Hyatt 4 new brands, challenge accepted

Hyatt acquired two roads hospitality and four new hotel brands with that acquisition. With the new brands being rolled out over time Hyatt launched a promotion to welcome the new brands and also set expectations of when the hotels would be online.

The promotion, stay at each of the four new brands, any hotel of your choosing, and receive a free night in a 1-4 category hotel. For each new brand that you try you will receive 2000 bonus points.

If you have never stayed at a hyatt before it means, if you stay at one more new brand you will hit an additional free night award for the 5 brand award. If you have already hit some brands you may qualify for your additional free night faster, it depends on how many different brands you have already visited.

We were right on 5 and had received the first award available. Trying the four new ones puts us at needing just one more new brand to hit 5 and the additional free night. Our plan, after recent unexpected expenses is to get the two free night awards and swap over a cash booking we have at Christmas. This plan is to reel back some future expected spending to cover the cost of the unexpected spending and hopefully catch us back up to budget by the end of the year.

Destination hotels joined last. 21/22 August for most that are joining and September 10 for two. Alila hotels joined in June and July, Joie De Vivre joined from May. Thompson hotels were the first to join way back in March.

The challenge is to stay at all four hotels before 31 December 2019. Meaning the hotel needs to be checked out of on or before 31 December. If you stay on the night of the 31st and check out on or after the 1st of January, it technically falls outside of the promotion terms. These dates remain the same for the 2000 bonus points per hotel brand and the free night award.

We are Australian, not one of the new hotel brands is in Australia. Thompson is USA and Mexico, Joie De Vivre is USA with a new hotel opening in China mid to end of October. Destination hotels are USA only. Alila is a saving grace as it has a much larger presence overseas but nothing in Australia. We are lucky to live in Singapore now so we can get to the Alila hotels relatively easily, as most are in Asia, when compared to the three other new brands.

Alila has one hotel in North America. The other hotels are North America centric. If you want to cross off the four brands, you really kind of need to be American or in America. We had plans for New York already in place and then we suddenly had plans for San Francisco as well. Now how to get to all four when we have Seattle, Pheonix and Big Sur as the only cities convenient to our plans with representation by the new brands.

The issue being each of the brands is on it’s own in a city, we can’t go to one city and cross all four off in one foul swoop. There just wasn’t a way to do it.

Our flights wew booked in to LA as we were going to go to Disneyland but upon realising we were staying on a long weekend we decided to skip Disney. That opened up a couple of days but still, getting to Pheonix, Seattle and Big Sur in one 7 night trip would be tough.

We have a concert to go to so we have to be in San Francisco for that. San Francisco has a tonne of Joie De Vivre hotel options so we booked one of those and I crossed it off the list. One down, 3 to go.

Our New York trip hadn’t happened yet so I contacted our rep and asked if we could shorted our stay by a night. We were on a 5th night free promotion that was no longer available but we had booked 6 nights. She honoured the rate and removed a night for us which allowed us to book a Thompson hotel. I booked this in the Prive rate, which meant we got a $100 credit on the one night stay and the hotel was $120 cheaper than our original night at the Grand Hyatt.

It was a slight hassle to change hotels but we actually really enjoyed it. We didn’t pay the hotel for the stay, I mean we did but by the time our breakfast and 100 credit was used the night was essentially free because it had been so cheap to begin with.

I felt a little bad for the hotel but we were now on a tightened budget so this really helped with the whole reducing an over spend. The added benefit was we got our 1st hotel stay at a new brand in the bag and the first of our 2000 bonus points. Right away. It was a very fast credit. The bonus points came with the points for check out.

So, we had stayed at one of the four brands and I still had to work out and book the trip to the West Coast of USA. My laptop had broken and was out of action for almost 2 months so I couldn’t plan anything and I couldn’t access the plans I had started to make before it shut down never to turn on again. It was frustrating because I can’t use my phone to plan out trips. It is just too difficult. Planning takes for ever and on a phone it is just unpleasant so everything stopped, our New York trip had been planned, we went, we returned, my laptop had been repaired and I started again. Now only needing 3 brands.

Big Sur is close enough to San Francisco to make the cut. So that put Alila and Joie De Vivre on a nice easy path to inclusion in our plans. The sad thing was, when Alila first joined, like 2 days later I redeemed points for a stay and when my laptop broke and I couldn’t see if the road trip worked I had TW cancel it. In the end we would have been able stay on that day and after we realised what day we had originally booked TW said we could have been there two nights and we both had a bit of a sulk. I hadn’t thought of staying two nights until he said it. I was just thinking we didn’t need to rush over to Big Sur as we could have had an extra day. Having stayed at the Alila while we were having this conversation meant we had some pretty decent hindsight and now knew just how special it was and how great the redemption value was. Anyway.

I should note that the Alila posted the bonus 2000 points with the check out points. We redeemed a 1-7 category award night for the stay (originally we had used 30,000 points) but we did buy food so we had points on check out. With these hotels being on US time the day after check out TW’s account had been updated to reflect the new brand stay, his points and the tier nights.

The final brand to plan was the Destination hotel. The only possible way to get them in our trip was to head over to Phoenix. The brand joined end of August and we needed a hotel for 31st August and 1st September. Both Destination hotels in Phoenix were excellent value for the long weekend nights. Actually they were the same price but their resort fees were different. We don’t pay resort fees as TW is globalist so the price was really the same. I debated which option to book for a really long time. I ended up booking the McCormick Ranch but I can’t tell you why I ended on that over the other.

We were upgraded to the presidential suite on check in, far beyond what a Globalist is entitled to. It was the Saturday of a long weekend and we did land in LA and then drive over so we got in quite late. The shame of it was that we only stayed one night. To hit the 5 brands and the second free night award we swapped hotels to an Unbound Collection – The Royal Palms.

While we were at the Royal Palms we changed our last night to be at the airport, this wasn’t a JDV hotel, in fact not even a Hyatt. With this hotel change I had to shuffle some things to make sure we still stayed at a JDV hotel. Then I remembered our hotel after the Alila was the Carmel Valley Ranch which is a JDV hotel so it was covered.

We are now checking out from our second night at the Carmel Valley Ranch, still super disappointed we didn’t keep our original points booking for two nights ago at the Alila so we could have had two nights there and one night here. We are sitting right on 2 weeks since Destination Hotels joined the Hyatt group and we have officially completed the 4 brand challenge with the bonus 5th brand also complete.

Possibly today but definitely by Monday we will have the 2 free night awards and can swap over our Christmas booking to free nights. Our Destination Hotel did not have the bonus points automatically applied when the regular points came through but our stay was a week after joining so I expect theirs could take the full 3 weeks the promotion asks us to allow. I can update to let you know if Carmel Valley Ranch automatically applies them when our stay hits the account. They have been in the program for a while so I would expect so but you never know.

There we go. Challenge accepted and challenge complete. A nice bevy or rewards coming our way.

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