Back in November 2015, Marriott and Starwood (Sheraton, etc.) announced that Marriott would be acquiring Starwood, making it the largest hotel company in the world.
When this happened, Hyatt hotels saw an opportunity.
Hyatt knew that current Marriott and Starwood elite members were concerned about the merger announcement because the future of both elite programs was undecided.
In an attempt to pluck elite members from both hotel chains, Hyatt offered a status match from competing hotel elite programs to Hyatt’s top tier elite status: Hyatt Diamond. Ok, Hyatt, you have my attention…
What is a status match? A status match is when you have elite status with one or more hotel chains, and a different hotel chain matches you to an equivalent status within their chain. Airlines and rental car companies have similar opportunities. Normally, there is some kind of challenge that comes with a status match. For example, if you want to keep your new status for the next year, you would have to stay “x” number of nights at the new hotel chain within “x” amount of days (let’s say 12 nights in 90 days).
Note: A good place to see what status matches are currently going on, you can either google and search “hotel chain or airline + status match” or go to Status Matcher to see what has and has not worked for other people.
How I Got Hyatt Diamond Status
With this particular status match, Hyatt was giving an outright status match with no hoops to jump through. All I had to do was DM @HyattConcierge on Twitter and provide 2 screenshots that proved my elite status with another hotel chain and that I had stayed at that hotel chain at least once within the past year.
In my case, I had earned Starwood Preferred Group (SPG) Gold status through at least 10 stays within the past year. I sent both screenshots to Hyatt Concierge and within a day they replied with a confirmation of my brand spanking new Hyatt Diamond status until February 2017!!
What Does Hyatt Diamond Status Get You?
Normally, you’d need to accrue 25 stays or 50 nights within a calendar year to earn Hyatt’s top tier elite status. But under these unique circumstances, I didn’t need either of those. The benefits that come with Diamond status are pretty great, especially when compared with other hotel’s top tier elite programs.
In addition to 30% bonus points per stay, expedited check-in line, and access to an exclusive Diamond reservation line, here is a rundown of the best features for Hyatt Diamond:
- Extended checkout time to 4pm
- 48-hour guarantee for room availability
- Exclusive access to the Regency Club or Grand Club which feature complimentary continental breakfast and evening hors d’oeuvres. For those hotels without a club, you still get complimentary breakfast at the hotel restaurant. And if, for some reason, you can’t access the club (renovations, etc.), you get 2,500 bonus points plus complimentary full breakfast at the hotel. This all extends to each registered guest in the room, up to 4 people.
- Upon check-in, receive a welcome point bonus or complimentary food and beverage amenity
- Last but not least, probably the best elite amenity in any hotel program: Suite Upgrades. As a Hyatt Diamond member, you get 4 suite upgrades per year. This means you book a Hyatt hotel room at the normal rate, and then call Hyatt to apply 1 upgrade to a suite for free. This feature could save you hundreds of dollars per stay.
As you can see, there are some pretty great perks to being a Hyatt Diamond member. Now let’s see how I put these to use.
How I Used My Hyatt Diamond Status
Now that I had Diamond status under my belt, it was time to see what all the hype was about. And what better occasion to use Diamond status for the first time than our 10 year anniversary!! Pretty exciting times in the Chlebek household!
There are a couple Hyatt hotels in the Austin area, but one that really stuck out is the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines, located between Austin and Bastrop. One reason it stuck out is because it was ranked the #9 family hotel in the world by Travel + Leisure in 2014.
The stay at the Lost Pines was incredible, but more on that in a minute. First, how did I use my Hyatt Diamond status.
First, I went to the Hyatt website to see if there was availability for the night I was looking for. Sounds pretty self-explanatory, but I searched availability for both standard rooms and suites. I did this because if no suites were available, then my suite upgrade would be useless. As it turned out, both types of rooms were available.
I booked one night at a rate of $419/night. With confirmation number in hand, I called the Hyatt customer service desk to apply 1 of my 4 suite upgrades. After hanging up, I had a confirmed upgrade to the Junior Suite. For the same night, the Junior Suite was going for $664/night. So right off the bat I was upgraded to a suite and saved $245.
Upon check-in, I took advantage of the Platinum/Diamond check-in line and went straight to the counter, which was nice because there were 5 or 6 people in line waiting to check-in. Here I could choose a welcome amenity of either 1,000 points or food and beverage. In the past, I’ve opted for the points, but this time, the food and beverage choices were really good. We selected the merlot and hummus, which was to be delivered to our room.
I should also mention that the week before my stay, Olena and Brooke, two of the lovely ladies from the Lost Pines Guest Experience Ambassador program, reached out to me via email. They said that if there was anything I needed in advance of our stay, to just let them know. And so I did!
I explained that it was our 10 year anniversary and it would be great if we could have a bottle of Argentinian Malbec (Anthea’s favorite!) to help celebrate. Also, it’d be great if we could get a reservation at Stories, the nicest restaurant at Lost Pines. Olena and Brooke followed through beautifully on both requests.
After we checked in, Olena personally brought us the bottle of wine and it came at no charge!! That personal touch really added to the experience. A short time later, the welcome food and drink amenity arrived. We had both fully expected this to be a glass of merlot and a small portion of hummus. Couldn’t have been more wrong. Nope, it was an entire bottle of merlot and 3 huge samples of hummus and oven-baked bread for 2. Between both bottles of wine and the hummus plate, it was easily worth at least $50. Running total saved: $295.
That night, we ate at Stories inside the hotel. The food, service, and view were all incredible. The staff had been informed through our original request that it was our 10th anniversary, so not only did the entire staff write and sign a card for us, but they reserved a table outside with a view just for us. On top of that, they threw in dessert on the house. And naturally, in the land of pecans, we chose the pecan pie. But dessert was just starting…
Not to be outdone, every night from 5-10, the Lost Pines has free s’mores out by the fire pit. Two free desserts? Sign me up.
There is a Hyatt Regency Club at the Lost Pines, but since it was closed during our stay, we had breakfast at the Firewheel Cafe inside the hotel. We opted for the full menu over the buffet and it was a great choice. As I mentioned earlier, one of the perks of having Hyatt Diamond status is that you get complimentary breakfast at the Regency Club. But since it was closed, we had an awesome breakfast at Firewheel completely free. The bill actually came out to $41, but that charge was erased when we checked out of the hotel. Running total saved: $336.
Before we checked out that afternoon, we had to take advantage of one of the coolest amenities I’ve seen at a hotel: 18 miles of hiking trails. The Lost Pines connects to McKinney Roughs Nature Park and its 18 miles of mixed hiking and equestrian trails. We only did about 4 of those 18 miles, but the 4 we did were beautiful and felt way more like Virginia than Texas.
All in all, it was a fantastic stay and a heck of a way to celebrate 10 years. To the entire staff, thank you for making our stay unforgettable. For anyone looking for a weekend getaway in the Austin area, I highly recommend the Hyatt Lost Pines.
The amenities at this hotel are great, but being able to use that Hyatt Diamond status made it all the more special. For the upgrades, meals, and extra amenities we received, it ended up being approximately $336 that we saved…and that was just for 1 night!
An even better way to save if you want that suite is to book multiple nights. 1 suite upgrade is good for your entire stay, so if you book 1 night or 7 nights, you only need to apply 1 suite upgrade per stay. Just make sure the suite is available for your entire stay first.
I’m not sure when we’ll get to use the remaining 3 suite upgrades, but you better believe I’ll be prioritizing Hyatt in future hotel searches.