Middle Age Miles has an upcoming stay at the new Hyatt Regency Seattle, and this morning we received an email offering some paid “enhancements” for our stay.
We believe this is a new program, so we wanted to alert our readers. We had a stay at this same hotel just 2 weeks ago and didn’t receive any similar offers or email. And while we saw some recent articles about paid early check-in and late check-out being offered at Hyatt Place properties, such as this article from View From The Wing, we haven’t seen similar announcements for other Hyatt brands.
The email we received had the subject line, “Enhance your upcoming stay at Hyatt Regency Seattle.” It showed 3 offers and looked like this:
Note that there’s some confusion here with respect to the Late Check-Out offer. The title says 3pm, but the bullet points say 4pm. Hmmm. Clicking on the offer itself doesn’t add clarity, either:
When we clicked through to the main offer page, we were actually offered a total of 7 potential paid “enhancements” for our stay:
- 9 am Early Check-in ($49)
- 12 pm Early Check-in ($29)
- 3 pm Late Check-out ($29)
- 6 pm Late Check-out ($79)
- Regency Club Access ($55/night)
- $50 F&B Credit ($40)
- Discounted Valet Parking ($45/night)
The offer for Discounted Valet Parking was also confusing as to whether the price was actually $45 or $49 – but when we clicked through, it actually priced at $45:
Regency Club Access Offer
As you see above, we were offered Regency Club Access for $55 per night. The Regency Club at the new Hyatt Regency Seattle is actually quite nice, as we learned during our recent stay there where we used an Explorist Club Access Award. There’s an extensive breakfast spread each morning, including hot items, and there are heavy hors d’oeuvres each evening. Soft drinks, tea, coffee and light snacks are available throughout the day. The lounge is large, with a variety of seating options, and it has a large outdoor patio.
If you have 2 people who can make full use of the breakfast, plus enjoy the lounge offerings in the evenings, I don’t think $55 is unreasonable at all for upgraded access into this nice club lounge.
We noted that the $55 upgrade offer is the exact same price as the differential between the “Member Rate” for a standard room and a standard club-access room – $190 versus $245 in the example below:
In our case, we’ll be staying on a discounted corporate rate that doesn’t directly offer Club Access. Thus, the upgrade offer would give us access to something we wouldn’t normally have – Club Access while using the discounted rate (+$55). That’s a good extra option.
Interestingly, the day before I received the “enhancement offer” email, I’d had a conversation with a Guest Experience Specialist at the hotel. She had reached out asking for our expected arrival time and whether there was anything she could do in advance of our stay. I had asked if we could possibly receive complimentary club access for our short 2-night stay. I mentioned several factors that I thought might help, such as our good stay at this hotel, our Explorist status, that we’re working toward achieving Globalist this year and already have 18 nights during 2019, and that we regularly visit Seattle.
The Guest Experience Specialist replied that she couldn’t give us comp access to the Regency Club, but she could offer a discounted upgrade price of $35 per day because of our Explorist status. Her explanation for not being able to comp the access was that the discounted rate “is the only way we can fairly handle the requests we get for club access and honor the World of Hyatt promise to Globalists.” Fair enough. $35 is a good rate.
We’re still deciding whether to do this, as we size up how much we could actually use the club benefits. But we appreciate the offer – and it’s good to know that Explorists can probably get a discount off the $55 offer in the “enhancement offer” email by asking. The same may be true of other offered “enhancements” – if you have Hyatt elite status, you may be able to get a discount by asking.
The last thing we’d note about the Regency Club “enhancement offer” is that when we clicked back through from the email a couple of hours later, the system told us that this offer was no longer available. It had also disappeared from our menu of enhancement choices.
How Do We Feel About the “Enhancement Offers” in General?
Let’s start with the Club Access offer – To us, this gets our thumbs-up. The offer price was reasonable (although not a great deal for everyone, if you wouldn’t use the lounge much), and it’s nice to have the option. The only downside is for Globalists and people who would otherwise have club lounge access, in that it may make the lounge more crowded for them. That’s something Hyatt will have to balance as it ponders this offer and its pricing going forward.
We’re less enthusiastic about the paid early check-in offers. On the one hand, in the short term it’s nice to have the option to be able to guarantee early check-in (we presume that it’s indeed guaranteed if you actually pay). The $29/$49 price points don’t seem a bit high, but not way out of line at a nice hotel if it’s truly guaranteed once purchased. On the other hand, hotels are almost always good about allowing you to check in early if they have availability, and they’ll especially go out of their way for guests with elite status. We do worry that these paid “enhancements” pave the way for a system where early check-in becomes an “only if you pay” situation. We’ll have to keep an eye on this going forward.
With respect to late check-out offers, we’re not enthusiastic. It is indeed nice to have this option and be able to guarantee it. But the prices seem really high to us. Assuming that the $29 option is really for 3 pm check-out, that’s a lot to pay for 1 extra hour beyond our 2 pm Explorist benefit. And paying $79 for 6 pm check-out feels like a very high price. And, like we said with respect to early check-in, we are concerned that late check-out becomes an “only if you pay” situation.
What are your thoughts on the Hyatt Regency paid “enhancement offers”? Please share with us and other Middle Age Miles readers in the Comments!
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