Hyatt and Small Luxury Hotels of the World are Partnering, giving World of Hyatt members more opportunities to earn and redeem Hyatt points, and earn Hyatt stay credits. The full details won't be announced until toward the end of 2018, but the press release indicates that to earn Hyatt points or redeem Hyatt points at SLH properties, members will need to book via Hyatt.
There's good reason for Hyatt to have wanted this partnership with SLH: Hyatt only has a little over 750 properties around the world, compared to over 5700 in the combined Marriott – Starwood entity. That makes it harder for Hyatt elites to only stay at Hyatt hotels, especially in a number of locations in Europe and Asia. For example, there's only one Hyatt in all of Italy (Milan), one in Switzerland (Zurich), no Hyatts anywhere in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Norway, Portugal, Sweden. I'm currently in one of the 10 largest cities in Europe, and there are no Hyatts; there are also no Hyatts in Barcelona or Rome.
Partnering with SLH's 500 independent luxury boutique hotels, 87% of which are in places where there are no Hyatt hotels, can help Hyatt expand opportunities for members to earn and redeem Hyatt points. It can also make it more feasible for World of Hyatt Globalists (the new top tier that replaced Hyatt Diamond) to requalify for elite status, as attaining Globalist now requires 60 nights per year, with no opportunity to achieve status based on stays. Even taking into account the 5 elite night credits from the Hyatt Visa an an additional couple elite night credits per $5000 spent on the card, it's a lot harder to achieve elite status with Hyatt compared to Marriott/Starwood or Hilton, due to those chains' sheer number of properties.
From the SLH standpoint, partnering with Hyatt is a way of introducing new clients to SLH hotels, who might not have considered SLH properties due to lack of points earning or the ability to help requalify for Hyatt elite status.
There are still plenty of questions, though, that we'll need answers to, in order to determine the actual value of this partnership:
- Will all SLH hotels participate in both Hyatt points earning and redemption? Participation is key, since if many opt out, that quickly negates the value of the partnership.
- How will SLH qualifying rates and benefits for Hyatt members compare to SLH's own member rates and loyalty program benefits?
- How will Hyatt redemptions at SLH properties work? The ideal scenario for Hyatt members would be SLH properties being divided into Hyatt categories, for redemption purposes, but it may instead turn out to merely be gift certificates with a fixed point redemption value, which wouldn't be very interesting.
- Will any SLH properties participate in Hyatt Prive, similar to the some Unbound Collection properties? If so, expect the stay requirement to be a minimum of 2 nights, for benefits to apply. Keep in mind that for those SLH properties that are Virtuoso members, it's still likely to be a better deal to reserve them with Virtuoso benefits, which even for a 1 night stay include complimentary daily breakfast, upgrade, a $100 dining or spa credit, and complimentary WiFi.
I've reached out to my Hyatt Prive contact, and will update this post as I learn more.
What are your thoughts on the Hyatt and SLH partnership?
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