Yesterday, Hyatt Gold Passport’s Stay More Play More promotion press release made the rounds in the industry.

The headline captured my attention.

New Personalized Promotion Provides Even More Value to Hyatt Gold Passport® Members

I clicked on the article to learn how Hyatt Gold Passport members get even more value through the new personalized promotion?

Hyatt’s award-winning loyalty program, Hyatt Gold Passport, launches the Stay More Play More global promotion. Now, every visit to a Hyatt hotel puts loyalty members even closer to an exciting vacation, whether it is the warm, sandy beaches of Aruba or the hustle and bustle of downtown Tokyo. Beginning today, Hyatt Gold Passport members can register to reveal a personalized offer for an opportunity to earn thousands of bonus points on eligible stays.

I do not see anything in the press release explaining how a new personalized promotion provides even more value to Hyatt Gold Passport members. The promotion provides more value for Hyatt stays, but is there actually any ‘more’ value in a personalized promotion?

Hyatt Stay More Play More-2

Hyatt Gold Passport Stay More Play More registration page.

Loyalty Traveler – Hyatt Gold Passport Stay More Play More Jan 15 to April 30, 2015 registration (January 9, 2015).

What is a Hyatt Affiliated Hotel? Kind of like a Hyatt, but not quite Hyatt yet. You can earn points for a hotel stay, but reward stays with points are not yet available for booking.

The Concourse Hotel Los Angeles International Airport is a Hyatt Affiliated hotel.

Hyatt Concourse LAX

This hotel was the Radisson LAX for years and last summer changed branding by signing to Hyatt Hotels. The remodeling of the property into the Hyatt Regency Los Angeles Airport is projected to still be another year in early 2016.

In the meantime, The Concourse at Los Angeles Airport is bookable on Hyatt websites. There is no points option yet for reward nights. The hotel is not categorized and trying a points award search returns this message:

The special offer/rate you have selected is unavailable during the dates you have selected, or it is not offered at this property. Below is a list of rates available during your requested dates.

The Concourse at Los Angeles Airport seems to have low rates next month relative to other major hotel chains for LAX on weeknights.

Hyatt Concourse AAA rates 2-15

Concourse Los Angeles Airport – Hyatt Affiliated Hotel

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

  • $117 AAA
  • $129 rack
  • $139 Parking Package

Compare this to other hotel rates around LAX for same date.

Westin LAX $197

Four Points LAX $99

Marriott LAX $219

Hyatt Place LAX/El Segundo $197

Hyatt House Los Angeles/El Segundo $216

The Concourse LAX is a bargain right now for Hyatt points earners.

Garden Event Space Redesign

The Concourse Hotel LAX is in the news this week with a press release update on a redesigned lawn event space to be completed by May 15, 2015. The hotel is located closest to Los Angeles Airport terminals, one block from Terminal 1. Hotel shuttle is scheduled for every 10 minutes.

The announcement for an events lawn capable of handling 750 guests indicates this hotel will be an active conference and events hotel for LAX.

The PR piece highlights the hotel’s environmental design. “The hotel is a local leader in sustainable business practices, with a platinum-level Green Seal certification and four-key California Green Lodging certification.”

Recent reviews on TripAdvisor are highly mixed. My reading indicates the hotel needs a remodel.

Have you stayed at The Concourse Hotel recently? Please warn us if we should wait to stay at the hotel. Hopefully, let us know this is a place to try for the cheap rates.

Expect far higher prices when this hotel becomes Hyatt Regency Los Angeles Airport.

Evaluating 2015 Q1 hotel promotions with $1000 spend is my take on a comparative analysis of the major promotions across several hotel chains.

People who travel frequently on company expense accounts might look at Hyatt’s offer and think 20 nights for 65,000 bonus points is brilliant. They may knock that out in the next three weeks of work travel.

I look at 15 nights to earn 50,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points by April 30 and think that is at least $1,500 in hotel spend and I get two free nights at a category 6 hotel (20,000 points per reward night) or three free nights at a category 4 hotel (15,000 points per reward night). Those can be valuable free nights in certain locations. But, 15 nights for 50,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points for $1,000 in hotel stays is a difficult achievement.

This post looks at the advantages of the different hotel promotions this quarter to evaluate what kinds of travel favor which kind of promotion.

Evaluating 2015 Q1 hotel promotions with $1000 spend

 

#1 Club Carlson 30,000 bonus points for 3-night stays Jan 12-March 29, 2015

My top pick for best promotion bonus: Club Carlson Extend Your Stay 30,000 bonus points for 3-night stay. Loyalty Traveler – Club Carlson Jan 12 to March 29, 2015 stays earn 15K for 2 nights, 30K for 3 nights (January 5, 2015).

Promotion Favors hotel stays of 2 or 3 nights. 3 nights is best earning rate.

Club Carlson is my top pick for big points with little spend for extended stays. Club Carlson has a simple global offer of 15,000 bonus points on 2-night stays and 30,000 bonus points on 3-night stays.

I favor Club Carlson due to being a Club Carlson Visa card member with the benefit of Gold elite and one free reward night for any reward stay of two or more nights.

