First in a mini-series of 2016 capsule reviews, from my travels to news that shifted travel, miles and points.
Hyatt and Hilton are a natural fit because both gave me Diamond status that was a the work of a few moments online.
Hyatt in 2016:
Let’s hope such generosity continues. That doesn’t appear to the be the case with Hyatt. In a year of few promotions, Hyatt closed out the year by doing away with Gold Passport in favor of the new World of Hyatt. You can’t even show off your elite status because no one can keep straight the order.
Hyatt retains the ability to make people in this hobby completely lose their heads.
My year as Hyatt Diamond: 0 nights of paid stays.
Well, not correct, we did have a JetBlue flight cancel out of Boston and, relying on Citi Prestige’s generous trip delay benefits (which turned out to a be a battle), I used a RocketMiles sign-up bonus for United miles to stay at the Hyatt Regency Boston. They did honor the Hyatt Diamond breakfast benefit. I did not previously know that ‘Hyatt Has It‘ is optional for hotels to participate.
We used our Hyatt credit card anniversary nights at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne. Excellent location. Small rooms. My wife loves the pillows. So-so lounge. Diamonds need to pay extra to eat the excellent breakfast at the lobby restaurant. We had some comical service inconsistencies, such as a Hyatt Asia Pacific Board of Directors Meeting in the penthouse above us producing high heel clicks on the wood floor from 7 am to midnight. Magnificent holiday weekend dinner buffet.
Most of my travel is international. Where Hyatt does have properties they are priced way out of my range. I am a guy who wants to get $100 value and only pay $50. Hyatt is for people who want $400 value and pay $200.
Hilton in 2016:
Hilton is a public company again and has played it steady with few changes and ever-extending bonuses of double base points/triple base points when using their app to book. The Visa 5,000 point per stay promo stacks continues through January 2017.
All these promos combined with Diamond status and some great sale rates have seen an uptick in my [paid Hilton stays, which is to say, more than none. My points balance is depleted from prior years and the tightening of Amex and Citi on credit card bonuses has hindered their replenishment.
Hilton Brisbane – good city option, lots of sale rates, nice executive lounge though watch out how much ginger Jessica encourages you to add to the juicer (note: Aussies dress up for hotel lounges). two stays this year.
Hilton Malabo – that’s Equatorial Guinea for you. Better to use points for this quality hotel rather than absurd-o-priced hotels in the city center. Walkable from the airport, though they don’t provide a shuttle. Watch out that they try to add tax and service fees on points stays that should be all-inclusive. Hang out with oilmen on R&R. Air conditioner runs on high blast and cannot be disabled.
As I pulled out the airport in N’Djamena, Chad, I saw the Hilton N’Djamena. D’oh! The only country I did not check for a points hotel.
- Hilton Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport – because it is in the cluster that do not require unreliable shuttle buses (heck, even inside the airport the terminal transfer buses are a mess).
- Hilton Dublin Airport – booked a good prepaid rate, then found how poorly it is reviewed, with no Executive Lounge and remote location.
Readers, what are your Hyatt and Hilton 2016 memories?