World of Hyatt - Hyatt's loyalty program

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The time is running out on the Hyatt’s 90 day Platinum trial for Visa signature cardholders. The last day to register for this offer is May 11th, 2012.

hyatt-visa-signature

If you complete 8 nights during the 90 day period, the Hyatt will grant you the Platinum status beyond the 90 day period. It doesn’t hurt to sign up even if you do not have plans to stay at Hyatt. You never know when you might end up staying at Hyatt.

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There are some valuable benefits that come with the Platinum status like free internet access worldwide and 2PM check out. You will also receive 15% bonus on points and preferred room. Maybe you end up liking Hyatt a lot and will go for the Diamond status?

Here are the frequently asked questions by Hyatt:

What are the promotional dates?
March 29, 2011 through May 11, 2012

Can anyone participate in this promotion?
Y
es, as long as they are a Gold Passport member, have a U.S.-issued Visa Signature consumer card, and register for the promotion at www.visasignature.hyatt.com

What if I am not a Gold Passport member and I want to participate?
Individuals may join the Hyatt Gold Passport program by visiting www.GoldPassport.com or by calling 1-800-228-3360, and then they may register for the promotion at www.visasignature.hyatt.com. You must be a Gold Passport member and have a U.S.-issued Visa Signature card to participate.

What if I do not have a Visa Signature card and I want to participate?
Individuals may apply for a Visa Signature card at www.visa.com/visasignature. You must have a U.S.-issued Visa Signature card and be a Gold Passport member to participate.

Who is eligible to participate in this promotion?
This offer is open to all Visa Signature consumer cardholders with a U.S.-issued card who are enrolled in Hyatt Gold Passport and register for the promotion.

Do I have a Visa Signature card?
Visa Signature cards has the words “Visa Signature” on the front of the card. If a your are not sure if you have a Visa Signature card, they may enter your 16-digit card number at visasignature.hyatt.com and attempt to register for the promotion. Numbers that are not Visa Signature cards will display an error message.

Are there any other methods to register for this promotion?
No, your Visa Signature card and Gold Passport account information must be verified through the website www.visasignature.hyatt.com.

Are all hotels participating in this promotion?
Yes, all hotels and resorts in the Hyatt Worldwide portfolio will be participating in the promotion. There are no non-participating properties.

Is this promotion only for our U.S. Gold Passport members?
This promotion is open only to Visa Signature consumer cardholders with a U.S. issued card. The Platinum status, however, applies to any worldwide Hyatt property.

If my stay begins before the promotion start date but includes nights within the 90 day promotional period, will I still receive this offer? (i.e. check in March 25 and check out March 31)
Unfortunately, this offer does not apply for any stays that began prior to signing up for the promotion. You will receive Platinum status benefits beginning with your first stay after you have registered for the promotion.

If my stay begins before the promotion end date but includes nights after the 90 day promotional period, will I still receive this offer? (i.e. register on April 2nd, check in June 29th and check out July 2nd)
Yes, as long as you register prior to checking out, your stay will count towards the offer. A “stay” is defined as the total number of consecutive nights spent at the same hotel, whether or not a guest checks out and checks back in again.

If I check into the hotel prior to registering for the promotion, can I still receive my Platinum benefits?
A Gold Passport member must register for the promotion prior to checking in for their hotel stay in order to receive the on-property Platinum benefits. However, if you register during your stay and check-out using your Visa Signature card, then you will receive benefits that would apply after check-out from the property, i.e. the 15% bonus points.

If I made reservations prior to the promotion start date, but the reservation dates are within the promotional period, can I register and participate in the offer?
Yes, as long as you register prior to checking in and use your Visa Signature card upon checking out your stay will qualify for the offer.

How secure is the landing page since I am entering my full 16-digit credit card?
The page is very secure. The 16-digit verification process transmits your information securely with highly effective industry standard level of encryption (SSL).The card number entry is encrypted and only the last four digits of the cardholder’s account number are displayed. The cardholder is also instructed to enter the two words displayed on the screen (varies) as an added layer of security.

When can I expect my Gold Passport Platinum Membership materials?
If you are 1) new to the Gold Passport program and 2) have never stayed at Hyatt prior to signing up for the promotion, and 3) don’t stay at a Hyatt property during the trial Platinum period, you will not receive any materials until your first eligible stay after the promo period ends, in which you will receive your Gold Passport Kit. If you are 1) new to the Gold Passport program at the time in which you sign up for the promotion and 2) you stay at a Hyatt property after signing up for the promotion, but not enough to earn on-going Platinum status, at the end of the trial Platinum period you will receive a letter thanking you for your participation in the promotion and a Gold Passport Kit. If you achieve on-going Platinum status during the trial Platinum period, you will receive a Platinum Welcome Kit as soon as you achieve the on-going Platinum status. Please allow 4-6 weeks to receive the kit in the mail.

Here are the terms and conditions of this offer:

You must be an active Hyatt Gold Passport member in order to participate in this offer. Hyatt Gold Passport Members must register by May 11, 2012 with their valid U.S.-issued Visa Signature card at www.Hyatt.com/visasignature. Registration through any other source will not qualify for this offer. Once registered, Visa Signature cardholders will receive Platinum status for 90 days beginning with the day of registration. To maintain Platinum membership through February 2013, member must complete eight (8) eligible nights at any Hyatt worldwide within 90 days of enrollment. Platinum 15% point bonus will be awarded for all eligible stays during 90-day trial membership period when member chooses points for their stay.  If you qualify to retain Platinum status through February 2013, you will receive a new membership card, valid through February 2013, within 3-4 weeks of qualifying. Membership benefits will be available to you when you present your membership card at check-in. Limit one trial tier offer per member. Hyatt Gold Passport will track all eligible nights for which a Hyatt Gold Passport account number is provided. An eligible night is defined as a single night at any Hyatt in which an eligible rate is paid. For the purposes of this promotion, an “Eligible Rate” shall be defined as any hotel published room rate, including, but not limited to rates found on Hyatt.com, the Hyatt Daily Rate, Volume Account Rates, AAA and Senior Citizen rates. “Ineligible Rates” are discounted rates, including, but not limited to, any free night stays, Third Party Internet Rates (examples include priceline.com, hotels.com, Expedia, and Travelocity), traditional wholesale rates (examples include GOGO Worldwide Vacations, Pleasant Holidays, etc.), airline crew rates, airline employee rates, travel agency employee rates, Club at the Hyatt discount certificate stays, Hyatt employee or employee family discount rates, airline interrupted-trip vouchers or contracted rooms (a contract is a room that has been reserved pursuant to a written and executed agreement between a hotel and a corporation, government agency or individual for a negotiated room rate in exchange for an agreed upon number of rooms to be rented for an extended period of time). Back-to-back stays at a single Hyatt are considered one stay.