Assuming an average $100 per night Carlson brand hotel room in Radisson, Park Inn or Country Inns & Suites means I can get three 3-night stays for 90,000 bonus points and earn 37 points/$1 in hotel spend. Assume $1,000 in hotel spend and that is 37,000 points + 90,000 bonus points after 9 hotel nights. 127,000 Club Carlson points can buy 8 two-night reward stays at category 2 hotels. My preference is to aim for 50,000 points hotels in major tourist destinations like Paris, London, Vienna and Sydney where 50,000 points buys a two-night reward stay at a hotel that normally averages $300 per night hotel rates. Club Carlson points buy more nights than most other hotel program points. I’ll be in Copenhagen in July and a two-night stay at Radisson Blu Royal Hotel Copenhagen will be a good use of points.

Radisson Copenhagen

Two nights at Radisson Blu Royal Copenhagen is priced at $577 or 50,000 points. My $1,000 in Club Carlson spend can earn 127,000 points. Those points cover a 2-night stay in Copenhagen upon airport arrival and before departure for our international trip.

Club Carlson has a solid offer.

#2 Choice Privileges Triple Points December 29 to February 18, 2015

Promotion favors: any traveler who spends. This offer can be earned at $40 per night hotels or $400 per night hotels. Length of stay not a factor.

Loyalty Traveler – Choice Privileges Triple Points Dec 29-February 18, 2015 (Dec 29, 2014)

Admittedly, I will probably not put much effort into this offer, but I think it is a fantastic points earning offer you can earn for economy and midscale hotel stays in brands from Rodeway Inn to Clarion, Comfort Inn and Quality Inn.

Choice Privileges Triple Points means 30 points/$1 on hotel stays at six hotel brands, including Ascend Collection, Clarion, Comfort Inn, Quality Inn, Cambria Suites and Sleep Inn.

Choice Hotels has four other extended stay and economy brands with MainStay, Suburban, Rodeway Inn and Econolodge. These four brands normally earn 50% points at 5 points/$1 and will earn 15 points/$1 during triple points promotion.

$1,000 in hotel spend can earn 30,000 points. This can be 2 nights at many hotels with a $600 total value. Choice Privileges is spend based so spending enough to earn 16,000 points is sufficient for wide choice of free night hotels. This can be earned with $534 in hotel spend making this offer one of the best earning promotions for low spenders.

You’ll want to go for the higher earning points brands. Finding a hotel under $60 per night in winter season in the USA is easy with these brands. There are 6,000 hotels to choose from, most in Comfort Inn and Quality Inn. Even Monterey, my home town tourist spot has low rates.

No Concern about length of stay with Choice Hotels triple points. This offer is based on hotel spend, so you earn 30 points/$1 for one-night stays or seven-night stays.

Value of Choice Privileges points – 20,000 points will buy a mid-priced hotel in the USA, whereas 20,000 points can be a $500 per night hotel in Europe and select places.

Hotel loyalty aficionados are turned off by the limited booking window with Choice Privileges points.  USA members can only redeem points within 30 days of stay, unless you have elite status for an earlier booking window.

The advantage of this regional system for USA members is we can book international hotels in Europe at 60 days before stay, while Europeans are limited by the same 30-day window for hotel points reward stays in their home region of Europe. Availability for reward stays in Europe is good for USA members who have one month head start on Europeans for choice hotels.

#3 IHG Rewards Club Set Your Sights January 1 – April 30, 2015

Loyalty Traveler – Loyalty Traveler – Our IHG Set Your Sights tasks for 50000 points Jan 1-Apr 30, 2015 

This is a targeted offer and your personal tasks will determine how this offer ranks to other hotel promotions. My wife’s tasks for 50,000 points can be completed with 3 nights, including two stays at a Holiday Inn and one of those stays being a 2-night weekend stay. My tasks for 50,000 points can be completed with 6 nights including two 2-night weekend stays and two 1-night stays at Crowne Plaza hotels. Some members received tasks that require many more nights. IHG Rewards Club tends to favor members who stay less frequently with easier to reach tasks.

This promotion favors low spenders who will benefit from a high earning promotion for 50,000 points for 3 to 6 nights.

I view IHG Set Your Sights as a 100,000 bonus points offer we can earn with 9 paid hotel nights. This fits in my $1,000 spend scenario. 50,000 points is the reward rate for the highest level IHG hotels. There is also the possibility of finding PointBreaks hotels at 5,000 points per night for great redemption value. Personally, I look at the 50,000 points as free high-end hotel nights for places like London and San Francisco.

Loyalty Traveler – IHG PointBreaks Nov 24 to Feb 28, 2015 by State and Country (Nov 21, 2014)

 

#4 Marriott Rewards MegaBonus February 1 to April 30, 2015 + West Coast 2K bonus per weekend night Jan 2 to March 28

Loyalty Traveler –  Marriott MegaBonus offers for Feb 1 to April 30, 2015 (Dec 19, 2014)

Loyalty Traveler -  Marriott Big Bonus Payout Western USA 2,000 points per night January 2 to March 28, 2015 (Jan 10, 2015)

Promotion favors: Weekend stays of one or two nights.

Marriott Rewards MegaBonus did not seem too lucrative to me and I received one of the better targeted offers at 3,000 bonus points per stay, for stays 2 to 9 during the promotion period.

Then, a second offer for 2,000 points per weekend night at West Coast hotels. Northern California is well represented and rates are far lower on weekends around the San Francisco Bay Area hotels. Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Utah also have hotels offering 2,000 bonus points per night for Friday, Saturday or Sunday night stays.

