Today, Friday April 10 at 10am California time, I will be attempting to access the Daily Getaways great deal to buy Hyatt points. If I can buy them today, I am going for 24,000 points at $260 since there are 95 sets of those to buy. You have a split second chance to be one of 15 buyers for 30,000 or 40,000 points.

The last two years I was unsuccessful purchasing Hyatt points during Daily Getaways. 

Hyatt Gold passport points normally sell on the Hyatt website for $24 per 1,000 points with periodic sales that may reduce the price up to 25%. $18.75 per 1,000 points is the lowest I have seen Hyatt price their points in the past two years. The opportunity to buy Hyatt points for $11/1,000 points is a great deal.

Hyatt Gold Passport points

Hyatt Gold Passport points Friday, April 10

One set of points may be purchased from each Hyatt offer.

Hyatt 24,000 points = $260 with 95 sets of points for sale ($10.84 per 1,000 points).

Hyatt 30,000 points = $330 with 35 sets of points for sale ($11.00 per 1,000 points).

Hyatt 40,000 points = $415 with 15 sets of points for sale ($10.38 per 1,000 points).

Hyatt 72,000 points = $775 with 15 sets of points for sale ($10.77 per 1,000 points).

Hyatt Gold Passport points are a great price, but very difficult to buy due to only 160 sets of points for sale. I have not been successful in buying Hyatt points through Daily Getaways in the past couple of years. They are sold out in the first 30 seconds. Hyatt points normally sell for $24 per 1,000 points with some periodic special offers reducing the rate by 25%.

Category 2 hotels at 8,000 points per night are my sweet spot for Hyatt points. At this level of points, available for about $87 in today’s sale, I regularly find hotels at $200+ paid rates or 8,000 points for an award night. Category 3 hotels at 12,000 points are often a good value.

Today’s Daily Getaways price is the best deal on Hyatt points you will likely find in 2015.

Loyalty Traveler – Lament for those who missed out on Hyatt points at Daily Getaways today (June 4, 2014).

Daily Getaways 2015 Hyatt points

This week is the first time I filed a Hyatt best rate guarantee claim since they moved to online claim service last year. I booked Hyatt Regency Vancouver for $239 CAD and filed a best rate guarantee claim against a flexible cancellation room for $101 USD on Kayak.com via getaroom.com. My last Hyatt BRG claim was made in May 2015 and took about ten minutes on the phone to be approved.

I received an email from Hyatt Service Desk four hours after submitting my claim Tuesday night, April 7, stating the agent was unable to verify the claim and she could not open my image attachment.

The first hassle was the Hyatt Best Rate Guarantee claim form requires submitting a screenshot image of the lower rate.

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To celebrate the opening of the first Park Hyatt in Africa, Hyatt Gold Passport members can earn 5,000 bonus points for stays that include 2 nights or more between April 1, 2015 and June 30, 2015.

Park Hyatt Zanzibar opened last week in the historic beachfront of Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is the 36th Park Hyatt hotel worldwide. Stone Town is the old city part of the island Zanzibar off the coast of Tanzania and an historic spice and slave trading center of East Africa. Stone Town architecture is mostly 19th century, dating to the days when the city became the capital of the Sultanate of Oman in 1840. Zanzibar became a British Protectorate in 1890 and gained independence in 1963.

Stone Town consists of a maze of narrow alleys, most too small for cars. Architecture is a blend of Arab, African, European, Persian and Indian styles with reddish coral stone the predominant building material used. Finely crafted decorative wooden doors are one of the prominent features of Stone Town architecture.

Park Hyatt Zanzibar

The beachfront Park Hyatt Zanzibar hotel is housed in two buildings. Mambo Msiige is a UNESCO heritage building and an example of the typical design of a Zanzabari mansion centered around a courtyard. A new build section of the Park Hyatt is the Zamani Residence, designed to blend a contemporary structure with the historic architecture.

Park Hyatt Zanzibar features 67 rooms including 11 suites. Oceanfront rooms feature views of Dhow Harbour and the Indian Ocean.

The hotel features Anantara Spa.

Park Hyatt Zanzibar

Park Hyatt Zanzibar Room Rates

There are a variety of room rates shown when clicking on the 5,000 bonus points offer ZANZI.

Park Hyatt Zanzibar rates

Park Hyatt Zanzibar April 15-17, 2015

$345 USD – Culture at the Park includes a Spice Tour and one lunch per stay.

