My Kids’ Favorite Part of Staying At Hyatt Hotels

Before being status matched to Hyatt Diamond, I was a pretty loyal Starwood guy. On average, I’d guess 85% of my hotel stays were at Starwood properties.

That’s changed and I’m on track to requalify for Hyatt Diamond this year. The benefits are great and Hyatt has earned my loyalty. It’s safe to say the status match worked out as a win-win for both of us.

My favorite benefit of Diamond status is the confirmed suite upgrades. They are very useful for family travel since we all have a little more space to spread out. And they couldn’t be easier to use. There’s no need to bring along a laminated copy of the hotel’s loyalty terms.

My kids, however, have a much different reason to love Hyatt properties. The toys!

On more than one occasion, the girls have been offered a trip to the hotel’s toy chest (or wagon) for a small welcome gift.

HyattKidGifts - 4

Recently at the Park Hyatt Aviara, they were given a puzzle, coloring book and bear, who was promptly named Sandy(ego).

HyattKidGifts-1

A few months ago at the Grand Hyatt in Denver, they were given a doll and two small board books.

HyattKidGifts-3

Along similar lines, the front desk staff at the Olive 8 in Seattle, sent up chocolate chip cookies for the girls.

cookies and milk

And a couple of years ago at the Park Hyatt in Sydney, they were given this stuffed kangaroo. She remains a favorite today.

HyattKidGifts-2

Most of the toys are the kind you would find in grocery checkout line for a few bucks. So, this can’t be particularly expensive for the hotels. But, I can say from firsthand experience that tired kids perk up when they hear there are toys nearby. And happy kids mean happy adults and that is a great way to keep me coming back to Hyatt.

I’ve written before about how the small details make all the difference in the hospitality industry. And when I think back on those stays where my girls were also treated like important guests, those are also the more memorable stays where the hotel got the rest of the important stuff right too.

I understand not every hotel is going to have Santa Claus working the front desk. But, the ones that do go the extra mile for our kids do an exceptional job reinforcing my new loyalty to Hyatt.

Have you had a hotel go the extra mile for your kids when traveling? How does it affect your loyalty to the brand?

About Mike

Mike has a two year old, a four year old and an insatiable appetite for travel. Thankfully, miles and points help make family adventures much more affordable. When he’s not obsessing over his points balances, Mike is playing with his kids, enjoying the Arizona sunshine or watching hockey and football.

More articles by Mike »

Comments

  1. We didn’t receive any toy(s) for our daughter on recent stays at PH Dubai and PH Abu Dhabi. 🙁

  2. PH Chicago we got binoculars and cookies every night!

    PH DC sent us stuffed panda bears.

  3. Are these toys first-hand/brand new when they’re given to you, or would other children have played with them before and not taken them?

  4. What I like about diamond status and Hyatt with a family is the Regency clubs. It is so handy when you arrive and your kids are hungry or thirsty. The convenience of being able to pick up something quickly is huge. As well, when travelling and on different time zones, it is nice to have a place where the kids can try a little if they want.

  5. So true Mike. It doesn’t take much to make the stays extra special. As the old saying goes, “it is the thought that counts.” The hotels that make an effort to put a little thought into making your stay a little more special go a long way to earning your loyalty.

  6. The little touches do make a difference! I am a loyal Marriot fan, and we stayed at the Residence Inn Fort Lauderdale. Awesome hotel, but the star was Ryan. He made excellent burgers, was really chatty, and very friendly. Talked to everyone on the nightly (M,T,W) snack meal!

  7. I just booked the PH Aviara and the DSU booked into a park luxury suite, I couldn’t find any info or pictures online for this specific suite
    Did you by any chance stay hom in this suite?

  8. @Shim – We booked the Park Deluxe Suite but received a pretty amazing upgrade to the Presidential Suite when we arrived. Unfortunately, I don’t have specifics on the Park Luxury Suite.

  9. This is getting tiresome!

    @Mike sez: “My favorite benefit of Diamond status is the confirmed suite upgrades….There’s no need to bring along a laminated copy of the hotel’s loyalty terms.”

    There is no such thing as a “confirmed” upgrade. It depends on AVAILABILITY, like any other top elite suite upgrade. No availability, no upgrade. Period.

