Hyatt footprint in smaller US markets

Discussion in 'Hyatt | Gold Passport' started by mattsteg, Mar 29, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    How is the footprint of Hyatt in smaller markets, the sort typically served by Hyatt place level properties these days? Back in 2011 I tried to make them work for a while, but the coverage was poor enough vs. SPG+Hilton that I felt like I needed to choose SPG or Hyatt, with only SPG a sure thing for top tier. HPs pricing out at 35+% premiums over comparable SPG and Hilton properties a few times was also a factor.

    Since then, both SPG and Hyatt have added multiple properties that I've noticed in locations I frequent, and with the the recent devaluation of Hilton I'm looking more strongly at alternatives. Also, some locations where I was priced out I am no longer visiting. I think property availability may have gotten good enough that I can manage sufficient stays/nights at both starwood and Hyatt, but wanted some feedback.

    Travel profile:
    Primarily work travel, typical requirement is for select-service or similarly-priced hotels. Our travel policy cites Hamptons and Courtyards as examples. Full service is nice when the price is right, or when appropriate for conferences etc. Destinations are a mixture of major cities and smaller destinations (primarily college towns for the smaller) throughout the central, mountain, and southern US. Flew into 30 different domestic airports last year, and a half-dozen international (for pleasure). Most paid stays likely to be for work due to time balance. ~70-75 stays and 90-100 nights or so total. 44/59 SPG and 29/31 Hilton. When I add everything up it looks almost easy...

    I like the Hyatt product and program a lot. I also like the Starwood product and program a lot, and want to maintain both. I like the Hilton footprint, but am ambivalent at best regarding the product and the attractiveness of the program is mediocre at this point.

    Is it worth challenging to Diamond? How easy/difficult will it likely be to requalify?
     
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  2. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    With ~180 hotels, HP's footprint is decent but imperfect. Compare to Hampton's ~1800 hotels. Hyatt House, which I prefer, is much harder to find (57 total?). Rates at HP seem comparable to other select-service properties. For a quick summary sorted by state, check the Gold Passport award list. Add the full-service hotels, and the footprint becomes more reasonable.

    I have mixed feelings about HP: I love having real down duvets and feather pillows, but the rooms don't inspire me. I don't like how most rooms have desks behind a wall, away from all natural light. Hyatt's linens and towels, while adequate, give me the impression of having been chosen by an MBA: they're not luxurious; they're "just barely enough". Too many of the HP's I've stayed in have poor fitness centers. And they don't have self-serve laundry, which I often want.

    If I were staying mostly in HP's, I'm not sure diamond status would be worth much. The value comes when staying at full service properties, where you'll get either club access or full breakfast as well as a better welcome amenity. I often find that the rates at full-service properties aren't much more than at HP.

    As for diamond requalification: from your patterns, 25 stays sounds pretty easy. Getting the credit card will count for a few of those, too. Remember that Hyatt award stays don't count (unlike SPG and, coming soon, Priority Club).

    As you consider alternatives, remember that SPG is also thin in the select-service segment.
     
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  3. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    I've only seen a handful of Hyatt Houses in person as well, and pricing on the HPs that I checked looks pretty reasonable - perhaps I just ran into a few outliers previously.

    Regarding room layout, I'll take the desk size + location of HP over the complete inconsistency in that regard at Hampton Inn, and for better or worse there's not a ton of natural light available at times when I'm most likely to be using the desk anyway. Agreed on the linens (and the beds are not always the nicest in my memory, for that matter). From my perspective all fitness centers are crap, unfortunately. Self serve laundry I can live without.

    Agreed on the payoff being at full-service properties - I would stay at those a few times a year for personal travel (and have been already, which is a big part of why I'd want to move more to Hyatt), plus perhaps a conference or 2 for work, plus when the pricing makes sense for work. Sheratons are able to fit that bill much of the time with Starwood, for example. Many of the personal stays would be on points so I would not be able to include them in qualification.

    SPG is indeed thin in the select service segment, but between what they do have as well as good AAA rates at a lot of Sheratons, I have not had problems getting them to work most of the time. For select service stays no elite program really does too much, so it's more for putting myself in the best situation for personal stays, plus being able to take advantage on business stays when it makes sense. I like the flexibility of having 2 top-tier statuses, although to be honest I never really got that much out of the Hilton, as I prefer the SPG and Hyatt brand protfolios, for the most part.
     
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  4. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    For Hyatt, keep the COSTCO discount in mind. It's usually about the same as AAA, but worth checking for, in any case.

    Good luck with your travel planning!
     
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  5. peteropny
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    peteropny Milepoint Guide

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  6. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Yes, the Costco discount is quite handy. Also the directory linked by the other postervas well as the maps on hyatt's site.

    The footprint is obviously much sparser than Hilton, which is primarily where I want to move stays from, but in general my requirements are flexible enough to make it work as a lot of the time. Hh gold as a third status seems more worthwhile than putting in 30 stays or a bunch of CC spend.

    I started the trial this week, and will end up with 5 stays this week and 3 more booked. Should be easy enough to requal for next year and in subsequent years I think. Also will be nice to have my PH vacation stays as diamond rather than plat.
     
  7. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Keep in mine that use of the Diamond Upgrade Certs (4 x 7 nights per year) requires a PAID rate, although it can be a AAA or other discount.

    There aren't many Hyatts at all in the upper midwest, although since you mention college towns, there's an outstanding HP in downtown Madison, Wisconsin, in a pleasant quiet residential neighborhood a few blocks from the state capitol and away from the noisy student neighborhoods.
     

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