Offer available only to qualifying U.S.-issued Visa Signature cardholders and is not transferable. For more details of Hyatt Gold Passport Platinum Membership and to join, click here. Hyatt Gold Passport Platinum Membership benefits are subject to availability and may vary at each hotel. Hyatt reserves the right to alter or withdraw this offer at any time without notice. Hyatt Hotels and Resorts® encompasses hotels managed, franchised, or leased by subsidiaries and affiliates of Hyatt Hotels Corporation. Hyatt Gold Passport membership, earning of points and redemption of points are subject to Hyatt Gold Passport Terms and Conditions available at Goldpassport.com. The trademarks Hyatt®, Hyatt Gold Passport®, and related marks are trademarks of Hyatt Corporation. ©2012 Hyatt Corporation. All rights reserved.

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The last week of Daily Getaways are finally out as well. Just a note. The better offers seem to sell out almost instantaneously, and it might be difficult to get into the deals. On this final week the Hyatt’s offer is really good, but the number of packages that they have available for sale is very low. I think that it is going to be borderline impossible to buy even one of them.

daily-getaways-fifth-week

You can get additional 10% discount off these prices, if you pay using an American Express branded card.

 

Best Western Rewards Monday, May 7th

Package available

10000 Best Western Rewards points for $67 835 packages

You can buy 5 sets of this offer.

 

Hyatt Gold Passport Wednesday, May 9th

Packages available:

24000 Hyatt Gold Passport points for $260 100 packages

30000 Hyatt Gold Passport points for $330 35 packages

36000 Hyatt Gold Passport points for $415 15 packages

69000 Hyatt Gold Passport points for $775 14 packages

Hyatt Gold Passport points at these prices is an excellent deal. You are only paying about a cent for a point. You can use 22K Hyatt Gold Passport points for a night i.e. at the Park Hyatt in Sydney or Maldives that are going for $500 to $800 per night.

You can buy one each of the Hyatt’s four offers, but I don’t think that it is possible due to the extremely low number of packages being sold.

 

Carlson Hotels – Club Carlson Thursday, May 10th

Packages available

50000 Club Carlson points for $194 142 packages

100000 Club Carlson points for $387 71 packages

You can buy two sets of each of these two offers for maximum number of four packages. Last year, Club Carlson was running an excellent promo for 50K Club Carlson points for a one stay. If you were able to find a property at a low price, you could have gotten 50K points for far less than $100.

There are some Radisson Blu properties that are very expensive, and buying points and then paying using points can make sense.

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British Airways is offering a 25% conversion bonus for transfers from hotel programs to BA’s Avios. This offer is valid from transfer made from 20th of April to June 20th, 2012. You can stack this offer with possible transfer bonuses from hotel programs i.e. 20K SPG transferred to BA would become 25K BA + additional 25% conversion bonus from BA.

ba-avios-25-conversion-bonus

Please note that you need to be logged in to your Executive Club account in order to see the offer details.

This transfer bonus applies for conversions from Hilton, Marriott, InterContinental Hotels Group, Carlson, Starwood, Shangri-La, Hyatt, and Accor programs.

British Airways revamped their program last year. Long haul redemptions became rather expensive using Avios, and you have to bear in mind that BA collects “fake” fuel surcharges on most of its awards. Expect to pay in excess of $1K in YQ’s for C/F redemptions between Europe and the United States or vice versa. B

A’s program does have some bright spots as well. Short haul redemptions in economy are quite good value especially between expensive markets.

Here’s how transferring Starpoints from SPG’s program would work: [click to continue…]

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Hyatt is having their monthly 48 hour sale where you can save 15% to 30% off of best available rates (BAR). Sometimes you can save quite a bit of money and sometimes you cannot. These rates are valid at selected US, Canada, and Caribbean hotels from May 1st to August 1st, 2012. The promotional dates for individual properties vary.

hyatt-48-april

Sometimes it is actually better to book an AAA rate that might include some extras like a complimentary breakfast. AAA rates are also normally not prepaid and cancellable.

Here’s the link to the March sale that brings up some of the participating hotels for the April sale as well. For some reason it doesn’t seem to bring up all of them, however. It might make sense to check hotels that you are interested in too see if they offer the sale rate.

Here are the Terms and conditions of this offer:

Offer valid for bookings only between 12:01a.m. on 04/17/2012 to 11:59p.m. on 04/18/2012 Central Daylight Time for stays from  05/06/2012 to 07/31/2012 at Hyatt Regency Montreal. Reservations are subject to availability and must be made in advance. Full non-refundable prepayment required at time of booking.  Offer is for a limited time only.  Simply request offer code C48APR when you book your reservation and pay the 48Hour Sale rate.This offer rate reflects 15% off the Hyatt Daily Rate. ” Discount is off the Hyatt Daily Rate for the room type requested at time of booking. Rate is per room, per night, excluding service charges, taxes and other incidental expenses. Rate is based on double occupancy. Additional guests may be subject to additional hotel charges. Additional charges apply to room-type upgrades. A limited number of rooms are allocated to this promotion.  Changing a reservation made under this offer may result in a change in the rate.  Changing to a different property is considered a cancel and re-book, and is non-refundable.  Canceled reservations and no shows will results in a charge to your credit card for your entire stay.

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Here’s the monthly hotel promotions wrap up.

Best Western Rewards

Best Western’s promotion for a $50 travel card won’t start before April 15th. You can also earn Air Canada AeroPlan bonus miles + bonus points for booking online and paying using Best Western MasterCard.

Best Western Rewards Spring Bonus Offer JUMP12 – $50 Travel Card for 3 Stays + Bonus Points & Miles

best-western-spring-promo

Carlson Hotels – Club Carlson

No promotions as of now.

Choice Hotels – Choice Privileges

You will earn 8000 Choice Privilege points for every two stays. Note that in lower quality Choice brand a stay is defined as two or more nights for this promotion. This promotion that started on March 8th runs until May 8th.

Choice Hotels Promotion – Stay Two Separate Times & Earn One Free Night

choise-hotels-march-promo

Hilton HHonors

You should sign up for the two promos below. Even if you are Diamond with Hilton, you can still get 40K HH for four Hilton stays.

Register Your Visa and Get 1000 Hilton HHonors Points + 4000 Bonus for Spending $100

Instant Hilton HHonors Gold Status for Visa Infinite Card Holders + 40K HHonors Points After Four Stays (For All?

