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Why are Hyatt Diamonds (me) treated so unevenly?

Since I don’t earn status legitimately, I’ve always wondered what status actually gets you. People like Trevor seem to get treated quite well and even is known at places like the Grand Hyatt Bali. I recognize that he has held status for much longer than me, but the reality is, I have been less than impressed with Hyatt’s treatment of its diamonds. It’s not bad, per se, but as @robertdwyer and I discuss on a monthly basis, it is highly erratic. 

Allow me to use my stay at the Hyatt Regency Chicago this past weekend as an example. But really, I could pick any of 5-6 different stays this year where things have seemed…off. Perhaps I expect too much!

Crappy view outside the hotel

Crappy view outside the hotel

And before I get accused of whining, I don’t really care about any of these things that happened. I am just putting them out there as evidence that Hyatt should pay better attention to taking care of their guests needs.

Contacting the concierge

I often like to contact hotels before I get there to let them know if we’re celebrating something or any special needs I need. The best experience I ever had with this was at the Hilton Vienna Plaza – they took care of everything I asked for (cribs and such) AND greeted me by name when I arrived. That was pretty impressive.

In contrast, when I e-mailed the Hyatt Regency Chicago concierge a week before my stay I heard…nothing. Now I would think a concierge should reply to a regular member – they definitely should reply to a Diamond member. But nope, nothing. I used the e-mail address from the website – if that’s not correct then that’s just bad customer service.

The suite was simple but nice

The suite was simple but nice

Suite Upgrade and Diamond Amenity

One thing Hyatt does well is customer service on the national side of things. I confirmed my Diamond Suite Upgrade weeks ago with no problem, and everything about the reservation was clean. Also, thanks to Matt, I now always ask for the food and beverage amenity instead of 1000 points. We got an almost decent bottle of wine, some prosciutto, and cheese – I’ll take it.

The junior suite was nice – standard, but well appointed. For some reason there were no slippers or bathrobes, which I didn’t really care about, but is something I’ve come to expect, especially in Hyatt suites.

Never take the points

Never take the points

Asking for forgotten necessities

So when we unpacked at the hotel, my wife realized she had forgotten her toothbrush. I also tend to pick up razors at Hyatt stays so I wanted to ask for one as well. We called the front desk and asked if they could send some up (they are complimentary). They said they would send them up immediately.

Fast forward two hours, still no razor or toothbrush. I called again – whoever answer said there was no record of my calling the first time. They said they would send the stuff up immediately. About ten minutes later we received our items and went out for the night.

Fall in Chicago

Fall in Chicago

When we got home, my wife went to go brush her teeth, only to find out that we had only been given toothpaste. Like, come on. That is borderline unacceptable service for any guest, let alone a “valued” Diamond member. The third time was the charm and we got the toothbrush but it shouldn’t be that difficult. 

The dreaded deactivated key at checkout

When I checked in, I was thanked for being a loyal Diamond member and asked if I wanted a late checkout. I asked for one extra hour: 1 PM checkout instead of the regular noon checkout.

On the day we left, we got back to our room at about 11:45 AM. Key deactivated! Our room was on the 17th floor so it was a long trip back down, and even then they said they would send someone up instead of just reactivating our key.

Again, this is simple stuff here. 11:45 AM was BEFORE regular checkout time, so there was no reason for our keys to be deactivated. Even if it had been 12:45 PM our keys should not have been deactivated yet, since our late check out had been confirmed. Hospitality 101. 

Final Thoughts

This might sound like a complaining post, and it is, in a sense. But as I said at the top, I’m more trying to point out the erratic treatment Hyatt has of its most loyal guests. Like I said, I don’t consider myself that loyal to Hyatt, especially in this new World of Hyatt – but I can’t imagine they know that (I have almost 15 stays this year). 