One night stays can earn 5,000 bonus points per stay for 8 of 9 hotel stays. That is 40,000 bonus points and another 10,000 in regular points. 50,000 points can be one night at the top of the line category 8 (40,000 per night) or category 9 (45,000 per night) Marriott. There are 60 of 85 Ritz-Carlton Hotels in Tiers 1, 2 and 3 available for 30,000 to 50,000 points per night.

50,000 points can buy 3 to 5 nights at low category 2 and 3 hotels.

Marriott Rewards has 767 hotels at the category 2 reward level for 10,000 points per night.  There are 971 hotels at category 3 reward level for 15,000 points per night.

Marriott offers a good value promotion if you find hotels to combine MegaBonus with another hotel specific bonus. There are hundreds of hotels with Marriott Rewards bonus points offers.

 

#5 Hyatt Gold Passport Stay More Play More January 15 to April 30, 2015

Another targeted offer with many members getting low earning offers and others getting high earning offers.

Promotion favors hotel guests who can stay 10 to 25 nights by April 30, 2015. This is an expensive promotion to fulfill based on the high number of nights needed for the best bonus offers.

  • 2,000 bonus points after next stay.
  • 5,000 bonus points after 2 stays
  • 10 nights for 20,000 points
  • 20 nights for 50,000 bonus points in intervals with 5 nights = 5,000; 10 nights = 15,000; 15 nights = 30,000 points.
  • 5 nights = 5,000 bonus points; 10 nights = 15,000; 15 Nights = 30,000 points; 20 Nights + 15,000 Points = 45,000 bonus points;
    25 Nights + 20,000 Points = 65,000.

10 nights earning 15,000 or 20,000 points is sufficient for one free night at a category 4 hotel for 15,000 points or category 5 hotel at 20,000 points. Many of these hotels will have $300 per night rates.

$1,000 in spend for ten nights earns one free upper tier or up to four nights at Hyatt Gold Passport category 1 hotels at 5,000 points per night. $1,000 in spend earns another 5,000 base points. You might find it difficult to get ten Hyatt nights for $1,000.

#6 SPG Double Play January 5 to April 15

Loyalty Traveler – SPG Double Play Jan 5 to April 15, 2015 is double weak (Dec 30, 2014)

  • 2-night stay earns 2 bonus points per dollar.
  • Earn 1,000 bonus points every 5 nights, up to 4,000 points maximum during promotion after 20 nights.

Promotion favors die-hard SPG loyalists who prefer the Starwood Hotels over lucrative hotel promotion bonuses. You need to have 2-night stays to really get any value. On single night stays, you can earn a maximum 4,000 points after 20 nights.

$1,000 in spend for two 5-night stays might earn 4,000 to 5,000 points with the double points offer and 2,000 bonus points for 10 nights if you are a base member or Gold/Platinum elite. 

The actual bonus points above what is normally earned by an SPG member is only 4,000 bonus points after 10 nights. This is a miserable earning bonus limited to SPG members who make 2-night or longer stays.

Personally, I’ll be looking for better hotel stay spend bonuses available with the other major hotel programs.

This is only 6,000 to 8,000 SPG points after $1,000 in spend and will buy one night at a mid-category hotel.

# 7 Hilton Double Up Double Points Nov 1 to January 31, 2015

Hilton will likely announce a new promotion for 2015 Q1 this week. The current offer of double points runs through January 31. Double points means 25 points/$1, and more for elite and credit card members. The catch is the double points does not start until second stay.

Loyalty Traveler – Register for Hilton HHonors Double Up Double Points Nov 1 to Jan 31, 2015 (October 31, 2014)

After first stay, which should be a one-night stay to kickstart the bonus, assume $900 in spend at double points whether multiple stays or an extended stay. This promotion can earn maybe 25,000 to 30,000 points after $1,000 in spend. That is one night at a mid-category hotel.

Hilton comes up low in my ranking, although it is a very flexible earning promotion good for single night stays or extended stay after you get the first qualifying stay finished to begin earning double points.

Hyatt Gold Passport Stay More, Play More Jan 15 to April 30, 2015 registration is now open. The offers are targeted and you need to login to see your specific offer.

My specific offer is up to 30,000 bonus points for 20 nights.

Points + Cash award stays count as eligible stays and Mlife properties in Las Vegas count this time.

Hyatt Stay More Play More

Here are other Hyatt Gold Passport Stay More Play More offers I have seen mentioned on FlyerTalk. There appear to be five iterations of the promotion.

  • 2,000 bonus points after next stay.
  • 5,000 bonus points after 2 stays
  • 10 nights for 20,000 points
  • 20 nights for 50,000 bonus points (my offer shown in image above)
  • 5 nights = 5,000 bonus points; 10 nights = 15,000; 15 Nights = 30,000 points; 20 Nights + 15,000 Points = 45,000 bonus points;
    25 Nights + 20,000 Points = 65,000

All in all, I view this promotion as one geared primarily for Diamond members who maintain a pace of 50 to 60 nights per year.

Not as good an offer for those who qualify for Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond on 25 stays comprised of mostly 1-night stays.

Basically, Hyatt Gold Passport has settled into their own kind of Marriott MegaBonus recurring promotion with these Stay More, Play More promotions. Good stuff for business travelers who prefer Hyatt and can readily meet the thresholds. Not as enticing for members who need to put out $2,000 to $3,000 to reach 20 nights in the next ten weeks.

Old timers: Remember the days when Hyatt stays at nearly every hotel offered 1,000 to 2,500 bonus points (so called G bonuses) in addition to the promotion offers of bonus points or free nights?