Hilton’s second quarter promotion is for double points or miles. You need to choose one or the other, and you cannot change your selection.

Hilton HHnors 2nd Quarter 2012 Double Your Honors Promotion – Double Points or Miles

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The following promotion expires at the end of this month. You can get a free night certificate after five night resort stay or two after ten. You can also do two give night resort stays.

 ‘Resort Escapes’ Promotion – Free Night Certificate After Five Nights and Two After Ten Nights

Hyatt Gold Passport

Hyatt’s promo that expires at the end of April is for up to 44000 extra Hyatt Gold Passport points after 16 nights.

Spring 2012 Promo – Earn up to 44000 Bonus Points

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InterContinental Hotels Group – Priority Club

As always, Priority Club has number of promotions that you should sign for.

Double points or miles end on April 30th.

Double Points or Miles – 2X More

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Priority Club 2nd Quarter Stay/Night Bonuses

This time Priority Club has two parallel promotions. One is based on nights and the other is based on stays. You can earn 5000, 10000, or 15000 depending how many nights/stays you have during the promotional period until June 30th, and to which promotion you sign up for.

Three Priority Club Points Promotions That You Should Sign Up For

One is for 1000 bonus points per stay for 90 days after registering (this is the most lucrative if you have number of paid stays), another one is for 3000 bonus points after a stay, and the third one is for 1500 welcome back bonus.

There is a forth one that I have yet written about. It is 1500 Priority Club points after a stay. The promotional code for that one is 5109. I tested it last week when I was staying at an IHG property. It posted without a problem.

Marriott Rewards

Marriott has two promotions running until the end of April. MegaMiles and MegaBonus.

Spring 2012 MegaBonus Announced – Few Variations of the Offer.

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MegaMiles Promotion – Earn Up to 50K Bonus Miles

Marriott Rewards MegaMiles

Ritz-Carlton Rewards

You can get two free night certs after four stays. This promotion expires on April 15th.

Ritz-Carlton Rewards – Earn Free Night Certificate After Two Stays Promotion

ritz-carlton-rewards

Starwood Preferred Guest

Starwood promotion Better by the night is expiring on April 8th. We don’t have information about their next move.

Starwood Preferred Guest 1st Quarter 2012 “Better by the Night”–promotion

There is a promotion of 1000 extra Starpoints for booking a Club accommodation at Sheraton hotels and paying using an American Express card.

1000 Bonus Starpoints for Sheraton Club Floor Bookings

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Some renovated Sheraton hotels are also offering 1000 bonus Starpoints.

1000 Bonus Starpoints for Staying at a Newly Renovated Sheraton Hotels

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Wyndham Rewards

Wyndham has two promotions. One is for North America (US, Canada, and Mexico) and the other one is for rest of the world. In my opinion the rest of the world is better.

Wyndham Rewards Spring 2012 Promotion – Stay 2 Get 2 – Double Points or Miles + Up To 4 Movie Tickets

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Wyndham Rewards Spring 2012 Promotion (non-North America) 10000 Bonus Points Every Two Stays – Max 30000 Bonus Points

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Last August, I was on my way from Marrakesh to Bangkok and decided to use BMI miles for a business class award ticket. Using their award chart it was actually cheaper to have the final destination in Maldives, and to have an extended stopover in Bangkok on my way there. I had been to Maldives before and stayed at the Hilton hotel that has been since converted to the Conrad brand. I didn’t like the treatment that I received there as a Hilton HHonors Diamond member and left after three nights, although my award was for six.

There was lot of chatter on the various frequent traveler message boards about this property that was being converted from Alila brand to the Park Hyatt one. Some guests were complaining that it wasn’t the Alila that they had booked, and the ones that had booked it as the Park Hyatt one weren’t all satisfied either.

Park Hyatt  Maldives Hadahaa

As I had been to many of the Park Hyatt hotels (Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Washington DC, Buenos Aires, Madrid, Johannesburg, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Shanghai, Ho Chi Minh City, Sydney, Melbourne, Tokyo, Seoul – some of these are no longer under Park Hyatt brand) all over the world, I was quite frankly very interested to have a look at, how the Park Hyatt brand would work in a non-urban environment.

BOOKING

You can use cash, points, or stay certificates to stay here. I used points, but wished that I had remembered to check the stay certificates as well. They are terrific value when used here. You can read the piece I wrote about getting a good deal at the Park Hyatt Maldives.

PREARRIVAL

After booking the hotel, I was contacted several times by the hotel to confirm my arrival details.  Couple of days before my arrival, I had a change in my schedule that had me arriving and departing a day later than originally planned. It was not a problem for the hotel to adjust both my arrival and departure dates.

For sure, the resort can book your overnight accommodation in Male, but in my case this was not needed. I had been to Male before and can take care of a simple hotel reservation and transfer by myself.

Mookai Hotel MaleMaldives View Of The City 2 August 2011

If you haven’t been to the city of Male before, I would suggest spending a a night int he city before or after your Park Hyatt stay. It is a small vibrant city and there is definitely enough to see and do for a day.

TRANSFER EXPERIENCE TO THE RESORT

I stayed at the Mookai hotel in the male proper. It is very close to the pier where all the jettys to the airport island leave every ten to twenty minutes or so. The transfer itself costs maybe a buck in the local currency, and at the same time is quite a scenic journey.

At the airport, I just followed the directions to the domestic check in terminal. I had used the Maldivian Air Taxi before that leaves from the other side of the airport. These “real” airplanes just have a different check in area close to the international terminal.

The check in was very efficient. To my surprise they didn’t want to weight just the bags but the passengers as well.

Maldivian Departure Lounge Male Reception Area

After the check in, I was given an invitation to use the Maldivian lounge. The lounge was outside of security on the domestic terminal. You could get a free wireless code from the ladies working the desk.

Lounge was basic but did what it was supposed to do. They had soft drinks, tea, coffee and some snacks available. Here I met a guy who was a representative of the resort. He just confirmed who I was. The lounge was first rather crowded. After a flight or two it was rather empty.

The flight was announced and it was time to move to the tarmac and further to the aircraft itself. The security check was very cursory.

Maldivian Dash 8 Aircraft MLE KDM

Not sure but there appeared to be a “first” class on the flights south. On my way back there was none. Maldivian offers two kinds of fares. The lowest ones are only sold for local people who travel between islands. It was quite surprising to see that those on the local fares were offered nothing during the flight. Others flying to resorts were offered some beverages.

The KDM airport is small as one can expect. After landing the luggage came out in no time. There were four/five other guests transferring to the hotel. I was bit thirsty and walked to a café next to the airport building and picked up a coke.

Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa Transfer Boat

The small harbor, where boats are is few hundred meters from the airport building. The boat from the resort was waiting. We were advised to put on the life vest upon entering. Soon we were on our way. We were then offered water bottles. The sea was calm and the ride to the resort uneventful.

RESORT

Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa Resort Map

The resort itself consists of 14 over water villas, 20 pool villas, and 16 garden villas. Handful of the pool villas also have an unobstructed ocean view. For privacy the villas with the garden view are better, as everybody walking around the island on the beach can see the villas that don’t have the vegetation protecting their privacy. The employees all live in the middle of the island on their own quarters.

The resort has two restaurants and one bar. Moroccan themed Battuta’s restaurant is open for the dinner (they are now changing the concept of this restaurant). I probably should have read about the Maldivian history but apparently it was a Moroccan who found the islands in the first place and introduced the Islam there. By the main poo,l they have the all-day dining restaurant Relish/Horizon and the Bell’s bar.

park-hyatt-hadahaa-google

You can find the island using Google Maps. If you choose the satellite view you can get an idea what it was before anything was built there.  If you use Bing Maps on the other hand, you can see what the island looks from the air (partially) today. You can also interlace it with the resort map to see what pool villas have the ocean view and which ones do not.

park-hyatt-hadahaa-bing

Upon arriving the General Manager was there to meet all the incoming guests. Here I met my island host for the first time as well. She took me to my pre-assigned villa on a buggy and showed the villa around. There was a handwritten welcome note signed by the GM, some biscuits/sweets, a fruit tray, and a properly chilled bottle of Laurent-Perrier champagne waiting.

park-hyatt-maldives-hadahaa-garden-villa-welcome-amenity-laurent-perrier-champagne

The villa itself was very spacious and had an outside shower area.  Loved the Blaise Mautin amenities that you can find at some Park Hyatt hotels. I am not sure I f the brand of the shampoo and the shower gel were the same brand as they were in jars.

park-hyatt-maldives-hadahaa-garden-villa-view

The biggest drawback of this villa I had, that others may prefer, was the ”being in the jungle” feeling, or some might call it privacy. There was lots of vegetation in front of the villa and the beach itself. I am not even sure of there was a way to get through the bushes to the beach.

park-hyatt-maldives-hadahaa-over-water-villas-1

The following day, I had a look at couple of other villa; a pool villa and an over water villa. Decided, that I would prefer to move to an over water villa; instead of continue staying at the garden one. I was moved there promptly.

BREAKFAST

Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa Main Restaurant

The breakfast menu is extensive consisting of western and Asian dishes.  I typically went to the breakfast after 10:30AM, so it was more like a brunch for me. Every morning they would bring three different bakery items with the tea I ordered. Then, I would just pick two to three items from the menu.

park-hyatt-maldives-hadahaa-breakfast-curry

The breakfast is served at the main restaurant by the pool. You can decide to sit either inside or outside. I always chose the outside option. It was a wonderful way to start the day.

FITNESS CENTER

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Oh well. This was bit of a disappointment. It was rather small and not equipped with the latest equipment. Probably most of the visitors don’t bother using it anyway.

AMENITIES

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Every day during my stay there was bottle of still and sparkling water brought to my villa. These were not foreign ones but bottled at the resort. Fruits were refreshed daily and some evenings they brought some delicacies.

park-hyatt-maldives-hadahaa-garden-villa-welcome-amenity

TECHNOLOGY

The resort has wireless internet on the villas but not everywhere on the public space. Sometimes I was able to get a wireless signal at breakfast or at the nearby bar but not most of the time. There were not any issues when it came to the speed itself inside the villas. I was able to do the usual browsing and couple of Skype calls without issues.

To my surprise they didn’t have BBC or CNN on the television. They did, however, have Russia Today and Deutsche Welle. I was told that they were looking at the issue and trying to get the lineup changed.

DINNER WITH THE GM

One day I had a letter waiting inviting me for a dinner and drinks with the GM. Over the years I have attended quite a few events at hotels where the management have meet and greet type of cocktail party with some of the hotel guests.

I have learned to go to these events always maybe half an hour late. Little did I know that I was actually the only guest invited.  So, I made the GM to wait me for twenty minutes.

Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa Bar Bells Bar

We had a cocktail at the Bell’s bar before going to dinner at the Moroccan themed restaurant. Over the dinner we discussed wide range of issues from how the hotel is run in the Maldives to Park Hyatt in Dubai where he was starting up the hotel.

It came obvious that the GM is very hands-on person at this property, that is probably required in a place like remote island somewhere in the Maldives.

TRANSFER FROM THE RESORT

For logistics reasons the property probably tries to schedule the guests to leave on the same flights. I didn’t like the early flight that they have scheduled for me. It wasn’t a problem for the property to switch it for a later one. I was going to the Sheraton resort close to the airport, but didn’t want to go there too early in the morning. I left on an afternoon flight.

park-hyatt-maldives-hadahaa-departure-kdm-flights

The boat took me to the KDM airport. The check in was breeze and I then had an access to the Maldivian departure lounge that was reserved for resort guests. I was the only on there. The flight that I was on was serving mainly locals on their way to Male.

Conclusion

park-hyatt-maldives-hadahaa-main-pool-view-from-the-bar

I had absolutely fantastic three nights at this property. In retrospect, I probably should have stayed few days longer, but I was going to spend some time and burn SPG free resort nights at the Sheraton Full Moon resort.

Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa Over Water Villa Sunset View From The Deck

The over water villa I had was really stunning. The best part of the day was to lie on the sofa on the deck while the sun was going down on the horizon.  It was very relaxing.

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Hyatt is having their monthly 48 hour sale where you can save 15% to 30% off of best available rates (BAR). Sometimes you can save quite a bit of money and sometimes you cannot. These rates are valid at 118 participating US, Canada, and Caribbean Hyatt hotels.

hyatt-march-48-hour-sale-c48mar

Sometimes it is actually better to book an AAA rate that might include some extras like a complimentary breakfast. AAA rates are also normally not prepaid and cancelable. Here’s the link for the Hyatt’s web page for this promotions:http://www.hyatt.com/hyatt/specials/corpofferslist.jsp?offerId=39730828.

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This special rate is popping up on quite a few Hyatt Resorts that are in the United States. Unfortunately the website referenced under the Terms and conditions “Hyatt.com/freetime” is not up as of today. Not surprising considering how unstable the website has been lately.

hyatt-free-time

Depending on the property you will complimentary night if you pay for 2, 3, or 4 nights.  This rate also includes a breakfast for 2 and guaranteed 2PM check out. This offer is valid until December 30th, 2012 and is bookable until November 30th. This is valid for resorts in the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean. You can check minimum stay requirement if you first choose the hotel and then browse the hotel offers. The minimum sty requirement for the Palm Springs Hyatt was 2 nights and 4 to 5 nights depending of the season at the Hyatt Key West.

