My Hotel Elite Status: Recap of 2016 And Looking Forward To 2017

I knew that my January was going to be brutal on the road.  It performed as advertised and I’m exhausted.  There’s still 10 days left and I still have another business trip.  Sandwiched in between I’ll need to find time to build two Pinewood Derby cars and help plan a birthday party for my soon-to-be 6-year old son.  Here’s hoping February slows down a bit.

To that end, I’m running way behind on laying out hotel and airline elite status plans for 2017.  I’m still working on my flight activity for 2016, but today’s topic is hotel elite status in 2017.  I went back to review my goals for 2016 (you can see them, too).  The plan was to push as much paid hotel stays towards Hyatt as possible, working towards finishing up lifetime Diamond status.  I hit lifetime Platinum status with Starwood early in the year as planned.

Hyatt Gold Passport:

Hotel Elite Status

I easily re-qualified for Hyatt Diamond status with 55 stays and 84 eligible nights in 2016.  I stayed at the following new Hyatt hotels:

  • Hyatt Regency Calgary
  • Park Hyatt New York
  • Hyatt Place Flushing/Laguardia Airport
  • Hyatt Place Panama City/Downtown
  • Hyatt Place Fort Wayne
  • Hyatt Place Pittsburgh Airport
  • Hyatt Place Pittsburgh-South Side
  • Haytt House Pittsburgh/Bloomfield
  • Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa
  • Hyatt Regency Tulsa
  • Hyatt Place Tulsa-South
  • Hyatt Place Oklahoma City Airport
  • Hyatt Place Santa Fe
  • Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa
  • Hyatt Centric Park City
  • Hyatt Place Lincoln, NE
  • Hyatt Place Omaha
  • Hyatt Regency St. Louis At The Arch
  • Hyatt Place St. Louis/Chesterfield
  • Park Hyatt Toronto
  • Hyatt Regency Toronto
  • Hyatt House Pleasant Hill, NJ
  • Hyatt Regency North Dallas
  • Hyatt Regency Aurora-Denver Conference Center
  • Hyatt Regency Vancouver
  • Park Hyatt Sydney (wow, what a property!)
  • Hyatt Regency Indianapolis
  • Hyatt Place Indianapolis Airport
  • Park Hyatt Vienna
Hotel Elite Status

Park Hyatt Vienna

  • Hyatt Regency LAX
  • Hyatt Place Asheville
  • Hyatt Regency Cincinnati
  • Hyatt Centric The Loop Chicago
  • Hyatt Regency Columbus
  • Hyatt Place Columbus/OSU
  • Hyatt Place Columbus/Worthington
  • Hyatt Regency Wichita
  • Hyatt Regency Jersey City
  • Hyatt Place Yonkers

Wow.  That’s one heck of a list.  I had a lot of travel to new cities because of the Results Junkies North American Tech Tour.  It was a whirlwind.  I don’t expect to visit some of these cities again soon, so I did a bit of hotel hopping to add a few unique Hyatts here and there.  I’m happy to answer questions about any of these hotels.  I obviously did a really bad job reviewing them for you last year.  I’ll try to get better at that in 2017.

I should cross the finish line for lifetime Hyatt Diamond early in 2017.  I’m expecting that will mean lifetime Hyatt Globalist, but with the new changes I can’t be 100% sure.  Stay tuned!

Starwood Preferred Guest:

Hotel Elite StatusI honestly have no idea how I hit 100 nights in 2016.  I mean, I did it, so it’s real.  But, wow.  If you do the math between Hyatt and SPG, you’d think I was never home (my wife would agree with you).  But, I had a number of SPG stays where I booked more than one room for family travel.  SPG elite members get credit for up to 3 rooms in their name each night.  Plus, I had a 10-night head start because I hold both the personal and business versions of the SPG AMEX card.  It’s absolutely one of my favorite credit cards as a business traveler.  Notable new SPG properties in 2016 included:

  • Le Meridien Indianapolis
  • La Posada de Santa Fe
  • SLS Las Vegas
What About 2017?

I should have lifetime status with Hyatt locked up early in 2017.  I have Marriott Platinum status by virtue of the Marriott/SPG merger and my lifetime SPG Platinum status.  The first thing a status junkie would say, “Which new program should I start focusing on?”

I think the answer is none.  It’s possible that I have Hilton Diamond again in 2017.  I’ve contemplated whether it’s worth making a run towards lifetime status there, but I don’t really think I have the motivation to do so.  Lee from Bald Thoughts has me considering a run at Kimpton status.

Here’s the thing, though.  I love Hyatt.  The new changes are good for me.  Top elites will be rewarded more handsomely than before.  And, they just deliver on benefits.  I never have to ask for a late check-out.  I’m upgraded way more than I should be.  The hotels are, by and large, very nice.

