What do you get when one of the most likable executives in the travel industry invites 25 or so frequent travelers to come have a drink? The Milepoint/Hyatt Happy Hour.
No question I’m a Hyatt HomerTM. But I think the attendees at this event would all tell you Hyatt threw a good party. Jeff Zidell, the VP of Hyatt Gold Passport, reached out to Milepoint a few months ago with the idea to throw a small party exclusive to Milepoint members so the folks at Gold Passport could spend more time with some of their most loyal customers.
Fast forward to last night when people flew in from as far away as Frankfurt, Germany to be a part of the event at Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile. I wrote up my review on Hyatt Magnificent Mile yesterday from a previous stay, and the property lived up to all of my expectations again.
The lobby is a very versatile space, lending itself to quiet conversations and more rousing parties all in the same area. We were somewhere in between and hung out at the sushi bar. Hyatt presented platters of sushi made right in front of us and a selection of appetizers for everyone to dine on and the bar was open with plenty of premium choices for guests to enjoy.
What else did Hyatt bring to the table? They brought executives from Gold Passport to answer questions members had. They also gave away a free night to any Hyatt property worldwide (no exceptions) to two lucky attendees.
Jeff Zidell also took questions after saying a few words near the end of the program. Two of the answers stuck out for me, one that’s important for me and the other that’s important for you (if you haven’t considered a move to Hyatt).
First, Jeff announced that the hotels will be bringing back toothpaste in the rooms shortly. No, this isn’t necessarily the important one for folks thinking about a change to the Hyatt program. But, it’s a feature I really enjoyed because it was just one more thing I didn’t have to bother packing when I traveled. Starting April 1st, hotels will have toothpaste back in all the rooms. Jeff said that there’s a real, not insignificant cost to providing this benefit to guests. I believe them, and applaud Hyatt for putting this benefit back in place. The compromise here is that toothpaste won’t be replenished every day of a stay, only when needed on longer stays. That sounds perfectly reasonable to me, as I rarely stay anywhere long enough to exhaust an entire tube. And, between you and me, it was just easier to carry one of those tubes in my liquids bag for all the other chains that don’t bother to provide toothpaste in the room.
Second, Jeff was happy to report that Diamond challenges are alive and well. This means if you have top-tier elite status with another hotel chain, Hyatt is ready to match that status with Hyatt Diamond status. They also match lower level status as well in certain cases. Diamond is by far my favorite hotel loyalty status level. Hyatt offers four confirmed suite upgrades on paid reservations each year confirmable at booking. I wish these were eligible for award stays but that’s not in the cards yet. My personal experience is that individual Hyatt hotels can also be very generous with upgrades and special attention to Diamond members. At properties that don’t have a Regency club or lounge, you’ll usually enjoy a full breakfast in the restaurant with few limitations on what you can order. And, there are a good number of properties that will allow you to take your free breakfast benefit in the form of room service. That can add up to some pretty big savings over the course of a vacation.
Jeff also touched on some technology issues, that they’re working to get Points & Cash bookings online but they don’t expect that until later this year or early next year.
All in all, a great night for a handful of Milepoint members new and old, and we look forward to doing it again in the future. Hope to see you there next time!