$345 USD – Pamper at the Park includes one spa treatment per stay and daily breakfast.

$420 USD – Romance at the Park includes daily breakfast and 2 hour dhow (harbor dhow boat ride) experience.

$455 USD Halfboard rate includes daily breakfast and dinner.

$638 Suite Promo includes a suite room.

Park Hyatt Math Conversion mistakenly measures tiny square feet

What caught my eye on the Park Hyatt room description page is the metric units conversion from square meters to square feet.

The conversion shown on the Hyatt website grossly understates the room size in square feet. When I looked at the Park Suite King and saw a room size of 325 square feet, I knew something was wrong.

Standard guestrooms at Park Hyatt Zanzibar are 45 to 50 square meters. The hotel website conversion states 45 square meters is a 147-square ft. room. A general rule of thumb is one square meter = 10 square feet. 145 square feet would be one tiny luxury hotel standard room.

Park King

Enjoy a stay in a spacious 45-sq. meter (147-sq. ft.) guestroom with prominent Stone Town or hotel garden views plus complimentary breakfast. 

Park Hyatt Zanzibar website

45 square meters = 484 sq. ft.

Park Suite King of 100 square meters is 1,076 square feet. That is spacious. Substantially more room space than stated with the website conversion at 328 square feet for the Park Suite suite. The suite room size in square feet is more than triple the size stated on the hotel website.

Park Hyatt Zanzibar suite

Hotel News Now has insight from the 18th International Hotel Investment Forum with expert critiques of four new hotel brands geared for millennial guests. Marriott Moxy, Radisson Red, Jumeirah Group’s Venu and Mangalis Hotel Group Yaas are four new hotel brands being offered to hotel investors.

I attended a hotel investment conference at JW Marriott LA Live Los Angeles two years ago and gained some insight to the hotel industry brand development process. Hotel chains offer sessions and sales booths for potential hotel investors with details on the cost to build hotels and management contract fees. Securing hotel construction finance loans from the banks is made easier when the project is aligned with a major hotel chain like Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, Marriott and Jumeirah.

Marriott Moxy Hotels

Moxy Hotels by Marriott currently has one hotel property at Milan Airport MXP Italy. Moxy Milan is Marriott Rewards category 2 at 10,000 points per night and dropping to category 1 for 7,500 points on March 19, 2015.

This is how the Moxy Hotel Milan is advertised on the website:

We’ve got this:
• Laid-back lounge
• Meeting spaces
• 24/7 food and drinks
• A stocked bar

Welcome to your room. Kick off your heels (or whatever), slip into something comfortable, and tuck into the softest bed with front row seats to your 42” TV. It connects to just about any device, so go ahead and stream away. Oh, and there’s free Wi-Fi. Yep, free.

The website for Moxy Milan only shows one photo of a standard room.

Moxy Milan room photo

The room looks like a basic bed with large TV and several easily accessible electrical outlets on the wall.

There appears to be very little differentiating this room from a standard room in Starwood’s Aloft Hotels, except for a less vibrant color scheme.

The experts said this brand will likely succeed with hotel industry giant Marriott’s backing, but the design lacks hipness.

Marriott plans significant growth for Moxy Hotels in Europe by 2020.

Loyalty TravelerMarriott to Moxy and Courtyard Europe (March 3, 2015)

Radisson Red by Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group

Carslon Rezidor Hotel Group announced Radisson Red at their February 2014 annual Radisson conference. The idea is the same as Moxy, offer a relatively low cost hotel for investors with a design geared for millennials.

Radisson Red will be the new upscale, lifestyle brand launching in 2015. Think something on the lines of Starwood’s Aloft where the lobby is a place to play and hear music and the room is designed for function.

The hotel industry is gearing its growth for the millennial market. Radisson Red is the brand entry for Club Carlson members.

Loyalty Traveler Radisson Red and Quorvus Collection to be two new Carlson Rezidor hotel brands Feb 19, 2014

There are no Radisson Red hotels open yet, so the website is simply design mark-ups and marketing speak.

The hotel industry experts liked the Radisson Red concept for its character that allows it to stand out from the myriad of lifestyle hotel brands launched in recent years.