Why not take care of the little things? I used my most recent stay as an example but this is something that has been happening to us in our Hyatt stays all year. Keys deactivated too early, uneven customer service, stuff like this just shouldn’t happen for any guest. And I know these issues aren’t unique to me – I have a Twitter DM thread full of other examples.

As my stays shift back towards Hilton and other chains next year, I’ll be curious to see how well Globalists feel treated in the World of Hyatt next year. I enjoyed being a Diamond the last two years, but not as much as I thought I would. In the end, however, Hyatt has never made me feel truly elite or valued. Pretty neat, but not elite. I can live with that, but I wonder how many of their truly loyal members are treated the same way?

Dat supermoon though

Dat supermoon though




Leave a Comment

  • stacey November 16, 2016, 7:07 pm

    same … very erratic service. i got diamond this year due to a marriott status match, but i’m going to stick with marriott once it expires. hyatt diamond treatment ranged from indifferent (SF, Melbourne) to mildly enthusiastic (LAX) — only at phuket did i feel some enthusiasm — while marriott platinum gets me VIP treatment everywhere. funny you should mention the long wait for a toothbrush. at the grand hyatt SF i requested a toothbrush that took an hour and two phone calls.

    Reply
    • Joe November 16, 2016, 7:47 pm

      I feel so silly talking about the toothbrush, but they are the ones offering it!

      Reply
  • Russ November 16, 2016, 9:51 pm

    I don’t have top Hyatt status but had a conference at the Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty Six (avoid the marina rooms, stick with the tower) and found the staff merely paid lip service to a bunch of my requests. Among other things, the bathroom was grungy, I requested toothpaste twice that never came, and was woken up at 7 by room service with an order for a different room. Same as you, I’m not a complainer, but there were staff all over the conference asking about satisfaction so I mentioned a few things and while a couple took my room number, nothing got fixed or cleaned while I was there.

    Not to say that Hilton is always better, but I’m sticking with my Hilton diamond status for at least another year. If Hyatt wants to win people over, they need to try harder to consistently make a positive impression, especially when they manage to get another chain’s elites in for a stay.

    Reply
    • Joe November 17, 2016, 3:33 pm

      Have you had any success with upgrades with Hilton Diamond? I usually just get like, a higher floor

      Reply
  • Elaine November 16, 2016, 11:01 pm

    We’ve had three Diamond stays since we status matched to it so my “n” is pretty small.

    The Budapest Hilton was marvelous. Since we were on a tour (meaning the tour booked the room) we were technically not even supposed to get the benefits. But I emailed the hotel anyway and asked nicely if they could possibly just upgrade our room, as we were both Diamonds. They replied that the T&Cs indicate they need not do anything, but they could probably get us a little nicer room. When we arrived with the tour group, we were quietly taken aside and upgraded to the Lounge Club floor and treated incredibly well. The concierge who was on duty in the club was a tremendous help to my husband who had work to get done, the service was impeccable, and the food delicious, The view both from our room and the lounge was phenomenal; the best we had during the month long trip.

    My husband’s stay in Boston was apparently quite good too. He doesn’t really track what a Diamond ought to get but he did get an upgraded room and lounge access and he was perfectly happy.

    As for the Hilton Vienna Plaza, where again the tour had reserved the room — nada. I sent the same email to them that I sent to Budapest and received a curt and rather ungracious “you don’t get any benefits” reply and that was that. There were a few other things that were not handled well, along the lines of what you’ve described. We came away thinking we wouldn’t go back.

    But the best hotel status experiences I have had by far, and they continued during this trip too even when the tour booked the reservations, has been with Radisson Blu. The only Rad Blu that did not measure up to the others was the Waterfront in Cape Town. But every other Rad Blu has been terrific in terms of upgrades, service, amenity gifts, greeting us personally and staff going out of their way to make the stay as pleasant as possible.