Diamond benefits of free breakfast and suite upgrades make Hyatt Gold Passport a good program for top elite members. Hyatt dropping the “My Elite Rate’ 20% discount in 2015 for Platinum and Diamond members is a real blow for the less frequent Hyatt Gold Passport Platinum member. Supposedly the elimination of My Elite Rate will allow expansion of Hyatt Points + Cash rates.

Hyatt Gold Passport seems like a program that has focused its promotions this past year to incentivize frequent guests to go all in for 25 stays or 50 nights to reach Diamond elite status.

*****

Stay More Play More Terms and Conditions (for my targeted offer of 20 nights for 50,000 bonus points).

You must receive this offer from Hyatt and register by April 30, 2015. All Eligible Nights under this offer must occur from January 15, 2015 through April 30, 2015 (“Offer Period”).

You will receive 5,000 Hyatt Gold Passport bonus points after you complete five Eligible Nights, an additional 10,000 Hyatt Gold Passport bonus points after you complete ten Eligible Nights, an additional 15,000 Hyatt Gold Passport bonus points after you complete fifteen Eligible Nights, and an additional 20,000 Hyatt Gold Passport bonus points after you complete twenty Eligible Nights during the Offer Period.

A maximum 50,000 bonus points may be earned, regardless of the number of nights completed during the Offer Period.

Play More Stay More Frequently Asked Questions

Stay More Play More Frequently Asked Questions

What are the registration dates for the promotion?
January 12 through April 30, 2015.

What are the qualifying stay dates for the promotion?
January 15 through April 30, 2015.

How do I participate in the promotion?
You must be a Hyatt Gold Passport member. There are two ways to participate:
• Register directly from an email communication you might have received
• Enter your Hyatt Gold Passport membership number when visiting hyatt.com/StayMorePlayMore to find out what your exclusive offer is and register.

I am a new Hyatt Gold Passport member. Is there an offer I can participate in?
Yes, all members are eligible to participate in this promotion. When visiting hyatt.com/StayMorePlayMore, enter your Hyatt Gold Passport membership number to be served an offer to register for.

Are there specific offers for Hyatt Credit Cardmembers?
There are no offers specific to a Hyatt Credit Cardmember. Hyatt Credit Cardmembers can participate by entering their Hyatt Gold Passport membership number when visiting hyatt.com/StayMorePlayMore to be served an offer to register for.

What is considered an Eligible Rate?
For the purpose 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, AAA, senior citizen rates, and Points + Cash awards. “Ineligible Rates” are discounted rates, including, but not limited to, any free night stays, Internet wholesale rates (such as priceline.com, hotels.com, etc.), traditional wholesale rates (such as 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 contracted room 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). Hyatt may modify this at any time. See goldpassport.com for the current terms.

Are there any restrictions on the form of payment in order to participate in this promotion?
Most forms of payment are accepted as long as the guest is a registered guest and paying an eligible rate. If a guest room is charged back to a master account the room night will not be considered eligible and will not count toward the stay/night criteria associated with the offer the member is participating in.

What hotels are participating in this promotion?
This promotion is valid for all eligible stays/eligible nights at Hyatt Hotels & Resorts. In addition, all M life Eligible Nights at participating M life resorts will be counted toward this promotion. An M life Eligible Night is any night of an M life Eligible Stay (i) where payment is made directly to a participating MGM Resorts International property, (ii) any stay booked through hyatt.com, or (iii) through a Hyatt Worldwide Reservation Center, excluding free night awards. See complete terms and conditions on goldpassport.com for a list of participating M life hotels.

Will I receive Hyatt Gold Passport base points for my stay in addition to the offer?
Yes, as a Hyatt Gold Passport member, you will still earn the standard five (5) points per eligible dollar spent. Platinum or Diamond members will still earn their tier bonus.

Does it matter if I choose points or miles for my stay in order to earn in the promotion?
No. You can choose to earn points or miles for your base earning.

If I pay for more than one room, will I receive bonus points for all rooms?
Bonus points will be earned for one room per member, per stay regardless of the number of paid rooms.

For the purpose of this offer, an “Eligible Night” is defined as any night where a member is paying an Eligible Rate, as defined in the terms and conditions of Hyatt Gold Passport. Hyatt Gold Passport members will only receive Eligible Night credit for their room, regardless of the number of rooms paid.

You must provide your Hyatt Gold Passport membership number at the time of check-in and choose points or miles for your stay. Hyatt Gold Passport will automatically track Eligible Nights when you provide your Hyatt Gold Passport membership number. Please allow two to three weeks after your stay for bonus points to be posted to your Hyatt Gold Passport account.

There are 21 Hyatt Hotels in India. Hyatt Gold Passport currently has a promotion offer for Hyatt Hotels India 2,500 bonus points per stay to March 31, 2015. Use Special Offer Code INDIA at time of reservation.

Boarding Area Blogger Ajay Awtaney covers India in his Live from a Lounge blog and has reviewed several of the 21 Hyatt Hotels in India. He states in his article that rates are not different for 2,500 bonus points INDIA special offer.

This was the case for Hyatt Amritsar when I checked rates, however, there was a lower rate for a date I checked at Hyatt Raipur.

Hyatt Raipur India rate

Hyatt Business Plan rate is the default rate for Hyatt Raipur when checking INDIA special offer rates for Friday January 23. The rate comes out to 5,871 INR after 10% luxury tax and 7.42% Service Fee. That is $93.79 USD.

