Deal Girl got a Google Home Mini for Christmas. At a Black Friday $29.99 with a $25 Google Express rebate, it was a no-brainer of a gift.
Turns out we all love this thing. It connects to our Pandora, calendars, weather, and even tells jokes. We like it enough that I’m buying a 2nd one for the rest of us to use. I’m debating between buying a 2nd Home Mini or picking up an Amazon Echo Dot. I’m a little bummed that they’re back up to $50, but the device is still worth it.
I saw with interest this morning that Apple is entering the fray with the homepod. I expected it to be priced a bit higher than its competitors, but was perplexed when I saw the retail: $349.
Is it a magic device? What does Siri do that makes her voice three to five times more valuable than Alexa? I fully expect Apple lovers to tell me in full detail, but for now I stand behind my thoughts that the homepod is way overpriced.
Which leads me to thinking: Hyatt is the new Apple.
Hyatt recently released a new “perk”: award nights now count towards status. I put perk in quotes as what Hyatt is finally doing is admitting defeat to SPG and every other program and getting in line. By doing so some could argue that Hyatt’s stay requirements are also now in line with the others.
But they aren’t even close. Here’s why:
Hyatt’s footprint cuts out large swaths of the planet. The 60 night Globalist requirement at Hyatt requires you to spend two full months of hotel nights within a very small footprint. A year after implementation, I still hear stories about Hyatt properties messing with “guaranteed” suite upgrades. The welcome gift is gone, gone, gone.
And don’t get me started about breakfast. Besides being over-valued in many locations, the benefit is now defined as suiting “two adults and two children”. However, Hyatt defines children as 12 and under. Many of you who are enjoying that benefit now are going to age out of it…and that day comes sooner than you think. God forbid you have a third kid.
The breakfast “benefit” is one of the reasons hotel status matters less for families. Larger families tend to value larger rooms and breakfast benefits such as those at Hyatt Place and other properties where status matters squat.
But Hyatt is “Aspirational” (and so is Apple)
I hear this one a lot: Hyatt has more high end properties people where people want to spend their points. You know, the whole Vendoming argument. You hear similar tropes from Apple enthusiasts who will rave about the sound quality or some other feature of the new homepod.
Webster’s defines “aspirational” as having or characterized by aspirations to achieve social prestige and material success. I find that definition relevant to this discussion. I think a lot of what people like both about Hyatt and Apple is social prestige. I’m not making a judgement here, just an observation. We all want to keep up with our Instagram friends.
I’ll make a note here that it does help to have friends who aspire to Hyatt prestige. You can utilize their benefits on the few times per year they make sense. Now that award nights count towards status, you’ll be helping them, too. It’s the “phone a friend” on Who Wants to be a Hyatt Globalist?
I like both Hyatt and Apple
I’ve had readers ask me “what’s the hate about Hyatt about” enough times to know that I should state for the record that I like Hyatt. I especially like that many of my friends needed nights there badly enough to subsidize my remodeling last year.
I also like Apple, having both an iPhone and an iPad that I use daily. I do tend to buy a generation or two back from cutting edge, though, both for cost and for lack of bugs. You won’t find me in line at the Apple store anytime soon.
Self-Awareness is the key to happiness. If you know the why behind your what, it’s all good. My concern comes from the place between those two. I see a whole lot of hype and not a lot of reflection in both Apple and Hyatt enthusiasts.
So I think I’ll just buy another Google Home Mini at 1/7th the cost of the homepod. I’ll use the $300 saved for two nights in this house with its own gameroom I found in Vegas for Spring Break.
Sure as hell beats the Hyatt.
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