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Old Nov 4, 09, 12:14 pm   #1
ftv
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Los Angeles
Programs: DL Plat,UA 1K, IHG Ambassador Plat, SPG Gold, Marriott Plat, Choice Diamond
Posts: 319
SPG, Marriott, or Hyatt?

I am Diamond but have decided to leave Hhonors.

Of SPG, Marriott, and Hyatt, which program (disregarding status matching) gets you top-tier the quickest and makes it easy to stay there?

Secondarily, I'm looking to compare which program most easily lets you get the most value from points (like Opportunity-level and the former Tier 1).

I am looking at these three, no others.

Comments, anyone?
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Old Nov 4, 09, 12:38 pm   #2
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
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Posts: 1,562
With SPG's double stays promotion running right now, it only takes 13 stays to get Platinum.

I think a lot of the decision would depend on your travel patterns. Where do you travel? What type of hotels do you like to stay in? What price ranges? How long is a typical stay? How many nights and stays do you have in a typical year? How important are upgrades to you? Do you mind moving hotels (perhaps several times) during a stay to maximize rewards and stay credits?
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Old Nov 4, 09, 1:11 pm   #3
 
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In my opinion, SPG Cash & Points when gives the best value for points when offered at high priced hotels.
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Old Nov 4, 09, 1:39 pm   #4
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Usually in SAN, DCA, or Central Europe.
Programs: AA:EXP, DL:Gld. CCarlson/SPG:Gold; HH/MR:Silver; HY:Plt; ICH:Plt Amb.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelColey View Post
With SPG's double stays promotion running right now, it only takes 13 stays to get Platinum.
I thought that you had to be SPG Gold or Plat to participate in that program.

As for the OP, I have Hyatt GP Diamond (as well as HHonors Diamond) status. I'm very much aware of the absence of a Hyatt brand in many markets, but I am one of the biggest defenders of the product. As a GP Diamond, I get space-available upgrades to the Grand/Regency floor at check-in at full-service Hyatts or access to the Grand/Regency Club if not available. Hyatts without these give breakfast coupons. There is a Diamond Amenity Gift at check-in, which is 1,000 GP points or some sort of F&B item. Wi-Fi is free for Diamonds (as well as Plats). At Hilton, you have to choose from the My Way options, whereas Hyatt basicaly gives you all of them.

On the points side, GP has plenty of "G" bonuses at properties. There's always a FFN promo each year, as well as threashold-type of bonus promos. We both know how lacking Hilton is in this regard. I can usually generate around 2,500 and 3,500 GP points for a one-night stay (outside of a promo period). And Hyatt's highest award level is at 18,000 points (the lowest is 5,000). But most importantly, the CS agents at GP are incredible.
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Old Nov 4, 09, 2:31 pm   #5
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Houston
Programs: CO Silver, Hyatt Platinum, Priority Club Gold
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Hyatt is having a double stays promo right now too (13 stays will get you Diamond), and I believe it is also good for Jan of '10 as well, so you can get a good jump on requalifying. Plus after 3 stays you will be Platinum so you can at least have some status while you wait to get to 13 stays.
The promo is open to everyone.

Their category one is only 5000 points/night which includes mostly Hyatt Place's domestically, but you can find more than a dozen Hyatts in Asia/Pacific Ocean at category one.

Only downside of Hyatt is that there are not as many properities as Hilton so you will have to see if there is coverage in your travel area.
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Old Nov 4, 09, 3:26 pm   #6
ftv
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
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more info

Good point, MichaelColey

No company pays for my stays; I do. For the most part, I usually don't/can't spend more than $110 per night, but I make exceptions. And yes, I am very willing to jump hotels every night, which is how I got Diamond HH in the first place.

My observation is that Hyatt seems to be high in price. I'm sorry, but I just can't do $200 a night when a "night" means 8:00pm-11:00AM. And yes, I stay in some mid-sized cities, so Holiday Inn may see my smiling face more often, where I am Plat, but who isn't?)

Mostly, I am really beside myself with Hilton as they offered so much that was right: hotels in a variety of price ranges, affordable rooms $60-$80/night (and even less) in some markets, reasonable consisent quality (sometimes outstanding quality), a decent Frequent Stayer program, hotels in many, many locations, and usually you can get fed in the morning. Pardon my French, but they just pissed it all away with their greed and disrespect.

I need to find a program close to Hilton's (to be a good accompaniment to IHG) and am having a blockage diasecting the three other major programs.

Any and all comments welcome.
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Old Nov 4, 09, 3:42 pm   #7
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Seattle, WA
Programs: AS MVPG, Hyatt Diamond, Hilton Gold, SPG Gold
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Your stays are likely to cost significantly more at SPG and Hyatt. Marriott is closer in price to Hilton. I'm choosing Hyatt as my replacement program because: 1) Diamond status is only 25 stays, 2) they have some reasonably priced properties where I travel, 3) better promos, and 4) better customer service.

Staying with Hilton isn't the end of the world. I've always been surprised at how quickly the points add up. PC is a good program with lots of promos and they have a good selection of lower priced properties.
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Old Nov 4, 09, 3:44 pm   #8
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
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If you are staying mainly in hotels <$125 a night, I suspect you will be better off looking at Marriott; they have the most comparable portfolio to Hilton. Hyatt Place is often near that price range, as are Aloft, Four Points, and some Sheratons, but neither Hyatt or SPG has the same low-end presence that Hilton, Marriott, or ICHG do.