This is how Radisson Red is described on their website

WE ARE

RED IS MORE THAN AN IDEA. SOME WOULD SAY WE ARE RE-INTERPRETING THE GUEST EXPERIENCE, AND WE START IT WITH A WOW: THE SENSE OF ARRIVAL IS A GALLERY, IN THOSE EYES IT’S ARTISTIC, ENERGETIC AND PROACTIVE, IN OUR EYES IT IS NATURAL, HUMBLE, WELCOMING AND JUST FEELS RIGHT. THERE’S A GREAT BAR AND DELI JUST BEYOND, SIMPLE FOOD AND DRINK DONE REALLY WELL, ALL TRULY CONNECTED. SPACE TO WORK, SPACE TO PLAY, SPACE TO BE SOCIAL, IF THAT’S WHAT YOU WANT, SHOP, BROWSE, ADMIRE, WATCH, MINGLE, MEET, SPACE TO SIMPLY BE WHOMEVER YOU WANT TO BE. AND THE ROOMS MATCH – STYLISH AND MULTI-FUNCTIONAL – DESIGNED FOR WHAT YOU NEED FROM A HOTEL, HOW YOU WANT TO USE A HOTEL, HOW YOU WANT TO LIVE IN A HOTEL, WHERE THE WALLS ARE A CANVAS FOR MOVIES, FOR ART, FORWORK, FOR HOW YOU WANT THEM TO BE, HOW YOU WANT TO BE, HOW YOU WANT YOUR SPACE TO BE. INCLUDING A PRETTY SERIOUS PLACE TO WORK OUT TOO, IF THATS YOUR GIG. WELCOME TO RADISSON RED. 24/7.

Radisson Red

The room design shown on the website is a mock-up. There are no photos of actual hotel rooms yet. Carlson’s first Radisson Red hotel is scheduled to open with 300-room Radisson Red Shenyang Hunnan in 2016. Carlson plans to open 60 Radisson Red hotels by 2020 with half in Asia Pacific market.

Radisson Red room design

Venu by Jumeriah Group

Venu is probably the most interesting new hotel brand of these. The design is marketed for the affluent millennial seeking a modern Starwood W-like hotel experience. Hotel industry experts liked the concept as something fresh and appealing.

VENU is inspired by the spirit of Dubai: bold, ambitious, energetic and cosmopolitan, infused with a can-do attitude and a powerful blend of style and substance. This is reflected in the design of the new brand’s logo. It is simple and unpretentious, modern and creative, offering a sense that everyone who visits, stays at or works within a VENU space has the freedom to write their own story, create their own narrative, build their own scene.
The essence of the new brand is that of a ‘social catalyst’ – a social place where good things happen, where people feel welcome and at ease, surrounded by a crowd they love, a smooth machine that offers everything they need and nothing they don’t.

Jumeirah Group – Venu brand announcement

The first property planned for Dubai is Venu Bluewaters Island Hotel, scheduled to open in 2017. Venu was originally announced in 2010 and then put on hold for four years due to global financial crisis.

I did not find any room design images for Venu.

Yaas by Mangalis Hotel Group

Yaas by Mangalis Hotel Group is a budget hotel design for Africa. The company is seeking to penetrate Africa with branded hotels on a continent where only 6% of hotels are branded. Mangalis Hotel Group has 16 hotel projects with 2,400 rooms in 13 African countries. The focus of Yaas will be basic accommodation initially focused on East Africa countries.

Created with the budget traveler in mind, the hotels will be located near city centers, airports, train stations and main highways, Jacquin said.

Hotel News Now – Mangalis on a mission to blanket Africa

Oct 14, 2014.

The experts gave Yaas a thumbs down. The rooms were too small and public spaces too institutional, in need of better design.

Do millennial travelers need hotel babysitters?

A couple of weeks ago I thought about writing an article on Marriott Moxy and Hyatt Centric to pose the question, “Do millennials need babysitters?”

The hotel industry trending design concept is based around attracting millennials to major hotel chains through new upscale small basic room hotels with large public social spaces. The concept seems to be that millennials do not need personal space within the hotel room. Provide a bed, bathroom and TV with lots of electrical outlets around the room and the millennial will be content with their personal electronic device pleasures.

Hotel public spaces are for socializing and meeting people or perhaps simply a place to be seated around other people while you pursue your own self-interests in public. The focus on the public space suggests to me a hotel industry marketing ploy to generate more revenue per stay from hotel guests through purchases at the hotel store, restaurant and bar.

