Last year a Hyatt Place opened in Legacy Village, a “lifestyle” outdoor mall that is within walking distance of my house. They did a bit of a rush job to get it open on time for the RNC in Cleveland last July.
My first thought was, boy that would have been nice back in the days of Faster Free Nights!
From 2002 through 2010 that Hyatt promotion offered a free night in any Hyatt after every 2 stays. In 2009 I was earning 13,500 United miles+6,000 Hyatt points+1 free night at any Hyatt in the world for every 2 stays that I made. And I did a lot of “Mattress running” to rack up stays that would earn dozens of free nights and hundreds of thousands of miles. While Mileage running refers to the art of flying on cheap tickets to generate more miles than the cost of the ticket, Mattress running refers to making hotel stays that generate more benefits than the cost of the stay. Over the years I redeemed dozens of Faster Free Nights in the wonderful Park Hyatts in Sydney and Melbourne and Hyatts in Maui and Kauai.
Then last October Hyatt announced that they were going to make it significantly harder to achieve top-tier elite status. Instead of 25 stays it would take 60 nights. They also changed the elegant Platinum and Diamond names to some nonsense about Explorists, Discoverists, and Globalists. Apparently they are trying to give American a run for their money for their new Platinum Pro level in the contest for dumb new elite status names.
I noted in that post that there was one final “loophole” for a Mattress run. If you made 25 stays in January and February 2017 you would get the new top-tier Globalist status through February 2019.
I’ve been able to keep top-tier status with Hyatt for the past 10 years thanks to status matches, but they didn’t offer one last year. There is a status challenge that may be available now, but it will require 20 nights, won’t award the status during the challenge, and it won’t include confirmed suite upgrades as matches did in the past.
Top-tier status with Hyatt is quite valuable. It comes with suite upgrades that can be confirmed at the time of booking and are wonderful when traveling with kids. I’ve received great kosher breakfasts from hotels like the Grand Hyatt Kauai and Park Hyatts in NYC, Buenos Aires, Melbourne, Sydney, Paris, and many more. I’ve even received kosher champagne a few times when staying for a special occasion.
I got 5 stay credits from my Hyatt credit card, which meant that if I made 20 stays I’d get 2 years of Globalist status.
We went to Los Angeles for our kids’ winter break. We stayed with 10K points+$125 at the Andaz West Hollywood on Wednesday night with a Diamond confirmed suite upgrade that books into a massive renovated suite there.
Andaz West Hollywood Suite Living Room:
On Thursday we went to Disneyland and stayed at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach with a Diamond confirmed suite upgrade on a $175 rate that awarded back a whopping 5,000 points. From Friday through Sunday we stayed with friends and then we went back to the Andaz on cash and points with a suite upgrade for the last 2 nights. I had to make those stays in LA anyway, so I excluded that from the cost of the actual mattress running.
I also booked a night for a DDF member in Cleveland which dropped the total number of “Mattress run” stays I’d need to 16.
Hyatt doesn’t give stay credit for point stays, but they do give credit for cash and points stays.
The Hyatt Place in Legacy Village wasn’t showing cash and points rooms on most nights, but I often find with Hyatt hotels that if you search for corporate code 51440 the website will show more points and cash room availability.
To my surprise it showed up as just 2,500 points plus $20:
The total with tax was $23.30:
I had Hyatt gift cards that I had bought for 33% off with AMEX Offers.
That meant 16 stays would cost $372 cash less 33%=$249. Plus 2.5K points x 16 stays=40K Hyatt points.
However I was still Diamond from my last status match until February, so I’d also be getting the diamond amenity of 500 points at Hyatt Place hotels or 1,000 points at full service Hyatts.
The agents at the Hyatt Place Legacy Village are extremely undertrained. The diamond amenity always required calling Hyatt to request, but I didn’t mind that as Hyatt offers 50% extra points when it has to be manually requested:
That meant about 16,000 points were rebated back, driving down my Mattress running points cost from 40K points to about 24K points.
The hotel itself is a mess and I don’t recommend it. They built a parking garage for it right next to the hotel, but they never bothered to connect it, so you have to walk back outside to get inside the hotel. The pool was closed on several occasions without any notice given on the website. They rarely properly coded the keys with 4pm Diamond checkout despite asking for it every time. Management never returned my calls to discuss issues.
Worse, they gave someone else the keys to our room on one occasion, lesson learned, always use the deadlock. They gave me 15,000 points for that incident but then another time they gave me the keys to a room occupied by someone else who also didn’t use the deadlock. That earned me another 5,000 points, but sure didn’t make me ever want to stay in the hotel.
On the plus side, that took my Mattress run point cost basis down from 24K points to just 4,000 points.
The hotel also always printed out what they actually collected from Hyatt for the 2,500 points I used for each stay. They bill Hyatt GP $20, so Hyatt is paying just 0.8 cents per point to the hotel:
And sure enough after the 25th stay was made, I got Globalist status through February 2019:
Curious about how hotels are reimbursed for stays?
In it I had data points from my hotel stays showing SPG paid the Le Meridien Khao Lak 1.35 cents per Starpoint redeemed with cash and points. I also showed my folio from the Park Hyatt Toronto. Hyatt Gold Passport paid them just 0.7 cents per point on a cash and point stay. However they also paid $224, or 1.5 cents per point, for a point stay when the hotel was sold out.
In total I paid about $249 and 4,000 points to earn Globalist for the next 2 years. Hyatt eliminated the amenity offered with each stay, a curious move considering how much harder they have made it to requalify for top-tier status in the new program. However with new benefits like space available suite upgrades at checkin and confirmed suite upgrades that now work on point stays I think it will be worth it, but time will tell.
Did you mattress run for Globalist status or was I the only one crazy enough to go for it?