This “Free Time” rate is apparently the Hyatt Daily Rate + $20.

Here are rate examples from the Hyatt Palm Springs

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Free Time rate is $229

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Advance purchase rate is $146.30

hyatt-psp-bar

Hyatt Daily rate $209

Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond members have free breakfast and 4PM check out guaranteed as a benefit. You should always check the AAA and Costco rates as well. This offer probably does make sense if you are not a Diamond member and/or there are no discounted rates available during your stay.

Here are the Terms and conditions of this offer: [click to continue…]

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The Park Hyatt Sydney is having its grand reopening this coming Tuesday March 20th, 2012. The hotel was closed for about 11 months and started to accept guests again early February 2012. As is the case with hotel renovations most of the time, the reopening was delayed by months.

Not sure what is going on with the Hyatt Diamond status and international Hyatt properties. I have had a string of bad luck with properties lately when it comes to upgrades and the Diamond treatment. I have had bad stays at the Park Hyatt hotels in both Shanghai and Abu Dhabi. I did have a fabulous stay at the Park Hyatt Maldives in August last year and at the Hyatt Capital Gate (Abu Dhabi) in December. Again, I was not too satisfied with my stay at the Park Hyatt Sydney.

Location

park-hyatt-sydney

The hotel is located on the opposite side on the Sydney Cove from the world famous Sydney Opera House. Quite a few of the rooms do have a sort of a view of the Opera House from the outside balconies. You may have to dangle yourself a bit though.

park-hyatt-sydney-room-333-view-of-the-buolding

The area of the rocks, where this hotel is located, is rather touristy. There are often cruise ships parked on the terminal, right in front of the hotel, like last Friday when I checked in. The boats normally don’t stay for long, however, and it is nice to see them slowly leaving the harbor.

You can take a taxi from the airport. This is probably the best choice if you have more than a carry on. I was traveling very lightly as I had left most of my stuff to a hotel in Melbourne. I just took the train from the airport to the Circular Quay station. I managed to hit the morning rush hour and had to stand the entire journey.  From the Circular Quay station it is maybe a five minute walk to the hotel.

Check In

I had a morning flight out of Melbourne and arrived to hotel just after 9AM. I didn’t expect them to have a room/suite available for me immediately, and I was prepared to type away for few hours. They said that the room they had allocated for me was not occupied, but they would need to send housekeeping there to check it. That was fine with me.

When I inquired about an upgrade to the Opera or City King Deluxe, both are 75 square meters and rather large for a room, I was first told that they are not available. I opened Hyatt.com that showed that they were still selling at least Opera King Deluxe for the night. After the front desk clerk had typed away for a while, he came back and told that they only had one available for the night and that he couldn’t give that to me as an upgrade.

park-hyatt-sydney-availability-done

Park Hyatt Sydney is known to play games when it comes to the Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond member best room benefit. I probably should have called the Diamond desk in the United States at this point to get them to intervene on my behalf, but quite frankly I was tired and just wanted to have a nap.

The preparing of the room took for two hours, but I was able to use this time productively by working on some stuff. Unfortunately they couldn’t get me logged in to the hotels wireless network in the lobby bar area. There were authentication problems. The wireless access code that the hotel gave me and later when I tried to log in using my room number and last name, were not valid at this location. Luckily, I was able to just tether through my cell phone. The wireless internet worked just fine in the room.

There is something wrong with the location of the check in desk. I had really hard time hearing what they were saying to me as there was an awful lot of noise coming from the nearby road. I think that they should install some acoustic panels to deal with this issue.

Room 333

You can probably get the best idea of the room by watching the video and looking at the photos.

As it is often case with the newly renovated/built hotels, the bathrooms are oversized by sacrificing part of the living space. Personally I would prefer larger bedroom/living room set up. You can also keep the “door” open between the bedroom and the bathroom to make the room feel more spacious that it really is.

The toilet is in bit weird location because it is right when you come in to the room. It is not in the bathroom.

park-hyatt-sydney-room-333-minibar

The minibar at this location was stunning. I really liked the layout and the content of it.

park-hyatt-sydney-room-333-work-desk

The kitchen table that is moonlighting as a work desk was fine. It was somewhat difficult to work on it, however. One thing I couldn’t understand was that the phones don’t have any kind of extension cord. You cannot practically move the phone at all. I was trying to make a call while working on the “desk” but it was not possible. I had to move either next to the bed or to area next to the the TV to make a call.

park-hyatt-sydney-room-333-lift-panel

Trying to operate the lights was also a difficult task. They should have an instructional booklet to show how to dim the lights. I like good design. It should never, however, be form over function as was most definitely in this case.

Not sure what was the deal with that Sharp TV. I would have expected a park Hyatt to have something in the lines of Sony or LG.

Diamond Amenity

park-hyatt-sydney-room-333-diamond-amenity

Unlike some international Park Hyatt hotels where the Diamond amenity can be as little as two apples, the Park Hyatt Sydney had a nice bottle of red wine and a small fruit plate. I always appreciate a hand written note that they had.

Fitness Center / Pool

park-hyatt-sydney-fitness-center-cardio

As I was in the third floor, the fitness center and the entrance to the pool were both only few doors down the hall. The fitness center had brand new LifeFitness machines. I had never seen these new treadmills anywhere else. The fitness center feels bit cramped, but considering the size of the hotel and the clientele, I am sure that it is empty most of the time.

park-hyatt-sydney-pool

You can access the pool on the rooftop through the fitness center. There are some sun chairs around the pool. Not sure why anybody would spend time by the pool, however. All the people who are either walking in the bridge or doing the world famous bridge walk, can directly see to the pool area.

Breakfast

park-hyatt-sydney-room-333-beakfast-restaurant

I was trying to find a quiet place in the dining room where I could have had the breakfast on Saturday morning, but unfortunately it was impossible. I was seated next to a family whose toddler was rather noisy at times.

park-hyatt-sydney-breakfast-eggs-benedict

There is a small “buffet” but most of the items you need to order off the menu. Not sure why they bother with that buffet at all. There were only some bakery items and cereal/fruits. My breakfast was otherwise good, but I didn’t like the smoothie that I ordered. There was way too much banana in it.

park-hyatt-sydney-breakfast-buffet-cereal

Overall, the food and the service were both good.  I just didn’t like the dining room atmosphere that felt too busy.