On the other hand, you have to do a lot more business to make Plat with Marriott -- even with the credit card bonus. Hyatt and SPG status are comparatively easier to come by, as they offer qualification by stay (and double stay bonuses have been common).
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Old Nov 4, 09, 9:34 pm   #9
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
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My take on the relative costs of the various brands is:

IHG < Hilton < Marriott < Hyatt < SPG

I have a feeling you'll find Marriott to be noticeably higher than Hilton. The times I've looked at them as an option, the difference was more than I could justify. I've been tempted to try IHG, and I might, but it seems like a significant step down from Hilton in terms of elite benefits and a slight step down in quality.

I'm very price-conscious as well, since I pay for all of my stays and spend a considerable number of days every year in hotels.

I've also considered where I would go if I left Hilton, and as much as I hate the recent changes, I just don't see anything else that works as well for me. The prices are good. I can easily earn Diamond status either through HH Surpass Amex spend or through nights (60 is no sweat for me - I've done 41 through HH in the past 4 months). Reward redemptions are comparable to other programs. And the free breakfasts really grow on you.
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Old Nov 4, 09, 9:46 pm   #10
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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FTV --

Doing a matress run at Hyatt Place and/or Summerfield Suites of Hyatt
Orange County that has specials at $69 -- see Hyatt board -- 13 separate stays will get you Diamond by the end of the year. One more stay in January when it is still double stays and FFns will give you 7 free nights to spend at the Hyatt Kauai or anywhere else you desire and in any combination of nights.

Hyatt Diamond gives you free breakfast. Until then, staying at HP or SS will give you a cold or hot breakfast respectively.

HP and SS are at your price points on Fridays and Saturdays and during Thanksgiving week and Christmas week many of the full service properties are heavily discounted as well.

Given the above and my assumption that the greater Southern CA area is a target rich environment, you should have no problem becoming Diamond before the end of the year if you hop around the Hyatt properties in your area, and at your price point.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/hyatt...elow-85-a.html

Visit the Hyatt forum and you will see this.
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Old Nov 4, 09, 10:36 pm   #11
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Sydney, Australia
Programs: Hyatt Diamond, HH Gold
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Even i am up for Hyatt only.. In my experience if you are diamond, you have virtually no blackout dates. The only disadvantage with Hyatt is its unavailability in different markets. In that case SPG is the best.
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Old Nov 5, 09, 9:38 am   #12
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: NH
Programs: Marriott Platinum
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Let me throw this into the mix....

I'm all about service. The amenities are nice, but when asked at check-in "how was your day" or when room service comes they actually want to set up your dining in room, even bringing an evening edition newspaper. Shirt pressing, shoe shining, basically everyone with a hello and good morning, you get the point. Marriott was always the top here, but I just started at Hyatt (as diamond) and I am simply floored at how well you are treated. The amenities are nice. But its the service that has really made the difference. The customer service on the phone or through email has been top notch and any concern immediately rectified. You have a guarantee upgrade 4 times a year, perfect for when the family travels with me. When I am on business trips, a "how was your day" goes a long way, a lot longer than a suite upgrade.

SPG is a nice program too, and you are treated fairly well. But going to a property for 6 months in a row, never getting a welcome back, that sucked.

Marriott is very good on service, just don't expect to use your points unless you book out well in advance.

and as a last thought - the grass is always greener. Hilton has been good at times and horrible at others. The inconsistencies make my points relatively worthless because I cant trust a room upgrade when with the family.
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Old Nov 5, 09, 10:34 am   #13
 
Join Date: May 1999
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ankitjain View Post
The only disadvantage with Hyatt is its unavailability in different markets. In that case SPG is the best.
Just to give a perspective on existence of hotels in different markets, here's a comparison of chains in question (from SPG site: http://www.starwoodhotels.com/prefer...omparison.html ).

Number of properties in each chain:

Starwood: 960+
Marriott: 2,800+
Hilton Family: 3,000+
Hyatt: 470+
Holiday Inn, InterConti, etc.: 3,700+

On top of that, distribution of properties across the globe (and even within US) varies.
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Old Nov 5, 09, 11:21 am   #14
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The nice news is Hyatt is the best of the bunch. The not so nice news is there are not so many Hyatts around and they were closing many of the lounges last time I looked. Of course YMMV upon where you are staying. The current 12 stays to top tier is a very nice deal.

MisterNice
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Old Nov 5, 09, 11:44 am   #15
ftv
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Los Angeles
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Posts: 319
I can say that with Hilton demanding more from its most loyal customers, I am going to demand more from them.

There are things this year that have gone wrong while as a guest: a broken TV (and being told it "didn't matter") at the MCO ES, a maid entering my room w/o knocking at the MCO HGI and telling me to leave because she wanted to clean my room (before check out time), my room not being available until 10:30 PM at the Hilton WDW and my breakfast upgrade not honored, running out of food during breakfast at the MCO Buena Vista ES (and being snapped at by their employee), refusal to give me the welcome gift at MCO HGVC, waiting 90 minutes for the airport shuttle at MCO HGI, refusing to honor Guarantee after being forced to sleep in a room that had not been cleaned at HI, and others.

I let a lot of that "go," and I can say I am now going to pursue it with complaints, external from the company (BBB, Attorney General, writing very public reviews)

I hope I'm not being childish about this, but as I said, since they demand more from me, I am going to just demand more from them.
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