When I checked rates without the INDIA special offer code, there was a lower seasonal rate available 3,600 INR for the same Hyatt King room.

Yet, Ajay was correct about the rates not being higher. The image above shows what I saw on my computer when I selected Hyatt Raipur through the INDIA webpage. Look at the dark arrow on the right next to the Hyatt Rate Types. Click the arrow and the Seasonal Rate pops up.

Hyatt Raipur seasonal rate

Hyatt Raipur Seasonal Rate is 3,600 INR without breakfast included. Complimentary breakfast is a benefit for Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond members. No need to pay a higher rate, unless you want to take advantage of dry cleaning benefit with Business Class rate.

Hyatt Raipur King room is 3,600 INR + luxury tax and service fee = 4,227 INR.

XE INR

When INDIA was not in the special offer code, the Seasonal Promotion rate stated 1,000 bonus points in the Rate Rules. This Seasonal Promotion rate states it is for bookings by January 24 for stays by January 31.

The rate rules text changed and no mention of 1,000 bonus points when checking the Seasonal Promotion rate using INDIA. Hyatt Gold Passport members should get 2,500 bonus points when booking Hyatt Hotels in India using the special rate code INDIA.

India looks like a good place for a Hyatt Diamond Challenge. You might want to book the breakfast rate until your status comes in.

Terms & Conditions

Offer valid for reservations booked by March 31, 2015 for stays actualised from December 1, 2014 through March 31, 2015 at all Hyatt hotels in India. All hotel reservations are subject to availability and must be made in advance. Offer may not be combined with other promotional offers. Consecutive reservations will count as one stay. Guest must request offer code INDIA at time of reservation and check-in to receive bonus points. Hyatt Gold Passport members must choose points for their stay and pay an Eligible Rate, as defined in the Hyatt Gold Passport terms and conditions. Only one 2,500 Hyatt Gold Passport bonus may be earned per member, per stay, regardless of the number of rooms booked. This promotion is subject to the terms and conditions of Hyatt Gold Passport. Please allow 4-6 weeks after travel is completed for Hyatt Gold Passport bonus points to be credited to your account. Promotional blackout periods may apply due to seasonal periods or special events, and normal arrival/departure restrictions apply. Hyatt reserves the right to alter or withdraw this program at any time without notice. Hyatt Hotels & Resorts® encompasses hotels managed, franchised or leased by subsidiaries and affiliates of Hyatt Hotels Corporation. The trademarks Hyatt®, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts®, Park Hyatt®, Andaz®, Grand Hyatt®, Hyatt Regency®, Hyatt Place®, Hyatt Gold Passport®, and related marks are trademarks of Hyatt Corporation. © 2014 Hyatt Corporation. All rights reserved.

Presidential Suite for $62 per night got my attention when I saw the eStandby Upgrade offer for Radisson Salt Lake City Downtown. King Whirlpool tub for $15 extra per night. No thanks. I get those regularly in hotel rooms and rarely take a bath. Extra $25 for free breakfast and one drink per night. No thanks. I’ll bring my own beer and I can’t justify a $25 breakfast when traveling solo.

Now that Presidential Suite is something I am willing to gamble on and pay if I win the upgrade lottery.

Radisson SLC Presidential Suite

I’ll let you know how it all works out in the end.

Nor1 eStandby Upgrades

There is a Silicon Valley company in Santa Clara, California called Nor1. Their registered trademark is “Upgrade your life.” Nor1 operates the eStandby Upgrade software technology to offer upgrade upsells to customers after they complete a hotel booking. Nor1 data shows hotels upsell their rooms at a better rate using eStandby Upgrade. The hotel benefits and the customer benefits from an upgrade for less than the room rate price for the upgraded room originally charged when booking the hotel.

Many of the major hotel chains use eStandby Upgrade.

Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, IHG, Fairmont, Hilton, Hyatt, Kimpton, Kempinski and others.

Analysis of eStandby Upgrade offers in Hyatt and Carlson.

The Presidential Suite upgrade offer is one I have in eStandby mode. What makes this offer especially enticing is my reservation at Radisson Salt Lake City Downtown is a points reservation for two nights using 28,000 Club Carlson points. $62 + 14,000 Club Carlson points for the Presidential Suite is a gamble I am willing to take.

Radisson SLC Presidential Suite photo

Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego eStandby Upgrade

Last month I received eStandby Upgrade offers when I booked the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego during the Christmas holiday week.

Manchester Grand Hyatt upgrade

San Diego Bay View $25 per night. There are not many rooms in the 1,625 room hotel without a San Diego Bay view.

Corner King $31 per night. This looks like a good upgrade offer. Not really a big savings at $9 per night.

10am Early check-in $34 one time payment. If you really need it.

$58 for 4pm late check-out. Unlikely. Check your bags at the desk and have a $58 lunch meal or harbor cruise.

Manchester Grand Hyatt upgrade-2

$122 extra per night for 780 square feet Conference Suite or $230 extra per night for a Grand Suite.

As a Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond elite, I used one of four confirmed suite upgrades and our stay was booked into a Conference Suite within minutes of making our reservation for Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego.

Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond members receive four suite upgrade certificates annually good through February of following year. They are valid for an upgrade on a hotel stay for up to 7 nights. This can be an incredible value for Hyatt stays.

I know the precise value for my suite upgrade certificate based on my eStandby Upgrade offer of $122 per night for the room I upgraded for free.

