Travel tip: how to book & maximize value at Hyatt Hotels & Resorts

Friday newsletters always feature luxury travel conteststipsseries, or news.

Today (July 20, 2018): how to get maximum value when booking a Hyatt hotel?

Hyatt is one of the world’s premier hospitality brands and the company is rapidly expanding its already impressive global portfolio which consists of more than 500 hotels and resorts across 12 distinctive brands, each designed to deliver experiences attuned to the lifestyles, attitudes, values, and aspirations of the guests for whom it is designed: Park Hyatt, Andaz, Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Hotels, Hyatt Regency, Hyatt Place, Hyatt House, Hyatt Zilara & Ziva, Hyatt Residence club, Hyatt Centric, and the Unbound Collection by Hyatt. Park Hyatt and Andaz are considered the group’s luxury brands and rank among my favorite hotel brands in the world. Park Hyatt hotels are especially known for their acclaimed art programs, sleek and minimalist interior design, and exceptional dining venues under the direction of celebrated chefs, while Andaz properties represent upscale lifestyle boutique-style hotels catering to a younger public.

Although the more than 500 Hyatt hotels greatly vary in room rates, ranging from cheap to insanely expensive, there are several tips & tricks that can save you a few bucks on costs when staying at one of the brand’s hotels and resorts. I hereby share with you the 4 best strategies – at least in my opinion – for booking a room (or even suite) into a Hyatt property. You can share your own tricks in the comments below.

PARK HYATT ST. KITTS

1. BOOK VIA THE OFFICIAL HYATT WEBSITE

Booking the hotel directly via the official Hyatt website has three great benefits:

  • You earn World of Hyatt Points every time you stay at a hotel of the Hyatt Group. World of Hyatt is the excellent loyalty program of the Hyatt Hotel group, and allows you to earn points that can be redeemed for free (or heavily discounted) hotel nights (read my review of World of Hyatt here). You earn 5 Hyatt points for every eligible dollar spent at Hyatt whether you’re spending the day at one of Hyatt’s spas, the evening at one of Hyatt’s restaurants, or the night at one of Hyatt’s hotels. World of Hyatt elite members automatically receive a bonus on all the Hyatt points they earn: Discoverists earn a 10% bonus, Explorists a 20% bonus and Globalists a 30% bonus.
  • Hyatt offers a best rate guarantee (BRG) when you book via the official Hyatt website. Hyatt used to offer one the best BRG programs in the industry with a 20% discount on all nights, but that all changed in August 2017. Hyatt’s current BRG program is poor compared to other hotel groups and its $50 USD voucher towards a future stay is pathetic compared to the room discount you used to get (especially for a multi-night stay), but it is still better than nothing.
  • Elite members of World of Hyatt are well treated, with – amongst other benefits – complimentary room upgrade (when available), early check-in or late check-out  (when available), and free breakfast for two. To enjoy those benefits, the room has to be booked though through an official Hyatt booking channel or a luxury travel agent involved in the Virtuoso or Hyatt Prive programs (more on that below).

2. BOOK VIA HYATT PRIVE

Last spring, the Hyatt hotel group launched a invitation-only benefits program for luxury travel agents (such as Lance and Ania from Classic Travel, who I partner with and use for my own travels).  It is called Hyatt Prive, and when you book a stay at a Hyatt hotel via one of these agents, it will get you a far better deal than booking directly via the official Hyatt website. Hyatt Prive rates are similar to the best flexible rates on the official Hyatt website and will earn points and stay credit in the World of Hyatt loyalty program. Booking via Hyatt Prive comes at no extra costs and the benefits are valid for stays at all Park Hyatt hotels, all Andaz hotels, and some Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Regency and The Unbound Collection hotels.

At Park Hyatt hotels you will get the following benefits:

  • $100 USD property credit per room per stay
  • One category room upgrade confirmed within 24 hours of booking
  • Daily full breakfast for two
  • Early check-in (from 9am) and late check-out (to 4pm) subject to availability
  • Welcome gift and letter

At Andaz and participating Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, and The Unbound Collection hotels you will get the following benefits:

  • A $50 or $100 USD property credit per room per stay
  • One category room upgrade confirmed within 24 hours of booking
  • Daily full breakfast for two
  • Early check-in (from 9am) and late check-out (to 4pm) subject to availability
  • Welcome gift and letter

Note that a two-night minimum stay is required at Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Regency and The Unbound Collection. Park Hyatt and Andaz only require a one-night stay.


