Hyatt has been on quite a run recently and it looks like it's planning to continue that run for a few more years. Recently, the hotelier has been adding more and more SLH properties to the World of Hyatt program, it has announced a significant expansion on the West Coast and now Hyatt tells us that we can expect a doubling of its Canadian portfolio over the coming 3 years.
For the past few months it has been Marriott's Bonvoy program that has been in the spotlight for, amongst other things, increasing the number of points needed for award bookings and allowing its various brands to pick and choose which benefits they're happy to offer elite guests...but Marriott isn't alone when it comes to shenanigans within its loyalty program.
Last month I noticed that one of my preferred hotels in Los Angeles, the Andaz West Hollywood, had quietly introduced a $23.10 destination fee for all non-award bookings (award bookings appeared to have escaped the fee) and I managed to get the Andaz to comment on the new surcharge.
There was a time where the best rate guarantees offered by the big hotel chains were a valuable tool in getting great deals but over the past few years most programs have watered down their guarantees to such an extent that they're not often worth very much (some don't seem to be worth anything at all).
Over the past year Hyatt has been doing a good job of expanding the opportunities available to its World of Hyatt members by adding a significant number Small Luxury Hotel (SLH) properties to the list of hotels at which members can earn and burn Hyatt points....and now the expansion continues.
Yesterday I published a post in which I shone a spotlight on the Andaz West Hollywood as I pointed out that the property has started charging guests a 'Destination Fee' of $23.10 per night on top of whatever nightly rate is on offer. As usual the post got sent out on Twitter but this time I also specifically sent a tweet to the Andaz West Hollywood (with a link to the post) to see if I could get the property to address the points I made.
Over the weekend View From The Wing reported that a reader had noticed that Hyatt has started rolling out (or possibly just piloting) a scheme which rewards guests with World of Hyatt points if they choose to make a "Green Choice" and decline housekeeping services for one or more nights of their stay.
The Andaz West Hollywood happens to be one of my favorite Hyatt hotels but I’m going to have to call the property out for what appears to be a very underhand and customer unfriendly move.
Hyatt has always offered a pretty compelling loyalty program even if it has made qualifying for its top-tier status a monumental challenge for those of us who aren't road warriors. The problem with Hyatt has always been that its relatively small footprint makes it incredibly difficult to be loyal to the program as, in many locations, there simply isn't a Hyatt property at which to stay.
Cyber crime is a thing we have to live with nowadays and announcements of major hacks seem to be getting more commonplace. The Equifax hack was probably the most publicised hack from the past 18 months but the recent admission by Marriott that details of up to 383 million guests were compromised makes the hotelier the victim of one of the largest hacks so far....and things won't stop there.