Friday, October 31, 2014

Review: Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile

Hotel:  Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile
Room:  Executive Suite
Price:  $119.20 (+ $18.54 taxes)
Category:  5

Hyatt's headquarters is in the Chicago Loop. Their flagship Hyatt property in Chicago is the beautiful Park Hyatt Chicago, located in the northern part of the Magnificent Mile shopping area. The Park Hyatt is very expensive.

4.5 blocks away from the Park Hyatt is the Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile.

Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile
Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile

Hyatt Diamond Challenge

Hyatt Gold Passport
Hyatt's loyalty program, Hyatt Gold Passport, has three published tiers: base-level Gold, Platinum, and Diamond. (They also have an invitation-only level called Hyatt Courtesy Card).

Platinum status (5 stays or 15 nights annually) gets you free wi-fi, a slightly higher point-accumulation rate, and the ability to book space-available rooms at a 20% discount on Decent benefits, but nothing earth-shattering.

Diamond status (25 stays or 50 nights annually) is where the real fun is. The most significant benefits are:
  • Free wi-fi
  • Free breakfast
  • 30% point-accumulation bonus
  • Food & beverage amenity (or 1,000 points at full-service Hyatts and 500 points at Hyatt Place properties)
  • Upgrade to best available non-suite room at check-in
  • 4 annual suite upgrades (good for a stay of up to seven nights each)

The suite upgrades and free breakfast are nice, but the points accumulation may be my favorite benefit. Hyatt points are pretty valuable (bloggers who know more than I do value them between 1.5 cents and 1.8 cents each).

Each stay earns you 5 points per dollar spent, plus a 30% bonus as a diamond member.  On a one-night $120 stay, you'd earn 780 points, plus 1,000 points if you choose the points amenity. That's worth between $26.70 and $32.04 under the 1.5¢ and 1.8¢ valuations, respectively. With a $10 valuation for breakfast per person and $5 valuation for wi-fi, you're at about $55 in freebies for a two-person stay as a diamond. That's pretty awesome.

The Hyatt Diamond Challenge
Hyatt has a very generous status-match program called the Hyatt Diamond Challenge. When you sign up, you get Diamond status comped for 60 days and the 4 annual suite upgrades. To complete the challenge and retain Diamond status for the year, you have to stay 12 nights at Hyatt properties. You also get a 1,000 point bonus for the first six stays during the challenge.

Qualifying for the challenge requires status in another hotel chain's loyalty program (Hilton Gold or better; Marriott Gold or better; Starwood Platinum; or Intercontinental Platinum) plus evidence of a previous stay.  This isn't as hard as it sounds. You can status match to Marriott Gold as a United Gold member or higher; there are credit cards that can get you Hilton Gold and Intercontinental Platinum.

To enroll, email with a screenshot of your other-hotel elite status with evidence of a previous stay and your Hyatt number.

I'm United Gold, which got me a status match to Marriott Gold. I used Marriott Gold to qualify for the Diamond challenge. It took me about 3 days from emailing to get the status match to Hyatt Diamond.

Introduction to The Pointiff

Hey there.  Welcome to The Pointiff.

I like law-related stuff.  I also like points-related stuff.

So this is going to be a clearinghouse for me to post my pontifications (POINT-ifications!) on those subjects.