Happy June! Summer’s start seems a good time to evaluate my travel strategy for the year. As I look back and forward, one thing is clear: whether I planned it or not, I’ve stopped chasing Hyatt Diamond.
I mentioned at the beginning of the year that I was questioning the value of Hyatt Diamond but thought I would stick it out another year. However, five months into the year I have exactly two Hyatt stays on the books and only five more booked- and only two of those are firm.
It’s not like I’ve been staying home- in five months I’ve racked up 22 nights away from home and have another 12 planned for June. But here’s where Hyatt’s limited footprint comes in: most of the nights were in places Hyatt just isn’t. Not only was Hyatt not convenient, it was simply not an option.
I suppose I could have changed our travel plans to only places where I could cash in on suite upgrades but limiting my plans to Hyatt locations seems a really sad way to travel. In Europe it means cutting out the entire Iberian peninsula and all of Italy but Milan. Is Milan even in the top five cities to visit in Italy? It means no Ireland, no Scandinavia, and saying no to wide swaths in between major cities. The Canary Islands wouldn’t have even been on my radar.
Do I regret missing out on Hyatt perks? Well, in Gran Canaria 80 Euro a night through Endless Vacation Rentals got us a recently remodeled ocean view 2 bedroom condo with a private Jacuzzi on our balcony. So…no.
Even in markets where Hyatt is represented I’m finding better values elsewhere. In Orlando recently it was 30% cheaper to rent DVC points and stay at a deluxe hotel on Disney property than to pay $42/night in resort fees and parking on top of the $200 (before tax) room rate at the Hyatt Grand Cypress.
Maybe I’ll regret giving up Diamond after 3 nights in a $2500 suite at the Hyatt Martinez in Cannes, but I just don’t think so. The past two years I’ve spent 8-10 nights at random Hyatts in December just to get my 25 in. This year I’m so far behind the curve I’d have to mattress run the entire month to make it. BYOE looks a lot more appealing after staring at that hurdle.
How are you handling hotel status in 2016? Do you think I’m making a huge mistake? I’d love your thoughts in the comments.
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