors “creative” elites like me to keep getting upgraded again and again, as long as a stay, including one that’s a “pure” points-only award, is eligible..

  22. The programs are getting destoryed by all the sneaky statusmatchers… less suite upgrades for the loyal members. What an idiotic idea to do this.

  23. I was admitted to Diamond level as part of the status match program with SPG, and used 3 suite upgrades for a total of 3 weeks at the Hyatt in Kathmandu (Lucky, I can provide a detailed review if you’d like). These were all completed by late January.

    In my Hyatt account, as of the moment, it’s showing 4 repeat 4 suite upgrades available through February 2017. Isn’t that nice?

    I’ll probably hit 50 nights this year, am at 28 already, so Hyatt certainly is getting a lot of custom from me as a result of the status match.

  24. PS Hyatt Web site continues to throw errors when attempting to use the form to get past nights credited properly. On one of my stays in Kathmandu, only 1 night was credited out of 7, possibly because the stay started 31 December 2015 and continued over the New Year to 6 January 2016.

    The e-mail support agents seem to be in the Middle East, and just keep running you around in circles. They have no idea what to do, and don’t care. So I’ll have to gasp! make a phone call to sort this out, and it is hoped reach someone in the US.

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