PEW Research Center survey cites millennials state use of technology as the greatest differentiator for millennials from other generational cohorts.

Cell phone check-in and key entry with the ability to order food and drinks by phone or a bar counter iPad are hotel trends that have emerged in the past couple of years.

Moxy, Radisson Red, Hyatt Centric, Venu, Even, Aloft, Hyatt Place. Create upper midscale hotel brands and market them as hip, fun and social places to stay.

Is there truly a significant difference between new hotel brands and old hotel brands? Besides more electrical outlets.

Hotel reward category determines how many points are needed for a free night using hotel loyalty points. This post looks at the shift in Hyatt Gold Passport hotels in hotel reward categories from 2009 to 2015.

When I started tracking the hotel reward category distribution of hotels in major hotel loyalty programs in 2008, Hyatt and Marriott had the most favorable hotel category distribution for low cost award nights at low category hotels. In 2009, I wrote an article comparing hotel category reward distribution across different hotel chains with a focus on Hyatt Gold Passport.

Loyalty Traveler – Hyatt Hotels Redemption Category Hotel Distribution (Nov 6, 2009)

There were only five Hyatt Gold Passport reward categories in 2009 for 393 Hyatt brand hotels. There are seven categories in 2015 with 599 Hyatt brand hotels worldwide.

Hyatt Gold Passport 2015 category distribution

Great news: The proportion of category 1 hotels at 5,000 points per night has increased 25% from 18% of all Hyatt brand hotels worldwide in 2009 to 22.5% over the past five years. While the number of Hyatt brand hotels increased 50% from 393 to 599 hotels over the past five years, the number of category 1 hotels almost doubled from 71 hotels in 2009 to 135 hotels in 2015.

Bad news: Hyatt Gold Passport Category 2 hotels has dropped proportionally from 42% of 393 Hyatt Hotels in 2009 to 33% of 599 hotels in 2015. There are 200 category 2 hotels in 2015 with 34 more category 2 hotels in 2015 than the 166 hotels in 2009, yet the proportion of category 2 hotels has dropped. Category 1 and 2 hotels were over 60% of all Hyatt hotels in 2009 and that percentage has dropped slightly to 56% in 2015.

Good news: Hyatt added more than 200 hotels in the past five years and about 50% of those hotels are in category 1 and 2 where the total number of hotels grew from 237 hotels in 2009 to 335 hotels in 2015.

Category 3, 4 and 5 hotels in 2015 are not too different proportionally from 2009 when they comprised 40% of Hyatt brand hotels. In 2015 these three mid-tier categories hold nearly 38% of Hyatt brand hotels.

Category 6 and 7 are the major changes to the program since 2009 when these two Hyatt Gold Passport categories did not exist. Category 5 hotels were the highest category hotel reward in Hyatt Gold Passport at 15,000 points per night in 2009.

Category 5 held 25 hotels out of 393 hotels worldwide or 6.4% of Hyatt brand hotels in 2009.

In 2015, there are 39 hotels in Hyatt Gold Passport category 6 and category 7 hotel rewards for 6.5% of 599 hotels.

The distribution of hotels in Hyatt Gold Passport’s seven reward categories is not greatly different in 2015 than in 2009, with the caveat that category 7 hotels are 30,000 points per night and category 6 hotels are 25,000 points per night rather than 15,000 points as category 5 hotels. Many of the hotels in category 6 and category 7 today were category 5 hotels in 2009.

Hyatt Gold Passport Points + Cash rates are the biggest change to reward nights using points.

Loyalty Traveler – Hyatt Gold Passport Category 7 and Points + Cash Awards begin today for 2014 (Jan 7, 2014)

Hyatt Gold Passport maintained consumer friendly category distribution over the past five years. Marriott Rewards as the other hotel loyalty program with a large proportion of hotels in low reward categories in 2009 may be a different story.

Marriott has made major shifts upward in Marriott Rewards hotel category distribution over the past three years. These changes have resulted in a huge devaluation in free night certificates earned for Marriott Rewards Visa card membership and MegaBonus free night certificates limited to either category 4 or category 5 hotels as many of these hotels have risen to category 5, 6 and 7. I’ll update the shift in Marriott Rewards hotel reward category distribution after the March 19 changes. I have a feeling the category distribution for Marriott will show noticeably different proportions in 2015 compared to 2009.

