Yesterday I booked Hyatt Regency New Orleans for $694 for seven nights in June during the annual U.S. Travel Association IPW convention I am attending. Hyatt.com had a published rate of $1,940.77 for the same dates. In a rare occurrence, I booked the low online travel agency rate rather than attempt an even deeper 20% discount through an approved Hyatt Best Rate Guarantee claim.
Hyatt is one of the few hotel chains which allows a person to file a Hyatt Best Rate Guarantee claim prior to booking a confirmed reservation through the hotel chain’s website. Normally, I would have filed a Best Rate Guarantee with Hyatt.com, but this was a hotel stay I truly needed and the rate was phenomenally lower through a Kayak.com link to a Last Minute Travel Flash Sale.
The reason I did not file a Hyatt Best Rate Guarantee is I treated this price discrepancy like I would an airline mistake fare. Book it while the rate is bookable. Delay could mean regret.
An approved Hyatt Best Rate Guarantee would have discounted the Last Minute Travel base rate by 20%. I could have potentially lowered my total room rate from $694 to $540 for seven nights with full Hyatt Gold Passport benefits and potentially a suite upgrade.
Or I may have ended up without a room at Hyatt Regency New Orleans, if the Last Minute Travel low rate disappeared before a Hyatt claim was approved.
Kayak.com search for Best Rate Guarantee claims
My standard hotel booking operating procedure begins with a destination check for potential best rate guarantee claims using Kayak.com hotel search.
The meta-search display of Kayak.com shows rates from multiple booking sites and allows hotels to be sorted by hotel chain.
New Orleans hotels on Kayak.com
Kayak.com New Orleans hotels shows 97 of 347 hotels after I filtered out all 2-star hotels and set the distance to 2 miles from New Orleans city center.
Then I set the hotel search order by price. I can even filter for only chain brand hotels.
Kayak.com allows hotel chain brand sort.
Hyatt Regency New Orleans low rate on Kayak.com
I was taken by surprise when I saw the low rate for Hyatt Regency New Orleans on Kayak.com from Last Minute Travel as the lowest priced hotel in my filtered search. This is one of the primary IPW convention hotels in June and the convention delegate negotiated rate starts at $264 per night.
Kayak.com shows Hyatt Regency New Orleans at $83 per night during the IPW convention.
Last Minute Travel Flash Sale price is $579.99 for 7 nights, before tax.
LMT final price after tax = $693.55 for 7 nights at Hyatt Regency New Orleans.
Quick check of Hyatt.com shows a far higher rate for a standard room.
Hyatt.com for same standard room type on same dates = $1,673.00 base rate and $1,940.77 after tax.
I considered making a Hyatt Best Rate Guarantee claim before booking this rate deal through LastMinuteTravel.com, but there were two reasons why I went ahead and booked through LMT instead.
Firstly, I could not find this low rate when I searched LastMinuteTravel.com directly without going through Kayak.com. I have had Best Rate Guarantee claims denied in the past citing Kayak.com is a meta-search engine and not an online travel agency competitor.
Hyatt Regency New Orleans rate booking directly through LastMinuteTravel.com shows $1944.46 when not using Kayak.com link for the LMT FlashSale rate.
Secondly, ‘Flash Sale’ by definition means a sale that could be available for minutes or only a few hours. The rate might have been gone by the time Hyatt.com tried to verify the competitor rate.
To my surprise, this low rate is still available through Kayak.com today, some 18 hours after I booked. The only thing better than getting 65% room discount savings at Hyatt Regency New Orleans during a big convention would have been getting an approved Hyatt Best Rate Guarantee on a 7-night stay for $540 total after tax. That would have been a 73% room rate savings with the option to use a Hyatt Suite Upgrade for a 7-night stay and earn points.
Perhaps some reader heading to New Orleans can turn this Hyatt discount rate into the trifecta hotel stay of discount rate, suite upgrade and points earning for the Hyatt Regency New Orleans.
One Week in One Hotel is an Unusual Stay for this Loyalty Traveler
This will be my first time in six years attending the IPW convention that I will be staying in one of the official host hotels. This means there will be bus transportation pick-up and drop-off at the front door of the Hyatt Regency to the Convention Center and evening events around New Orleans.
In April 2014 I did a real-time challenge on Loyalty Traveler for hotel bookings in Chicago, stating I would book seven nights in chain brand upper upscale downtown Chicago hotels during the IPW convention for $700 or less. I achieved that goal through several best rate guarantee claims while staying in fine hotels earning a Marriott MegaBonus free night and 30,000 Club Carlson points.
That Chicago IPW convention was exhausting with my frequent hotel changes, long walks to reach other hotels with convention bus transportation and constantly moving to a new area of the city. Last year I stayed six nights in a midscale Clarion hotel (in a suite) by the Orlando Convention Center on points for the entire IPW convention. That is the way to do it.
- Challenge tutorial: 7 nights in Chicago for $700 during IPW convention (Feb 12, 2014)
- Chicago hotels free nights, BRGs and points bonuses (March 30, 2014)
- Hotel Chicago Downtown, Autograph Collection (Marriott) Loyalty Traveler review.
- Renaissance Blackstone Chicago Hotel – Loyalty Traveler review.
- Inn of Chicago, Ascend Collection one night for free (Choice Hotels)
- Choice Hotel BRG free night claim (Post explains how it took several tries to get a Choice Hotels BRG for my Chicago stay).
- Country Inn & Suites Chicago O’Hare South (Club Carlson)
This will be my first time ever touring New Orleans. Looking forward to living sweating a week of my life in New Orleans this June.