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Report: Recent Hyatt Stays vs. Starwood Stays

Report: Recent Hyatt Stays vs. Starwood Stays

 
Old Jan 4, 10, 9:31 am
  #1  
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Report: Recent Hyatt Stays vs. Starwood Stays

After several less than mediocre stays with Starwood with apathetic corporate customer service regarding Platinum benefits, I decided to shift my end of year and early 2010 business to Hyatt. Here are some of my observations:

CHECK IN

Starwood
Dedicated SPG Plat/Gold Placard sitting pretty on the counter. No separate line for elite check in. When standing in front of the elite placard, basically told there's only one line
Consistent at all recent properties: W NYC Lexington, Sheraton FLL Airport, Westin Charlotte, W Boston
Hyatt
Dedicated GP Diamond and Platinum signs with actual staff at the counter. When staff was not present at the elite counter, staff at regular counter quickly waved and said they'd be coming over to help me shortly ^
Consistent at all recent properties (with Andaz being the exception, because they have all guests sitting on the sofa and the agents come to you to check in): Grand Hyatt New York at Grand Central, Hyatt Orange County, Park Hyatt Chicago, Andaz West Hollywood, Hyatt Olive 8 in Seattle

TOP TIER UPGRADE

Starwood Platinum

W NYC Lexington: Preblocked to higher floor. Inquired about suites and was lied to and told standard suites were sold out (note, I was not told they weren't available at check in, but sold out for the day). 5 standard suites went unoccupied at the end of business day
W Boston: No upgrade whatsoever. Inquired about Mega room or studio suites and was told they were sold out, even though spg.com clearly showed mega and studio suite available for sale. Didn't bother wasting my time to press the issue
Sheraton FLL: Preblocked to club floor. Inquired about suites or Smart club (corner club), was given a blank stare with a repeated "we have accommodated you with a club floor room." I replied with a and took my key
Westin Charlotte: Preblocked to a high floor room. Inquired about suites or just corner rooms on lower floor. The staff went to ask for 3 other associates with assistance for 5 minutes then came back with a "we have nothing else avaiable since we're sold out" SURPRISE SURPRISE! spg.com showed all room types available, including standard suites. Went to room and was greeting with 10 girls partying next door with constant door slamming.
Hyatt Diamond
Grand Hyatt New York at Grand Central: Preblocked into 1,000 sq ft VIP suite. When checking in, front desk manager came by to personally greet me, offered escort from staff to suite, then called after arriving in suite to make sure I got whatever I wanted. ^
Hyatt Olive 8 Seattle: Preblocked into corner suite with nice city view
Park Hyatt Chicago: Preblocked into Park deluxe. Inquired about better room at check in, agent apologized profusely for not taking care of "valued Diamond members" in advance and immediately moved us to a Lake suite ^
Hyatt Orange County: Preblocked into 1,500 sq ft hospitality suite
Andaz West Hollywood: Preblocked into sunset suite
*Didn't have to use any of my 4 confirmable suite upgrade certificates...

TOP TIER IN-HOTEL BENEFITS

Starwood Platinum
Sheraton FLL: Club lounge access (offering was pretty sad)
Other properties: NONE

Hyatt Diamond
Grand Hyatt New York at Grand Central: Grand Club lounge access with 4 daily presentations including breakfast, afternoon tea and sweets, evening appetizers, and late night dessert extravaganza
All other properties: Order whatever we wanted for 2 at hotel restaurant (breakfast). Entire bill taken off, including tips.
All properties including Grand Hyatt NY also provided complimentary high speed internet. Was told to charge to room and charges would be automatically taken off and they were ^

The employees at Hyatt seemed to be a lot happier with their jobs. Most of them seemed genuinely happy to take care of Diamond members. I've been more than impressed with Hyatt.