My paid room rate for Manchester Grand Hyatt was $112 per night and we stayed in a Conference Suite.

Loyalty Traveler – On the Waterfront at Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego (December 30, 2014).

Park Plaza Vondelpark Amsterdam Saved $20 per night and will earn 40,000 bonus points.

After my booking today at Park Plaza Vondelpark Amsterdam using the JANSAL January Winter Sale offer to book a three night stay at this hotel, I received an instant upgrade offer for my reservation.

Loyalty Traveler – Park Plaza Europe January Sale, book by Jan 7 for stays to April 12, 2015 (Jan 2, 2015).

I booked a 55 EUR ($66) Superior room and upgraded to an Executive room for an extra 20 EUR per night. My experience at Radisson Blu hotels in London during our November trip revealed Superior rooms can be quite cramped. Since we are staying three nights, the extra space will be welcome. The final rate of 75 EUR per night is $91 per night.

The rate for an Executive room without the Park Plaza promotional offer was 92 EUR per night for a prepaid, fully nonrefundable rate. I saved 51 EUR ($20 per night) on the regular rate for an Executive room for our stay taking advantage of the instant upgrade offer.

Best of all is the 3-night stay in Amsterdam is eligible for the Club Carlson 30,000 bonus points with the Extend Your Stay offer. Be sure to check your email inbox for another Club Carlson 10,000 bonus points. Many Club Carlson members, including me, received a Club Carlson email offer for 10,000 bonus points as an incentive to register for Extend Your Stay promotion by January 12, 2015 and complete an eligible 2-night or longer stay during the promotion. I had already registered for Club Carlson Extend Your Stay before I received the 10,000 points email offer. I already have three Extend Your Stay bonus points eligible reservations booked at Carlson Rezidor hotels.

Loyalty Traveler – Club Carlson Jan 12 to March 29, 2015 stays earn 15K for 2 nights, 30K for 3 nights (Jan 5, 2015)

2015 is getting a fast-track hotel start in my travels. Best of all are the low cost upgraded room opportunities I am finding as I book hotels in the places I will be visiting this winter.

After our Andaz San Diego hotel stay, we moved over to the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego. While I had no preconceived notions of Andaz, the Manchester Grand Hyatt is a place I know by reputation after the bitter California Proposition 8 anti-gay marriage legislation passed in November 2008, which ruled gay marriage unconstitutional. One of the financial backers of California Proposition 8 was San Diego real estate developer Doug Manchester for whom the Grand Hyatt hotel is named. The LGBT led boycott of the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego hotel was a major issue in 2009 and 2010. Doug Manchester sold the Manchester Grand Hyatt in 2011 for $570 million.

Grand Hyatt San Diego-1

Manchester Grand Hyatt with two hotel towers and 1,625 rooms. Seaport Tower (2003) on left and Harbor Tower (1998) on right

Manchester Grand Hyatt is the second largest hotel in California at 1,625 rooms in the older 1992 Harbor Tower (40 floors and 875 rooms) and newer 2003 Seaport Tower (34 floors and 750 rooms). Hilton San Francisco is the only hotel in California with more rooms.

Harbor Tower at 497 feet is the tallest building on the waterfront in California and the third tallest building in San Diego. Seaport Tower is 446 feet.

Grand Hyatt San Diego-2

Manchester Grand Hyatt seen from San Diego Bay cruise.

Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel Reservation

Christmas week was one of the lowest rates of the year for the hotel. I booked a standard room at $111.20 using Hyatt’s ‘My Elite Rate’ for a 20% discount on the low $139 regular Hyatt rate. ‘My Elite Rate’ was a promotional Hyatt offer for 20% off BAR for Hyatt Gold Passport Platinum and Diamond members. Nearly every reservation I made with Hyatt in 2014 used this promotional rate. The rate has been discontinued for 2015.

Then I used a Diamond Suite Upgrade certificate for the stay and received a confirmed Conference Suite which had a $122 upgrade value based on the eStandby Upgrade offers after I booked the initial reservation.

Grand Hyatt eStandby Suites

Hyatt eStandby Upgrade offers

Parking is $30 per day for self-parking with in and out privileges.

Grand Hyatt Conference suite-1

Room 834 Harbor Tower Conference Suite

There was plenty of space in the conference suite for my family to visit and enjoy the room space and view.

Grand Hyatt Suite-2

Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Room 834 Harbor Tower Conference Suite

The 8th floor seemed low in the 40 floor building until we went to the 33rd floor Grand Club lounge and decided the pool view was better from my room than the upper floors.

Grand Hyatt 8th floor view

Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Room 834 Harbor Tower Conference Suite pool view

Pool deck on 4th floor connects the two towers of Manchester Grand Hyatt.

Grand Hyatt suite pantry

Manchester Grand Hyatt Room 834 Harbor Tower Conference Suite pantry

The Grand Hyatt Conference Suite offered an additional bathroom and pantry with refrigerator and sink. The bathrooms were the one area for improvement. They are the original small size standard bathrooms with shower in tub.

Grand Hyatt bathroom

Manchester Grand Hyatt Room 834 Harbor Tower Conference Suite bathroom

The bedroom was standard with two Queen beds.

Grand Hyatt beds

Manchester Grand Hyatt Room 838 Harbor Tower bedroom.

Both rooms had large 46-inch TVs.

Grand Hyatt bedroom tv

Manchester Grand Hyatt Room 838 Harbor Tower Conference Suite bedroom

One of my favorite features of the room was a San Diego map print with different streets and sections of the city marked out in words.

