A little over a week ago, just like over 10,000 other people, I contacted Hyatt to see if they would match my top-tier Marriott Platinum status to Hyatt Diamond status and, just like most of the other applicants, I had to wait to see what the rely would be.
A couple of days ago I received an email thanking me for getting in touch and informing me that, thanks to the logjam, it could be up to 14 business days before I received news of any offer of a status match. Well, just 24 hours after that email, Hyatt got in touch with the news I wanted to hear:
Congratulations! You have now been upgraded to our Diamond Tier status which is valid through February 2017. As a Diamond member, you will be instantly recognized as one of our valued guests at any Hyatt worldwide.
Diamond membership entitles you to a wide range of exclusive services and benefits. In order to continue to receive exclusive Diamond membership benefits, simply complete 25 stays or 50 nights at any Hyatt hotel or resort worldwide during the course of the calendar year.
Thank you for choosing Hyatt, and we hope you enjoy the privileges of Diamond membership when staying at any Hyatt worldwide.
I was genuinely pretty excited as I’ve wanted to try Hyatt out for some time but a combination of their comparatively small footprint and the comfort-zone of Marriott Platinum status always seemed to get in the way.
Things are a bit different now. With the luxury of Hyatt top-tier status I think I’ll be more than happy to leave my Marriott comfort zone and explore the “wide range of exclusive services and benefits” that the Hyatt email talks about and I’ll almost certainly put a lot more business Hyatt’s way in 2016.
There’s just one problem. As I started to plan the Hyatt stays for the next 13 months I rapidly realised that, outside of the well-known suite upgrades, I know next to nothing about the benefits that come with Hyatt Diamond status. Sure, I’ve seen all the Hyatt talk that Lucky posts, and I’m aware that a lot of people think very highly of the Hyatt offering…but what exactly do you get?
What does Hyatt Diamond status offer?
According to the Hyatt Gold Passport webpage you get quite a bit:
- Achieve rewards even faster with a 30% point bonus when choosing points
- Enjoy the best room available upon arrival, excluding suites
- Receive exclusive access to the Regency Club or Grand Club lounge featuring complimentary continental breakfast and evening hors d’oeuvres. Enjoy daily complimentary full breakfast in hotels without a club lounge
- Treat yourself to a suite upgrade at the time of reservation four times annually on eligible paid nights
- Receive a special welcome point bonus or food and beverage amenity during each stay
- Receive a nightly room refresh
- Stay connected with complimentary premium Internet access where available
- Expedited check-in at a dedicated area for elite members
- Ensure a room is always available with our 48-hour guarantee
- Extend your stay until 4:00 p.m. with a late check out request
- Book reservations through an exclusive Diamond line
- Enjoy two complimentary one-time-use United Club passes annually
- Now with Guest of Honor, share your Diamond benefits with friends and family when you redeem points for a free night for them in 2016.
How many of these benefits are really any use to me?
- The “best room upon arrival” is an interesting one – I rarely book anything but the basic room because I generally don’t see the point of paying for a view I rarely see (I’m usually out) or paying for a larger room (Joanna and I only need so much space). Nevertheless this could be a nice perk if the upgrade is more than just to a slightly bigger room. I’ll have to wait and see how this works out.
- 30% bonus on points earned is nice but not earth-shatteringly so and it’s just 15% more than what the Platinum tier gets. A lot of people will probably earn the majority of their Hyatt Gold Passport points from credit card spend so the 30% bonus earned on Hyatt stays may not be material – it certainly isn’t for me.
- 4 suite upgrades a year – this is the big one. When we’re traveling as a family we’re either using one of the timeshares or, if we’re staying in a hotel, we have to book two rooms. That starts to add up pretty quickly which is why we’ve been looking to AirBnB more and more. Suite upgrades could change that as most Hyatt suites have a separate living area with a good-sized sofa bed so we could have the amenities of a hotel without paying through the nose for all of us to stay.
- Club access and breakfast is a great benefit which has real monetary value. While I don’t particularly need a larger room I do tend to have to buy breakfast so I’m certainly going to appreciate this perk.
- Welcome point bonus/welcome amenity – nice but not exactly important.
- Nightly room refresh – completely unnecessary
- Complimentary internet access – everyone gets this so it’s not anything special.
- Expedited check-in area – again, this is one of the nice options to have when the hotels are busy but it’s not something that stands out as a great perk.
- 48-hour room guarantee – I can’t remember I last booked a hotel less than a month out so I’m not really going to need this benefit.
- Extended check-out to 4pm if available – this is probably the second biggest perk (to my mind). I’ve lost count of the number of times being able to keep my hotel room until late afternoon would have been amazingly useful so I’m looking forward to seeing just how successful I am with my requests.
- Exclusive Diamond line – probably only going to be any use when trying to reserve a suite upgrade – for all other bookings I can’t see why I wouldn’t just use the internet.
- United Club passes – not much use to me as I don’t really fly with United
- Share Diamond benefits – may be useful if I redeem points for Joanna but I’m not sure that will be happening often enough to make this a perk I value.
There are three major benefits to Hyatt Diamond status that will probably encourage me to attempt to keep my status past February 2017:
- Suite upgrades
- 4pm check out
- Club access & breakfast.
My Marriott Rewards Platinum status doesn’t give me either of the first two benefits (but I do get free breakfast) and it also doesn’t give me anything that I need that Hyatt doesn’t – so that makes it very tempting to put a lot more stays Hyatt’s way.
It will be interesting to see just how easily I get the more discretionary benefits (room upgrades and late check-outs) and just how much difference they make. That, combined with just how easy the suite upgrades are to get, will go a long way to helping me decide whether I make a serious push for Hyatt Diamond Status past February 2017.
Featured Image: Grand Hyatt Hong Kong courtesy of Hyatt.