SPG used to be just as good, but over the last few months they have declined severely. One of the reasons I have stayed loyal to SPG for the last few years is because of its program benefits. Lately, they are apathetic and pretty much allow each hotel to do whatever they want when it comes to benefits, such as conveniently deciding that suites are not cleaned when a Platinum checks in, therefore leaving 5 standard suites unoccupied at the end of business day. I don't really care whatever "operational reason" they have to do so because Hyatt doesn't seem to have this concern. If hotels don't have to "go far and beyond" to take care of Platinum members, then perhaps Platinum members don't have to "go far and beyond" to stay loyal to SPG.

Last edited by BlissWorld; Jan 4, 10 at 1:06 pm Reason: clarification
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Old Jan 4, 10, 9:37 am
  #2  
 
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thanks for the update - personally don't remember the last time I stayed at a Hyatt. I seem to do all my business at *wood and Hilton.

ps - looks like you failed to take advantage of the girls partying next door.
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Old Jan 4, 10, 10:02 am
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This thread makes me reconsider my options, at least for major metropolitan areas.

Are a greater proportion of Hyatt properties corporate so that Hyatt has more/better control over GP program implementation?
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Old Jan 4, 10, 10:40 am
  #4  
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Originally Posted by BlissWorld View Post
...was given a blank stare with a repeated "we have accommodated you with a club floor room." I replied with a and took my key
LOL
I had the exact same experience this past week while staying at the Downtown Atlanta Sheraton. I asked about a possible suite upgrade when checking in. I didn't get a "no suites available" or "we don't have suites" answer. Instead, I got the very same "we have accommodated you with a club floor room" answer with the same blank stare.
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Old Jan 4, 10, 11:20 am
  #5  
 
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Yes, I too have sampled Hyatt recently and been impressed.
The lack of consistency with SPG in the delivery of top tier benefits is a real issue.Some Hotels (Laguna Resort & Spa) do it well and others struggle or show little care.
I am not surprised by your comments.
aussiechris is offline  
Old Jan 4, 10, 11:22 am
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by BlissWorld View Post
After several less than mediocre stays with Starwood with apathetic corporate customer service regarding Platinum benefits, I decided to shift my end of year and early 2010 business to Hyatt.
That pretty much mirrors my thoughts as well. Suite upgrades for this SPG Plat have been too few and too far in between at most Starwood hotels.

Even before I qualified for Hyatt Diamond recently, I've gotten far better upgrades (all from the cheapest room rates) at top-notch properties: PH Beaver Creek, Andaz West Hollywood, Grand Champions Indian Wells (to a penthouse-level suite in fact and also complimentary club lounge privileges).

Having selected SPG's Advanced Nights Promo (should be in the double digits stay-wise so far in 2010), I don't plan to stay in a *W property until Q2/Q3 2010 unless a really good promo comes out (e.g. FWN). I have a bunch of Hyatt revenue stays planned through Jan 31, when double stay credit under their Next Big Thing promo ends, and will be utilizing all those free nights earned as well as mixing revenue stays through Q2 2010 in a few confirmed suites along with free breakfast and internet.

See you all in a few months. I sure hope there are a lot more positive raves than all these recent rants when I come back to peruse this forum
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Old Jan 4, 10, 11:41 am
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Bliss.

Thanks for a great thread, our tastes are very similar and I trust and value your opinion. If you took a good hard look at this, then I think I'm going to look at Hyatt as well. SD1K, seems to like Hyatts as well.

I love W's, but service is a top priority for me. I'll need to reevaluate where I spend my money in 2010.
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Old Jan 4, 10, 11:51 am
  #8  
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Originally Posted by Cheap Elite View Post
Bliss.

Thanks for a great thread, our tastes are very similar and I trust and value your opinion. If you took a good hard look at this, then I think I'm going to look at Hyatt as well. SD1K, seems to like Hyatts as well.

I love W's, but service is a top priority for me. I'll need to reevaluate where I spend my money in 2010.
Hyatt Forum Take Cover CE is heading your way! hope you wont abandon this Forum
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Old Jan 4, 10, 12:39 pm
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Talking

Originally Posted by craz View Post
Hyatt Forum Take Cover CE is heading your way! hope you wont abandon this Forum
LMAO!!!

