After many years as an SPG loyalist, Hyatt has been my go-to chain for at least the last 5 years. I still continue to stay at SPG properties frequency. I even earned my lifetime SPG Platinum status recently.
That doesn’t change the fact that I’m a Hyatt HomerTM at heart. They honor their benefits, do what they say they’ll do and have properties in some pretty awesome places (hello, Park Hyatt Sydney).
I’ve had folks intimate in the past that I treat Hyatt with kid gloves. So, even though this story is a few days old, I figured I needed to share my thoughts, pointing out the warts along with the highlights.
Essentially, Hyatt eliminated the separate award chart they maintained for Hyatt Residence Club properties. This appears to have been done in conjunction with recent award chart changes, mostly positive for members. These are “timeshare” style properties located around the US (with one in Puerto Rico) that used to represent a phenomenal value to families. You can see the pool and lazy river complex for the Bonita Springs Residence Club, where we stayed at the sister hotel Hyatt Regency Coconut Point. We spent just as much time at the Residence Club pool (if not more) than at the home resort, though that may change with an upcoming expansion to the resort pool complex.
The two Hyatt Residence Clubs we have experience with featured plenty of family and children’s activities. We would absolutely return.
I agree with Mommy Points on her thoughts that Hyatt has built up a lot of trust with frequent travelers over the years. I have very little reason to doubt them based on previous performance. And yet, it seems unfathomable that someone could make the decision to assign these properties to categories for the first time and not realize they needed to notify members.
It’s the same surprise I felt when American Airlines eliminated some valuable awards from their chart a few years ago without any notice. The first time a program makes a drastic change with no notice after years of valuing your loyalty, it’s not time to throw the baby out with the bath water.
I’m just really hoping this doesn’t go the way of American, who’s moved away from telegraphing changes clearly and early so members can act accordingly.
These properties really do represent a small sliver of Hyatt’s worldwide portfolio. And, judging from the fact that there hasn’t been a lot of hand-wringing in mileage forums or in response to blog posts on the change, this is turning out to be something of a non-event. But, sometimes the best measure of a person or company are of the things they do when nobody is looking.
Hyatt can’t unring the bell of changing these awards. For those that might have been saving up to redeem for a 2 or 3-bedroom, they’ll be gambling now as to whether they can score the perfect room for their family vacation. They’ll be able to more accurately search inventory online (though I’d still call customer service if you don’t find what you want). There’s usually a last drop of inventory within 60 days, and again within 30 days of arrival at most of these properties, when owners dump their weeks to exchange for points if they haven’t sold them.
I’ll keep knocking on wood with the belief this was an unintended mistake by Hyatt, and not a page out of the
America West US Airways new American Airlines’ handbook.
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