3. BOOK VIA VIRTUOSO

Almost all Park Hyatt hotels and some Andaz, Grand Hyatt and The Unbound Collection properties belong to the portfolio of Virtuoso. Virtuoso is not your classic hotel booking engine website. It’s the industry’s leading, invitation-only network of the world’s best luxury travel advisors, spanning over 26 countries and 9,000 travel advisors. So when you book an Aman hotel via Virtuoso, most of the time, you will be in touch with a Virtuoso travel agent who will make the booking for you. There are some Virtuoso travel agencies though that offer an online booking tool, such as Classic Travel, which has an excellent website and is my overall preferred Virtuoso travel agency for booking a luxury hotel of the Hyatt group.

Booking via Virtuoso instead of via the Hyatt website has the following benefits:

  • The single best reason to book a Hyatt luxury hotel through a Virtuoso travel agent is that it means value for money as you’ll get access to complimentary VIP perks, such as room upgrade, flexible check-in and check-out times, daily breakfast and a resort, spa, or food credit (or something else). While the exact perks differ from hotel to hotel, they can easily be worth a few hundred dollars per night.
  • In most cases, the Virtuoso rate is identical to the Best Available Rate (BAR) found on the official Hyatt website, which is a flexible rate that can be cancelled without penalty and that will earn points and stay credit in the World of Hyatt loyalty program. For that reason, you’re leaving money on the table if you book a paid stay at the best available rate (BAR) via the Hyatt website and not via Virtuoso.

Virtuoso is very similar to the Hyatt Prive program. Personally, I find the Hyatt Prive program a better deal, because the program includes a lot more Hyatt hotels as compared to Virtuoso and because of the guaranteed room upgrade at the time of bookin while the Virtuoso upgrade is dependent on availability at the day of check in.


4. BOOK VIA YOUR CREDIT CARD CONCIERGE

When you own an American Express credit card, you can book almost all Park Hyatt hotels and some Andaz, Grand Hyatt and The Unbound Collection properties via Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts. This will offer you the same benefits as when you would book these hotels via Hyatt Prive or Virtuoso:

  • Room upgrade upon arrival when available
  • Daily (continental) breakfast for two people
  • Guaranteed late 4pm check-out time
  • Noon check-in when available
  • A spa, food, and/or beverage credit (valued at a minimum of US$ 100 USD)

When you own a Citi Prestige Card (USA citizens only) you can make use of the fourth night free benefit: when you book a four night stay at a participating Hyatt property, you get reimbursed the cost of the fourth night, minus any taxes and service fees. The fourth night benefit is calculated based on the average nightly rate of your complete stay. Reservations must be made through Thankyou.com or the Citi Prestige Concierge and you must pay for your stay with your Citi Prestige Card, ThankYou points, or a combination of the two. There are a few things to be aware of, though:

  • You can only use the fourth night free benefit when booking the best available rate (BAR).
  • You can’t combine the Citi Prestige fourth night free with the benefits offered via Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts, Hyatt Prive and/or Virtuoso. The latter often represent a much better deal


MY REVIEWS OF HYATT’S LUXURY HOTELS

Click the thumbnails to read my reviews of the most luxurious Hyatt Hotels around the globe:


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1 Comment

  1. I second the idea of booking through a Hyatt Prive agent. My partner and I had a reservation for three nights at the Andaz Papayago in Costa Rica made through the WOH website. I heard about the benefits of Hyatt Prive through the blog One Mile at a Time (Ben Schlappig) and that Ben’s partner, Ford, is a Virtuoso and Hyatt Prive agent. I canceled my original reservation and obtained a new booking at exactly the same rate but with the added benefits of a room upgrade, breakfast each morning, and a USD $100 credit! And I still will earn WOH points! Amazing!

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