    This trip, the Alcron in Prague was amazing – the head of guest services walked us to our upgraded room, added breakfast although the award stay we’d booked didn’t get it, sent a bottle of wine and some chocolates to the room, treated us to welcoming drinks on arrival and and departing strudel before we left, took our pictures and made a memento card from them, gave us departing cookies for the flight – truly amazing. Oh, and did I mention the 6:00PM checkout, the time being their suggestion? We really appreciated that, as we didn’t have to leave for the airport until 7. I’d go back there tomorrow. Lots of folks don’t like Carlson, but I sure do!

    Reply
  • Mser November 16, 2016, 11:34 pm

    Crazy there wasn’t a toothbrush kit already available in the room. How expensive can it be? $1? $2? Penny wise, pound foolish.

    Have to agree about Hyatt’s inconsistent Diamond treatment. Pity the fools who actually earn status. What a waste…

    Reply
    • Joe November 17, 2016, 3:32 pm

      I mean honestly if they charged me $2 for a kit in my room I would have paid for it. It’s the waiting/inconsistency that can get annoying

      Reply
  • solewalker November 16, 2016, 11:59 pm

    I generally just get inconsistencies. For instance, towels will be missing, soap dishes will be missing, requests don’t get follow up. There are a few bright sparks, but generally, most individual properties don’t inspire much confidence.

    Reply
    • Joe November 17, 2016, 3:32 pm

      It’s weird that they don’t seem to care. Ironically I feel like I’m treated best at the lower end properties, like Hyatt Places

      Reply
  • Haley November 17, 2016, 12:42 am

    This is why people are always checking with other frequent travelers on specific Hyatt properties. What I have found is a good one is fairly consistently good. Vancouver Regency comes to mind for N America properties. Hyatt Times Square has always emailed me prior to my stay and my stays have been great. Oh and the newest Hyatt in Chicago, I forgot it’s name (I did a different Hyatt every night on a weekend trip) was really good to me with upgrades and really late check out (4 PM) but they don’t really have a lounge just a space with coffee but no food or even other drinks and no staff.

    Reply
    • Elaine November 17, 2016, 12:02 pm

      My apologies to readers here for not specifying at the start in my comment above that I was writing about Hilton Diamond, not Hyatt. Still jet lagged from a month in eastern Europe, I became a grandmother following my daughter’s emergency c-section just days ago, and I remain a bit foggy and overwhelmed. I think the mention of the Hilton Vienna Plaza triggered Hilton when I replied.

      But I also think that Haley’s point specifically about checking re: individual Hyatt properties is well taken: while corporate may try to set the path, so much falls on the management of the individual property, and I think that is true regardless of chain, though some chains are better than others in this regard.

      We have also found that mid (not top) category hotels often treat guests with status better than the highest category ones. They may not offer as nice a lounge or as fancy an amenity but perhaps they see fewer elites, so those that come stand out more. Obviously this won’t matter for those looking for aspirational stays or who want to Vendome. But I’ve learned that what I really value most in a hotel room is some extra space, a desk and other flat surfaces where I can work or put things, a comfortable chair or sofa, plugs at the bedside and good light. So I’d prefer a suite or large upgraded room in nearly any chain to the tiny so-called upgrade we were given at the fancy (and rather snooty) Waterfront Cape Town, where we felt like 2nd class citizens since we were using points rather than cash.

      Ditto for the boutique, historic hotels we stayed at when the tour booked them. Great locations, full of history, wide impressive halls and lobbies, gorgeous decor, and impeccable service, but also poor light, smaller rooms, few outlets, elevators that could barely fit two people and their carryons.

      OK, my break is done. Back to the errand-running and general helping on my plate for today, that comes when a very tiny baby arrives a little before she was expected, and no one is quite ready!

      Reply
      • Joe November 17, 2016, 3:29 pm

        Congrats, grandma! 🙂 Bedside plugs…so important!

        Reply
    • Joe November 17, 2016, 3:30 pm

      Somebody should make a wiki or something…

      Reply
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