Hyatt Messes with My Head – Where I’m Now At with the Chain

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Hyatt Points Calendar - What Is This Cool New Feature?

My Thoughts on the Hyatt Loyalty Program, As of Right Now

A few weeks ago, I raised the following question – is Hyatt overrated?  As I thought out loud, I couldn’t come to a firm yes or no answer – I didn’t expect to, either.  I appreciate all the commenters chiming in.  The varying perspectives have given me plenty to think about.  Also, much has developed since.  What?  Just recently, I spent three nights in two different Hyatt properties during the MtM Diamond meetup in Orlando.  I purposely wrote the previous article before these stays.  For that post, I didn’t want to unnecessarily sway my thoughts with those stays.  That’s what today’s is for!  I’m describing my recent experiences with these two properties and how my views of the Hyatt loyalty program have changed or remained the same since.

Hyatt Regency Orlando

Many of us stayed at the Hyatt Regency on International Drive in Orlando during the Diamond MtM meetup.  As I mentioned previously, I have no status with Hyatt.  This was also the first time I’ve stayed in a Regency in quite some time.  I honestly can’t remember when my last experience was.  As a guest with plenty of points but zero status, I didn’t have any expectations leading into the stay.

Hyatt Loyalty Program

After taking my first flight in almost two years, I arrived via Uber at the hotel around 9:30 am on a Friday.  I didn’t expect nor did I need to check in early.  I planned to meet up with Mark, anyway, for some hijinks around town.  Nonetheless, I didn’t feel like carrying my backpack all day, so I gave check in a try.

And to my surprise, success!  Despite having zero status and the normal check-in time of 3 pm, the front desk agent gave me a room prior to 10 in the morning.  I’m fairly confident I’ve never experienced this outcome without status in the past.  Sure, it’s a huge conference hotel with plenty of rooms, but they could’ve easily put me off or tried to charge for the extra time.

Hyatt Loyalty Program

Upon entering the room, I was struck by the smart design of the recently renovated rooms.  The comfy, but not overly bulky, couch, plenty of fridge space, free waters, the large bathroom.  The second morning, I noticed housekeeping had replenished the room with more complimentary bottled water.  Hotels of this caliber often charge for such an item, in my experience.

Hyatt Regency Orlando Airport

I had an early flight out Monday morning, and I decided to stay at the Hyatt Regency adjacent to MCO the night before.  This property has been on my list for years, but I’d never gotten around to a stay.  Mark and Shawn had good things to say about it, and I wasn’t disappointed.

Hyatt Loyalty Program

The property is by no means new, but Hyatt has done a great job keeping it up.  I enjoyed all the greenery throughout the interior.  These common areas reminded me of Changi Airport in Singapore.  The outdoor pool area has great views of aircraft taking off and landing.  Sitting out there at twilight was quite the treat.

I don’t expect much out of hotel restaurants, but I had a great experience at the lounge adjacent to McCoy’s Bar and Grill.  The food was a nice surprise – I’d never had apple butter on a grilled cheese sandwich before.  The Sunday football-watching crowd created a fun vibe.  The lounge overlooks MCO’s main terminal.

The room was a bit smaller, with lower ceilings, than the International Drive room.  I didn’t mind – this was a quick stay where I wasn’t in my room much.  But again, Hyatt delivered with a sleek, functional room layout.

Hyatt Loyalty Program
Hyatt Regency MCO.

Taking a Step Back

In recent memory, this is the best I’ve been treated by a hotel chain without holding any status.  Sure, neither hotel knocked my socks off, but they each delivered above my expectations.  In my current life season and family travel style, this doesn’t happen often without elite status.  All those little touches add up.

Hyatt Status Is Like a Boat

Will I go after status in the Hyatt loyalty program any time soon?  No.  Why?  I don’t need to.  I don’t stay in properties enough where status would matter.  And for the infrequent times I do, I usually know others there with status.

I don’t want a boat, and I don’t want a swimming pool.  However, knowing people with those things is nice.  I feel the same way about Hyatt status.  Right now, if I ever needed that, I’m lucky enough to have Globalist friends who will book a Guest of Honor stay on my behalf.  But that isn’t even necessary sometimes, including on this last trip.  I was able to leverage others’ Globalist benefits while staying in the same property as them.

Hyatt Feels Like Coming Home

I became accustomed to Hyatt properties in my early adulthood, reaching top-tier status in the Gold Passport program for a few years.  During this period, I enjoyed staying at a variety of their brands, primarily Regency, Grand, and Park properties.  I’ve fallen out of love with Hyatt in the many years since.  This coincides with lots of Hyatt Place and House stays and, probably, my plunging status.

These recent Regency stays reminded me how much I still love the chain.  It felt a lot like time travel – rediscovering familiar decor, refinement without the stuffiness, exemplary customer service, and, again, those small touches throughout.

Hyatt Loyalty Program
Orlando Airport (MCO) with Hyatt Regency in the background.

My Path Forward with Hyatt

The reality is that the next few years of my travel will involve locations and activities where Hyatt Places and Houses are more conducive.  This is no different from what the past few years have been.  Consequently, I don’t imagine I’ll be making any huge changes or pushes for status with Hyatt.

Several years down the road, I think our family travel behavior will evolve where we’ll stay in Regency, Grand, and Park properties more often.  Those are my favorite Hyatt brands and where I’ve received the best perks for status in the past.  I’m intrigued to try Thompson out, but I imagine we’ll gravitate to Hyatt’s primary full service chains most.

Hyatt Loyalty Program – Conclusion

My recent Hyatt experience is a reminder that my views of any chain or loyalty program are consistently subject to change.  Hyatt was huge for me before, not so much now, but may be again in the future.  What fits one individual can be the exact opposite of what fits another.  And each person can be completely correct for their situation!  Go after what’s best for you and embrace it.  For me, I’ll enjoy a Hyatt Regency, Grand, or Park stay once every year or two as a non-elite.  But if you want me to listen to how much you love being a Globalist, please share a breakfast voucher with me.  😉

Benjy Harmon
Benjy is a fan of points, miles, and financial independence (FI). An experienced world traveler, husband, and father, he currently focuses on roaming throughout the USA expense-free (or close to it). He enjoys helping others achieve their FI and travel goals.

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7 COMMENTS

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7 COMMENTS

  1. I really don’t understand people bashing Hyatt, when the Hilton and Marriott programs are far more inconsistent in providing benefits, assigning upgrades, and providing breakfasts, not to mention the inflated number of points required for a complimentary night’s stay. They do usually provide what is promised (although club rooms have been mostly closed for the last two years during Covid).

    The Orlando Airport Hotel is one of the best airport properties anywhere – we use it often for meetings and conferences. Yes, the food is actually pretty decent – far better than you’d normally expect at an airport hotel. And the Regency on International Drive is also a standout – with good sized rooms and terrific pool areas. (We don’t recommend staying there if there’s a major convention/show in town if you’re not attending it… but if you can snag a room on points, you’ll have the pool areas to yourself!) It’s also only 15 minutes to the airport, something you might appreciate if you don’t have status to get through the long securities lines at MCO. We can also vouch for the Hyatt Grand Cypress, which is a perfect place for those interested in Theme Parks.

  2. The bastards won’t extend my free night certificate. What is the one thing to steal from a hotel that they won’t bother charging my credit card for? I need to even the score with hyatt.

  3. Ha! I love your analogy of Hyatt status to owning a boat or a pool. We recently built a pool and use our hot tub every day, even in the winter. But, I don’t need Hyatt status.

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