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Why I Don’t Always Stay at Hyatt Hotels, Even Though I’m a Globalist

Juan Ruiz's image
Juan Ruiz
Juan Ruiz's image

Juan Ruiz

Senior Editor & Content Contributor

119 Published Articles 721 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 41U.S. States Visited: 28

Juan has extensive experience in writing and editing content related to credit cards, loyalty programs, and travel. He has been honing his expertise in this field for over a decade. His work has been ...
Edited by: Stella Shon
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Stella Shon

News Managing Editor

101 Published Articles 710 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 25U.S. States Visited: 22

With a degree in media and journalism, Stella has been in the points and miles game for more than 6 years. She most recently worked as a Corporate Communications Analyst for JetBlue. Find her work in ...

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As a top-tier World of Hyatt Globalist elite status for 3 consecutive years, I have no plans to give up this valuable status anytime soon.

In other words, I try to stay at Hyatt hotels any chance I get. However, on occasion, I may not book a Hyatt stay, forgoing all the benefits that go along with it. Instead, I’ll opt for an Airbnb or a hotel from a different brand.

Let’s explore the reasons why I may not stay with Hyatt, even though I have top-tier Globalist status.

Overview of World of Hyatt Globalist Benefits

First, it’s important to provide some context on Globalist benefits to appreciate the value of Hyatt’s highest-tier status fully.

Put simply, brand loyalists will find the World of Hyatt loyalty program immensely valuable, none more so than those who hold the highest level of status with the Hyatt: Globalist status members.

Perhaps the reason I’m so passionate about Hyatt and its loyalty program is because it delivers the best hotel elite status recognition you can achieve.

Benefits such as suite upgrades, complimentary breakfast, club lounge access, waived resort fees, free parking on award nights, and bonus points make Hyatt a popular choice among its most loyal customers — me being 1 of them.

Park Hyatt Dubai Presidential Suite Balcony
My Globalist status got me a 1-night upgrade to the 5-star Park Hyatt Dubai Presidential Suite. Image Credit: Juan Ruiz

I am able to save a significant amount of money on travel each year thanks to the benefits provided by my Globalist status, which is especially helpful since I frequently travel with my family.

I carefully plan my spending to earn elite night credits from The World of Hyatt Credit Card and choose to stay at Hyatt hotels whenever possible. My goal in making this kind of effort is to continue to enjoy the great benefits this top Hyatt elite status level offers.

That said, there are times when it makes more sense to me to stay at an Airbnb or reserve a hotel room with another hotel chain.

Hot Tip:

World of Hyatt Globalist status is widely regarded as the most valuable elite status among hotel loyalty programs — this is why I want to retain Globalist status!

5 Reasons I Don’t Always Stay at Hyatt Despite My Globalist Status

There are times and places when the Globalist perks won’t sway me to stay with Hyatt, no matter my staunch loyalty to the brand.

1. Europe Hotels Have Strict Hotel Occupancy Limits

I’ll take a few trips to Europe a few times per year. However, hotels in many parts of the world have stringent policies regarding the maximum number of guests per room and require passports of all registered guests.

This is not a Hyatt-specific issue. Rather, all hotels in Europe, regardless of brand, have occupancy limits assigned to individual rooms. However, I’ve found that when visiting Europe, Hyatt has much stricter occupancy limits than Hilton and Marriott.

For example, I was searching for hotels to book in London, as my wife, I, and our twin girls have a trip booked to see Taylor Swift in concert in August. The maximum number of guests per room at all Hyatt hotels in the city is 2, except for 1 hotel: Hyatt Place London City East.

Hyatt Regency London - The Churchill Facade
Finding a guest room that can accommodate 4 travelers can be tough. Image Credit: Erin Miller

However, for this trip, I would prefer to stay at a hotel in a West London neighborhood, but none of the Hyatt properties in the area can accommodate 4 people in a standard room — or even a standard suite. Furthermore, I wanted to avoid booking 2 rooms at a steep 25,000 to 35,000 points per night for this brief visit.

I looked at hotels with Marriott and Hilton instead of forcing a booking with Hyatt, and I discovered a very nice cash fare for a Double Junior Suite at a centrally located Hilton for roughly $350 per night.

Hilton London Olympia Cash Rate for 4
Don’t be afraid to expand your horizons when searching for a suitable hotel. Image Credit: Hilton

This is an excellent option for affordable and family-friendly accommodation in London. Otherwise, I would have had to either book 2 rooms or pay more than $1,000 per night for a spacious suite at a Hyatt — no chance!

Hot Tip:

There are plenty of hotels in London that you can book with points. However, if you are visiting London (or Europe in general) with family or friends, some hotels have standard rooms that can fit up to 4 people, and the cash rates may be more affordable than using up all of your points on multiple rooms.

2. Hyatt’s Footprint Remains Smaller Than Its Competitors

Depending on the destination, there may simply be a lack of Hyatt hotels or limited options in the area. Hyatt’s footprint is not as extensive as that of Hilton, IHG, or Marriott. Therefore, at times, I am forced to explore other hotel brands that have a more prominent presence in the places I’m traveling to.

Although Hyatt has been growing quickly, there are still instances when I travel internationally to certain destinations where there are no suitable Hyatt hotel choices.