Check out

On Saturday morning I received a phone call at 11:56AM to find out if I need help with my bags or transportation. It was obvious that they just wanted to know my departure time. I told them that I would leave by 4PM, which is guaranteed late checkout time for Diamond members.

Before I had managed to leave the hotel, I also received an email from Hyatt thanking me for my stay and welcoming me back to the hotel.

At the front desk I inquired why the reservation for Sunday was still showing up, although I had told them to cancel it on Friday. For some reason the Hyatt’s website had been acting up again (not really a surprise) and didn’t allow me to do it. I guess that they must have forgotten to do it, as I received the cancellation email when they were checking me out.

Price / Using Points

I don’t normally comment the price of the hotels where I am staying at, or whether someone should use points or pay. I do think that at 795 AUD per night, during the weekend, paying for this using cash doesn’t make any sense. This hotel goes for 22K Hyatt Gold Passport points per night. It actually can make sense to buy the Gold Passport points especially if Hyatt is running a promotion, and use them to pay for the room.

Conclusion

This is a nice Hyatt hotel, but not sure if I ever need to return. I have been to this property few times before, and I have never really though too much about it. It is nice if you are visiting Sydney for the first time to have the view of the Opera House, but I would rather choose a better location with service over the view.

park-hyatt-sydney-stains-on-the-carpet

I am not too convinced about the quality of the refurbishment that they made. There were already huge stains (water?) on some carpets on the public area. Also, I kept hearing doors slamming very loudly. I am sure that they could do something about them.

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UPDATE: If you signed up for the challenge after May 31st and successfully complete it, your Hyatt Gold Passport status will be valid until the end of February 2014.

Hyatt has a nice little program, and I have been a Diamond member since 2004. The program has grown significantly since 2004 mainly by Hyatt acquiring both Amerisuites, which were later converted to Hyatt Places, and Summerfield Suites, that became Hyatt Houses. Both of these acquisitions were a way for Hyatt to enter the limited service market i.e. Hilton’s Hampton Inn.

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How to get matched to Hyatt Diamond status?

Hyatt ended doing direct status matched back in 2010. Since then Hyatt has started to do challenges called Hyatt Diamond Trial. You can probably still get a direct match, but you need to do it through a hotels sales department, and it is probably quite a hassle.

 Do you have any of the following statuses?

– Hilton Gold (you can get one easily using this or this) & Hilton Diamond

– SPG Platinum

– Marriott Gold & Platinum

– Priority Club Platinum

Hyatt may match others as well, but it could be worth printing your stay history that shows significant stay activity.

You will be awarded a Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond Trial, which is in fact a full-fledged Diamond status for 60 days. You will get all the Diamond level benefits during this 60 day period including the four Diamond Suite Awards that are valid up to 7 days each. You can use these to upgrade any paid stay (eligible rate) to a suite at a property that is not on the exclusion list, and has confirmable suite inventory available at the time of request. You need to do the request over the phone as the website is incapable of processing these.

Timing of the Diamond Trial

If you request your Diamond trial now and complete the required number of nights (12), your Hyatt Diamond status will be valid until February 2013. You need to complete the required 25 stays or 50 nights before end of this year to qualify for Diamond status all the way until 2014.

It might be better idea to start the Diamond challenge/trial in the second half of 2012. If nothing has changed, your status should then be valid until February 2014 after doing the required 12 nights in 60 days. Unfortunately I am not aware of the exact cut-off date for this.

Process of requesting the Diamond Challenge/Trial

Do you have a Hyatt Gold Passport account set up? If not it is probably best to set it up online first. Then you need to call (this would be my choice) or send an email request to the service center using the online web form.

You should then receive a following reply within 24 hours:

Thank you for contacting Hyatt Gold Passport Customer Service. I
appreciate the opportunity to assist you.

Regarding your inquiry, currently a Diamond Trial Offer is available.
You will receive trial Diamond membership for 60 days with proof of top
tier status with one of our competitors program.  However, you must
complete 12 nights in 60 days to maintain Diamond tier through February
of 2013.  You will also receive 1000 bonus points on your first six
eligible nights within 60 days, up to a maximum of 6000 bonus points.

Please note this offer can only be made one time and can not be extended
beyond the 60 day period.

Please note the list of competitors that Hyatt Gold Passport will match:

Hilton Gold VIP or Hilton Diamond VIP
Marriott Gold or Marriott Platinum
Starwood Platinum Preferred Guest
Priority Club Platinum

Please email or mail a statement of your account activity with a
competitor to us for processing at:

PO Box 27089
Omaha, NE 68127-0089

To find more details on our exclusive Diamond status please visit us
online at:
http://goldpassport.hyatt.com/gp/benefits/membership_diamond.jsp

I appreciate your support of Hyatt and the Gold Passport program. Please
let me know if I may assist you further.

Sincerely,

XX XX
Hyatt Gold Passport Customer Service

You can mail the requested documents to the above mentioned address or email them to goldpassport@hyatt.com.

They should process the documents within 24 hours and you can then immediately see the updated status by logging in to your Hyatt Gold Passport account.

Note that theoretically this is only once in a lifetime (or program account). You should probably do it if you plan on staying with Hyatt to experience the Hyatt Diamond treatment. As a bonus you will also receive 1000 bonus Gold Passport points for first six of your eligible night during this period.

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US Airways has been very predictable of running continuous promotions for buying, gifting, transferring, or converting, money or points to Dividend miles. Their latest offer is 50% bonus for points conversions from number of hotel programs. US Airways run identical offer last year.

Please note that according to the Terms and conditions you can only earn the conversion bonus ONCE.

us-airways-conversion-offer

The beauty of Dividend miles program are the rather generous routing rules, competitive award chart, ability to earn and burn on all Star Alliance carriers and then some, and these continuous offers from Dividend miles.

Essentially, US Airways is selling miles at a reasonable rate that enables the travelers like you and me to experience international business and first class at a fraction of the cost.

But, as always when you are dealing with award space, you need to be flexible and often book either well in advance or at a very last minute. I tend to typically do the latter. When airlines realize that they have unsold business and first class inventory, they often dump it to the award inventory few days before.

There are some drawbacks with US Airways Dividend miles as well. You will end up paying some fees unless you are top tier on their program. There is a booking fee (up to $50) as these cannot be booked on the web, and a quick ticketing fee ($75) if you book less than 21 days in advance. There are no fuel surcharges, however. The US Airways may not be the most stable of the airlines, and there has been some chatter lately of some changes to come. I would do a transfer or buy miles without hesitation, if I know how I would spend them in the next 6 to 12 months.

