Why the new Hyatt Prive scheme can beat Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts

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The point of this article, before I start rambling on, is this – if you can book a hotel in a way which guarantees an upgrade AT THE TIME OF BOOKING, you can save a lot of money because you can book a cheaper room than the one you actually want.  This, as I’ve found, is what the new Hyatt Prive scheme offers.

Back in April I wrote about Hyatt Prive.  This is a new booking scheme offered by Hyatt to various luxury travel agents which can get you a far better deal than booking direct.

It is valid at:

  • all Park Hyatt hotels
  • all Andaz hotels
  • some Grand Hyatt hotels
  • some Hyatt Regency hotels
  • some hotels in The Unbound Collection

Here are the benefits of booking via a Hyatt Prive agent (and Emyr Thomas of Bon Vivant, who we partner with, just happens to be one of them!):

At Park Hyatt hotels you will get:

  • $100 property credit per room per stay
  • One category room upgrade confirmed within 24 hours of booking
  • Daily full breakfast for two
  • Early check-in (from 9am) and late check-out (to 4pm) subject to availability
  • Welcome gift and letter

At Andaz and participating Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, and The Unbound Collection hotels, you are offered:

  • A $50 or $100 property credit per room per stay
  • One category room upgrade confirmed within 24 hours of booking
  • Daily full breakfast for two
  • Early check-in (from 9am) and late check-out (to 4pm) subject to availability
  • Welcome gift and letter

Note that a two-night minimum stay is required at Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Regency and The Unbound Collection.  Park Hyatt and Andaz only require a one-night stay.

Hyatt Prive rates will earn points and stay credit in World of Hyatt.

Hyatt Prive

How does this compare in real life with Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts?

I had an interesting experience recently booking Park Hyatt Hamburg – see above – via both American Express Fine Hotels & Rewards (the luxury hotel booking scheme for Platinum cardholders) and Hyatt Prive.

I am a big fan of Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts.  The key reason is the guaranteed 4pm check-out.  No ifs, not buts.  If you are on a weekend break, or have a late flight home, being able to stay in your hotel until 4pm can make a real difference.

There are other great FHR benefits too – free breakfast and an extra amenity, usually a $100 food and beverage credit.  There is also a room upgrade but this is NOT guaranteed and is ‘subject to availability at check-in’.

The big issue with FHR is pricing.  It often bears no relation to the actual rate being charged by the hotel.  It can be better, it can be worse, but it is rarely the same.  This is because FHR pricing is set in advance and does not move around, whilst the direct booking rate will swing around depending on demand.

What happened with Park Hyatt Hamburg

When I sat down to look at Park Hyatt Hamburg, I was faced with two issues:

the Amex FHR rate was noticeably higher than the hyatt.com rate, because the hotel had recently cut its rates sharply for the weekend I needed

… although FHR was, because of the free breakfast and the $100 food and beverage credit, still a better deal overall

because the upgrade was not guaranteed, I would have to book the room I wanted (which would fit both kids) rather than a cheaper one and hope for an upgrade

It was at this point that I remembered Hyatt Prive.  When I looked into the scheme, it was VERY attractive:

the price is the same as the Best Flexible Rate charged online, so I was paying a lot less than Fine Hotels & Resorts

importantly, because the upgrade is confirmed the day after booking (and your booking is flexible, so you can cancel if the upgrade is blocked), I saved even more money.  I booked a Junior Suite I didn’t want knowing I should get a confirmed upgrade to the Park Suite I actually wanted.

the hotel also confirmed a late check-out within 24 hours of booking

we get the same free breakfast and $100 food and beverage credit that we would have got via Fine Hotels & Resorts

Emyr was able to get this booked for me and chased the hotel to guarantee the upgrade and late check-out, which they did.

Give Hyatt Prive a try

If you considering a Park Hyatt (or participating Andaz, Grand Hyatt, The Unbound Collection, Hyatt Regency property) then do give Hyatt Prive serious consideration.  The guaranteed upgrade at the time of booking (well, the day after) means that you can save real money compared to FHR and booking direct if you are after a specific room category.  The extra benefits – free breakfast, $100 hotel credit etc – are icing on the cake.

If you want to use Emyr to make your Hyatt Prive booking, the enquiry form is here.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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Comments

  1. TGLoyalty says:

    Is it possible to mention the UK hotels covered by the scheme?

    Think Hyatt only have hotels in London and one in Birmingham?

  2. “This is because FHR pricing is set in advance and does not move around, whilst the direct booking rate will swing around depending on demand.”

    This is not true as the price is reflective of the GDS system Amex use and input by the hotels themselves. They are to provide FHR the best available rate to what is available outside of a deal/sale (which i accept happens).

    That is why when you call amex about the same request at different times – say six months before and 6 weeks before stay the rate can change

  3. DAVID says:

    FHR upgrades are not just subject to availability – often it depends on the room type you book.
    Some room types are excluded from the FHR upgrade.

  4. Karen says:

    Contacted Emyr for the first time yesterday to book a couple of nights at Hyatt in Birmingham. Even though could not get Prive there, managed to get great rate and received fantastic service from Emyr and his team. Highly recommend using him!

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