Hilton Santa Marta Front Sign
I had to book a Hilton in Santa Marta, Colombia, because there were no Hyatt properties in the city. Image Credit: Juan Ruiz

For instance, I visit family in Colombia annually. With the exception of Bogota and Cartagena, there are no Hyatt hotels in cities like Medellin, Santa Marta, or Cali — among other places in Colombia that I tend to visit.

Due to the limited availability of Hyatt options in the cities I visit, I have no choice but to explore hotels from other brands like Hilton, IHG, and Marriott.

3. Booking an Airbnb Just Makes More Sense

Hotels are usually found in vibrant urban areas or sought-after tourist destinations where demand for accommodations is high. In rural areas, hotel options may be limited, so finding a Hyatt may be difficult as they are often far away. Enter Airbnb and other home-sharing options.

I can recall numerous instances when booking an Airbnb seemed more logical for my upcoming trip than booking a hotel. When traveling with a large group of friends or extensive family or when visiting a destination with limited hotel options but plenty of homes for rent, I would choose an Airbnb over a hotel stay all day.

I had the privilege of going on a trip to La Barra, Uruguay, with my family in tow. This charming beach town is conveniently situated just a few miles from the renowned tourist destination of Punta Del Este, but the hotel options in the area leave much to be desired.

Uruguay Airbnb
Sometimes I opt for an Airbnb over a Hyatt hotel, especially in places where there’s a lack of hotel options. Image Credit: Juan Ruiz

We selected the nearby quaint beach town of La Barra because we wanted to avoid the bustling crowds. Since there were no Hyatt options, and the small boutique hotels couldn’t accommodate a family, we rented a gorgeous Airbnb right on the beach instead.

There might be hotels in far-flung regions of the globe, but they probably wouldn’t offer the same space or experience as renting an entire house. There are instances when renting an entire home instead of booking a hotel room makes more sense.

4. Free Award Night Certificates From Other Brands Are Better

You can earn Hyatt Category 1-4 free night certificates in several ways. It can be earning by staying at 5 different Hyatt brands (called the Hyatt Brand Explorer program), staying 30 qualifying nights or earning 50,000 base points in a year, or having The World of Hyatt Credit Card.

Since Hyatt has devalued its program in recent years and moved hundreds of properties outside the Category 1-4 range where one could theoretically use a free night certificate for great value, there are now fewer aspirational properties than ever before to burn a free night award on.

In contrast, Hilton offers its members the opportunity to earn uncapped free night rewards through their 4 Hilton Honors co-branded credit cards. One of the great advantages is that you can redeem a Hilton free night reward for maximum value at almost any property where standard award redemptions are available — even at properties that cost up to 150,000 points per night.

This means you may score a free night at bucket list hotels like the Conrad Maldives, where an overwater villa will run you north of $1,000 per night, or indulge in a lavish stay at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills and take a spin around Los Angeles in their Rolls Royce Phantom house car.

Conrad Maldives Underwater Restaurant
Dine at the magnificent underwater restaurant at the Conrad Maldives! Image Credit: Stephen Au

With so many great Hyatt hotels moving up in category, thus eliminating the use of the Category 1-4 free night certificates, I’m more inclined to redeem a free night award with another hotel chain.

Hot Tip:

One of the easiest ways to earn a complimentary night award with your preferred hotel brand is by obtaining a co-branded credit card. Here is our list of the best hotel credit cards to get a free night certificate.

5. There Aren’t As Many Upscale Hyatt Brands Out There

I’m no stranger to select-service hotel brands like Hyatt House and Hyatt Place. In fact, I stick to these brands when I need a spacious and comfortable place to sleep on a short overnight trip.

Usually, though, I aim for a luxury hotel if one is readily available and reasonably priced. Hyatt offers several upmarket brands, including Park Hyatt, Andaz, Alila, and Thompson, to name a few.

However, when looking for a luxury hotel for my trips, I’m more likely to come across brands like Ritz Carlton, JW Marriott, Waldorf Astoria, and Kimpton hotels rather than a Hyatt — depending on my destination.

The Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel Ocean View
I’d go with The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, for a family vacation in Laguna Beach, California, because there are no family-friendly Hyatt hotels nearby. Image Credit: Nick Ellis

This is where Hyatt’s luxury brand footprint lags behind competitors — though they are working hard to catch up — and I frequently choose to stay with one of those brands over Hyatt.

Final Thoughts

When planning a trip, one of the first things I do is check the Hyatt app to see which Hyatt hotels are located in the destination I want to visit. I love being a top-tier Globalist because Hyatt prioritizes its loyal customers and provides excellent benefits.

However, depending on my destination, a Hyatt hotel may not be available or might not be the most suitable option. While I will always prioritize staying at a Hyatt and taking advantage of my Globalist benefits, there are times when I prefer to explore alternative accommodations or choose a more convenient option that may not be a Hyatt.

Juan Ruiz's image

About Juan Ruiz

Juan has extensive experience in writing and editing content related to credit cards, loyalty programs, and travel. He has been honing his expertise in this field for over a decade. His work has been featured in various prestigious publications, such as USA Today, CNN Underscored, Forbes and The Points Guy. Juan is the visionary behind JetBetter, a premier award booking concierge service.

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