San Diego Map

San Diego in art words

The expansive suite view provided hours of entertainment for me looking at the big city and San Diego Bay at night.

Grand Hyatt City Lights

Manchester Grand Hyatt Room 834 Harbor Tower Conference Suite view at night

Seaport Village by night and USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier by day.

USS Ronald Reagan

Manchester Grand Hyatt Room 834 Harbor Tower Conference Suite view of USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier.

Manchester Grand Hyatt Public Spaces

Manchester Grand Hyatt is a grand hotel. The place was filled with navy midshipmen in town for the Navy-San Diego State bowl game. Navy won in a 17-16 final. My floor was one of the party central locations in the hotel.

Grand Hyatt SD lobby

Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego lobby

Large wall paintings of pastoral country settings were a calm contrast to the energy in the hotel.

Grand Hyatt lobby-2

Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego lobby

There are two sets of elevators for the Harbor Tower with one set for floors 1-28 and a second set for higher floors. This meant we had to go down from the 8th floor to the other set of elevators to reach the Grand Hyatt Lounge on Floor 33. There is also Top of the Hyatt on Floor 40, voted the best bar in San Diego for its views.

Grand Hyatt lounge

Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Grand Club lounge on Floor 33 Harbor Tower

The lounge was open all day for drinks and food. The usual foods for breakfast including smoked salmon and a cappuccino machine. In the evening there were scallops wrapped in bacon and other items. Honor bar beer at $3 is one of the lower priced lounges I have seen. Main complaint about the lounge were the number of children and toddlers present. My photos were shot at 7am. At 9:30am and 6pm there was hardly a seat to be found. Occupancy limit is 180+ if I recall the sign correctly.

Grand Hyatt Club Lounge      Grand Hyatt lounge-2

The height of the Grand Club Lounge on Floor 33 is nearly the height of the 34 floor Seaport tower.

Grand Hyatt Seaport Tower

Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Grand Club lounge on Floor 33 view to Seaport Tower

Swimming Pools

The pool area is a standout feature of Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego. All elevators go to Floor 4 for the elevated rooftop pool deck between the two hotel room towers.

Grand Hyatt pool atrium

Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego 4th floor pool deck

The pool had pool hours, however, the pool deck did not seem to be closed down as evidenced by a large group of Navy football game victory revelers hitting the pool deck at 2am. There were still swimmers in the pool after 9pm at night and the hot tubs were in use by 6am.

There is an adults-only pool on Floor 3 of Harbor Tower, however the floor was being remodeled during our stay.

Grand Hyatt pool fire pit

Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego 4th floor pool deck

View of Coronado and Point Loma from the pool deck are the kind of desirable views that let you know San Diego is a seaport city. Hot tubs flanked both sides of the fire pit. Surfboard seat backs are a nice SoCal touch to the décor. Rock music was playing low on the pool sound system before 7am.

Grand Hyatt pool-2

Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego 4th floor pool deck

Everything about the Manchester Grand Hyatt seemed California beach bum laid back in a formal luxury hotel resort setting.

The location of Manchester Grand Hyatt on the San Diego Bay waterfront is near several main tourist attractions like Seaport Village, San Diego Convention Center, Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego harbor cruises and the USS Midway museum for places within walking distance. Andaz San Diego is about one mile away into the city with no water views. Both Andaz and Manchester Grand Hyatt are Hyatt Gold Passport category 5 hotels at 20,000 points per night. Hyatt Regency Mission Bay San Diego is category 4, however, Mission Bay is several miles from downtown San Diego and a completely different experience in my opinion. I like the Mission Bay and Pacific Beach area of San Diego near SeaWorld and it is probably more family-friendly in terms of activities with children. Downtown San Diego is a heavy party scene.

The location of the Grand Hyatt on the waterfront makes it a preferable location to Andaz San Diego in my opinion. You can walk to the Gaslamp area around PETCO Stadium via the embarcadero marina waterfront, past the Marriott Marquis and San Diego Convention Center to the Hilton Bayfront where there is a pedestrian bridge across the light rail tracks to PETCO and Gaslamp.

Grand Hyatt ship view

View across Seaport Village shopping and restaurants as military ship sails in. Seen from Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Room 834 view of San Diego Bay.

The views are good from both sides of the Manchester Grand Hyatt.

Grand Hyatt lounge Mexico view

View from 33rd floor Grand Club lounge to Coronado Peninsula and Mexico in the south

You can even see to Mexico from some room locations or the Harbor Tower 33rd floor Grand Lounge.

Grand Hyatt San Diego clock

Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego Clock Est. 1992

Loyalty Traveler related posts:

Hotel Review Andaz San Diego (Dec 28, 2014)

Cool San Diego in Warm December (Dec 26, 2014)

Old Town San Diego for history and food (Dec 30, 2013)

Coronado Beach in a Dry December (Dec 27, 2013) San Diego area beaches.

The next Hyatt promotion is Stay More Play More from January 15 to April 30, 2015. Check your email around January 12 for details. That’s it. No more details. The blogosphere is alight with light information.

I received the January Hyatt promotion notice in my Hyatt Gold Passport Account Summary email. The email also reminded me to redeem my four Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond member suite upgrades.

