On my mind (Hyatt & Small Luxury Hotels of the World edition)

Château Eza, pictured above, is just one of many Small Luxury Hotels of the World that can now be booked through Hyatt.  Image courtesy of Hyatt.com

Look at that view from Château Eza!  Wow.  I really want to go there.  I don’t really know anything about the hotel or Èze Village, but it looks awesome.  Hyatt’s partnership with Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) has grown to over 100 properties and counting.  Château Eza is just one of many SLH properties where you can book through Hyatt in order to get the following perks:

  • Complimentary wifi
  • Daily complimentary continental breakfast
  • Room Upgrade (one category at check-in, if available)
  • Early check-in (noon, based upon availability at check-in)
  • Late check-out (2:00PM, based upon availability at check-in)
  • Earn Hyatt points for paid stays; or book with Hyatt points
  • Earn elite night credits towards Hyatt elite status

You can find the full list of eligible hotels here: www.hyatt.com/promo/small-luxury-hotels-of-the-world.

Irrationally Excited

I’m ridiculously excited about this partnership between Hyatt and SLH.  Part of the reason for my excitement is really, really stupid.  Last summer I had booked one night at a Marriott hotel, Roomers, in Baden-Baden Germany, but the hotel contacted me a couple of weeks in advance to let me know that they weren’t able to fulfill my booking due to a large group reservation. Instead, they put us up, at their expense, at the luxurious Brenners Park Hotel. It was awesome.

Brenners is part of the Leading Hotels of the World (not Small Luxury Hotels of the World)

If Brenners was part of SLH, my excitement about the Hyatt situation would make a bit of logical sense.  We had an amazing experience at Brenners, and so I’d very happily return, especially if I could pay with points.  But Brenners is part of the Leading Hotels of the World (LHW) not Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH).  Still, part of my excitement is the completely un-researched possibility that SLH hotels are in the same league as LHW hotels.  I mean, the organizations have similar sounding names, right?  As I said… stupid.

Unfortunately, even if my unfounded expectation of greatness is completely true, my excitement is still mostly irrational.  Let me explain by way of an example…

Suppose I want to stay at the magnificent looking Château Eza for three nights in late spring.  Hyatt would charge 40K points per night for a standard room:

Meanwhile, if I booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal using my Chase Sapphire Reserve card, I could book the same hotel for as few as 20.5K points per night (that’s about half the Hyatt price!):

Of course, booking through Hyatt still has advantages such as free continental breakfast, a chance of a room upgrade, etc.  Plus, the cheapest Ultimate Rewards price is non-refundable whereas hotels booked with Hyatt points are fully refundable.  So, to make the comparison more apples-to-apples-ish, we could pick a different room from the Ultimate Rewards portal: Let’s go with the Elegance Room with no cancellation fees for 29K points per night.  That’s still 11K points per night cheaper than booking via Hyatt and we would lock in that one room upgrade that’s just a possibility when booked through Hyatt.  One downside is that we wouldn’t get continental breakfast, but we could cash in 6K Ultimate Rewards points per night for enough cash to cover full breakfast for two.  And we would still save 5K points per night.  Of course, if I was working towards Hyatt elite status it might be worth paying a little extra to book through Hyatt so that I would earn elite night credit.

Usually I wouldn’t recommend comparing point prices between two different programs the way I did above, but in this case it makes some sense.  My primary avenue for collecting Hyatt points is through Chase Ultimate Rewards.  I earn 5X in various categories of spend with my Freedom and Ink Business Cash cards, and 3X with my Sapphire Reserve and Ink Business Plus.  And when I need Hyatt points I simply log into Chase and transfer Ultimate Rewards to Hyatt.  So, for me, it does make sense to compare Hyatt prices to Ultimate Rewards prices.

Excited nevertheless

Above, I presented an example of a real stay that I’m really considering.  In this example, it doesn’t make much sense to book with Hyatt points since there are better alternatives.  Still, there will be times where room rates at SLH hotels are exorbitant and the point price is fixed.  That’s when the ability to book with Hyatt points (as opposed to Ultimate Rewards points) will be big.

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