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The Shay, A Destination Hotel in Culver City, California, was originally slated to open in late summer 2020 but as with most hotel openings scheduled for 2020, that date was pushed back into 2021. The property is now set to open its doors on 1 November 2021 but unless you have top-tier Globalist status or you’re planning to use World of Hyatt points, you probably shouldn’t be in too much of a rush to visit.
The Shay is a World of Hyatt Category 5 property and is located in the new “Ivy Station” complex in Culver City (Los Angeles).
The property describes itself as “a unique hotel buzzing with the city’s creative energy. Warm and eclectic comforts can be found throughout: pop-up shops in the lobby, soft crackling sounds from the lobby fire pit, and rooftop socials on a pool deck overlooking downtown Los Angeles”…and that all sounds very nice.
What you won’t find the Shay highlighting in its promotional materials is the fact that it will be charging most guests a destination fee of $30 + tax for every night that they stay at the property.
In fairness to Hyatt, the fact that the Shay charges a destination fee is mentioned above the room rates when you select the property as your chosen destination…
…although guests will have to be diligent enough to make sure that they click on the “read more” option above the room rates if they’re to actually see the destination fee mentioned.
As always, clicking on the appropriate link reveals what guests will be getting for an extra $30 + tax per night and as usual, it’s not exactly a Smörgåsbord of exciting benefits:
- Two Single Ride Metro Passes for Exposition Line Per Stay: Santa Monica Beach to DTLA
- Daily Drop Off Service Via Lyft within 2 mile radius between 7am and 7pm (ex: From the Kenneth Hahn State Park to Sony Studios)
- VIP Treatment Upgrade at Ivy Station’s Destination day spa: Milk & Honey Spa
- $12 off class per stay at Ivy Station’s three Wellness Partners: Yoga Six, Stretch Lab, & Barre
- The Shay guest Exlusive [sic] Pricing on Functional Fitness Training in Culver City with Celebrity Training Center: Esser Fitness
- Exlusive [sic] Craft Beer & California Wine Tasting at Culver City’s Arts District Beer & Wine Emporium (Hi Lo)
- CoolHaus Women Owned Ice Cream Sandwhich [sic] Shop (Arts District) named best ice cream sandwhich in LA
- Complimentary Electric Vehicle Charging (Ivy Station)
- Complimentary National/Domestic Calls
- Printing and Copying Service Through Guest Services (25 pages)
- 24 Hour Fitness Center Access on 2nd Floor Including Peloton Bikes
- PressReader Digital Newspaper Service During Stay (domestic and international news and magazines)
- In Room Nespresso Coffee (Kettle & Tea Setup upon request)
On a positive note, anyone booking using World of Hyatt points will not have to pay the destination fee, neither will a top-tier World of Hyatt Globalist member regardless of the rate they’re staying on, but that doesn’t get us away from the fact that the Shay, like the Thompson Hollywood, the Andaz West Hollywood and a number of other Hyatts in the area, thinks it’s ok to use services that almost no one needs or plans to use (national and domestic calls, PressReader Digital Newspaper Service, and, printing and copying services), or one-time minor benefits (2 metro passes, $12 off a wellness class) to charge guests $30 + tax for every night of their stay.
Sure, some people may be able to make use of the EV charging that’s available around the corner from the Shay but apart from the fact that it isn’t clear if the EV charging is also free to non-guests (the charging station isn’t part of the hotel and may be a benefit of the Ivy Station’s shopping mall), how many people visiting the Shay will actually arrive with an Electric Vehicle?
Joanna and I are not untypical hotel guests and if we were visiting the Shay (and had to pay the destination fee every night), we may find ourselves using the Metro passes (onetime use only) and there’s an outside chance that Joanna may use the spa upgrade, but there’s nothing else in that list that would be of any interest and yet we would still be charged $30 + tax per night on top of the room rate. How is that anything but a rip-off?
The problem Hyatt fans now have is that five of the seven full-service properties that Hyatt has (or will soon have) in and around Los Angeles, all now charge a Destination fee…
- Hotel Figueroa (Unbound Collection) – $25 + Tax
- The tommie Hollywood – $18 + Tax (opening 1 December 2021)
- The Thompson Hollywood – $25 + Tax
- The Andaz West Hollywood – $30.03 + Tax
- The Shay – $30 + Tax
- Hyatt Regency Los Angeles Airport – No Destination Fee
- Hyatt Regency Long Beach – No Destination Fee
…so this is an epidemic.
Sure, this isn’t a big issue if you’re booking with points or if you have Globalist status but even the most hardcore Hyatt fan can’t argue with the feeling that this is unacceptable.
Considering just how much the state of California loves to regulate things, I can’t believe this kind of rip-off pricing is still allowed…but it is.
The Shay in Culver City will be opening its doors on 1 November but unless you have top-tier World of Hyatt status or are making a booking with points, I suggest you stay away. There is no justification for the $30 + tax nightly destination fee that the property is set to charge (most of its guests) and as I said when discussing this exact issue with the Thompson Hollywood, the sooner we get people boycotting properties that choose to add these deceptive and ridiculous fees to guest accounts the sooner we may start to see properties rethinking their pricing policies.
All images of the Shay are courtesy of Hyatt