Look at the conversion partners

The conversion partners this time are Best Western, Choice Privileges, Club Carlson, Hilton HHonors, Hyatt Gold Passport, Marriott Rewards, Priority Club, Starwood Preferred Guest, Wyndham Rewards, and La Quinta.

us-airways-conversion-offer-partners

I am only concentrating on Club Carlson, Hyatt Gold Passport, Marriott Rewards, and Starwood Preferred Guest conversion possibilities. I don’t believe that the other options provide too much value unless you just need to top off your Dividend Miles account for small number of miles.

Club Carlson

club-carlson-us-airways

This is very straightforward offer. 100K Club Carlson points would transfer with the 50% conversion bonus to 27K Dividend Miles.

Hyatt Gold Passport

I don’t think that this is a good use of Hyatt Gold Passport points, but this is the last opportunity to transfer them to US Airways and earn the conversion bonus. You cannot earn Dividend Miles or transfer Gold Passport points to Dividend Miles after March 15th, 2012. Hyatt announced their discontinuance of this and some other airline partnerships on February 23rd.

hyatt-gold-passport-us-conversion

50K Hyatt Gold Passport points would become 37.5K Dividend Miles after Hyatt’s and US Airways’ conversion bonuses. It is actually not that shabby at all.

Marriott Rewards

I transferred close to a million Marriott Rewards points when AA was running somewhat similar conversion bonus before their partnership with Marriott Rewards ended. It was the major push to take me over 2 million lifetime miles in AA’s program and granting me a lifetime AA Platinum status.

us-airways-marriott-packages

The key here is to use Marriott Rewards points for travel packages that have a miles component as well. You can get a seven night award category 1 to 5 Marriott Rewards property and 120K (180K with conversion bonus) US Airways Dividend Miles for 270K Marriott Rewards points.  This is what I did few years ago with AA. The hotel part of this is valid for a year. I was, however, able to extend them by an additional year, but it is no longer possible. There aren’t that many interesting cat 1 to 5 in North America, but there are quite a few in Asia.

Starwood Preferred Guest

This is my favorite hotel program when it comes to transferring points to partners. Starwood has a nice list of partner airlines where you can dump points when needed.

us-airways-starwood-conversion

For every 20K Starpoints you transfer, you will receive a 5K miles bonus from Starwood. With the US conversion bonus 20K Starpoints becomes 37.5K Dividend Miles. Note that you can transfer only 60K Starpoints per day to US Airways if you want to maximize the bonuses. This would be 112.5K Dividend Miles.

Here are the Terms and Conditions of this offer that can also be found here.

Eligibility: Offer void where prohibited by law. No registration required. Only miles converted with an activity (‘eligible activity date’) date between March 11, 2012 and March 31, 2012 will earn a bonus. Earning bonus miles: Bonus miles are in addition to Dividend Miles awarded by hotel partners for points conversions. Only hotel points that are converted into Dividend Miles from March 11, 2012 – March 31, 2012 are eligible. Hotel bonus miles do not count towards Preferred status. Bonus miles will post 6-8 weeks from date of the eligible activity date. Dividend Miles members will earn only one bonus when they transfer hotel points into Dividend Miles during the promotion. Dividend Miles members will earn a 50% bonus. Eligible activity date: Eligible activity date is based on the date the qualifying partner records the mileage transaction, and not necessarily the date on which the transaction occurred. US Airways assumes no responsibility for how qualifying partners record activity dates. Check with the applicable partner to confirm policies and procedures for recording activity dates. The last date that activity from a qualifying partner can be received by US Airways for bonus miles consideration is April 10, 2012, regardless of the eligible activity date for such activity. General terms: All US Airways Dividend Miles terms and conditions apply. You may opt out of US Airways emails at any time. US Airways is not responsible for the quality or delivery of goods and/or services provided by Dividend Miles partners. All Dividend Miles partner terms and conditions apply. Partner offers are subject to change without notice. Hotel transfers (points to miles conversions) are subject to terms and conditions as stipulated in your agreement with your hotel program.

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Hyatt, Marriott and now also Starwood has realized that giving out a lifetime status after meeting some pretty tough revenue, number of nights, and number of years in the program could be an important part to make members stick with the chain long term.

I have already independently written about Hyatt, Marriott and Starwood requirements. Currently neither InterContinental Hotels Group (Priority Club/Ambassador) nor Hilton offer a lifetime incentive for their members.

My preference in easiness of achieving the top tier lifetime status in these three programs is as following:

1. Starwood Lifetime Platinum

Requires only 500 nights (now all nights count including cash & points/award) + 10 years of Platinum membership

This is in my opinion the easiest. The night requirement is not onerous. The only “real” requirement is the fact that you need to have Platinum status for 10 years. These years do not need to be continuous, but other years do not count for lifetime Platinum.

2. Marriott Lifetime Platinum

Requires 2 million points, 1000 nights & 12 years as a Marriott Rewards member.

The biggest hurdle is the number of night’s requirement, although all the nights count including the ones from credit card + possible meeting ones.

The 2 million point’s requirement might sound high, but in reality it is not considering how many points you will earn from the stays including all the status based bonuses, Megabonus promotions, and points from the credit card spend.

You need to have been at least ones a Platinum member during your membership of the program.

3. Hyatt Lifetime Diamond

This can be the easiest or hardest depending how much you spend. The requirement is one million base points. These are NOT the lifetime points that you can see in your account, but only points that are from eligible revenue before any additional bonuses. It translates to $200K in Hyatt spend that is credited towards Hyatt points. If you have credited some of the stays to airline miles, none of those count for this lifetime status.

The only other requirement is the requirement of having been a Gold Passport member for 10 years. There is no need to ever have a status with Hyatt.

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It is always sad when a one of supposedly the best Park Hyatt locations let you down service wise. This is just what happened at the Park Hyatt Shanghai. The hardware is excellent, but the service is very inconsistent and sometime borderline terrible.

park-hyatt-shanghai-view-from-the-lobby-lounge

Yes. I know. This is China and you shouldn’t expect the same level of service as from hotels in other parts of Asia and in Europe. I have heard that line so many times from my friends. Also, the hoteliers always complain how difficult it is for them to employ competent staff. But, I am not buying any of that. You train the staff or hire competent ones, and pay and treat them well enough, so that they stay. Shouldn’t be more complicated than that.

Unfortunately I don’t have the usual number of photos, but I happened to leave my camera to a taxi on my way back to the airport in Shanghai before I had uploaded them.

Location

Depending where you need to be in Shanghai the location may or may not work for you. I know that I probably should use the underground, but the taxis are generally so cheap, unless they try to scam you, that it is really the transportation that I tend to use in Shanghai.

