I must have missed the newsflash. Someone re-wrote the value of hotel elite status, scoring it low on the upside list for families. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.
Dia, who writes the blog Deal Mommy, is a friend of mine. Sometimes we see eye-to-eye, nodding our heads when sharing travel tips. Other times, our views depart. I read Dia’s take about how hotel status matters less for families last night.
Boy, do we disagree. I’m hoping Dia jumps in here for a friendly debate. Kinda like the throw down Jeanne and I had a few years ago before the merger of American Airlines and US Airways.
Dia uses the example of a Hyatt Regency versus a Hyatt Place in Chicago. She details the much bigger room at the Hyatt Place as her primary reasoning for why the property matters more than her elite status. This just leaves so much unaccounted for…..
Families, How Many Bedrooms And Bathrooms Are There In Your House?
Family travel is just different. If you have a couple of kids, I see you nodding your head. Don’t lurk in the back of the room. Come up front here. How many bedrooms does your family have for your 2 kids? 3, you say? Ah, yes. One for you and your spouse and one for each of your children. 2 bathrooms? Got it.
Ah, I see another hand in the back. Come on up front and help us with some more perspective. You have a smaller home? Your two kids share a bedroom with each other, while you and your husband sleep in the other bedroom? Ah, but you still have two bathrooms.
See, here’s the thing. Very few families live in one bedroom and one bathroom. So, why should we decide that’s the default answer when we go on vacation?
Dia and her daughter handled a Hyatt Place just fine. And, even though I’m spoiled, I could share a hotel room with one of my kids. No problem. But, I’m not trying to do that for a week-long vacation. That’s just not enough space for a family of 4.
Sometimes, life is about sacrifices. I see all your heads nodding out there again. But, what if you could use that elite hotel status to make family travel better. How, you ask? I’m glad you did. But, you saw that coming. 😉
How Elite Status Helps Families Travel
There are plenty of different flavors of family travel. Your style of travel will guide the sort of benefits you can get from elite status. Let’s take a look:
Earning Extra Points: Ground zero for family travel is to figure out how to get two rooms. Sure, you can survive in one room, 4 people sharing a bathroom. But, if you can earn points at a higher rate due to your elite status, that means you’ve got a better shot to be able to afford two rooms.
Connecting Rooms: One of my favorite benefits of elite status is when we’re requesting connecting rooms. Don’t get me wrong. Elite status isn’t a guarantee that you’ll get connecting rooms. Lots of variables here, including when you book and how busy the hotel is. But, being able to say, “I give this hotel chain a lot of business throughout the year and I could use your help” is a more convincing line than “pretty please, with sugar on top”.
Upgrades: Again, no guarantees. But, elite status can help you earn an upgrade to a larger room. Sure, sometimes that’s a luxurious suite at a seaside resort. But, it can also be a corner room in a sleepy Sheraton with an extra couch and some space to spread out.
Free Breakfast/Lounge Access: Free breakfast is a common benefit for folks who hold elite status, though there are a few exceptions (cough, IHG, cough). I don’t need a luxurious breakfast. I do enjoy the breakfast at both Hyatt Place and Hyatt House. It’s more than enough for our family of 4.
I also like the comfort of knowing that I’ll get a breakfast at all the other properties in the portfolio. That can add up to some big savings in a European city where no Hyatt Place is available. Okay, I can’t help it. I’m throwing in the obligatory Park Hyatt Paris Vendome reference just to try and get under Dia’s skin. But, I think the Hyatt Regency Etoile is an even better fit for families, especially when they complete room renovations.
The Final Two Pennies
Come on Dia. Give me your best shot! It’s still a good time to be an elite member of a hotel loyalty program. Does that mean you should spend hundreds of dollars mattress running? I’d lump that in the same category as buying points or miles when they’re “on sale”. If you know how to leverage the benefits, go for it. But, I wouldn’t recommend either speculatively.
Hotel elite status can make a big difference in the quality of family travel. Especially when there’s a line for the only bathroom!
Which Side Are You On?
The post Wait, Hotel Status Doesn’t Matter For Families??? was published first on Pizza in Motion