They have two options. They can :
  1. Fasten their seat belts, a la Margo Channing
  2. Gaurd their loins, a la Nigel (devil wears prada)



Most of you are trained....now. Why would I abandon the SPG forum after all my hard work? hehehehehehe
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Old Jan 4, 10, 1:08 pm
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Originally Posted by BlissWorld View Post
After several less than mediocre stays with Starwood with apathetic corporate customer service regarding Platinum benefits, I decided to shift my end of year and early 2010 business to Hyatt. Here are some of my observations:
^ +1

I fully agree with the "apathetic customer service regarding PLAT benefits".

With the exception of some Asian properties, I have been very dissapointed with my first year of Starwood Plat
I will also give Hyatt a chance in 2010:

I started with Milan in December (excellent stay ^) and will test Paris next week.
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Old Jan 4, 10, 1:16 pm
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I too switched my stays at the end of the year to Hyatt- (they have a good Q4 Promo) and I was duly impresssed with the hotels, the rooms and the service.

My 6 stays included some Hyatt Regency stays and some Hyatt Place stays.

I now have 3 Free Hyatt room-nights to use before March 31, 2010!

My previous complaint with Hyatt was that there were not enough of them- now Hyatt Place has been opening hotels like mad all over the place...

It looks like this year will be split bewteen Hyatt and SPG.

Plumber
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Old Jan 4, 10, 1:37 pm
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Originally Posted by aussiechris View Post
Yes, I too have sampled Hyatt recently and been impressed.
The lack of consistency with SPG in the delivery of top tier benefits is a real issue.Some Hotels (Laguna Resort & Spa) do it well and others struggle or show little care.
I am not surprised by your comments.
I agree completely. Starwood has seemingly done nothing to encourage or force their hotels to 'recognize' plat. members as the loyal guests we are. Not that it matters, but I qualified for plat. almost 3 times-over last year, however get practically nothing for it at every hotel I travel to! Most club lounges are gone, Starwood doesn't require hotels to give plats. free breakfast at their restaurant, no free internet & rarely do we even get the supposed VIP check-in line or suites. Even the airlines are ahead of Starwood on this (as well as prioritizing plats. based on stays or nights)!!!

I'm staying at a Hyatt Place later this month, and I've read nothing but GREAT things about these new hotels. While they don't have the number of properties as Starwood, I haven't seen one reason to stay even ONE night beyond my 25 nights for plat (half of which is already done for 2010)! Thanks to the 4th quarter promo, I'll be done with Starwood by March this year, unless they implement SERIOUS changes to the treatment of plats!
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Old Jan 4, 10, 1:41 pm
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Originally Posted by moulder3 View Post
I'm staying at a Hyatt Place later this month, and I've read nothing but GREAT things about these new hotels.
I have photos of a couple of those linked below. Although some are new (Reno Airport comes to mind), others are converted Amerisuites.
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Old Jan 4, 10, 2:06 pm
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While I have never been top tier with either SPG or GP, I too have felt that SPG has a nonchalant attitude towards midtier. Between the being outright lied to on 3 different occasions and the rather ridiculous rates for the W properties it just wasn't worth it to keep giving them business. Even at the St. Regis I experienced the same lies. If you can't do something I can accept that, if you cannot switch rooms because you are full I can accept that. What I cannot accept is high rates, poor customer service and unfulfilled empty status guarantees. I understand my status did not show on my initial reservation with Hyatt, but hopefully that'll be the only hiccup I experience.
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Old Jan 4, 10, 2:10 pm
  #15  
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I'm not a SPG person, but have moved all my business over to Hyatt and Priority Club since they both really deliver to their elites.

I've got 11 nights booked at Hyatt this month, and was able to use the last of my Diamond suite upgrade certs on these. The Costco Hyatt certs aren't hurting my bookings, either.

I wish I could find a good use for my Hilton points and be rid of them.
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