As a backup, I have SPG Platinum status and at least one more year with my SPG Ambassador, who our family adores.  I’ve got a post coming up on that, but suffice it to say he’s already started 2017 out great for us.

So, why would I pursue more status?  I don’t think I will.  I may be a bit more of a free agent this year, but likely not in the pursuit of more elite status.  I still have enough business travel that our leisure travel will use the points I’m earning for free rooms.  Stay tuned for better efforts to provide timely reviews on hotels we’re visiting.

What Are Your Hotel Elite Status Plans For 2017?

 

3 Comments

  1. Hi Ed. Congrats on all the hotel recognition. Im with you that over 196 nights between just hyatt/SPG is alot. But based on how much you have shared your family means to you, Im guessing you just put in that much extra effort when you are with them. 🙂

    You post today may be timed perfectly today for a situation we need to decide today. So if you or your readers have any thoughts, that would be great.

    SITUATION: WHETHER TO CHOOSE MARRIOT OR SPG CHALLENGE

    GOAL:
    We currently dont have any status other than lower tier at a couple. My spouse has 3 business trips coming up next week, next month, and march stay would add up to 9 nights. So before she left, we sat down to see if this could turn into something. Since we have no status, hotels that offer a match doesnt help. So we needed a challenge. Which seems great, because Marriot/SPG do. Marriot is 9 stays and SPG 9 nights. Amy can break up these 9 nights into 9 different stays alternating hotels…and then her challenge would be complete with no mattress run needed or extra cost. But marriot will only offer a challenge to gold. Spg will off a challenge to platinum, but she needs 18 nights…and they have said its 90 days from today that all nights would need to be completed. 9 nights would be covered…then an extra 9 nights would not only need to fit in, but would need to be paid for out of pocket. But we could get her Platinum. The goal is maybe two fold. In order to earn the companion pass again, we will go the marriot vacation route and have to use a vacation within the next 12 months. So given I have to stay at a Marriot, having at least higher status would hopefully make that experience the best it can be.

    But the real plan is to use SPG Platinum to ask Hyatt to match us to Diamond. Like Ed, Hyatt works the best for us and having Diamond has been wonderful. I just wish we could qualify each year without creative strategies. And after all data points, at least in 2016, Hyatt seems to match Diamond with the highest level of reassurance only to SPG Platinum. And then after Hyatt, maybe even trying Hilton and IHG as we are finally going to try and use some of these points with mutliple trips the next 24 months than just letting them sit. So even if we only get status for 12 months, we are then going to try and see which programs you can buy back your previous year status and then which ones you can earn again by true CC spend that we could target based on real business expenses. But not entirely sure whether each program deserves that. But when we are overseas, I can also now look at maybe building more rooms then at lower rates based on some off peak seasons to get us closer in the future.

    SUMMARY
    So if Amy could get a status challenge to paltinum, then booking these 9 nights into 9 stays would be easiet. But currently, just being challenged to gold isnt helping…or wony help ask a hyatt to match her to diamond.

    Spg could also work, but then we still need to meet 9 nights so obviously any average hotel here (even lower SPG) is still 85.00 plus tax. But I also understand that it then comes down to “what is this worth to us”…so I dont ever mind spending money to help us achieve our goal. Just trying to do it the smartest way possible.

    Amy is still trying to see if Marriot will offer a platinum challenge or if there is a way for her to instantly get GOLD so she could get the right challenge.

    QUESTIONS:

    ANY INSTANT MARRIOT GOLD STRATEGY. (without applying for Ritz Marriot)
    1. But if anyone has any ideas or other thoughts around an instant fast track to Marriot Gold? We are all ears.

    CHEAPEST SPG HOTELS IN US?
    2. If we can only get a marriot challenge to GOLD, then we will need to go the SPG route…so Im wondering if any readers has found the cheapest SPG property to fly to and mattress run the remaining 9 nights? Which hotels to consider?

    WILL HYATT STILL MATCH TO THEIR DIAMOND EVEN IF SPG PLATINUM WAS EARNED THRU MARRIOT CHALLENGE AND THEN MERGER MATCH?
    3. If she did take the Marriot path instead and got Platinun thru 9 marriot stays….obviously, she would get a match to SPG based on the merger. When she calls to talk to Hyatt about matching to Diamond…do you feel they were would less excited because she earned it thru a marriot run to SPG platinum and not a SPG challenge?

    Someone may say “how would they know” and Im only asking in case she needs to prove she had stays in SPG that show thats how she got there.

    I know this is long…so I thank everyone who reads this and offers any advice. We will need to make a decision tonight one way or another as she leaves Monday. So we would need to tell SPG/Marriot which challenge to take.

    Thanks everyone. Jp

  2. When the other hotel brands finally drive you away, definitely check out Kimpton. They treat me so awesome! Yes, Kimpton is much smaller than the other brands, so you won’t find them in every city, but they are expanding very quickly with the acquisition by IHG a couple of years ago.

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