Monday, 17 August 2015

Falling back in love with Hyatt

I've always known I was emotionally cheap, but this surprised even me. A points upgrade, and a positive experience with a phone consultant always wins the day. Thanks Emma (consultant on the Hyatt GoldPassport booking line).

Grand Hyatt or Sofitel Melbourne?
I'm off to Melbourne from Sydney in September for 3 days. I have been tossing up whether to stay at the Sofitel, or the Grand Hyatt. I've stayed at both before, and probably prefer the Hyatt overall, although the Sofitel does have some spectacular suites that the upgrade gods have sometimes bestowed on me.

I used to be totally loyal to Hyatt until they devalued their points (making therm worth a third their previous value for upgrades) and never seemed to have points upgrade room availability.

Last time at the Sofitel, we were allocated a standard room on a low floor, and a bit of lack of service (no promised turn-down service, and a refused one hour late checkout). They asked for feedback, so they got it. I just wanted to point out how much it contrasted with the amazing treatment I had received before - including several free upgrades - one to a vast diplomatic suite.

Suite I was upgraded to at the Sofitel Melbourne


Its always worth communicating these things to management. They have promised to 'make things right' for me next time.

Points and Upgrades and Value
Todays booking came down to cost and upgrades. Hyatt was cheaper at $325/night versus Sofitel at $345/night, and Hyatt would give me a guaranteed two step upgrade from a standard room to a suite for 6,000 GoldPassport points per night (18,000 total). On $325/night versus $685/night for the suite, that makes my GoldPassport points worth about 6¢ each.

Gold Passport v Qantas Frequent Flyer Points
Its tempting to book directly with Qantas Hotels - especially when an email appears directly after you have booked your fare. This was their offer:


So the same price as booking directly with Hyatt Gold Passport, but you get to earn 2925 Qantas Points - but of course no status credits. I opted to book directly with Hyatt. That way I get Hyatt points (5 per US$ spent - roughly 4.5 per AU$ - which in the above example are valued at 6¢ per point - versus Qantas points, which based on what I paid for the return fare and how much the trip would have cost in Frequent Flyer points, amount to about 2.2¢ per Qantas Frequent Flyer point.

My advice
unless Qantas points have more value to you for other reasons (topping up to get a points fare), then book through the hotel rewards site. In this case you'll get more value.

So Sofitel will need to wait to 'Make it right' at my next Sofitel stay.

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