World of Hyatt is announcing some pretty nice benefits today for customers who are health-minded. Hyatt has been focusing more on wellness over the past couple of years. I’m not surprised to see this announcement from them today.
Hotel loyalty programs are looking for ways to reward members in more meaningful ways. Starwood Preferred Guest was really the pioneer with things like SPG moments, where you can redeem points for experiences like a tennis lesson with Andre Agassi or tickets to a concert.
Exhale Spa is an upscale line of spa/fitness centers in major metropolitan markets around the country. Hyatt is deepening their partnership with Exhale by allowing members to earn and redeem their points at Exhale Spa locations. They go even further by offering free access to some World of Hyatt elite members.
Earn And Redeem At Exhale Spa Locations
Hyatt announced the ability to both earn and redeem points at Exhale Spa locations:
- World of Hyatt members earn 10 Base Points per eligible dollar spent at participating Exhale locations
- World of Hyatt Credit Cardmembers will earn four (4) Bonus Points per eligible dollar spent on their card at participating Exhale locations
- Hyatt Credit Cardmembers will earn three (3) Bonus Points per eligible dollar spent on their card at participating Exhale locations
- World of Hyatt members will receive their standard tier Bonus Points on eligible spend (10% Discoverist, 20% Explorist, 30% Globalist)
- World of Hyatt members can redeem points for individual fitness classes or select spa therapies
- Members can redeem 2,000 World of Hyatt points for fitness classes
- Members can redeem 12,000 World of Hyatt points for a 60 minute massage or a 60 minute facial
Exhale has locations in major metropolitan markets like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. I took a quick peek at pricing and actually saw some pretty good values there. More on that in a bit.
Elite Status Benefits
This is definitely a first (to my knowledge) for a hotel loyalty program
World of Hyatt members have access to a number of benefits by tier, including:
- Globalists: Free access to individual Exhale classes when staying at Hyatt hotels on an Eligible Rate or Free Night Award, Room Upgrade Award, or a Points + Cash Award plus (1) free Week of Wellbeing (unlimited fitness classes and retail/spa discounts at a participating Exhale location)
- Explorists: One (1) free Week of Wellbeing (unlimited fitness classes and retail/spa discounts at a participating Exhale location)
My wife is the healthy one in the family. She’s been a pilates instructor for years and enjoys activities like yoga and barre. When we travel, she often laments that hotel gyms don’t have the types of classes she’s looking for. She’s even sought out pilates or barre studios when we’ve traveled. This one is right up her alley. I’m working to confirm a few details from Hyatt on the Globalist and Explorist benefits and how it pertains to guests in your room, etc. But, color me impressed on this benefit.
Is It Worth It To Redeem For Fitness Classes And Spa Treatments?
I spent some time on the website Hyatt and Exhale have put together for redemptions. You can follow along here for the cash prices. Here are 3 items I looked at in NYC:
- Single fitness class: $37 (2,000 points or 1.85 cents per point)
- Z Peel facial: $200 (12,000 points or 1.67 cents per point)
- Deep tissue massage: $155 (12,000 points or 1.3 cents per point)
Setting aside that a Z Peel facial scares me a bit but probably is utterly fascinating to my wife, these seem like pretty reasonable uses of World of Hyatt points. Purists, set your pitchforks down for a moment. I know the massage isn’t as good a value for redeeming points as the single fitness class.
But, for most normal folks who want to use points for a special getaway with a significant other, being able to redeem at a reasonable rate for a high-quality spa treatment should be a win. And, it might leave a few more dollars in your pocket to enjoy a nice dinner with said significant other (hint, hint).
There’s Always A Catch
There is a catch, though it’s a small one. If you want to redeem points for an Exhale fitness class or spa treatment for someone else (my wife, in my case) you need to plan ahead. You’ll need to transfer World of Hyatt points to that person and have them create their own Exhale account. They’ll then link and redeem in their own name for treatments.
Unfortunately, Hyatt doesn’t have an automated process that I’m aware of to transfer points. There’s a manual form and it takes a few days. That’s not earth-shattering, but it is a bit of a hassle to plan ahead for. My wife doesn’t travel for business, so she doesn’t have a balance in her World of Hyatt account. She does have a World of Hyatt account, so I would need to do some linking and planning to have her test this out on a future trip.
The Final Two Pennies
Positive announcement for Hyatt today. Earning and redeeming was the obvious part I expected. Elite benefits for Globalist and Explorist was an unexpected plus. Not to be the fly in the punch bowl, but I would really like to see them modify the benefit/redemption piece to include a guest who’s staying in the room with you. I’m not referring to Guest of Honor benefits, where you can bestow your elite status on someone else.
Rather, I think business travelers appreciate when their significant others are catered to. Frankly, I sometimes even struggle to make it to the gym when I’m traveling on my own for business. I have a job to do, and I need to get home to my family. When I’m relaxing on a leisure trip, this benefit is much more relevant to me. Happy wife, happy life!
I’m curious to test this benefit out at one of the Exhale Spas. Well, I’m curious for my wife to test it out! Hopefully, more to report on that front soon.
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