It goes without saying that there are far more important things in the world, but I think it’s only fair for me to criticize Hyatt as well, as I’m usually so positive about the brand.
Hyatt does an excellent job of managing expectations
One of the reasons I’m so loyal to Hyatt is because both the loyalty program and the hotel group as such do an amazing job of managing expectations. I’m usually a big Hyatt cheerleader, not because I get paid for it, but because the company treats me well and deserves my loyalty every time I stay. I say this as someone who currently lives in hotels and has spent most of the nights at Hyatts this year.
Hyatts won’t always be the best hotels in their respective markets, but I know I will be treated like a valued guest. I know I will get what I am entitled to without having to beg. and i know i won’t be disappointed. That’s why I go to Hyatts.
My Hyatt stays have not been very seamless
I’ve been on a losing streak with Hyatt lately. Individually, these are all small things, but when you add them up, the friction reminds me a lot more of what I normally experience with other hotel groups than with Hyatt. And maybe I just appreciate how simple my Hyatt experiences usually are.
While things do not occasionally go right with every hotel group, the number of things that have gone wrong at Hyatt recently has been disappointing, even if individually minor.
Points are not booked correctly and drawn incorrectly
Is World of Hyatt having problems posting points correctly? Until recently, I don’t remember a Hyatt stay that wasn’t auto-published in the past few weeks:
- I had two stays that weren’t published at all and I had to manually request that they be credited
- For one of these stays it was a hotel that did not serve breakfast. As I am a globalist member, I was promised bonus points, but of course they didn’t post either
- I booked a guest of honor for a friend and the points were drawn correctly. then on the day of check-in the same number of points was drawn again (incorrectly) without notice or communication
The points were not automatically published for my stay at the Hyatt Centric Brickell
Suite upgrade declines
I think World of Hyatt does a great job with suite upgrades. I usually only use a Globalist Suite Upgrade Award to confirm a suite at the time of booking, but I’ve had two short stays in the past few weeks that I thought it wasn’t worth burning a suite upgrade for .
Okay, luckily Globalist members get unlimited suite upgrades based on availability at check-in, but I got declined at both hotels. This despite the fact that both hotels were still selling suites at the time of check-in.
Again, it’s not a big deal, but that felt a lot more similar to me than I’m used to from Marriott Bonvoy than from World of Hyatt, especially since one of the hotels was really empty. I wonder if Hyatt has actually not done a good job of providing suite upgrade benefits lately. Didn’t I have these issues because I had pre-suite requests for suite upgrades for virtually all reservations?
We got a standard room at the Hyatt Highlands Carmel
Disappointing hotel experience
My last two hotel stays were at the Hyatt Highlands Carmel and the Thompson Chicago. Both stays were … not great. The two properties had some things in common:
- Both denied suite upgrades despite showing that suites were up for sale
- Both opted to keep their restaurants closed (although this wasn’t required by local regulations) and didn’t offer any reasonable alternatives other than a small number of points
In the case of the Hyatt Highlands Inn, I have to say the hotel, other than the view, was extremely overwhelming and in desperate need of some maintenance (this is a Category 7 hotel, just like the Park Hyatt Paris or Park Hyatt Sydney).
If you closed your restaurant that’s fine, but the hotel didn’t even have snacks for sale. Why pay more than $ 500 a night for a hotel stay and there isn’t a piece of food for sale on the property (not even a bag of fries)? I long for the new Marriott breakfast machine.
Hyatt Highlands Carmel
Hyatt Highlands Carmel
Hyatt Highlands Carmel
So where do we even begin with my experience in Thompson Chicago, which contrasted so much with the other Thompson stays I’ve had that have been phenomenal?
- As mentioned above, this is a property where we were told there were no suites available even though they were shown as available
- The restaurant was closed, but at least the hotel had a room service menu through a third party
- However, as a globalist member, I was told that they would not cover breakfast through a third party room service but would give me 500 points per person per day if I did not serve breakfast
- I wouldn’t have a big problem with this if the hotel was reasonable, but 500 points is just not an acceptable alternative to breakfast. I estimate Hyatt points at 1.5 cents each, which means 500 points are worth $ 7.50 to me
- I booked through the Hyatt Privé, which came with $ 75 in credit. The only way to buy it was a snack basket they had in a back room with some drinks and no alternative was offered. Spending $ 75 on M & Ms and Diet Pepsi isn’t easy!
- One of the two elevators in the hotel was broken but there was a sign that said only two people should use the elevator at the same time so everything went as smoothly as you would expect
- When I tried to check out at 6am, there was no employee to be seen. I waited a few minutes and yelled “hello” but no one answered, so I just left (by the way, I only saw one member of staff at a time).
- Imagine if they couldn’t even deduct the $ 12 fee I piled up for snacks out of the hotel during my stay, so I have to come back to that as well
Quite a choice for using my $ 75 balance!
Our (not free) breakfast at Thompson Chicago
What’s my point
Like I said, all of these things are pretty insignificant individually, so what’s my point? Aside from trying to be fair and highlighting some less than optimal Hyatt experiences, I noticed a few things:
- To a certain extent, your perception of a hotel group is only as good as your last stay. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I’m losing faith in Hyatt, but I’m feeling (temporarily) lukewarm about the brand right now
- It reminds me how seamless my Hyatt experiences usually are, as I usually don’t even have to look ahead to see if suites are up for sale, if my points have been published correctly, etc. because I just know the right thing is going to happen . that hasn’t happened lately
- Smaller things can really add up and cause trouble – for example, if you choose not to serve breakfast, fine, but then don’t promise me points and then don’t post them and make me beg for them
- When people get off and travel, you manage your expectations when it comes to the hotel experience. Don’t expect the same level of service in terms of facilities, staff, etc. whether the rates are lower or higher than before the coronavirus.
- Obviously, hotels are in a tough spot financially, but there’s an element of chicken or egg here; Which comes first, brings back basic services, or expects guests to pay for hotel rooms?
Am I the only one who’s been unlucky with Hyatt lately? Still having issues with items that haven’t been published or whatever?