I enjoyed a lot of amazing perks and benefits last year as a result of collecting (and using) points and miles, but I have to say that having Hyatt Diamond status was by far my favorite, and also the most valuable for our family.
Before last year, I had zero status with any hotel, and I was okay with that, because I was more focused on earning free nights than I was on enjoying additional benefits. However, once I sat down to look at our travel plans and do the math, I realized that with a little planning, we could definitely achieve Hyatt Diamond, and that it would be well worth it once we got it. The reason is that the benefits you receive as a Diamond member are things that my family would normally pay for, so getting them for free is worth a lot to us.
So, my husband Josh earned Hyatt Diamond status through a status challenge. (In case you want details about how he did it, or how other people did it, you can read details in this post, or in this thread on Flyertalk).
Just how much was this status worth? (Would you guess $4,465?)
I was curious. First, let’s take a look at some of the benefits Hyatt offers to Diamond members:
- Earn a 30% point bonus for stays.
- Enjoy the best room available upon arrival, excluding suites.
- Receive exclusive access to the Regency Club or Grand Club lounge featuring complimentary continental breakfast and evening hors d’oeuvres. Enjoy daily complimentary full breakfast in hotels without a club lounge.
- Treat yourself to a suite upgrade at the time of reservation four times annually on eligible paid nights.
- Receive a special welcome point bonus or food and beverage amenity during each stay.
- Stay connected with complimentary in-room Internet access.
- Extend your stay until 4:00 p.m. with a late check out request.
- Enjoy 20% off the daily rate with My Elite Rate on any standard room in 2014 (subject to availability).
One thing I’ve learned is that it definitely pays to map out travel plans for the year – at least, as much as you can. That way, you can confirm that chasing status with a particular hotel still makes sense financially. Since we’ve got at least three family trips already booked at Hyatt properties, plus Josh has a handful of business trips each year, requalifying for Diamond is definitely within our reach.
Even if we have to do a few mattress runs, it will be worth it, because here’s how our three family stays pencil out for us:
1. Hyatt Regency Indian Wells (Palm Springs).
- We booked a regular King room at the “My Elite Rate” of $223/night, then we used a combination of discounted gift cards and an Amex Open card to pay for the room, bringing the cost down to $190/night.
- Next, we used one of our Suite Upgrades for the stay, which means that we are now booked into either the Hospitality Suite or the Executive Suite (depending on availability). Either one is fine with us!
- Nights in a suite for our dates price out at $525/night, so we are “saving” $335/night, for a total of four nights. The reason I say “saving” is that of course we could stay in a regular room. However, we’ve got some light sleepers/early risers/snoring people in our crew, so we find that two rooms (or a suite) is what works best for us.
- Because of Josh’s Diamond status, we have access to the Regency Club at the hotel, which features a breakfast buffet and evening hors d’oeuvres. Even if we just grabbed coffee and pastries at Starbucks, and bought snacks and drinks from a nearby grocery store, this benefit would be worth at least $35/day, but I value it higher than that because of convenience. For the math at hand, let’s call it $50/day.
- Total “savings” for four nights: $1,540.
- Total points earned for our stay: around 6,000
2. Park Hyatt Tokyo.
- We are staying here for five nights in a suite – two of those nights are from a Chase Hyatt Visa sign-up bonus, and three are with points. Read this post for details if you’d like to know more. Since we are using award nights for our stay, we can’t calculate “savings.” For reference, however, the rate for a King room during our nights is $500/night, and the rate for a suite is $1,350/night.
- One Diamond benefit that I will happily enjoy is the Diamond Happy Hour – the Park Hyatt doesn’t have a lounge. Instead, it seems that you get unlimited drinks at the Park Hyatt’s NY Bar from 5pm to 7pm. Josh doesn’t drink, but I’ll have his. Value: priceless.
- Free breakfast (normally $40/person). I am really looking forward to the Japanese breakfast here, which is rumored to be incredible.
- Total “savings” for four nights: $800 + priceless drinks.
- Points earned: zero. We are burning points on this trip!
3. Andaz Fifth Avenue in New York.
- We booked a 5-night stay here using Hyatt’s new “Cash+Points” feature, paying 12,000 points+ $150/night instead of the regular price of $500/night for a King room.
- Next, we used a Suite upgrade so that we’re now booked into the Splash Suite.
- I love that we are still earning points for this stay!
- We get a $75 room service credit for breakfast each day.
- Total “savings” for four nights: $2,125
- Total points earned: around 6,500
On paper, the math here adds up to $4,465. I’ve been thinking about this in two different ways. On the one hand, we would never pay the full additional $4,465 to stay in suites and have room service every morning. (That is why I got into collecting points and miles in the first place!) However, on the other hand, these benefits create a completely different kind of experience for us as a family…it’s like someone waves a magic wand and makes things beautiful, spacious, and delicious. And easy. Like the best vacation ever. And that is worth a lot.
Do you have hotel status? What’s it worth to you?