Worked on spending those Hyatt suite certificates this week. Two suite upgrades redeemed for upcoming hotel stays where I invoked the soon-to-be-no-more 20% discount “My Elite Rate” for rock bottom hotel rates that I upgraded to suite level. After mostly no hotel restaurant breakfast stays in London last month as Club Carlson Gold, Kelley is going to enjoy the relaxing start in Hyatt with morning breakfast at the hotel restaurant as Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond.

My only Hyatt points the past few months were mobile app bonuses and 2,000 bonus points on three stays. I was not targeted for the big 50,000 points offer, but that is fine since I have been in redemption mode this season with 170,000 Club Carlson points and 216,000 Choice Privileges points redeemed for my four weeks in Europe since September.

I plan to be in spend mode for the next few months to earn hotel points for international stays in 2015. It might be a good time for Hyatt to offer me a big bonus opportunity. In another three weeks I’ll check for my Hyatt Stay More Play More promotion offer.

Nothing to do now, except enjoy Hyatt suite upgrades, hotel restaurant breakfast and wait until January.

Hyatt 2015Q1 offer

Two elite benefits are being dropped from Hyatt Gold Passport in 2015 when My Elite Rate for 20% off flexible rate is discontinued and the 5,000 bonus points bed type guarantee is changed to guarantee bed type for every Hyatt Gold Passport member, elite or not, and no bonus points if that does not happen.

The source for this information is an email sent to me yesterday from Hyatt corporate.

Hyatt cites less than 0.1% of elite members did not receive their reserved bed type to invoke the Hyatt Gold Passport elite member bed type guarantee for 5,000 bonus points. That is fewer than 1 in 1,000 member-stays. Hyatt will discontinue the bed type guarantee that provided 5,000 points to an elite member who was not placed in a room with the bed type reserved.

In 2015, all members are guaranteed the bed type of their choice. But, there are no bonus points compensation if you are one of the less than one in a thousand guests who do not get your reserved bed type.

My Elite Rate discontinued in 2015

Hyatt Gold Passport sometimes offered a My Elite Rate for 20% discount to Platinum and Diamond elite members. This was a great deal on occasion. Hyatt claims My Elite rate was a beta-test and the decision has been made to discontinue the rate discount.

Loyalty Traveler – Hotel Review: Florida Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront is a stay May 2014, where I used the My Elite Rate and received 2,500 bonus points for a closed Regency Club lounge on a weekend. I picked up 4,000 points on a $90 after tax stay. Too bad I received the King bed I booked.

Hyatt My Elite Rate

Points + Cash Award Stays

Perhaps the best news from the Hyatt announcement is the continuation and enhancement of Points + Cash. I hope the enhancement for 2015 is the ability to book these stays online. Generally, availability of Points + Cash award stays are there when I call, but I hate using the time needed to check on each hotel I am considering when it would be much easier if the website showed availability of Points + Cash reservations and offered online booking.

Hyatt Points   Cash

On a different note, Hyatt Gold Passport also sent me a Happy Holidays email yesterday with a note that they have donated $25,000 to Room to Read on my behalf.

Thank you Hyatt Gold Passport.

Hyatt Award category changes January 22, 2015 take effect with 22 hotels moving up one category and 48 hotels moving down. This is about 4% of hotels worldwide moving up and 9% moving down.

Make your 2015 award reservations by January 21 to lock in lower points rates for hotels moving up in category. Hyatt will proactively redeposit points for awards already reserved for hotels going down in category. The new award rates become effective at 12:01am CST (Chicago time) on January 22, 2015.

Hyatt Properties Moving Down in Award Category

Hyatt Hotels Down 2015Hyatt down 2015-2

I like seeing twice as many hotels dropping to category 1 at 5,000 points per night than hotels moving out of category 1. There are 14 hotels, all in the USA, in Hyatt House and Hyatt Place brands moving from category 2 to category 1 award nights. There are 7 hotels moving up from category 1 to category 2.

The hotels of note are category 5 hotels dropping to category 4. These properties become available using the Hyatt Visa Anniversary night.

  1. Grand Hyatt Washington D.C.
  2. Hyatt French Quarter New Orleans
  3. Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa, Bonita Springs, FL
  4. Hyatt Grand Cypress, Orland, FL
  5. Hyatt Regency La Jolla, San Diego, CA
  6. MGM Grand, Las Vegas, NV

Hyatt Regency Savannah, Georgia stands out to me since I stayed at the hotel this year and it was no contest in the choice between the boutique Andaz Savannah and convention style Hyatt Regency Savannah, both at category 4. The category change will likely reduce award pressure on Andaz Savannah for Hyatt Gold Passport members choosing to spend 12,000 points for Hyatt Regency Savannah rather than 15,000 points for Andaz Savannah.

What are the current point redemption values for each free night award category?

Category 1 = 5,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points

Category 2 = 8,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points

Category 3 = 12,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points

Category 4 = 15,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points

Category 5 = 20,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points

Category 6 = 25,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points

Category 7 = 30,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points

Hyatt Properties Moving Up in Award Category

Hyatt 2015 hotels up

There are no real surprises here, except for the fact that so few hotels are rising in award category. The new Grand Hyatt at Baha Mar outside Nassau in the Bahamas is rising in award category prior to opening. This is one hotel to consider for the Hyatt Visa anniversary certificate limited to category 4 hotels, but it may not even be available to book before the change.

Amsterdam, Nice and the Maldives are not a surprise to see going up.

Hyatt Award changes 2015

*****

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. Check out current hotel loyalty program offers across all the major chains in Loyalty Traveler’s monthly hotel promotions guide.

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