Hyatt

World Of Hyatt May Encourage You To Stay Somewhere Else

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Hyatt is scrapping their Gold Passport program in favor of World of Hyatt starting on March 1. The new program has a few changes that you might like, but it’s also chock full of hidden gotchas and devaluations. I’ve been busy practically since the day it was announced and haven’t really had a chance to think about it much until recently.

In fact, it was the “Welcome to Globalist” email that sort of motivated me to write about it. And, given the response in the comments, I’m not the only one who finds this program insanely confusing. I mean, when many of the top miles and points bloggers don’t even know something so simple as the requalification requirements… well, you get the idea.

Anyway, there’s another hidden gotcha in the new program, this time concerning the policies surrounding the free night awards and Diamond Suite Upgrades. Here’s how you might find yourself in the situation where Hyatt’s loyalty program actually encourages you to stay with someone else. Crazy, eh?

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The “World Of Hyatt” Philosophy Goes Beyond The Loyalty Program

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As most of you probably know by now, Hyatt is introducing the new World of Hyatt loyalty program as March 1, 2017, which will replace the Gold Passport program. While the program stays the same on the points earning and redemption side, there are a lot of changes being made to elite benefits, etc. Whether or not you’re happy about these changes probably depends on your stay patterns.

Here’s how Hyatt describes World of Hyatt as their new global platform for accomplishing their purpose:

“World of Hyatt is our new global platform, driven by our purpose to care for people so they can be their best. It’s about engaging more deeply with our community and understanding that community better. It’s an expression of who we are and what we stand for, as well as an opportunity to extend what we do with our guests, colleagues and partners beyond just hotel stays.”

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I’m Embarrassed By How Many Upgrades I Have Expiring Next Week…

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As someone obsessed with loyalty programs, I do everything I can to maximize the benefits associated with the status I earn. After all, earning status comes at a cost (both in terms of time and money), so not maximizing benefits is like throwing away money.

No matter how hard I try, I’ll never do a perfect job maximizing these programs, though I’m especially embarrassed by how many upgrades I’m having go to “waste” next week.

Most loyalty program status is earned on a calendar year basis, though typically there’s some grace period before the status expires. In the case of American AAdvantage and Hyatt Gold Passport, earned status for this past program year is valid through the end of February. The same is true of the upgrade instruments earned with those programs.

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Hyatt’s New Globalist Status Requires Even More Nights Than We Thought

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We’re only days away from the launch of the new World of Hyatt loyalty program. As we learned last fall, World of Hyatt will replace Hyatt Gold Passport starting on March 1. I’m in the midst of putting together my thoughts on the new program — spoiler alert, I’m not impressed.

There are a few things to theoretically like in the new program, particularly if you hold top tier status. Globalists, as Hyatt has decided to call them, will get unlimited complimentary upgrades to suites in addition to the four confirmed suite upgrades of the past. Perhaps I was prescient when I wrote “4 Free Upgrades Are Better Than Unlimited Suites, Really” a year ago…

Anyway, that’s about the extent of the good news. There are at least some positives to look forward to for those who can maintain top-tier status, but getting there is going to be a challenge. In fact, it’s arguably harder than most of us thought it was going to be.

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Is This The Best Hotel Room TV Setup Ever?

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I don’t usually get too excited about hotel room TVs. In fact, it’s pretty rare for my family to ever turn them on. Maybe if we’re in a foreign country, we’ll watch a cartoon so the kids can have a cultural experience, but that’s about it.

I suppose some will say that the hotel room TV is going to go the way of the desk because millennials just don’t use them. Call me old school, but I still prefer to watch TV on a big screen. And I also like to listen to it. Like really listen with real speakers, not uncomfortable earbuds or tinny laptop speakers.

The problem is that flat screen TVs are notorious for having awful sound. There just isn’t space to fit a proper speaker. So you end up with undersized cones that are typically pointed to the side, or worse, out the back. I remember being at a Hyatt Place where my wife — who was trying to sleep in the bedroom area — could hear the TV better than I could even though I was sitting right in front of it.

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The New Park Hyatt Bangkok Is Now Bookable

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Bangkok is one of the best hotel markets in the world for reasonably priced luxury hotels. Even the top five star hotels in the city can often be had for $200 per night or less.

For years I’ve been looking forward to the opening of the Park Hyatt Bangkok. However, as is common with far too many hotels, the opening date has been pushed back repeatedly. It was supposed to open in 2015, though still hasn’t opened.

The renderings of the hotel look beautiful, including of the exterior, pool, and rooms.

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Review: Grand Hyatt Amman

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I arrived in Amman at around 1:30PM, and my flight out of Amman was the following night/morning at 1:30AM, meaning I had about 36 hours on the ground.

Amman has a few options for Hyatt and Starwood loyalists. There’s the Grand Hyatt, Le Meridien, and Sheraton. While not yet open, there’s also supposed to be a W Amman opening on October 1, 2017, and a St. Regis Amman opening on December 1, 2017.