    BTW, you were an SPG [r.i.p] guy. Well, they refer to their SNAs as ‘confirmable’ upgrades. How about stopping the deception and calling them what they are — CONFIRMABLE, implying “guaranteed”? This is straight out of the SPG T&C: “”Suite Night Awards” may be redeemed for advance CONFIRMABLE [caps mine for emphasis but word is in original] upgrades for select, premium rooms or standard suites on a per room, per night basis, subject to AVAILABILITY [caps mine as well] and the applicable terms and conditions set forth on http://www.spg.com/50nightsbenefit .”

    It is the same thing even for airline upgrade instruments. This how “confirmable” airline upgrade instruments work:

    From UA on my recent trip to SIN upgraded with a GPU: “We’re pleased to let you know that your request for an upgrade from Chicago, IL, US (ORD – O’Hare) to Hong Kong, HK, CN (HKG) has been confirmed. If you’ve requested an upgrade for another flight in this reservation, we will notify you separately if it is confirmed.”

    Confirmable is what all upgrade instruments are UNTIL confirmed, so it does not matter whether that happens at booking or at check in. AVAILABILITY must be there first. Moreover, the so-called “confirmed” DSUs are not good on PURE award stays and there only 4 of them per year, as opposed to the ones I get based on my “laminated” copy of the T&C, which are UNLIMITED and good even on PURE award stays.

    I checked in at Conrad Hong Kong and was upgraded to harbour side suite without asking, and I am now at the Marriott Wardman Hotel in Washington, DC, where I was upgraded to a junior suite as Rewards GOLD without asking.

    G’day!

  10. We have gotten amazing toys and slippers and soaps for our son at properties in Europe. Particularly Andaz London and Park Hyatt Vienna. Our son still talks about loving hotels.

  11. @DCS, I’m not sure what your point is. Hyatt allows people to confirm a suite upgrade months in advance when a booking is made. Yes, it has to be a paid or C+P booking. Yes, it depends on availability at the time of booking. The other programs do not have this feature. They all make you wait until check in or shortly before.

  12. Hyatt Regency in San Diego (near Sea World) spoiled my cousins’ 2-year-old on a recent family stay with a series of sea world themed stuffed toys, offered at check-in, at the lounge, and left by housekeeping… the little touches went a long way with a cranky toddler!

  13. @Tom — First, no upgrade instrument is ‘confirmed’, implying ‘guaranreed.

    Second, before anyone can claim the superiority of any upgrade instrument, they need to provide evidence that the purportedly superior instrument has a much higher availability and propabality to clear than the competition, and then look at other factors (e.g. how many upgrades a year or is the upgrade good on all types of stays).

    My success rate clearing complimentary suite upgrades is better than 90% overall, and that guides my strategy. In addition, I now have as outstanding sensecfor properties that would upgrade and those that would not.

    In dim, I clear more than 10 upgrades a year, both revenue and AWARD stays. For someone who may have trouble clearing just 4 DSUs a year to make jokes about not needing “laminated T&C” dstrikes me as mindless… really.

  14. Hmm. This has NEVER happened with us at any Hyatt. We recently stayed at the Hyatt Regency Resort Tamaya (New Mexico) and the Hyatt Regency Tsim Sha Tsui (Hong Kong) and our 3 yr old daughter wasn’t offered anything. I always include in the reservation that we were traveling with a child. Could this because perhaps because you’re a Diamond? We’re “lowly” Platinums & don’t stay in suites, just regular rooms, so maybe they don’t bother with lower tier elites traveling with children…

  15. @Laura – Status might help. But, the kangaroo from the PH Sydney was given when we were Platinums. I think it just depends on each hotel. My girls haven’t received something at every Hyatt stay. But, they have only received gifts at a Hyatt.

  16. @Mike – Thanks for clarifying! We also stay at Marriotts & Starwood hotels (I’m SPG Gold) and have never experienced kids toys or amenities with those brands either. Come to think of it, the only time our daughter received any sort of “amenity” was on a Swiss flight. We were traveling in Economy and one of the flight attendants brought her a small plush airplane with the Swiss logo. She still has it & I like Swiss for doing that, so that small gesture generated goodwill from me towards the brand. I will continue not to expect anything for our daughter, but brands that demonstrate they want families as guests get repeat business from me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *