Yesterday, the new World of Hyatt was officially launched. It did away with the old naming of elite levels with the Gold Passport program and added a new level as well as new requirements and benefits. The change has made many people unhappy while some of the serious road warriors are pretty excited about the new program. For me, it has definitely changed my hotel strategy going forward and this is why.
How the World of Hyatt is Changing My Hotel Strategy
I have been a huge Hyatt fan for a few years and most of my hotel stays each year are with Hyatt hotels. I have loved the service, hospitality, perks, and reward program.
But, the new World of Hyatt is changing things a bit for me. While I have spent the last few years as a Hyatt Diamond member, this year will likely be my one and only year as a Hyatt Globalist (the new top-tier status). The reason for that is the elimination of stays for elite credit and the move to only nights or base points.
Small Footprint Makes 60 Nights Hard
I definitely do not spend $20,000 per year on travel total so meeting the requirements of 100,000 base points for Globalist status is not going to happen! The other way for me would be by staying 60 nights in a calendar year. That is also not going to happen.
I stayed between 55-60 nights in hotels last year. So, if the trend continued this year, I would be able to meet the night requirement for Globalist! But, not all of those stays were at Hyatt hotels even though I stay at Hyatt every chance I get.
The reason for not all of those stays being at Hyatt hotels is because Hyatt’s global footprint is much smaller than the other big chains. There is one country I frequently travel to that does not have a single Hyatt in the whole country! Even in Europe they are pretty sparse. My wife and I went on an anniversary trip to Rome last year and I would have loved to stay at a Hyatt – but there is only 1 Hyatt in all of Italy! That’s right, the cities of Venice, Rome, and others do not have a Hyatt. The only Italian Hyatt is in Milan.
The same goes for other places I visit. On a planned trip to Stockholm, I again had to choose a different hotel program because there was not a single Hyatt in Stockholm, or in all of Sweden for that matter. To demonstrate this, there are 35 Hyatt properties in Europe – with 7 of those in France alone. Spain did not even have one until the opening of the Park Hyatt in Mallorca last year, which means the mainland of Spain is still without a Hyatt.
I would gladly stay at Hyatt properties all the time, but the truth is that some of my travels take me to cities where there is not a Hyatt presence.
No More Stays = More Nights
On the flip side, I am
happy about dealing with the change as it will force me to stay in a single Hyatt hotel for more than a night. Normally, I break up my stays to ensure I get my 25 stays in a year. That meant switching hotels in the same city a couple of times or leaving a night out in between 2 nights at one property.
On one hand, that worked out okay for family mini-trips to our local Hyatt as a 4PM checkout is very generous and they always let us come around 11am – noon the day of check-in. So, for pool/relaxation time, that worked just like 2 nights! But, we also never did more than one night at that property in a row because of the stays.
Now, I will have no problem booking for several nights at a location and no longer bouncing around. It also works out nicely for getting more value out of the suite upgrades.
Will I miss the old qualification system? Sure, but, in a way, at least it forces me to enjoy a single property for longer periods instead of trying to meet the 25 stays.
I understand why Hyatt has made this move but, for me personally, I am not thrilled with the 60 night requirement. I feel that is too big of an ask without having a more dense property presence around the world. At the very least, they should have left the ability to earn night credit by spending on the credit card to help ease that overall night requirement.
On the flip side, I will enjoy staying at a property for more than a night going forward! It is kind of like the reverse of the old Club Carlson last-night-free-award-stay business. I always felt pressured to stay at a Club Carlson for 2 nights to take advantage of that perk. Since that perk has gone away, I actually do not even stay at Club Carlson properties anymore! It has “freed me” to try other places. With the new World of Hyatt, Hyatt has “freed me” to enjoy single properties for more than a night.
I shouldn’t have too much of a problem making the 30 nights for Explorist this year but Globalist is certainly not going to happen for me – at least not this year.
Do you think the overall property footprint of Hyatt will be a problem for securing Globalist going forward?