One of the most interesting hotel loyalty developments over the last couple of years has been the integration of a large number of Small Luxury Hotels of the World members into the Hyatt system.
Whilst these hotels have not become Hyatt branded, you can now book them – for cash or points – via the Hyatt website.
This has opened up some fantastic new redemption options especially in the UK and Europe where Hyatt was never particularly strong. Small Luxury Hotels properties are also more likely to be rural, giving you rare ‘out of town’ redemption options.
Hyatt status benefits are not available on SLH bookings. However, as long as you book via Hyatt, you will receive five World of Hyatt points per $1 spent plus free continental breakfast. You need to double-check pricing against the SLH website and the hotel’s own website, however, as it can vary. If you register at the official SLH website you will also see additional discounts.
To add to the confusion, some – but not all – SLH hotels participate in a ‘preferred partner’ scheme for luxury travel agents which offers extra benefits such as free breakfast. Emyr Thomas, our partner, can book you these. You can contact Emyr here.
The reason for discussing this again today is that another 21 Small Luxury Hotels are joining Hyatt across July and August. These include:
- Castello Boutique Resort Spa in Crete
- Grand Hotel Principe di Piemonte in Tuscany
- Hemingways Nairobi in Nairobi
- Hotel Crillon-Le-Brave in Provence
- The Gainsborough Bath Spa in Bath
- Can Ferrereta in Mallorca
- Hotel Valdepalacios in Torrico, Spain
- A77 Suites by Andronis in Plaka, Greece
- Port Palace Boutique Hotel in Monte Carlo
Regular readers may remember that I rate The Gainsborough Bath Spa very highly. In my review, I said it was probably the best city hotel in the UK outside London. The swimming pool is fed directly by the same spa waters that fill the Roman Baths across the road!
You can now book The Gainsborough Bath Spa for 25,000 World of Hyatt points per night. Here is the home page on hyatt.com.
This is a decent but not superlative redemption, as cash prices are currently around £250 per night and you may be able to get extra goodies thrown in if you are paying cash. 1p per Hyatt point is not to be sniffed at though.
If only Hyatt would join Amex Membership Rewards in the UK as a transfer partner, we could get some decent value from these deals. As it is, UK residents are restricted to earning World of Hyatt points purely from hotel stays.
A quick story about booking Small Luxury Hotels
As a PS. to this article, here is an example of how complex it can be to get the best price at a Small Luxury Hotels property.
We were at The Atlantic in Jersey last month which is an SLH hotel. Pricing was different based on whether I went via Hyatt, SLH, SLH as a logged-in user, Hotels.com or Hotels.com as a logged in user.
Emyr Thomas couldn’t help as The Atlantic doesn’t participate in the SLH ‘preferred partner’ programme. In the end, I used Hotels.com! I saved 10% as a registered Hotels.com user and got a further 10% back in Hotels.com Rewards credit.
This was far better than anything that the hotel could offer directly – even when Emyr approached them and ask for their best offer – or via Small Luxury Hotels. Proof that it pays to shop around …..