Kelley loved Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht. She specifically wanted me to mention how friendly the hotel staff were for our stay. They were so friendly when we were leaving that I considered asking the staffer to wheel Kelley’s luggage to the #197 airport express bus stop at Leidseplein while we talked. Seriously though, the staff at the hotel were exceptionally kind and welcoming to us.

Andaz Amsterdam Atrium

Andaz Amsterdam is a relatively new hotel for Amsterdam with its grand opening November 29, 2012. The former public library building on Prinsengracht is located in the historic canal district of Amsterdam in close proximity to Leidsestraat, one of the central shopping and entertainment districts of the city. The location is about as central as one can be in Amsterdam.

Andaz Ams entrance

The entrance to the Andaz is rather non-descript, except for the blue Andaz flag outside the hotel. One of the features of being in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the 17th century Amsterdam canal ring of the Prinsengracht is limited signage. Many of the buildings in the canal ring are 17th century houses. Hotel Pulitzer, a few blocks north on Prinsengracht is Starwood’s Luxury Collection Hotel designed from a series of historic houses. Andaz Amsterdam was redesigned from a more recently built public library that was open from 1977 to 2007.

The design elements of the public spaces and rooms are detailed on this page from Marcel Wanders, the hotel’s interior designer with high resolution photos. Check out the page for rationale on why each room features a fish head spoon.

Andaz FishSpoon

Andaz Amsterdam has 122 rooms. Our room 111 faced the Prinsengracht, almost directly over the hotel entrance.

Andaz view

A canal view is one of the most desirable locations in an Amsterdam hotel. Word of warning though. Much of the business traffic for hotel deliveries and waste management occurs in the morning hours when trucks deliver and pick-up at the least congested time of day on the narrow canal roads. I am typically awakened around 6 to 7am by trucks and canal street noise when staying in canal ring hotels of Amsterdam.

Amsterdam XXX

One of the Andaz Amsterdam hotel room features is the bathroom sink and vanity mirror in the center of the room. The toilet has its own door. The walk-in shower is a treat for people across the canal if the window curtains are open.

Andaz Shower room

This photo was taken by the room window. The plate on the shelf is glued down. There were about two dozen books in the room. The reflection of the fish spoon is seen on the shower mirror and the shower stall door is open to the left. The open white door is the toilet room.

Andaz toilet-2

A closet beside the toilet was large enough to store all our luggage inside.

Andaz doorknobs

The space is probably large enough to be made into a child’s bed space.

Andaz Closet

The Andaz bathroom toilet offered plenty of hands-free reading material.

Andaz toilet

The vanity area in the center of the floor allowed both of us to use the mirrors at the same time when seated on opposite sides.

Andaz 111

Zenology bath products were in the shower.

Andaz Shower

Books in the room would have kept us occupied for days if the weather had been lousy during our winter stay. Blue skies for the week kept us wandering the canals most of the daylight hours taking in the sights and sounds and beauty of Amsterdam.

Andaz 111 desk

The mini-bar at Andaz is free for guests, except for alcohol beverages. The minibar in Room 111 is a sliding cabinet under the desk. A Nespresso coffee maker is also on the desk. Kelley was astounded at the loudness of the Nespresso and Keurig coffee machines in the hotels during our trip. She would love a simple quiet drip coffee maker in the morning making coffee while I work on my laptop. Kelley does not drink coffee.

Breakfast at Andaz was complimentary for us with my Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond status. I went to the restaurant early to drink coffee while Kelley slept. My one complaint about the restaurant is coffee drinks were made to order while most diners had a pot of tea on their table. I would have preferred a pot of coffee. That may have been possible, but I did not ask.

Andaz Dining room

The dining room at Andaz has an open space design concept with grills and chefs working around one counter and food on an adjacent counter. The breakfast price was 20 EUR for buffet and 30 EUR for buffet and cooked to order menu items. The food was excellent.

Andaz Reception

Andaz Amsterdam has five room floors and the ground floor with reception, restaurant, bar and library.

Andaz bar

We were in the Andaz bar on a Sunday afternoon and on a couple of weekday nights. The place was generally doing good business. There is a 5 to 7pm wine reception in the library. The wine was good. No camera with me at the time and I don’t recall the vintages.

Andaz library

This was one of those hotel stays where I did not wander around the hotel checking out all the nooks and spaces. There is a courtyard that I entered once, but did not take any photos.

This Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht hotel stay was where we splurged on our Amsterdam trip by burning 20,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points per night for the category 5 hotel before it increased to 25,000 points per night as a Hyatt category 6 reward on January 22, 2015.

Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht hotel room rates typically start around 400 EUR per night.

Related Loyalty traveler posts:

Words and pictures of Andaz Amsterdam (Feb 20, 2015)

Get lost walking Amsterdam canals (Feb 25, 2015)

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Hyatt Diamond members have new benefits beginning March 1, 2015. Free premium Wi-Fi began last weekend on February 14, 2015 for all Platinum and Diamond members. All guests at Hyatt Hotels receive complimentary internet, while elite members have premium speed where available. Premium internet is available in guest rooms, lobbies, public spaces and Hyatt operated restaurants at all Hyatt brand hotels worldwide.

Guest of Honor – Beginning March 1, Diamond member in-hotel benefits will be applied to friends and family staying on an award stay with points from a Diamond member’s account. This means I can gift my parents a free room with points and they will receive the complimentary breakfast, Club Lounge access and late check-out.

Guest of Honor is here! Treat those you love the most to an experience they won’t forget. Now when you redeem your points for a free night for your friends and family, they’ll receive the exclusive in-hotel perks of your Diamond membership. Your Guest of Honor will receive the royal treatment, including:

  • The best room available upon arrival, excluding suites
  • A special welcome amenity
  • Exclusive access to the Regency Club® or Grand Club® lounge
  • Daily complimentary breakfast
  • An upgrade to premium Wi-Fi where available
  • 4 p.m. late checkout

United Club Passes –Beginning March 1, Diamond members will receive two complimentary United Club one-time passes annually.  Diamond members will enjoy access to more than 45 United Club locations at airports served by United Airlines, with amenities that include complimentary bar service, light snacks, free Wi-Fi, conference room access and more.  This benefit extends Hyatt’s hospitality beyond its hotels and ensures Diamond members are comfortable and productive throughout their entire travel journey.

Hyatt Visa card member 20% rebate on points redemptions February 17 to July 31, 2015. This promotion is one I enjoy since I am redeeming points this week at 20,000 points per night. The rebate means I will get 4,000 points back per night.

Members must register for this offer by March 31, 2015.

Hyatt 20% Rebate

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Hyatt Focus on High End Travelers

An interesting set of data points I found recently for Hyatt Hotels is an investor presentation PDF from November 2014.

Hyatt Hotels promotes itself to investors as 10 hotel brands in 573 hotels (as of Sep 2014) focused on high end travelers.

Luxury Market Segment brands comprise 21% of 573 hotels:

  • Park Hyatt 4% hotel portfolio with ADR $349.
  • Andaz 2%; ADR $294
  • Grand Hyatt 15%; ADR $241

Upper Upscale Market Segment brands comprise 53% of Hyatt globally:

  • Hyatt Regency 47%; ADR $176
  • Hyatt 6%; ADR $176

Upscale Market Segment brands are 24% of Hyatt Hotels globally:

  • Hyatt Place 19%; $113
  • Hyatt House 5%; $133

Other Market Segments

  • Hyatt Ziva and Zilara 1%; NA
  • Hyatt Residence Club 1%; NA

Geographic Distribution of Hyatt Hotels

Americas = 414 hotels (67% of rooms globally in USA; 5% in other Americas)

Europe/Africa/Middle East/Southwest Asia (India) = 68 hotels (7% hotel rooms globally in EMEA and 5% in Southwest Asia).

Asia Pacific = 65 hotels (16% hotel rooms globally).

For me, the weakness of Hyatt Gold Passport as a primary loyalty program is its small footprint in Europe.

My strategy has not changed much over the past decade for Hyatt and most other loyalty programs. Earn points on low rates in the USA and redeem points for high rates in major cities around the world. That is a winning strategy for my travels that keeps me loyal to Hyatt Hotels.

Grand Hyatt Suite-2

Manchester Grand Hyatt – my Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond member suite upgrade December 2014

My trip to Salt Lake City provided an opportunity to drop into a Hyatt House brand hotel. Hyatt House now has more than 60 properties in the USA. Hyatt House developed from rebranding Hyatt’s existing Summerfield Suites and the extended stay hotels purchased as Sierra Suites a few years ago. Hyatt House is the Hyatt chain’s extended stay hotel brand.

I wrote an article last year describing extended stay hotels across the major hotel chains.