All the Hyatt and Starwood options were roughly comparably priced, so I ended up booking the Grand Hyatt, given that Tiffany was staying there, as my visit to Amman was overlapping with the tail end of her trip to Jordan.

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The 7 Best Hotel Perks Offered By Credit Cards

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There are many reasons to pick up a credit card — some are worth picking up for the sign-up bonus, some are worth picking up for the return they offer on everyday spend, and some are worth picking up for the long-term perks they offer.

While there are all kinds of perks offered on cards, in this post I figured I’d look at the best hotel perks you can get with credit cards. Here are my favorites, roughly in order:

The Citi Prestige® Card has my single favorite perk offered by any credit card. While a lot of credit cards offer some type of “free night” hotel benefit, there are usually major strings attached. Citi Prestige’s fourth night free benefit is the most straightforward out there. To sum up the basics:

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Which Hotel Programs Let You Earn Points & Elite Nights For Multiple Rooms?

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Different hotel loyalty programs have different policies as to how many points, elite qualifying stays, and elite qualifying nights you can earn if booking multiple rooms. In other words, if you often travel with family and book two rooms, can you receive elite credits and points for each of the rooms?

The rules vary by program, so in this post I figured I’d look at the policies of the major hotel loyalty programs, as they impact earning points and elite qualifying credit for multiple rooms (in the title of each section I’ve added a link to the terms & conditions):

Club Carlson lets you earn points for up to three rooms booked on the same reservation. However, you don’t earn elite qualifying nights for multiple rooms.

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Introduction: Flying With Royalty (Or Not)

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In 2016 my goal was to review as many new airlines as possible, and that’s something I want to continue into 2017. So I figured I might as well get my year off to a good start, and plan a heck of a trip for the first week of the year.

The primary motivation of this trip was to review as many new airlines as quickly as possible, though I was also excited about having stopovers that allowed me to briefly visit two countries — Jordan and Brunei — for the first time.

I only planned this trip in late December, about a week before I was due to takeoff. Let’s briefly look at the planning process.

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Hyatt’s Bizarre New Category 7 Hotel Is Where?!?

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In early 2014, Hyatt Gold Passport added a new hotel category for redemptions. Specifically, they added Category 7 hotels, which go for 30,000 points per night. Fortunately Hyatt hasn’t moved too many hotels up to this category, but rather has kept it for what are truly their most expensive hotels, like the Park Hyatt Sydney.

That’s why it’s interesting that Hyatt seems to have quietly added a new hotel to their portfolio, and I’m shocked to see what category it’s in.

Hotel Levent Istanbul is now a “Hyatt affiliate hotel.” This seems to be the former EDITION Istanbul, which is a Marriott brand. I’m not sure why the hotel chose to leave Marriott, but perhaps it has to do with their takeover of Starwood, and the number of properties that Marriott now has in the city.

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Review: Park Hyatt Vienna Park Suite

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I reviewed the Park Hyatt Vienna just over a year ago, so I’ll keep this review pretty short. We spent three nights at the Park Hyatt Vienna, and I managed to book both rooms using Points + Cash, which cost $150 plus 12,500 Gold Passport points per night. I considered that to be a pretty good value in comparison to the paid rate of 400EUR+ per night, or even in comparison to redeeming 25,000 points per room.

I used a Diamond Suite Upgrade Award for one room, though they ended up upgrading both rooms to suites, which was extremely generous. This is an area where I find that Hyatt consistently excels. While they don’t award stay credits for multiple rooms, I find that more often than not they honor all elite benefits for both rooms.

At a minimum, if you make a “Guest of Honor” booking you’re guaranteed elite benefits when redeeming points for others, even if you’re not traveling with them.

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All The Ways To Earn Hotel Elite Status With Credit Cards

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One of the trends we’re increasingly seeing is the ability to earn hotel elite status through credit cards. Rather than having to put in up to 75 nights per year worth of stays in order to earn top tier status, many hotel groups are now letting you earn status for spending certain amounts on credit cards

In this post I wanted to look at all the ways to earn elite status with credit cards for several of the major hotel chains, including Club Carlson, Fairmont, Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, and Starwood. I’ll break down the option by loyalty program and then status level:

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Introduction: Christmas Markets With A Touch Of Garuda

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As is usually the case, the motivation behind this trip started innocently enough. Ford and I were going to take Ford’s mom to the Christmas markets in Germany and Austria. Initially we were going to do a simple five day trip to Munich and Vienna (while I know there are other great markets, we wanted to keep the logistics as simple as possible).

So we redeemed Aeroplan miles (transferred from Amex Membership Rewards) for Lufthansa first class for the three of us. However, that didn’t last very long.

In late November I wrote about how Garuda Indonesia was having a Black Friday sale for travel originating in the UK. The fares were available for travel in both first & business class, and they had some of the lowest fares I’ve ever seen.

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