From the airport I took the Maglev train to the station near to the city. Then I took a taxi from there, that turned out to be a scam one, but luckily I knew how much the meter should be from the station to the hotel, and paid based on that, and not what was shown on the meter.

Check in

This is where everything started to ravel. I had an early morning flight in from Apia via Auckland. I had informed the hotel about my early arrival. If it hadn’t suited them, I would have just booked an InterContinental hotel where I have guaranteed 8AM check in as a Royal Ambassador member.

When I arrived the taxi parked on the side of the road. He “missed” the entrance on purpose. Anyway, I wasn’t traveling too heavily so I just walked towards the entrance with my black 22 roller board and computer bag.

I was waving trying to get the bell boys attention so that they could take my bag and escort me to the lobby. It took a while before I was able to get one, and he only took me to the elevator and left my bag there.

So, I was rolling with my bag from the entrance elevators to the front desk. The first question was if I was checking out. Why would I be checking out when I am coming from the elevators that don’t have quest room access with my carry on bags? I promptly replied that I would like to know where the Diamond check in area at this hotel is. Other lady just said that the check in time is at 2PM.

This was absolutely ridiculous and no hotel should operate like this. I had arranged an early check in and they didn’t even bother typing my name to their reservation system to see my reservation. At this point, I politely asked them to get a manager on duty to help me and went to sit down on the chairs by the windows.

The front desk manager was polite and noted that I had come a bit earlier than what was indicated. Yeas, I was. The flight landed early, didn’t have to wait for the Maglev train, and just took a taxi from the station to the hotel. I just told him that if this early check in is a problem I don’t mind just booking another hotel and they can just cancel the reservation I had at the Park Hyatt.

The manager went on his way while I was doing some emails. He came back shortly telling that the room was ready.

Room 8411

This was a very beautiful corner room that almost felt like a junior or studio suite. Per Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond upgrade benefits hotels are not required to upgrade Diamond members beyond best available room.  I believe that this was probably very close to the best, although it was only on the 84th floor. BTW I don’t think that the floor itself makes a huge difference because due to the weather you can hardly see anything besides some smog/cloud on this level. The view could actually be better on much lower floors.

Fitness Center / Pool

park-hyatt-shanghai-pool

Here my service problems continued. Came to the right floor and asked where the fitness center was. The guy directed me to the fitness center, but he should have realized that I need to go and change to the gym attire first as I was carrying shoes and work gear. I just walked back to the “reception” and asked where the lockers are. They were entirely the other way.

park-hyatt-shanghai-fitness-center

The fitness center was nice as one should expect from a Park Hyatt. I was the alone for an hours. That’s good.

On my way to the locker rooms I decided to take a picture of the pool using my cell phone. The same guy came and said that one shouldn’t take photos here. There was nobody in the entire area so there was no excuse for this no photos nonsense.

Breakfast

Breakfast was one of the better ones in the Hyatt chain. I ordered eggs benedict with smoked salmon sauce on the side from the menu. It came almost as I had ordered it.

park-hyatt-shanghai-breakfast-eggs-benedict

The breakfast selection was nice, but the service at times bit too much. I was up  rather early so there was way too many servers compared to guests. I like good service but not when five people are looking at me when I am eating.

Concierge

Again a problem spot. I needed to buy a new SIM card as the previous one that I had for China was purchased in Lhasa, and it would be better to have a “local” one. The concierge couldn’t really understand a word that I was saying. I was able to get a hold off of a western associate that was able to explain my request to the concierge. I then had an employee escorting me to the China Mobile office nearby and get me a local SIM card for data access that I needed. But this whole process was way too complicated.

Diamond Amenity & Welcome Letter

Not sure what is the standard Diamond amenity at this Park Hyatt. All that I got was five pearls. No welcome letter.

Early Arrival Continental Breakfast

As the hotel had noted my early arrival, I had nice selection of pastries and orange juice waiting for me when I finally got to my room. This was very nice touch.

After Stay Satisfaction Survey

You do get these quite often after staying at international properties. I gave them less than stellar score due to the numerous problems I had. I also noted the problems in the written in sections of the survey.

I was really surprised that the following day I received an email from the property. No. It actually came from the survey company and the reply to-address had been changed to some executive assistant at the property. The content of the email was partly mail merged from the comments that I had left.

If they had had look at the record of my stay, they would have quickly noticed the problems that I had and what I had reported. I find this kind of “automatic” responses very amateurish for supposedly one of the flagship Hyatt property.

Conclusion

It is a very nice property hardware wise, but you need to lower your service expectations to the same or lower level than your average domestic US Hyatt.

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Hyatt decided to finally update the locations where Diamond Suite Awards are not valid. It had already been known for months that the exclusion list they had up on the website was no longer valid. There might be still properties that officially participate, but where you cannot find a single date for confirmable upgrades.

The following properties supposedly don’t have any standard suites where you could use Diamond Suite upgrades:

Hyatt Regency Kyoto

hyatt-regency-kyoto

Not sure what is so special about this Regency Suite that would make it non-standard for Diamond Suite upgrades?

Hyatt Regency Paris-Madeleine

hyatt-regency-madeleine-suites

This 60 square meter Regency Suite sounds a lot like a really regular suite to me, but apparently it is not.

Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort 

park-hyatt-beaver-creek

Again, this location seems to have quite a few different suite types available. Why this fireside one wouldn’t qualify as a standard one?

Park Hyatt Maldives

I really believe this one as I have been there. They don’t have suites. They have Over Water Villas, Pool Villas, or Regular Villas.

Park Hyatt Sydney

park-hyatt-sydney

Not sure what is going here. The lowest suite is actually smaller than their Opera or City Deluxe, but it is still not considered a “standard” suite.

Hyatt Santa Barbara 

Fair they don’t have suites. I have stayed there few times and it is a nice hotel.

Key West Resort and Spa 

This is a small property that doesn’t have suites. I have stayed there once.

Hyatt Regency Wichita 

 hyatt-wichita

This property has suites, but apparently not many. Wondering what is so special about this Bluestem suite that it couldn’t be categorized as a standard suite for suite redemption purposes?

Hyatt Regency Tulsa

Apparently no suites here.

Conclusion

Apparently four of the nine non-participating properties don’t have suites. The other six that supposedly don’t have any standard suites, do have suites that one could think by reading the suite description to be a standard ones

Hyatt must have had hard time getting some of the better properties to sign up for this suite upgrade thing. They either don’t compensate properties or compensate very little for usage of these suite awards.

Apparently the Park Hyatt Chicago is not available using these Diamond Suite Awards per several Hyatt Private Line agents, although Hyatt has not added that property to the list (yet).