Loyalty Traveler - Extended Stay brands for hotel apartment living (Jan 10, 2014)

Hyatt House Salt Lake City Downtown

Hyatt House Salt Lake City Downtown is one block south off the light rail TRAX line at Arena Station on West South Temple with $2.50 train service to the SLC airport at 140 South 300 West, Salt Lake City.

Hyatt House sign

The hotel opened in January 2015. I was intrigued by a concealed Marriott Courtyard sign below Hyatt House. I had checked-in to Courtyard SLC Downtown earlier in the day. The owner of the new build Hyatt House is also the owner of an adjacent hotel project under construction to be branded Marriott Courtyard SLC Downtown and the Courtyard where I stayed will become a Fairfield Inn.

I enjoyed my stay in a suite at the Courtyard SLC.

Loyalty Traveler - Courtyard Salt Lake City Downtown free stay during $400 rates at category 3 hotel (Jan 22, 2015)

Hyatt House exterior

The six story Hyatt House hotel has a lobby reminiscent of an Aloft hotel with less vibrant colors and a de-emphasis on the bar.

Hyatt House

Much of the seating is restaurant style seating for the lobby kitchen, which serves complimentary breakfast. There were still plenty of seats for relaxed social settings.

Hyatt House lobby

The hotel was sold out for the night with the winter Outdoor Retailers convention in the city. Amazingly nobody was hanging around the lobby at one o’clock in the afternoon.

Hyatt house breakfast

A separate room with a pool table off the lobby is a hotel feature to point out.

Hyatt House pool table

The lobby also had a couple of computer terminals for guests.

Hyatt House lobby computers

The patio was warm on a sunny January afternoon. In warmer seasons, the patio has an outdoor grill unit for guest use.

Hyatt House patio

Hyatt House Rooms

I saw a one bedroom kitchen suite at Hyatt House, but no photos of the sitting area since the room was still under construction. This is truly a new hotel.

Hyatt House Kitchen

Microwave, stove top, toaster, dishwasher and full size refrigerator out of view to right.

Hyatt House bedroom

The couch reminds me of Hyatt Place furniture. There is also Hyatt Place Salt Lake City/Downtown/The Gateway two blocks away, even closer to the TRAX airport train line.

Hyatt House bed

Glass shower in bathroom is typical efficient design of Hyatt bathrooms.

The hotel has an outdoor pool and indoor fitness center.

Hyatt House fitness

Hyatt House is a decent looking extended stay hotel option. Hyatt House In Salt Lake City Downtown is within easy walking distance to most downtown locations. Most of central downtown tourist sites and many pubs, theaters, the Utah Jazz arena and shopping are within a 20 minute walk.

Hyatt House ext-2

Hyatt House Salt Lake City Downtown is a category 2 Hyatt Gold Passport hotel at 8,000 points per night. Hyatt Place Salt Lake City Downtown/The Gateway is also category 2. These hotels do not offer SLC airport transportation. TRAX from SLC to Arena Station (Utah Jazz arena) is $2.50 and trains run every 20 minutes.

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The second morning of my stay, awake in bed and staring up into the cavernous ceiling sixteen feet or so above the floor in the bedroom, the realization hit me there were no sounds in the hotel room. No humming refrigerator or heating unit or door slams or voices in the hall or cars outside the window. Real quiet is seldom experienced when traveling around hotels.

This week was Sundance Film Festival 2015, one of the premier US events for independent film showings and movie deals. I booked my free nights reservation last week, relatively last minute, since rooms at Hyatt Escala Lodge were nonrefundable once reserved for hotel stays during Sundance Film Festival event.

I used my one free night certificate Hyatt Gold Passport Visa credit card members receive as an anniversary benefit. The category 4 Hyatt Escala Lodge Park City Utah was available at 15,000 points per night, even for the weekend of January 23-25 when rates were over $800 per night. There is a $25 daly resort fee for Hyatt Escala Lodge.

Hyatt Escala cover

Did Hyatt price themselves out of the market for Sundance?

Hyatt Escala Lodge is an 85 units/177 key condo hotel built in 2009. I checked rates in Park City this week to see other units in the Canyons Resort area were available for half the $500 per night rate at Hyatt Escala Lodge. Although, Waldorf-Astoria Park City also in Canyons hillside ski complex area had room rates several hundred dollars higher than Hyatt.

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