My daughter Bird* and I are headed to NYC in the Spring for a special mom-daughter getaway. We are both very excited about this trip. We’re going to see Wicked, go to Serendipity and Momofuku, and stay at the Andaz Fifth Avenue for four nights. We are also going to cruise the Met and the High Line, walk past my old apartment building, and sneak in some shopping. Daddy doesn’t know about the shopping.
Anyway, I’m a little overexcited about the Andaz. I’ve never stayed there before, but from everything I’ve read, it seems very glamorous and fabulous.
I booked our room using Hyatt points. A standard room costs 22,000 points per night, so I transferred 88,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points into my Hyatt account to cover the cost. In case you are wondering, I earned most of my Chase UR points from three lucrative sign-up bonuses last year (Sapphire Preferred 50,000 points + Ink Bold 50,000 points + Chase Freedom 30,000 points). The current bonuses are not quite as high, but they are still pretty decent.
The Andaz Fifth Avenue is a luxury hotel. Standard rooms at the Andaz typically go for around $500 a night, while average-sized suites run from $600-$750/night. (Or you can splurge for a 2-bedroom suite for $3425/night)! From what I’ve read on Flyertalk, quite a few Hyatt Diamond members have had success getting upgraded to an average-sized suite when they checked into the Andaz Fifth Avenue. I’m not currently a Diamond member, but this set me to thinking how I could become one quickly.
I had heard about the Hyatt “Diamond Challenge,” which is basically Hyatt’s status match offer, from this thread on Flyertalk. Instead of simply matching status like some hotel chains will (hello, Club Carlson, I love you!), Hyatt requires that you actually do something to achieve their status. Which I can respect. Here are their requirements for successfully applying for and completing a Diamond Challenge:
- You need to show that you have similar status with another program (such as Hilton Gold)
- You also need to how that you have some actual stays with the other program within the past year (shocking, I know)
- You have to rack up 12 nights at a Hyatt in 60 days
- Only one Diamond Challenge is permitted per account
In return, this is what you get from Hyatt (notice that the typical stay requirement is much higher than the challenge requirement):
The way to apply for a Diamond Challenge is to email your request to email@example.com. If you qualify, you become an honorary Diamond member immediately and get to keep this membership for the duration of the challenge (60 days). If you successfully complete the challenge, your Diamond membership sticks around until February of the following year.
So I’m going for it.
As a Diamond member at the Andaz, I will receive a $75/day breakfast credit for room service, which Bird and I can use to enjoy the legendary lemon poppyseed pancakes and other delights. This perk alone is worth $300. We will also definitely use the late check-out service, which will make our last day a lot easier.
Diamond status also comes with four suite upgrades each year. Hyatt extends the use of these upgrades immediately upon activating your Diamond status – in other words, within the first 60 days of your challenge. I plan to use at least one of these for a family trip. This will save us a few hundred dollars as well.
I’m going to wait until our trip is only a few days away before I activate the challenge. This is because I want to make sure I’ve got as much time as possible to possibly complete it. 12 stays in 60 days is a HUGE amount of time to spend in a hotel (at least for our family!) so I want to give us a fighting chance!
The great thing about this challenge is that even if we don’t make it, we will definitely have fun trying.
*By the way, Bird is not my daughter’s real name, I did grow up in Berkeley but I’ve got to draw the line somewhere.
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