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.
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?
Then you’ll be brought to the page listing all their room types, and on the bottom right click on “Suite.”
The first suite listed should be their entry level suite, which is the Park Suite.
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.
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.
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?