One of the more exciting partnerships in the hotel loyalty space is the connection between World of Hyatt and Small Luxury Hotels of the World. This is especially relevant to Hyatt’s European members, or those who travel to Europe regularly. (at least pre-COVID…)
The partnership allows you to earn points via hotel stays and credit cards and spend them on amazing boutique hotel experiences in places rarely covered by the major hotel chains. You can also earn Hyatt points and elite status credit by staying at those SLH hotels that have joined the Hyatt platform (although you will usually pay a bit of a price premium versus booking direct). I’ve managed to stay at a few SLH hotels already and I definitely enjoyed the experience.
Not every SLH hotel participates in World of Hyatt, but more and more SLH hotels are added regularly. I like to take a quick look once in awhile to see which hotels are new…
Culloden Estate and Spa
When I saw the Culloden Estate and Spa near Belfast, Northern Ireland, I was immediately intrigued. As pictured above, the hotel looks amazing!
Moreover, the hotel is allocated to Award Category 4, which means that you can use Cat. 1-4 free night certificates.
I took a look at some summer dates where I MIGHT be able to visit Ireland (and Northern Ireland), only to notice this minor detail.
You want me to pay a £75 ($100-105) deposit when redeeming points or a free night certificate?&”!? And you won’t refund me if my trip is cancelled? I do have some sympathy for small hotels who find that some people book flexible rates and then cancel at the last minute, leaving them unable to resell the room. But you can focus minds easily enough by requiring a refundable deposit, not a non-refundable one!
But despite my desire to visit this hotel and spend a couple of free night certificates, I wouldn’t book it until I was sat on the tarmac waiting for my flight to Dublin or Belfast to take off. (and by then I might have already gotten excited about alternative accommodations / locations) Which isn’t a very good way to be competitive in a challenging travel environment…